Campus Life

UWF public relations students win state award

Ten Public Relations students from the University of West Florida were recently honored an Award of Distinction from the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) for their Friends of the West Florida Public Library campaign.

The award was presented at the 2013 Golden Image Awards Gala on Aug. 6, in conjunction with the FPRA’s 75th annual conference in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The Golden Image Awards competition, which recognizes outstanding public relations programs in Florida, is conducted annually by FPRA to encourage and promote the development of public relations professionalism within the state.

“The students in the PR Campaigns class worked as a cohesive team to produce a first-class campaign for the Friends of the West Florida Public Library,” said instructor Eileen Perrigo, APR. “The class functions as an agency with each student playing a specific role throughout the semester.”

The 2013 PR Campaigns class includes: Britni Armstrong, executive director; Jennifer Eitzmann, research director; Jillian Glenn, creative director; Brandi Welk, media director; Wladimir Alves, PR specialist; Meg Clark, PR specialist; Briteny McKeithen, PR specialist; Cora Merritt, PR specialist; Adrian Rich, PR specialist; and Lauren Stimmell, PR specialist.

UWF Wellspring Public Relations is a student-led agency, which is the capstone public relations campaigns class at UWF. Ten public relations students are selected to enroll in the class each spring. This innovative course, established in 2003, affords students real-world experience by compiling an extensive PR plan for a local nonprofit organization in the Pensacola community.

“Among all the universities competing for this award within the state of Florida, I am so proud that UWF won an Award of Distinction,” Perrigo said. “This is the ninth state award UWF public relations students have won in the past 11 years.”

Jillian Glenn, Wellspring’s creative director, was thrilled by the award she and her fellow students earned.

“It’s an honor to receive this award,” said Glenn. “It’s a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team, as we strived for months to create a plan that impacted our community.”

“The research and recommendations the class provided give us a road map for making our organization a better fit to our community and will enhance our partnership with the county’s library system,” said John Young, president of the Friends of the West Florida Public Library.

Wellspring PR has developed public relations campaigns for 10 nonprofit organizations in the Pensacola area, and it has been recognized with five first-place FPRA Golden Image Awards and three second-place FPRA Awards of Distinction. Wellspring PR is funded by the International Paper Pensacola Mill for underwriting the costs associated with publishing the books for the campaign.

FPRA is a statewide organization of almost 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 profession as a whole.