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PRSA MD Volunteers Deliver Big for Sister Chapter

A small army of The Public Relations Society of America Maryland Chapter collaborated on a project to help colleagues six states away have their big moment in the sun.

Twenty-eight volunteers from PRSA Maryland judged The Public Relations Society of America Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter’s annual Paragon Awards, the highest professional salute that chapter gives.

“This was just an amazing team of colleagues to work with,” said PRSA MD Board member Dr. David Marshall, APR, who coordinated the judging this year for PRSA MD. “As soon as the call went out for help, people responded right away and worked tirelessly to give each entry a very thorough review. Our members completed the process with distinction and on time.”

The judging took place in April over 22 days. Leaders from PRSA SE Wisconsin announced the winners last month.

“This was the first time I have participated in a PRSA MD offering. Serving as a judge not only was rewarding, but it provided me with some terrific ideas that I was immediately able to bring back to my own work,” said Anthony Naglieri, Senior Director of External Affairs at Cultural Vistas.

“It was awesome to see this come together,” said Kaletha Henry, Owner and Director of Be Local Go Global. “I was very excited for the opportunity to participate as a judge and review each agency’s submission. I learned a lot. It’s certainly an exciting time to be in Public Relations.”

There were 46 entries across a number of categories covering tactics and programs. Each submission was reviewed by two judges on a 0-50 point scale. Judges considered research, clear objectives and target audiences, comprehensive planning and budgeting, creativity and execution, and evaluation against the stated objectives.

“I absolutely love serving as a judge of PRSA National and Chapter awards,” said Dan Dunne, APR, Director of External Communications for Erickson Living, and PRSA College of Fellows member. “It affords a perfect opportunity to learn from today’s exceptional communication professionals who share accomplishments that inspire me to always seek creative and innovative ways to serve others.”

The magic in this year’s judging may have been the result of the diversity of the judging panel according to Marshall. Based on the list of judges, they represented every segment of chapter membership from first-time judges to more seasoned practitioners, APRs, a College of Fellows member, academics, and a number of professional award winners. Some judges teamed up with old colleagues. Others expanded their professional network by collaborating with someone new.

I appreciated the opportunity and am grateful for being asked. I really enjoyed doing this. I hope the feedback I provided was good and that I’ll be considered for this type of service again in the future,” said Dr. Melanie Formentin, Assistant Professor of Mass Communication at Towson University.

Each year PRSA Chapters around the country coordinate to determine which chapters will judge each other’s entries. The chapter that will judge The PRSA MD 2020 Best in Maryland Awards in December has not been named yet.

You can read more about the Paragon Awards below:

2020 Paragon Winners

 

This year’s panel of judges included:

Ragina C. Ali
Manager, Public & Government Affairs
AAA Mid-Atlantic

Linda Anderson
Advisor, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications
Office of Communications
Social Security Administration

Dani Baldassare
Regional Communications Manager
Erickson Living

Nikki Bracy
Social Media Supervisor
Planit

Berry Brady
Director, Media Relations
Full Tilt Consulting

Claudia Ciolfi, WCP®
Senior Manager of Public Relations and Communications
Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company

Duane A. Carey
President
IMPACT Marketing & Public Relations.

Tyanna L. Collins, MBA
Marketing Specialist
ChristianaCare, Union Hospital

Kendall Dougherty
PR & Social Media Manager
Planit

Molly Dressel
Account Manager
Abel Communications

Jana Duckett, MA
Assistant Professor
Strategic Communication
Morgan State University

Daniel R. Dunne, APR, PRSA College of Fellows
Director of External Communications
Erickson Living

Melanie Formentin, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Mass Communication
Towson University

Dianna N. Fornaro, M.A., APR, AINS
Senior Communications Specialist
Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company

Christine Frey, APR
Senior Corporate Communications & Patient Education Manager
American Urological Association

Kaletha Henry
Owner/Director
Be Local Go Global

David Marshall, Ph.D., APR
Professor and Chair
Department of Strategic Communication
School of Global Journalism & Communication
Morgan State University

Michael MacFee
Grant Writer
Maryland Public Television

Greta McNally
Corporate Communications Trainee
Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company

Joonwoo Moon, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Strategic Communication
School of Global Journalism & Communication

Anthony Naglieri
Sr. Director of External Affairs
Cultural Vistas

Christina Perry
Public Relations Supervisor
Planit

Janice E. Smith, Ph.D., APR
Assistant Professor and Director, The Strategy Shop
Department of Strategic Communication
School of Global Journalism & Communication
Morgan State University

Kelly A. Stoll, APR
Senior Strategic Communications Specialist
Strategic Communications Services
AECOM

Jim Taylor
Communications Director
Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company

Pattie Yu
The Yu Crew and PRSA Maryland Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Lorianne Walker
Account Manager
Abel Communications

Tom Williams, APR
Managing Director, Communications
Maryland Public Television

2020 Best in Maryland Awards – To be or not to be? That isn’t the only question!

As 2020 is fast becoming the year on pause, the PRSA Maryland Board of Directors is looking ahead to this year’s Best in Maryland Awards Gala, which is annually held in December. Will members feel safe enough to attend? Will stay at home orders be in effect? Will award submissions still be in the budget? The board doesn’t have a crystal ball, but luckily it can ask its members to gain insight and perspective.

Please take five minutes to respond to our quick 5-question poll. Your responses will help guide this year’s decision to move forward with the 2020 Best in Maryland Awards or hold a combined event and make it extra fabulous next year.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to respond. Looking forward to your feedback!

Call for Award Judges! Can You Help?

We are looking for a few (or many) PR pros to serve as judges for the PRSA Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter’s Paragon Awards. Judging is expected to begin April 10 and last approximately three weeks.

As a judge, you will have the opportunity to review the entries and gain some insider knowledge. And, since you will be joining a team, judging provides an opportunity to connect with other Maryland Chapter members and to share ideas.

Are you an APR? You can get continuing education credits for judging.

What skills are required to be a judge? A firm understanding of effective public relations practice, and experience in the profession. Your time commitment can be as little as two to three hours to judge a complete category or more if you wish to judge additional categories.

Where does this take place? You will receive the entries electronically so you can judge from right from your office, home or wherever you are comfortable. If you’re part of a team, feel free to connect online via Skype, Zoom etc. Don’t have a team? Just let us know and we will do some match-making.

Sound interesting? Get more information and sign up via this short survey by Friday, April 3. If you have a team – your staff, department employees or a group of peers – just inform us via the survey and provide the key contact. If you do not have a team, we will find a partner for you.

Finally, we welcome as many judges as possible (the more judges, the less categories each team has to review) so feel free to recruit a colleague or two to be part of your team. Simply share this link and we will do the rest.

Questions? Give us a call at PRSA Maryland Chapter office at 301-725-2508 or email info@prsamd.org.

A Maryland PR Pro’s ‘America in Miniature’ Slogan Offers a Better Idea for Election Diversity

by Jeffrey Davis, APR

Originally printed in Capitol Communicator 2/13/2020. Reprinted with permission. 

The Iowa caucus digital disaster prompted many of us to question the confusing and not-so-reliable system. Neighbors gathering in churches and libraries to convince each other to huddle under a sign for their candidate? Then it takes over a week to tabulate the results?

Not only is there a crisis communications lesson in how (not) to launch a simple but untested app, but it reminds us how a Maryland PR pro might have tipped us off to a better approach many decades ago.

Born in Western Maryland, the late Paul E. Welsh had an impressive public relations career in Baltimore, working as a reporter for The Sun from 1940 to 1955, and then PR for the new team in town, the Baltimore Orioles. He retired in 1978 after 21 years in public affairs at McCormick & Co.

Each year the Maryland Chapter of PRSA marks his legacy with the Paul E. Welsh Award, recognizing a PR pro who exemplifies his creative talent. In 2019, Van Eperen’s own Emily McDermott was honored with the prestigious award.

Welsh’s most enduring brainstorm came in 1939 when he created the slogan, “Maryland — America in Miniature.”

Picture yourself high above the mountains of Western Maryland near Welsh’s birthplace in Cumberland, Md., then heading past acres of farmland and rural communities. Then over the parks, row homes and office buildings of Baltimore, toward the Inner Harbor. Then it’s off to Annapolis, across the Chesapeake Bay and the rivers and marshland of the Eastern Shore and down to the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean.

That’s the Maryland version of “sea to shining sea,” and the people of Maryland are just as diverse as the terrain. Much more than the 90% white Iowa and 93% white New Hampshire. About a third of Maryland’s population is African American, 10% are Hispanic, and 7% are Asian, according to a census study by Wallet Hub showing that half of Maryland is white. Gaithersburg is the most diverse municipality in Maryland, followed by Hyattsville, Rockville, College Park and Greenbelt, which are among the top seven in the U.S. according to that study.

For that Iowa feel, candidates can meet with the farmers and visit the rural communities of the Eastern Shore and the northern counties. Montgomery and Prince George’s counties next to Washington, D.C. will test the views of the suburban voter, and of course there’s Baltimore and the complexities that come with an urban center.

Multiple media markets offer candidates a television presence for those campaign ads, including Salisbury and Hagerstown, and of course Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

And Maryland is compact, meaning more efficient travel and less exhaust and gasoline consumption for those campaign SUVs and buses. The food’s not bad either, so candidates can skip the staged diner interviews for something with more variety.

Let the Iowans gather in the gymnasiums and caucus all they want but imagine how the political landscape would change if Maryland voted first, allowing for a more accurate reveal of what a cross-section of Americans sees in the candidates.

Jeffrey Davis is managing partner with Van Eperen, a Board Member of PRSA Maryland, and  Baltimore editor of Capitol Communicator.

Announcing our 2019 Best in Maryland Award Winners

Sandy Hillman Communications Takes Best in Show.

 

On December 4, Maryland PR/communications pros, students and other guests gathered at the Mt. Washington Dye House in Baltimore for the 2019 Best in Maryland Awards program. During the program, the Maryland Chapter presented awards in 23 categories, six professional awards, and revealed the Best in Show which was presented to Sandy Hillman Communications for “The National WWI Museum and Memorial WWI Centennial.”

The evening began with a reception complete with an array of hors d’oeuvres and food stations where guests mingled and celebrated the year’s successes. The awards program featuring Deborah Weiner of WBAL-TV as emcee followed. After the awards presentation, guests were treated to a dessert table of incredible sweets. 

Congratulations to all the award winners and honorees!

Professional Awards

Click here to learn more about our honorees.

Lifetime Achievement – Barb Clapp, Barb Clapp Advertising & Marketing, LLC

Paul E Welsh -Emily McDermott, Van Eperen

Educator of the Year – David Marshall, Ph.D., APR, Morgan State University

Rising Star – Lorraine Walker, Able Communications

PR Team – Planit: Christina Perry, Ashlene Larson, Nikki Bracy, Jennifer Donahoe, Harry Hammel, Kendall Dougherty

Volunteer of the Year – Dianna Fornaro, APR Chair, Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company

Best in Maryland Awards Winners

Click here for summaries of winning entries.

Components

Annual Reports

Best in Maryland – 2018 Annual Impact Report, The Nature Conservancy Maryland/DC

Best Use of Influencer Communication

Best in Maryland – LiveAbode Influencer Campaign, Planit and Royal Building Products

Award of Excellence – Facebook Live Somos Baltimore Latino, Maryland Auto Insurance

Creative Tactics – Assoc/Nonprofit/Govt

Best in Maryland“Best Foot Forward” Employee Engagement Socks, LifeBridge Health

Creative Tactics – For Profit

Best in MarylandLyft Ride Smart Maryland, Abel Communications

Editorial/Op-Ed Columns/Story Placement

Best in MarylandByline Series: You Can Do What with a Library Card?, The Cyphers Agency

Award of Excellence – National Apartment Association Op-Ed Program with Robert Pinnegar, Abel Communications

Magazines/Newsletters – Digital

Best in MarylandJohns Hopkins’ Hopkins on Alert Newsletter, Johns Hopkins Medicine

Media Relations – Assoc/Nonprofit/Govt

Best in MarylandFlying Queens Make the Hall of Fame, Abel Communications & Harrison Communications

Award of Excellence – Poe Baltimore, Coster Communications, Ltd.

Award of ExcellenceASK4ME: Two Prongs to Promote the New Bay Plate, The Cyphers Agency

Media Relations – For Profit

Best in Maryland – Cirque du Soleil: Crystal – Baltimore, Weinberg Harris & Associates

Award of Excellence – BrightFarms Series D Funding Announcement, Abel Communications

Podcast

Best in Maryland – A Valuable Perspective: Roland Park Place, Weinberg Harris & Associates

PSAs

Best in Maryland – National Recovery Month, Crosby Marketing Communications

Publications

Best in Maryland – MPT 50th Anniversary History Book, Maryland Public Television

Award of Excellence – JHU Press 2019 Scholarly Journals Catalog, Johns Hopkins University Press

Research/Evaluation

Best in Maryland – Exploring the Spirit of Sagamore Brand, Van Eperen

Social Media – Assoc/Nonprofit/Govt

Best in Maryland – MDOT SHA Explains Winter Weather Safety, MDOT State Highway Administration

Award of Excellence – 13 Folds of the American Flag, Crosby Marketing Communications

Videos

Best in Maryland – Fighting the Celiac Monster, Crosby Marketing Communications

Award of ExcellenceDeal Island: Maryland’s Green Suit of Armor, The Nature Conservancy Maryland/DC 

Websites

Best in MarylandBaltimore City Health Department “U=U Maryland”, Devaney & Associates and Chase Brexton Health Care

Award of Excellence – Thank-A-Vet Web App, Crosby Marketing Communications

Campaigns

Community Relations

Best in Maryland – Toyota Promotes ‘Mobility for All’ with Girls Scouts of Northeast Texas, imre

Award of Excellence Maryland Health Connection Open Enrollment 6, Sandy Hillman Communications

Events and Observances < 7 days

Best in Maryland – Vintage Festival, A. Bright Idea

Award of Excellence – BrightFarms Share the Harvest, Abel Communications

Award of ExcellenceGrand Opening – Springwell Senior Living’s The Homestead, Clapp Communications

Events and Observances > 7 days

Best in MarylandThe National WWI Museum and Memorial WWI Centennial, Sandy Hillman Communications

Integrated Communications

Best in MarylandBGE’s Natural Gas Safety Campaign, BGE

Award of Excellence Victories for Veterans, Crosby Marketing Communications

Marketing

Best in Maryland – Great Escape New Business Campaign, Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company

Award of Excellence – Len the Plumber Magnet Postcard Campaign, Victory-360, LLC

Multicultural

Award of Excellence – Los Taxes Mailer, Maryland Auto Insurance

Public Service

Best in Maryland – Victories for Veterans PSA Campaign, Crosby Marketing Communications

Award of Excellence – HASA Hearing Hospitality, Abel Communications

Award of Excellence – Vectren “Don’t Be That Guy” Public Safety Campaign, Devaney & Associates

Reputation/Brand Management

Best in Maryland – Maryland Philanthropy Network Rebrand, Clapp Communications

Click here for summaries of winning entries.

A Special Thank you to …

Chesapeake Employer’s Insurance Company for sponsoring the valet service, Abel Communications for sponsoring our Educator of the Year award, and Van Eperen for sponsoring the reception.

To A. Bright Idea, Maryland Public Television, and Sandy Hillman Communications for sponsoring the dessert bar.

To tabletop sponsors Clapp 360 Communications, Coster Communications, Ltd., and Planit for your contributions.

To Devaney & Associates for creating the #BIM19 designs, Coyle Studios for documenting the event through pictures (check out this sneak peek on Facebook), Crown Trophies for the assisting with the awards, and Strategic Factory for serving our printing needs.

And to our event chair David Harrison, Harrison Communications, for bringing this all together.

Your generous support is greatly appreciated!

*This year’s awards were judged by PRSA San Antonio Chapter.

 

 

 

 

Thank You to Our Chapter Sponsors

Thank You to Our Chapter Sponsors