The Public Relations Association of Mississippi (PRAM) recently honored public relations practitioners from around the state for outstanding work and service to the profession. The awards were announced during PRAM's state conference held April 8-9, 2010, in Natchez.
South Mississippi resident Ron Barnes, APR received the organization's Professional Achievement Award. Barnes is the vice president of marketing and PR for Coast Electric Power Association, where he oversees residential and commercial marketing, public relations, and communications and leads a team of 11 employees. The Professional Achievement Award is given annually to a public relations practitioner and PRAM member whose accomplishments have made a major contribution to the profession. It is PRAM's top honor and recognizes excellence in the field of public relations. Recipients embody the highest degree of professionalism, serve their communities, are committed to advancing the profession and have outstanding achievements in the practice of public relations.
PRAM named Leyla Goodsell as its Educator of the Year. She is a visiting professor of practice in Public Relations at the School of Mass Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in PR. Prior to teaching, Goodsell practiced public relations in the non-profit sector for more than 12 years. A native of Thomson, she is a graduate of Georgia Southern University and the University of Southern Mississippi.
As part of PRAM's annual awards program, awards including PRism awards, Awards of Excellence and Certificates of Merit were given in 25 categories. From those, the judges also selected the Best of Show Award and Judges' Choice Awards.
Goodsell also led a team of USM staff, faculty and students that received the overall Best of Show Award for its work on the USM School of Mass Communication and Journalism's 2009 Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The Best of Show among the student entries was awarded to Andrew Scott of the University of Mississippi for his entry in the Public Service Program category. Judges' Choice Awards were given to Singing River Electric Power Association for its annual report and to the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast in the images category.
The PRism awards began in 2003 as a way to honor and recognize outstanding work in the field of public relations by professionals within the state of Mississippi.