The BIG Event 2015: Marketing & PR September 25

September 1, 2015  |  Meeting Info, News, Projects, Workshops  |  Comments Off on The BIG Event 2015: Marketing & PR September 25

The BIG Event brings tThe Big Marketing and PR Eventogether more than one hundred PR pros and entrepreneurs in one place. It’s a full day of training that is designed to give you new insight into how to tackle today’s toughest marketing and PR challenges.

And this year we’re bringing in Google to talk about digital marketing, micro moment decisions and why they are important, analytics and more!

Register today!

The BIG Event: Marketing & PR

Jointly presented by NAPRCA and the Women’s Business Center of North Alabama
Friday, September 25
Hosted by Redstone Federal Credit Union
Huntsville, Alabama

Session Descriptions:

Google: Jumpstart Your Marketing
Google will discuss digital marketing strategies crucial to business’ success: building an online presence, harnessing the power of mobile, and capturing micro-moments that matter!

Optimizing Your Content
Hear a case study on how to make your content more successful online.

Lunch with : Your Branding Strategy
Find out the vast array of Google services and products and how how they can be used to meet direct response and branding goals.

Getting the Most from SEO
Instructor: John Allen, Marketing on the Web
Learn what the differences are between local and national search results and what influences how your website ranks in these results.

Google: Diving into Analytics
Take a “deeper dive” into Google Analytics, specically popular product features, how to analyze data and how to leverage data for success.

Cost to Attend:

$99 Full Day / $59 Half Day / $20 Students

Does your company want to be a sponsor for the event?  Email Chantel Minish for more information.

Medallion Competition Webinar: Bringing Home the Trophy

November 5, 2014  |  Awards, News, Workshops  |  Comments Off on Medallion Competition Webinar: Bringing Home the Trophy

Want to hear tips for winning in this year’s awards competition?  Email Kristina Hendrix, APR — and go #TeamNorth!  Webinar date is Friday, November 14 at 10am.

Webinar Nov 14

How to Win a Medallion – Nov 14 Webinar


Save the Date September 26 for The BIG Event 2014

August 8, 2014  |  Meeting Info, News, Projects, Workshops  |  Comments Off on Save the Date September 26 for The BIG Event 2014

The BIG Event, a joint professional development event by NAPRCA and the Women’s Business Center of North Alabama, is just around the corner!  We’ve got a few details for you before registration officially opens.

The Big Event logo

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.


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



September Professional Development Event

August 14, 2012  |  Meeting Info, News, Workshops  |  Comments Off on September Professional Development Event

Thursday, September 20 | Presented in Partnership with the Women’s Business Center of North Alabama

Sponsored by: Charter Business
Charter Business logo

PRCA and WBCNA are joining forces to deliver professional development training that is BIGGER than ever before! 

On Thursday, September 20, PRCA and WBCNA are hosting the BIG Marketing Event to benefit both public relations practitioners and entrepreneurs alike! This is a part of our Chapter’s commitment to reaching out to the local community.

PRCA members can attend our annual keynote luncheon and afternoon training session…OR….you can take advantage of an entire day of training.  It’s entirely up to you!

September Membership Meeting & Keynote Luncheon
The Promise & Pitfalls of Real-Time Marketing 

Today’s consumer is skilled at finding information across a whole host of sources, and for marketers to break through, they must be prepared to engage their targets more nimbly, sharing relevant content around the clock in earned, owned, shared and paid media channels simultaneously. Real-time marketing – that is, systematic, multi-channel engagement based upon real-time insights – is grabbing more attention as a must-have for any modern marketing mix.

Afternoon Professional Development Training
Topic: Campaign Measurement and Benchmarking
We Can Get There From Here: Implementing Effective PR Measurement

There’s no getting around it: measuring the effectiveness of public relations programs isn’t just a “nice to do.”  These days, it’s mandatory.  During this workshop, we’ll peel back the various layers of public relations measurement and agree on common terminology and approaches. We’ll also walk through specific examples – so you leave prepared to take your own campaigns to the next level of measurement sophistication.

Meet Our Guest Speakers from GolinHarris:

Mark Dvorak, APR,  Executive Director
Mark provides counsel for a variety of the firm’s association, government and corporate clients – including the National Peanut Board, United Egg Producers and the Georgia Department of Economic Development. He leads the office’s corporate practice and is a member of the Engage activism issues management specialty area. In 2009, Mark led the team that helped drive a resumption of consumption of all things peanut, after more than 3,000 products were recalled because of a salmonella outbreak that originated with one manufacturer.

Kathy Cosgrove, Managing Director
Kathy has years of experience in the PR agency setting and has worked in Detroit, San Francisco, Memphis and Atlanta. Her expertise centers around healthcare and social marketing, and she has worked with public health organizations, hospital systems and countless other organizations. When asked about her passion for public relations, she notes, “Every day we thrive on telling the stories of these organizations and helping them attain their goals. It’s a marvelous job and one that brings me back every day for a new quest.”

GolinHarris is a top-10 global public relations firm with 39 offices including across the United States, Europe, South America and the Asia Pacific.

Registration & Cost to Attend:
•    Lunch & Afternoon Training Session:  $75
•    Lunch Only: $20
•    PRCA Students: $12 Lunch & Afternoon
In addition to this public relations training, WBCNA is offering a full day of workshops beginning at 8 a.m. PRCA members are welcome to register for the entire day’s training, which costs $125.

PRCA’s registration will be processed through the EventBrite listing on WBCNA’s online calendar. 

Click here to register. 


A limited number of $25 scholarships are available. Click here to download an application. Instructions for submitting the application are contained in the document. Responses will be processed in 1-2 business days.

Important Registration Tips & Reminders:
•    Due to the large nature of this event, PRCA members are advised to register before September 10 so that we can plan for adequate meals and seating. This event is expected to sell out.
•    Registration will be processed through EventBrite on WBCNA’s online calendar.
•    If you plan to apply for a scholarship, please do so before registering for the event so that we can provide an applicable discount code if so approved.
•    Credit card payment is required at the time of registration.
•    If you or your organization cannot process credit card payments, please email Leah Gradl to place your reservation.

May Membership Meeting

May 6, 2012  |  Meeting Info, News, Workshops  |  Comments Off on May Membership Meeting

“Communication is a Two Way Street:  How I Learned to Look Both Ways”

Speaker: Karla Redditte

No matter your role, effective communication demands that you check every angle before you proceed.  We’re all trying to find the best intersection:  one where the right message meets the right target audience.   How can you develop messages that engage your target, attract an audience, and don’t get lost in traffic?

Join us as Karla Redditte, News Anchor and Reporter, shares strategies from her experience as a Public Information Officer and from her seat behind the news desk.

Karla Redditte joined WAFF as a reporter/anchor in April 2010. Karla comes to the “Rocket City” from Savannah, GA, where she most recently served as the public information manager for the Savannah Chatham County Public School System. She’ll share insight on how she evaluates local story pitches and translates them into engaging news stories. And, she’ll share her approach to pitching her own stories to regional and national media outlets.

Date: Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Time: 11:45am
Place: Redstone Federal Credit Union
Cost: $15 Members, $17 Guests, and $12 Students

2012 Conference Sponsors

March 30, 2012  |  News, Workshops  |  Comments Off on 2012 Conference Sponsors

No conference succeeds without the financial and material support of good sponsors.  We are quite fortunate to have them and we will use this space to acknowledge their valuable contributions and encourage our members to visit their websites, their booths and — most importantly – to thank their representatives.


 2012 Overall Sponsor

Alabama Power - 2012 Overall Sponsor

2012 Medallions Sponsor

2012 Gold Sponsors


2012 Social Sponsor

2012 Silver Sponsors


Our PR conference attendees are influencers and decision makers throughout Alabama. They represent nonprofits, higher education, energy, government agencies and corporate brands.

As a sponsor of PRCA’s annual conference, you will have the opportunity to interact with some of the state’s leading PR professionals, as well as local small business owners. PRCA members regularly work with vendors for a variety of public relations-related needs such as agency services, research, writing, photography, video, graphic design, printing, event planning and media tracking.

For sponsorship opportunities, email for a prompt response.


Leading RNC Executive To Speak At April PRCA Conference

January 31, 2012  |  News, Workshops  |  Comments Off on Leading RNC Executive To Speak At April PRCA Conference
 Mike Vallante, Chief of Staff to the Co-Chairman at Republican National Committee

Mike Vallante will speak at PR:RECHARGE on Tuesday April 17 in Huntsville.  Vallante says one of his strengths is “helping an organization create and deliver its message in a way that attracts attention and evokes reaction.”  He’s a strong addition to the conference lineup.

Vallante will argue that earned media, not paid, has changed the dynamic of the Presidential race.  In his opinion, this is the first Presidential race where paid political advertisements have not been responsible for majority influence.  He’s fully prepared to back up that argument with specific examples and colorful “behind the scenes” commentary.  His session is sure to be fascinating no matter which side of the political aisle you occupy, and we will all discover tactics to make our messages compelling and decisive.

PR:RECHARGE takes place April 15-17, 2012 in Huntsville Alabama.  It’s the annual state conference for the Public Relations Council of Alabama (PRCA), but any communications practitioner or business owner is welcome to attend — we’d love to get to you know better.

You can see our entire speaker lineup for PR:RECHARGE on the official website.

Register Now


Save $50 with Early Bird Conference Registration

January 6, 2012  |  News, Workshops  |  Comments Off on Save $50 with Early Bird Conference Registration


What every PR pro needs at the start of a new year is a solid kick-start to your creative energy, right? Well, you’ll get that at PR:Recharge, the 2012 State PRCA Conference in Huntsville April 15-17!  Your host chapter in North Alabama has been very busy booking bright PR minds to give you fresh insights into your most pressing communication challenges.  We have great speakers, actionable sessions and some of the hardest working peers in the industry.  So what are you waiting for?

Make this conference the New Year’s resolution you keep by registering today!  Early bird registration for PRCA and SPRF members saves you $50 through March 8.

Speakers for 2012 PRCA Conference

December 29, 2011  |  News, Workshops  |  Comments Off on Speakers for 2012 PRCA Conference

Conference Speakers


Our team has been busy booking some of the brightest PR minds to make this year’s conference a must-attend event.  This year’s ensemble is wicked smart and ready to share!

Jay Hurt.  Jay is Washington Bureau Chief for NBC News Channel, a division of NBC News that provides coverage for all NBC affiliates nationwide.  In that role, he oversees all of News Channel’s editorial and technical operations in Washington, managing six studios for NBC that provide live national programming daily for NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC.  He’s worked directly with many of NBC’s on-air talent, including Tom Brokaw, Brian Williams, Matt Lauer, Katie Couric, Meredith Vieira, Ann Curry, Al Roker, Willard Scott, Lester Holt, Campbell Brown, the late Tim Russert, Chris Matthews, Andrea Mitchell and numerous other members of the NBC News team. And here’s a bonus — he’s a native of Florence.  (Connect with Jay on Linkedin).

Keith Trivitt.  Associate Director of Public Relations for PRSA overseeing national advocacy initiatives, and co-founder of PRBreakfastClub, a group of PR folks in one capacity or another who share a penchant for social media.  Former Executive VP of Sternberg Strategic Communications. (Follow Keith on Twitter or link with Keith on Linkedin

Kellye Crane.  Kellye has been a successful independent PR consultant for more than 15 years, and enjoys helping others down this career path.  An accomplished, award-winning communicator with more than 20 years of experience in strategic public relations and marketing communications, Kellye Crane has offered strategic planning, social media, press/influencer relations, technical writing and marketing communications services to some of the world’s largest companies, including ADP, BellSouth, The Coca-Cola Company, IBM, Intel and Microsoft.  She writes a blog at SoloPRPro, founded #SoloPR Twitter chat and is Chair of Social Media Club Atlanta. (Follow Kellye on Twitter or friend Kellye on Facebook ).

David McNally.  Former award-winning American Forces Network (AFN) broadcaster, Dave is now a writer, photographer and social media specialist telling the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command story.

Angela Sinickas.  A pioneer in the field of organizational communication measurement, Angela’s prolific publications and speaking engagements have made her name synonymous with measurement of organizational communication. Angela and her measurement work have been cited in Harvard Business Review, Investors Business Daily, HR Magazine, Executive Solutions, PR News, Journal of Communication Management, Ragan Report and Communication World, among many other publications.  She’s also the author of what has, industry-wide, come to be regarded as the definitive source of information on conducting organizational communication research: How to Measure Your Communication Programs. (Connect with Angela on Linkedin or on Twitter or through her business website at Sinickas Communications ).

Are you excited?  We hope so!  Watch for the launch of our registration website very soon. And keep an eye out as we continue to book for this year’s conference.