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PRSA Maryland Recognizes Excellence in Communications with 32 Awards at Diamond Anniversary ‘Best in Maryland’ Gala

BALTIMORE, Dec. 10, 2021 — The Public Relations Society of America Maryland Chapter bestowed 32 Best in Maryland and Award of Excellence awards in 16 categories, as well as two professional awards, during a virtual gala and awards show held on December 9, 2021.

The Best in Show award was presented to The Hatcher Group for its Student African American Brotherhood work to refresh SAAB’s visual brand and redesign their website. SAAB is dedicated to ensuring men of color have the support needed to excel academically, socially, and professionally while pursuing higher education.

Crosby Marketing Communications won the most awards with five, followed by Montgomery Parks (four) and MDOT SHA, Devaney and BGE, each bringing home three awards.

Entries were reviewed by a panel of judges made up of public relations professionals from PRSA’s Phoenix Chapter and carefully evaluated based on the following criteria: planning/content, creativity/quality, technical excellence and overall results.

This year’s gala, recognizing the Maryland chapter’s 60th anniversary, was emceed by Dr. David Marshall, Ph.D., APR, Professor and Chair, Department of Strategic Communication, Morgan State University and 2021 Maryland chapter president; Jeffrey Davis, APR, three-time chapter president and head of J. Davis Public Relations; and Dianna Fornaro, M.A, APR, Senior Communications Specialist, Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company and the chapter’s accreditation/APR chair.

Following is a list of all awardees:

Professional Awards

  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Anita Brightman, APR, PRSA Fellow, A. Bright Idea Advertising and PR
  • Rising Star Award, recognizing an up-and-coming professional in public relations – Jamie Abell, A. Bright Idea Advertising and PR

This year’s Best in Maryland Awards Signature sponsor is Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company, supporting the chapter along with JukeStrat, Maryland Marketing Partnership, BGE, Fovndry, Maryland Lottery and TheYuCrew.

Best in Maryland Award Winners

Programs

PRO BONO

BEST IN MARYLAND – Boost Bmore, Abel Communications

COVID-19 COMMUNICATIONS

BEST IN MARYLAND – Helping Marylanders Protect Themselves Against COVID-19, University of Maryland School of Medicine Office of Public Affairs & Communications

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – COVID-19 Employee and Customer Communications and Media Engagement, BGE Communications

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Promoting Public Health and Safety During COVID-19, Crosby Marketing Communications

MARKETING

BEST IN MARYLAND – BGE ConnectedRewards, BGE/Honeywell

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Fairy Tale COVID Campaign, Baltimore Gas & Electric

INTEGRATED COMMUNICATIONS

BEST IN MARYLAND – Re the We Relationships Initiative, Crosby Marketing Communications

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Lead Boldly B2B Campaign, Crosby Marketing Communications

PUBLIC SERVICE (Campaign)

BEST IN MARYLAND  – Support More Victories for Veterans PSAs, Crosby Marketing Communications

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – The Financial Education Initiative Maryland Auto Insurance

EVENTS AND OBSERVANCES < 7 DAYS

BEST IN MARYLAND – REALTOR® Fest 2020, Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS (GCAAR)

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Financial Education Initiative, Maryland Auto Insurance

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – THB Bagelry & Deli Columbia Grand Opening, Planit

REPUTATION/BRAND MANAGEMENT

BEST IN MARYLAND – Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB), The Hatcher Group

EVENTS AND OBSERVANCES >7 DAYS

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Open Parkways, Montgomery Parks

Tactics

MAGAZINES/NEWSLETTERS-Print

BEST IN MARYLAND – Adventist HealthCare and You Magazine, Adventist HealthCare

CREATIVE TACTICS – Assoc/Nonprofit-Govt

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Flooding Maryland with Safety: State of Maryland Hazard Mitigation Plan Update Virtual Room, AECOM

BROCHURES – Digital

BEST IN MARYLAND – Virtual Meeting Toolkit, Chesapeake Employers Insurance Co.

CREATIVE TACTICS – For Profit

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – COVID-19 Construction Safety Banners, Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance

WEBSITES

BEST IN MARYLAND – MyMOS Mobile App, Crosby Marketing Communications

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Montgomery Parks Online Programs, Montgomery Parks

BROCHURES – Digital

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Heartstrings Fund Brochure, Devaney & Associates/Baltimore Medical System

ANNUAL REPORTS

BEST IN MARYLAND – The Year in Review, Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Making a Masterpiece 2020 Annual Report, Devaney & Associates/Carroll Hospital

VIDEOS

BEST IN MARYLAND – U=U Maryland Testimonial Video, Devaney & Associates/Chase Brexton Health Care/Baltimore City Health Department

EDITORIALS/OP-ED COLUMNS

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Private Sector Voice on Challenges of Today, Greater Baltimore Committee

VIDEOS

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – 2020 Board Installation Promotional Video, Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS (GCAAR)

PUBLICATIONS

BEST IN MARYLAND 2021 Scholarly Journals Subscription Catalog, Johns Hopkins University Press

ANNUAL REPORTS

BEST IN MARYLAND – Year in Review for the State Legislature, MDOT SHA

MEDIA RELATIONS-Assoc/Nonprofit/Govt

BEST IN MARYLAND – A Highway to History: MDOT SHA Archaeologists Discover Home of Harriet Tubman’s Father, MDOT SHA

SOCIAL MEDIA – Assoc/Nonprofit/Govt

BEST IN MARYLAND – Highway Workers Nearly Struck and Killed, MDOT SHA

CREATIVE TACTICS – Assoc/Nonprofit-Govt

BEST IN MARYLAND – Trails Less Traveled, Montgomery Parks

MAGAZINES/NEWSLETTERS – Digital

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Explore From Home Newsletter, Montgomery Parks

MEDIA RELATIONS – Assoc/Nonprofit/Govt

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Tobacco Free Kids Media Relations, The Hatcher Group

About PRSA Maryland
The Maryland Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA Maryland) was established in 1961 to help public relations and communications professionals stay connected professionally and personally. As part of the nation’s largest and foremost organization of communication professionals, PRSA Maryland offers networking, training, resources, and support to assist members in practicing public relations at the speed of communication. For more information, visit www.prsamd.org.

PRSA MD Announces 2022 Leadership

 

BALTIMORE, MD (November 29, 2021) – The Maryland Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA MD) today announced its incoming leaders for 2022. Elected by the members, the 2022 Board of Directors is responsible for the governance and financial oversight of the organization.

The 2022 board will be led by Emily McDermott, senior account director at Abel Communications. She is a public relations practitioner with more than 16 years of experience. Emily is the chapter’s current vice president and has served in a variety of roles on the board during her tenure including chair of the chapter’s successful programming committee. 

Among her other community-centered activities, Emily is a member of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce and volunteers with Thread, Inc. in Baltimore.

“I am very excited about leading our board in the new year,” said McDermott. I believe the chapter is poised for growth if we continue to offer high-quality programming to help our members succeed professionally.”

The 2022 PRSA MD Board of Directors members are:

Officers

President
Emily McDermott
Senior Account Director, Abel Communications
https://www.linkedin.com/in/emilymcdermott/

Secretary
Jana Duckett, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Strategic Communication, Morgan State University
https://www.linkedin.com/in/janamgordon/
 
Treasurer
Renata Allen, MBA
Director of Strategic Events, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation
https://www.linkedin.com/in/renata-allen-mba-cmp-a331901a/

Directors at Large:

Tyanna Collins, MBA
Marketing Communications Manager, Christiana Care Health System
https://www.linkedin.com/in/tyanna-l-collins-08021993/
 
Laurie Farrell
President and Owner, Mission Street Communications
https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurieafarrell/

Teri O’Neal, APR
Director of Public Relations, A. Bright Idea Advertising and Public Relations
https://www.linkedin.com/in/teri-o-neal-apr-74593b2/

Anthony Naglieri, M.P.A.
Chief of Staff & Co-Founder, JukeStrat
https://www.linkedin.com/in/naglieri/
 
Andre Riley, MA, APR
Director Of Communications, Baltimore City Public Schools
https://www.linkedin.com/in/rileyinsights/

May Robinson, M.A.
Lecturer, College of Communication and Fine Arts, Towson University
https://www.linkedin.com/in/maymrobinson/
 
Kelly Stoll, APR
Senior Consultant, Stakeholder Engagement & Public Involvement, AECOM
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kellyastoll/

Danita Terry, MSA
Director of Marketing and Communications at Girl Scouts of Central Maryland
https://www.linkedin.com/in/danita-terry-0502194/

About PRSA MD

The Maryland Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA Maryland) was established in 1961 to help public relations and communications professionals stay connected professionally and personally. As part of the nation’s largest and foremost organization of communication professionals, PRSA Maryland offers networking, training, resources, and support to assist members in practicing public relations at the speed of communication.

Anita Brightman to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award from PRSA Maryland

Anita Brightman, APR, PRSA Fellow, will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Public Relations Society of America Maryland Chapter during a virtual ceremony at the 2021 Best in Maryland Gala on December 9.

The award recognizes industry leaders, with a minimum of 20 years of experience, who have exhibited extraordinary achievements and demonstrated outstanding leadership in the field of public relations.

“It is such an incredible honor to be recognized for my achievements as a public relations practitioner,” said Brightman, founder and CEO of A. Bright Idea Advertising and PR. “Much of this honor belongs to friends, colleagues and family whose support I counted on for nearly three decades. I will continue to learn, adapt and serve as a committed public relations professional.”

Brightman started her decades-long journey in the public relations field as public affairs contractor for the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Activity, after earning a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Towson University. Brightman committed herself to life-long learning and promotes it as a value to colleagues and A. Bright Idea employees.

Brightman achieved her Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) designation in 2003 and earned the ultimate distinction for public relations in 2014 with an induction into the Public Relations Society of America College of Fellows. Today, Brightman passionately mentors seasoned as well as emerging public relations stars through employment, networking, college visits and as part of the PRSA Maryland Chapter Mentorship Program.

In 1996, Brightman founded A. Bright Idea to support government, local businesses and nonprofits. In those early days of the business, PRSA provided the guiding principles for consulting clients as a sole public relations practitioner. Brightman led by example with her focus on serving as what she dubbed a “consultant contractor.” Working in concert with clients, she and her team offer strategic consultation in addition to implementing required tasks, with the proven PRSA four-step process of research, planning, implementation and evaluation.

Over the last 25 years, Brightman grew A. Bright Idea from a sole practitioner home-based business to a creative campus with locations on both coasts, including its headquarters in Bel Air, Maryland, and two offices in Burbank and Sonoma, California. Brightman built the company to nearly 40 employees, earning recognition as one of the Top 100 Minority and Women Business Entrepreneurs in Maryland.

Brightman’s focus for A. Bright Idea from day one was to create a team passionate about doing good work for clients who, in turn, do good work for others. Brightman instilled a culture of “selfless service” at her agency, mentoring or creating career opportunities for aspiring creatives, prioritizing volunteerism support, donating work and sponsorship for organizations providing services for our youth and our military.

PRSA Maryland Reveals 21 Finalists for “Best in Maryland” Awards

BALTIMORE, Md. (November 2, 2021) — The Public Relations Society of America Maryland Chapter (PRSA Maryland), the leading organization serving communications and public relations professionals in central Maryland, has announced names of the finalists for its annual awards program.

A total of 21 organizations are up for awards in the “Best in Maryland” program. Winners, including Best of Show, will be revealed at the chapter’s virtual awards gala on December 9. Finalists, who will win a “Best in Maryland” award or a runner-up “Award of Excellence,” represent the following organizations:

Abel Communications
Adventist HealthCare
AECOM
BGE Communications
Chesapeake Employers Insurance Company
Crosby Marketing Communications
Devaney & Associates
Greater Baltimore Committee
Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS
Johns Hopkins University Press
Maryland Auto Insurance
MDOT SHA
Montgomery Parks
Planit
The Hatcher Group
University of Maryland School of Medicine Office of Public Affairs & Communications

The 2021 Virtual Best in Maryland (BIM) Awards Gala will take place on December 9 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets ($45 general admission; $35 for PRSA Maryland members) are on sale now and can be reserved online: https://prsamd.wildapricot.org/event-4540072

This year’s BIM Signature sponsor is Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance. Additional sponsorship levels are still available. Contact Laurie Farrell at info@prsamd.org.

Open to all communications professionals who work in Maryland, the BIM Awards are presented annually to public relations practitioners who have successfully addressed a communications challenge with exemplary professional skill, creativity and resourcefulness.

Each entry was reviewed by a panel of judges made up of public relations professionals from the PRSA’s Phoenix Chapter and carefully evaluated based on the following criteria: planning/content, creativity/quality, technical excellence and overall results.

About PRSA Maryland
The Maryland Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA Maryland) was established in 1961 to help public relations and communications professionals stay connected professionally and personally. As part of the nation’s largest and foremost organization of communication professionals, PRSA Maryland offers networking, training, resources, and support to assist members in practicing public relations at the speed of communication. For more information, visit www.prsamd.org.

Announcing PRSA MD 2022 Proposed Board Slate

Dear PRSA MD Members:

We are pleased to announce the proposed slate for The PRSA MD 2022 Board of Directors.

Their names and their LinkedIn profiles appear below.

This group represents a very diverse team that is well-positioned to lead our organization next year, post-pandemic.

Please take a moment to review the slate. If you have any feedback, please use this link to share your feedback about the proposed slate.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7WMNFSV

We will open up the voting tab for members to officially select the slate on November 1. The new board will then be approved and announced later that week. Their actual terms will begin in January 2022.

Thank you so much for taking the time to review the slate.

If you have any questions about this process or would like to discuss also joining the 2022 Board, please let us know.  There is still time, and there is still room!

Sincerely,

PRSA MD

PRSA MD Board 2022 Slate

Officers:

President: Emily McDermott
https://www.linkedin.com/in/emilymcdermott/

Treasurer: Renata Allen, MBA
https://www.linkedin.com/in/renata-allen-mba-cmp-a331901a/

Secretary: Jana Duckett, Ph.D.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/janamgordon/

Directors at Large:

Tyanna Collins, MBA
https://www.linkedin.com/in/tyanna-l-collins-08021993/

Laurie Farrell
https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurieafarrell/

Teri O’Neal, APR
https://www.linkedin.com/in/teri-o-neal-apr-74593b2/

Anthony Naglieri, M.P.A.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/naglieri/

Andre Riley, MA, APR
https://www.linkedin.com/in/rileyinsights/

May Robinson, M.A.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/maymrobinson/

Kelly Stoll, APR
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kellyastoll/

Danita Terry, MSA
https://www.linkedin.com/in/danita-terry-0502194/

Lend Your Talents to PRSA MD. Join The PRSA MD Board. We Need You!

Dear PRSA MD Members:

The application process is now open for the 2022 PRSA MD Chapter Board of Directors. These positions will provide leadership to our chapter starting January 2022.

Click here to access the application link:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/53SN2LV

Serving our local chapter as a board member is a great opportunity to make a difference in this profession that we all love while at the same time highlighting your leadership skills.

As a board member, you will help guide the professional development events for the year for our members and work to ensure that the chapter enjoys successful operations.

Recruitment for the 2022 Board is open to all PRSA MD Chapter members. If you are interested in board service and are not currently a PRSA member, you are allowed to join PRSA national and the local chapter to be eligible.

No prior board experience is required.

We just need people who love the profession, who are ethically centered, and who want to see our members succeed in the world of work.

You can find more information about the positions and roles here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/14rQv_qi3tKCwJqmekemQ8hBBlS0kBiKN/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=115422456657188121785&rtpof=true&sd=true

Application deadline: Friday, September 24, 2021.  

If you have any questions about the board positions, requirements, and/or the selection process, please contact 2021 PRSA MD President David Marshall at david.marshall@morgan.edu

We thank you in advance for your interest in this service opportunity to the profession and hope you will consider applying to become a member of the PRSA MD  Board of Directors.

Sincerely, 
PRSA MD Nominating Committee

Celebrating Teri O’Neal, APR, on Becoming Accredited

Teri O’Neal, APR, Director of Public Relations for the woman-owned, full-service creative agency A. Bright Idea Advertising and PR, was the latest PRSA Maryland member to become accredited. Dianna Fornaro, our chapter’s APR Manager, recently sat down with Teri to discuss her APR journey. As Teri herself says: “It’s definitely about the journey, not just the destination.”

  1. Can you share why it was important to you to earn your APR?  The timing felt right to renew my commitment to my career and the PR profession in a very public fashion. Currently, I provide leadership and strategic oversight for a five-person public relations department. I serve as a working manager, allowing me to lead by example and grow talent within the agency. I take my role as a leader and mentor very seriously. I wanted to instill a commitment to lifelong learning in my team. But, even more than that, I chose to do it for myself. The sense of accomplishment and overcoming my fear of taking the [APR exam] is priceless.
  2. How long did it take you? Were there particular challenges? It took me 13 months from the approval of my application to the date I took the CBE [Computer-based Exam]. However, realistically, I have been stopping and starting this process since 2008. I have terrible test anxiety, always have, and I let the thought of this challenge overwhelm me time and time again. It wasn’t until I chose to do this for myself and my team that I decided to hit this challenge head-on during the pandemic.
  3. Was it particularly difficult or not during the pandemic? Committing to this process during a global pandemic had its challenges and opportunities. While I had more time available to study and participate in the online course, I was also working virtually and experienced the burnout from staring at my computer all day and all night. The cohort of people also going through this process at the same time really helped get me through it, as did my mentor, Anita Brightman, APR, Fellow PRSA.
  4. Has earning your APR enhanced your career professionally? If so, how? Even after 23+ years in the industry, I learned so much about PR through this process. It confirmed the theories and communication models I knew and added additional tools to my toolbox to enhance my approach further. Understanding that this industry requires a passion and a thirst for knowledge, I feel like this is the beginning of the journey, not the end. I look forward to learning and growing in the profession as part of this distinguished network of PR practitioners.
  5. Would you recommend your colleague pursue their APR? If so, why? I would definitely recommend any PR professional pursue the APR. Investing in your career and committing to making yourself better, regardless of whether you are new to the industry or more than two decades in, will make you more confident in your practice and opens up relationships with others in the industry. I am truly grateful to all those who encouraged, guided, and supported me through this process. I have solidified old relationships and established new ones. I have gained additional resources that I immediately put into place with my clients. It’s definitely about the journey, not just the destination. I have grown and learned so much in the last year.
  6. Would you like to share anything about the challenge of earning your APR? The biggest challenge for me involved not wanting to let anyone down, including myself. I have been practicing for 23 years, and the fear of failing a test that gauged what I do for clients every day scared me. Once I pushed myself to overcome my fear and the stigma that I didn’t have the time to invest in the process, my commitment to making this happen solidified. PRSA has the tools and resources necessary to give you the foundation necessary to succeed—you just have to believe in yourself.
  7. Any pointers? Take the online course and join several cohorts!!! I did a summer and fall cohort because I couldn’t commit the time at first to attend every session. Use the online course to set the rhythm for your studying. Study before you submit and schedule your panel presentation. It is important to know all aspects of the RPIE process and other KSAs before meeting with your panel. Know that your panel has gone through this as well and wants to see you succeed. Any feedback provided only seeks to make you better. If you can find a mentor it really helps to keep you focused, build your confidence, and encourage you to keep going, even during a global pandemic. Read the Effective Public Relations (EPR) book and the study guide. I spent the days leading up to the exam re-reading the study guide and looking at the flashcards provided by the online class. Use the strikethrough and flagging features in the online test; these help to narrow down your answers. Don’t forget to go back to review your answers before you submit the test. And, most important, relax and breathe. Find the courage within yourself to accept the challenge, and you can achieve this goal.

 

–Industry News