The region’s best public relations professionals were recently honored for their achievements by the Pine Belt Chapter of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi (PRAM).
The awards, bestowed annually at Pine Belt PRAM’s Chapter Awards Banquet, recognize outstanding work in the field of public relations and celebrate select individuals for their contributions to the profession.
“Public relations practitioners work tirelessly behind-the-scenes helping their organizations thrive,” said PRAM Awards Chair Brittney Dykes. “These awards allow us to recognize their efforts and the skills required to achieve success, but also reward the technical proficiency in the four-step process that is the foundation of any productive campaign.”
Matt Martin, owner of MightyPenguin Design, received PRAM’s highest honor as he was named the 2019 Bud Kirkpatrick Practitioner of the Year. He was also presented with the Chapter’s President’s Award recognizing service to the Association.
“Matt is a renaissance communicator able to design, construct messaging, photograph and manage social media, earning his work the highest-level awards both locally and regionally,” his nomination read. “He is always available to assist students and peers in any way and is the epitome of a servant leader, just like the namesake for this award.”
Marissa Landon, communications specialist for Sanderson Farms, was honored with the 2019 Burlian O’Neal Walker Professional Promise Award recognizing practitioners with less than five years experience in the field.
“Marissa has made a significant impact on our company and the Pine Belt PRAM Public Relations Association in a very short time,” read her nomination, which noted several awards and leadership positions Landon has earned or served in. “I believe these accolades are just the beginning of her bright career in public relations.”
Southern Prohibition Brewery (SoPro) was awarded the 2019 Pine Belt Image Award, recognizing a Pine Belt area business or individual for an achievement in public relations, which significantly improves the image of the greater Hattiesburg area on a regional or national scale.
“In the growing segment of beer tourism, SoPro has become a cottage industry. Since opening in 2013, SoPro quickly had products make several of the ‘best of’ lists across the country,” the nomination said. “With every mention in national publications such as Beer Advocate, Men’s Journal, Popular Mechanics, The Atlantic, and Beer Connoisseur, the reputation of the brewery grows, as does the promotion of Hattiesburg. Representatives are proud to tell the story of ‘The Hub’ and how the region’s identity helps craft their distinctive flavor.”
Jessica Moore, a senior public relations major at The University of Southern Mississippi, received the William E. “Bud” Kirkpatrick Student Scholarship.
Practitioners were also recognized with SPARK Awards for their individual achievement. Top awards were presented to The Foundation at The University of Southern Mississippi, Dixie Electric Power Company, and Jessica Breazeale. Additionally, Breazeale was singled out for the highest recognition for individual work product receiving the 2019 Judges’ Award, for her “2019 Safety Campaign.”
Pine Belt PRAM is an affiliate of the statewide Public Relations Association of Mississippi, serving practitioners and students in the Hattiesburg-Laurel area with professional development opportunities aimed at enhancing and growing individual skill sets, contributing to the expanding science of public relations policies and practices.
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