Public relations class earns “Golden Image Award”
"Leave no one unfed" is the mission of the Manna organization, a non-profit food pantry and gardens committed to alleviating hunger in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties. Challenged to develop a comprehensive campaign to promote Manna's mission and garner increased support for the organization, a University of West Florida Public Relations class was recently awarded the Florida Public Relations Association Golden Image Award, honoring their work on the campaign.
“Leave no one unfed” is the mission of the Manna organization, a non-profit food pantry and gardens committed to alleviating hunger in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties. Challenged to develop a comprehensive campaign to promote Manna’s mission and garner increased support for the organization, a University of West Florida Public Relations class was recently awarded the Florida Public Relations Association Golden Image Award, honoring their work on the campaign.
Under the direction of instructor Eileen Perrigo, APR, students in the spring 2008 “Public Relations Campaigns” class, also known as “Wellspring Public Relations,” worked on a public relations campaign for Manna that included formal and informal research, objectives, implementation tactics, evaluation tools and a recommended budget to ensure the campaign could pay for itself.
“This capstone public relations campaigns course allows students to model the roles of professional public relations practitioners and to create a professional campaign for a real client,” said Perrigo. “The students were challenged to promote Manna Food Gardens, a branch of Manna Food Pantries, to the community and designed a public relations campaign to promote public awareness, participation and continued growth of the gardens to aid in Manna’s mission to ‘leave no one unfed.'”
The campaign was submitted to the Florida Public Relations Association Golden Image Awards and was awarded the Golden Image Award in the student division. The award was presented on Aug. 5 at the 70th Anniversary Florida Public Relations Association Annual Conference. The conference and 51st Golden Image Awards Ceremony were held at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Kissimmee, Fla.
The awards ceremony recognizes outstanding achievements of public relations professionals throughout the state. There are three awards presented in each category as follows, Judges Award (third place), Award of Distinction (second place), and the Golden Image Award (first place), which is presented to the highest scoring entry of each category. This year’s entries were judged by members of the Atlanta Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.
“This achievement should be celebrated by all students and faculty at the University of West Florida as entries are received from students throughout the state,” said Perrigo.
Upon hearing of the award, Tim Evans, executive director of Manna, said “I would like to congratulate the entire Wellspring PR team on this accomplishment. We have been implementing many of the recommendations made and have been very pleased with the outcome. The work and commitment to the project has brought rewards for Manna and we are pleased to hear that it has brought rewards for the students as well.”
The UWF students, who created the award-winning campaign included Melissa Aiken, Matthew Amato, Nathan Ault, Kelly Cooke, Lindsey Dold, Amanda Hewes, Kate Kellen, Kasey Scott, Steve Snell and Ashley Young.
The Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) is a statewide organization of nearly 1,500 public relations practitioners dedicated to enhancing the professional development of its members, fostering the highest standards and ethics of its members and gaining understanding and support for the performance of its members and the profession as a whole.
Learn more about UWF’s Public Relations and Communication Arts programs at uwf.edu/commarts. For more information, contact Perrigo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Kelly Cooke, senior, Communications Arts/Public Relations