Students Join for $25

September 11, 2017  |  Students  |  Comments Off on Students Join for $25

Attention Students: Join a network of public relations professionals, stay up-to-date on industry news, and gain access to award opportunities to enhance your resume. All of this for only $25! Become a member of PRCA today!

[SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY] 2017 MICHAEL K. SIMMONS MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP

March 6, 2017  |  News, Students  |  Comments Off on [SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY] 2017 MICHAEL K. SIMMONS MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP

Michael K. Simmons Memorial Scholarship
North Alabama Chapter of the Public Relations Council of Alabama

Goal: To assist a student in earning an undergraduate degree in communications-related field of study

Award: A $2,000 tuition scholarship

Eligibility: Any NAPRCA student member attending a college or university in North Alabama pursuing an undergraduate degree in public relations or public relations-related fields of study such as public communications, marketing, mass communications, or journalism who meets the eligibility requirements.

  • Student must have completed at least one semester of coursework and be enrolled in the Fall 2016  and/or Spring 201 7 semesters.
  • Student must be enrolled in a communications-related field of study.
  • Student must be a member of the North Alabama Chapter of PRCA (go to prcaonline.com and click on JOIN. You will join the NAPRCA chapter, there is an annual membership fee of $25 at time of application (does not cover local university chapter fee, if applicable). Your NAPRCA membership application must be processed prior to scholarship application submission.
  • Student must submit a one-page, double-spaced essay along with application answering the following: “What are your Communications/PR career goals and reasons for choosing the Communications/PR profession.” Submit essay as attachment.
  • Student must have at least a 3.0 (on a 4.0 grade scale) or a 2.0 (on a 3.0 grade scale) grade point average.  Please include a copy of your transcript (official or unofficial.)
  • Student must submit letter of recommendation from university department representative (i.e. instructor/professor, adviser, department chair).
  • Student must provide enrollment status documentation – either full time or part time.Deadline/Award: All applications must be submitted electronically online by March 31, 201 7.  Scan the signed application and other documents mentioned above and submit with the application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. A recipient will be chosen and contacted by late April, and the award will be presented at the May NAPRCA Chapter meeting. The scholarship may be used for tuition and fees for the Fall 2017  or Spring 2018.

Criteria: The award selection will be based on the following criteria: grade point average (GPA); extracurricular activities (with favor given to communications-related activities); recommendation; essay.

Questions? Contact Whitney Schmitt, NAPRCA Student Chapter Liaison at 256-345-0380 or whitney.schmitt@dynetics.com

Apply Now

Scholarship Opportunity 2016: Michael K. Simmons Memorial Scholarship

February 23, 2016  |  News, Students  |  Comments Off on Scholarship Opportunity 2016: Michael K. Simmons Memorial Scholarship

Michael K. Simmons Memorial Scholarship
North Alabama Chapter of the Public Relations Council of Alabama

Goal: To assist a student in earning an undergraduate degree in communications-related field of study

Award: A $2,000 tuition scholarship

Eligibility: Any NAPRCA student member attending a college or university in North Alabama pursuing an undergraduate degree in public relations or public relations-related fields of study such as public communications, marketing, mass communications, or journalism who meets the eligibility requirements.

  • Student must have completed at least one semester of coursework and be enrolled in the Fall 2015 and/or Spring 2016 semesters.
  • Student must be enrolled in a communications-related field of study.
  • Student must be a member of the North Alabama Chapter of PRCA (go to prcaonline.com and click on JOIN. You will join the NAPRCA chapter, there is an annual membership fee of $25 at time of application (does not cover local university chapter fee, if applicable). Your NAPRCA membership application must be processed prior to scholarship application submission.
  • Student must submit a one-page, double-spaced essay along with application answering the following: “What are your Communications/PR career goals and reasons for choosing the Communications/PR profession.” Submit essay as attachment.
  • Student must have at least a 3.0 (on a 4.0 grade scale) or a 2.0 (on a 3.0 grade scale) grade point average.  Please include a copy of your transcript (official or unofficial.)
  • Student must submit letter of recommendation from university department representative (i.e. instructor/professor, adviser, department chair).
  • Student must provide enrollment status documentation – either full time or part time.

Criteria: The award selection will be based on the following criteria: grade point average (GPA); extracurricular activities (with favor given to communications-related activities); recommendation; essay.

Deadline/Award: All applications must be submitted electronically online by March 31, 2016.  Scan the signed application and other documents mentioned above and submit with the application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. A recipient will be chosen and contacted by late April, and the award will be presented at the May NAPRCA Chapter meeting. The scholarship may be used for tuition and fees for the Fall 2016 or Spring 2017.

Questions? Contact Dr. Beth Garfrerick, NAPRCA Student Chapter Liaison, at 256-765-4941 or bagarfrerick@una.edu

images

Scholarship Opportunity: Michael K. Simmons Memorial Scholarship 2015

February 17, 2015  |  Awards, News, Students  |  Comments Off on Scholarship Opportunity: Michael K. Simmons Memorial Scholarship 2015

 

Feb. 17, 2015

PRCA North Alabama Chapter seeks college scholarship applicants

2015 Michael K. Simmons Scholarship Application

The North Alabama Chapter of the Public Relations Council of Alabama is seeking college student applicants for the Michael K. Simmons Memorial Scholarship. The award is $2,000 toward the recipient’s tuition and fees for the Fall 2015 or Spring 2016 terms. The scholarship is open to students majoring in public relations or public relations-related fields of study such as public communications, marketing, mass communications, or journalism. Students must be a member of the North Alabama chapter of PRCA, be enrolled in a university located in north Alabama, and have completed at least one semester of coursework.

The award selection will be based on grade point average, extracurricular activities, a faculty recommendation and an essay.

The North Alabama chapter of PRCA established the Michael K. Simmons Memorial Scholarship Program in 1994, with the purpose of encouraging students to explore the public relations profession and to introduce them to PRCA and the important role a professional organization can play in the early stages of their career. Funds for the scholarship are raised from individual member donations, professional development events and workshops.

“PRCA is committed to advancing the caliber and professionalism of the Public Relations profession, and that absolutely includes students. The North Alabama Chapter is proud to support emerging leaders in the Public Relations industry with this scholarship as well as access to training, mentoring and professional development opportunities,” said Leah Gradl, NAPRCA President. “We encourage all Public Relations students across North Alabama to engage in our professional organization and apply for this scholarship.”

All applications and support documents must be emailed to Dr. Beth Garfrerick, NAPRCA Student Chapter Liaison, by March 31 at bagarfrerick@una.edu. Questions about the Simmons scholarship may also be directed to bagarfrerick@una.edu or by calling 256-765-4941.

The Public Relations Council of Alabama seeks to promote the development of public relations practitioners through continuing education and increased awareness about the profession.

###

 

Going to 2014 SPRF in New Orleans?

August 8, 2014  |  News, Students  |  Comments Off on Going to 2014 SPRF in New Orleans?

There are great reasons for students to attend this year’s  Southern Public Relations Federation conference and you can still register.  Open the flyer below for details.

SPRF Conference Student Flyer

NAPRCA to Partner with The Arc of Morgan County for the 2014 PRo Bono Project

August 7, 2014  |  News, Projects, Students  |  Comments Off on NAPRCA to Partner with The Arc of Morgan County for the 2014 PRo Bono Project

NAPRCA is proud to announce The Arc of Morgan County will be the recipient of free public relations strategic planning through the 2014 PRo Bono Project.

The PRo Bono Project invited Tennessee Valley nonprofits to apply for free public relations strategic planning from our chapter. Nonprofit groups from across the community submitted their needs through an essay-based application. The NAPRCA Board of Directors evaluated the applications and awarded the volunteer services to The Arc of Morgan County.

The Arc of Morgan County is a non-profit organization that advocates for and empowers individuals with developmental delays. Currently, The Arc provides after school and summer programs. Adult services are limited in Morgan County, and The Arc has developed a plan to fund “People First,” which is an adult advocacy service that offers help in self-directed goals such as employment, civic activities or independent living. The Arc will fund “People First” by establishing daycare services for children with developmental delays. They plan for the profits generated from the daycare to support the adult programs which are not currently funding.

The Arc needs NAPRCA’s help developing a strategic plan to promote these services to the community. And now the NAPRCA needs the help of members to serve on the committee and make it happen!  Join the committee to help put RPIE (research, planning, implementation and evaluation) into motion for this highly deserving organization.

Send an email to Leah Gradl for more information.

There is also a PRo Bono Committee currently meeting with the BBB of North Alabama to assist in developing a strategic plan for their 50th anniversary celebration. Contact Lori Miller  if you’re interested in that committee.

NAPRCA Announces 2014 Scholarship Winner

May 1, 2014  |  News, Students  |  Comments Off on NAPRCA Announces 2014 Scholarship Winner

Marcey Anne Sykes, a senior public relations major at the University of North Alabama, is the 2014 recipient of the North Alabama Chapter of the Public Relations Council of Alabama’s Michael K. Simmons Memorial Scholarship. She will be honored at the May 21 luncheon meeting of NAPRCA, held at Redstone Federal Credit Union.

The award is $2,000 toward the recipient’s tuition and fees for the Fall 2014 or Spring 2015 terms. The scholarship is open to students majoring in public relations or public relations-related fields of study such as public communications, marketing, mass communications, or journalism. Students must be enrolled in a university located in north Alabama and have completed at least one semester of coursework to be eligible for the scholarship.

The award selection is based on grade point average, extracurricular activities, a faculty recommendation and an essay.

At UNA, Sykes is a member of the varsity tennis team, National Leadership Society, Phi Kappa Phi academic honorary, and UNA PRIDE (Public Relations Individuals Dedicated to Excellence), which is the university’s student public relations organization. She is also a freelance photographer/videographer and has a 3.95 GPA. Sykes is from Iuka, Miss., and was a a student and member of the tennis team at Northeast Mississippi Community College before transferring to UNA.

The North Alabama Chapter of PRCA established the Michael K. Simmons Memorial Scholarship Program in 1974, with the purpose of encouraging students to explore the public relations profession and to introduce them to PRCA and the important role a professional organization can play in the early stages of their career. Funds for the scholarship are raised from individual member donations, professional development events and workshops.

The Public Relations Council of Alabama seeks to promote the development of public relations practitioners through continuing education and increased awareness about the profession.

Five Tips for Award-Winning PR Entries

January 18, 2013  |  Awards, News, Students, Workshops  |  Comments Off on Five Tips for Award-Winning PR Entries

by Lori Miller

[UPDATED 1-22:  Just added another award winning entry.  Deborah Hudson of Huntsville Utilities agreed to share her 2008 Lantern “Best of Show.”  It’s at the bottom of this post.]

As last year’s Best of Show winner in the 2012 Medallions competition, I’ve been privileged to have my work evaluated by PR peers and found worthy. Winning PR awards is heady stuff and very gratifying. Helps sell your worth back to the boss as well!

But make no mistake – it took work to get the entry ready. Our great project did not “speak for itself.” I made it speak through the narrative I wrote to tell its story, and through the collateral I selected to go in the binder to bring the words to life. You may have a great project. And it still may not win if you don’t put in the time to write a good entry.

On Friday January 11, several previous Medallion award winners in the state conducted a webinar to talk about how to win. If you missed it, you can download the slides now, and you’ll see that they help guide you through the entry process.

But what the slides do not share are those tips that fall somewhere outside of the instructions that nevertheless make a big difference. It’s the stuff you wish someone would tell you before your fingers touch the keyboard.

Yes, we’re competitive. But I want to see our chapter do well at this year’s conference, so I’m all about helping my fellow NAPRCA members get ahead.

So – let’s do this! Here are five tips that will help you put together an award-winning entry.

 

(1) Remember, you are being judged on your entry, not your collateral

I am not saying that your collateral isn’t important. Far from it. But I am saying that your clever and beautifully crafted postcard doesn’t amount to much if you didn’t write a compelling PR objective and explain how the postcard helped you achieve the result you needed.

Say it with me: It’s about the entry.

So give yourself time to write it well. The judges are applying APR standards for planning and measurement to your entry, so familiarize yourself with the RPIE format, especially the parts about writing good objectives. You can download a PDF of the APR Study guide and jump to page 43 “Writing a Public Relations Plan.” That’s what I do. And then I put the SMART acronym at the top of my rough draft – SMART: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, with a Timetable for getting it done.

 

(2) Tell a story, but make it fast

Nobody really wants to hear this but it’s true – those judges are looking at LOTS of entries. They can start to blur together. They get tired. They stop writing comments and just start scribing numbers.

Knowing this, tell a story with your entry. Make it interesting and conversational, because in this case, your audience is the judge. You need to be painting pictures with words, because the judge may have made up most of his or her mind before they get to your beautiful collateral.

At the same time, make your entry easy to scan. Use bullets and subheads. Tie your actions back to your objectives so they cannot possibility miss it. You only have 500 words – 250 in some areas – to make your points, so choose your words wisely.

I go into the Medallions website and cut and paste the word limits and points potential for each section into my draft. Then I write offline, ruthlessly edit, and cut and paste the finished entry back into the right sections so I can print the entry form.

 

(3) Let someone else read it – preferably someone who doesn’t know the project

Let those familiar with your project help you proof it. But I suggest handing it to someone outside your industry for a final read. Here’s why.

The judge looking at your entry is well-qualified, but he or she may not be familiar with your industry. For example, I know a great deal about media relations, events and speech writing, but I’ve never written an annual report or competed for government grants.

The best protection against unintentional myopic thinking is letting someone else read it – someone who isn’t already familiar with the project you are describing. Does it make sense to them? Do they understand the significance of each bullet? In your effort to edit, did you cut out some necessary background?

 

(4) Don’t leave anything out

When I was in charge of SPRF’s Lanterns, I had the opportunity to see many judging sheets. And there are a few things that often get left out of entries.

Did you talk about your budget? You need to mention it, even if you cannot divulge the amount due to confidentiality. Did you name your key audiences? While you were describing the situation, did you remember to talk about research? Did you provide solid metrics in the evaluation section that tie directly back to your objectives? Did you remember to identify your specific role in the project?

Also, this is just a personal opinion, but I think it’s okay to admit that you didn’t reach an objective. Just make sure that you talk about what you learned and what you’d do differently.

 

(5) Creativity applies to your support material and the way you present it in the entry

You are not supposed to pretty up the entry, and the formatting of the printout isn’t great. So how to do get creative? I’d argue it’s the words you use and the presentation of your collateral. Take the time to include dividers. Include emails if they help finish telling the story and provide “color commentary.” I’ve even been known to place post-it notes under the sheet protectors to call attention to specific pieces of the collateral for the judges (making it easy to scan, remember?).

So there you go.  The deadline for entering Medallions is postmark Friday January 25.  So get to the Medallions website and enter!  And since I believe it helps, I’ve included a shortened version my entry last year.  Good luck.

2013MedallionsWebinar

WHNT Tornado Relief Telethon – Category 9A Special Events Under $20,000

HsvUtil2008AREntry-BOS

 

Medallion 2013 Deadline is January 25

October 22, 2012  |  Awards, News, Students  |  Comments Off on Medallion 2013 Deadline is January 25

Get your best work together!  All PRCA members are invited to enter the best of their work in the 2013 PRCA Medallion Awards competition.

HOW TO ENTER
Enter online at the Medallions awards website. You can find detailed descriptions of each category and the entry process there.

ELIGIBILITY
Any PRCA member in good standing may submit entries. Entries must have been produced between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012.

DEADLINE
Entries must be postmarked by Friday, January 25, 2013. n Please note the deadline WILL NOT be extended.

FEES
$50 per entry
$45 per entry if submitting three or more entries

For more information about the Medallion competition, contact 2013 Medallion Chair Keisa Sharpe-Johnson at ksharpe@southernco.com.

 

Submit for SPRF Lantern Awards by July 2

June 4, 2012  |  Awards, News, Students  |  Comments Off on Submit for SPRF Lantern Awards by July 2

As PRCA members, we are also automatically members of the Southern Public Relations Federation (SPRF).  And that means we can all enter the SPRF Lantern Awards.

Awards, including Certificates of Merit, Awards of Excellence and Lantern Awards, are given in 25 categories that mirror our PRCA Medallion Awards process. However, the eligibility window for entries is different.  The timeframe for Lantern entry eligibility is from May 1, 2011 to April 30, 2012.

The deadline to enter in the 2012 Lantern Awards program is July 2, and the extended deadline is July 13.

Enter your Lanterns entries here.

Entry fees are $55 per entry (May 1-July 2) and go up to $65 per entry (July 3-13). There will be no additional extended deadline after July 13. Winners will be announced during the SPRF conference Oct. 7-9, 2012, in Destin, Fla.