Without Further Ado, the winners of the 2017 WMPRSA PRoof Awards

Each year, the West Michigan Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (WMPRSA) recognizes the year’s best public relations programs, projects and people in West Michigan. More than 125 awards were entered this year and judged by the Greater Salt Lake/Utah Valley PR Chapter. 

The event was held Thursday, May 5, at D2D Studios new City View Venue. Kim Carson, host of 106.5's Morning Drive in Kalamazoo, played emcee for the night. 

Here are the list of winners from the evening:

INDIVIDUALS

Fred Keller, Founder of Cascade Engineering and TALENT 2025, was honored as Communicator of the Year for his effective communications and development of relationships.

Fred Keller, Communicator of the Year

Fred Keller, Communicator of the Year

Amy LeFebre, Senior Account Executive at Truscott Rossman, was honored as PR Professional of the Year for displaying professionalism every day in her steadfast work with her clients, her compassion to local nonprofit organizations and her service in the community.

Amy LeFebre, PR Professional of the Year, senior account executive for Truscott Rossman

Amy LeFebre, PR Professional of the Year, senior account executive for Truscott Rossman

Mark Sanchez, Senior Writer at MiBiz, was recognized as Media Person of the Year for his honest, straightforward reporting style whose stories are of top quality. He is the embodiment of a quality professional journalist.

Heather Halligan, Marketing Specialist at Hungerford Nichols, was honored at West Michigan PRSA Newcomer of the Year. A marketer for the last 10 years, Heather came on the PR scene in 2014 and has taken the industry by storm. A consummate professional, Heather’s new ideas have helped invigorate the West Michigan chapter.

Heather Halligan, Newcomer of the Year

Heather Halligan, Newcomer of the Year

Jaclyn Ermoyan, Student of the Year (GVSU graduate)

Jaclyn Ermoyan, Student of the Year (GVSU graduate)

Jaclyn Ermoyan, Student of the Year (GVSU graduate)

CAMPAIGNS

Community Relations

  • Gold – Bissell Pet Foundation, Empty The Shelters
  • Silver – Truscott Rossman, West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission Port Day

Reputation/Brand Management

  • Gold - Truscott Rossman, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Farmers Markets
  • Gold – COM 616, Comcast Michigan
  • Silver – Diocese of Grand Rapids, Bishop’s Catholic Schools Initiative

Event and Celebration

  • Gold – Bissell Pet Foundation, Empty The Shelters
  • Gold – Zondervan Publishing, NYC Launch for “The Broken Way
  • Silver – Davenport University, Celebrating 150 Years
  • Silver – Hungerford Nichols, 75 th Anniversary & Celebration
  • Silver – Truscott Rossma, Beacon St. Ignace Shores Opening

Public Service

  • Gold – Heart of West Michigan United Way, Food from the Heart
  • Gold – Kalamazoo Community Foundation, Regional Collaboration with Help Now! Fund
  • Silver – Heart of West Michigan United Way, Fill the Car

Public Affairs

  • Gold – Sabo PR, KCDA Millage Campaign
  • Gold – SeyferthPR, West Michigan Policy Forum

Marketing Consumer Products and Services

  • Gold - Lambert Edwards and Associates, Denali Flavors 10,000 Scoop Challenge
  • Silver - Priority Health, Diabetes Awareness Month 2016

Crisis Communications

  • Silver - Grand Valley State University, Sexual Assault/Campus Lighting
  • Silver – Sabo PR, Wyoming Tornado
  • Silver – Truscott Rossman, TBAISD

Internal Communications

  • Silver – Spectrum Health, InSite Intranet

Multicultural PR

  • Gold – SeyferthPR, Pure Michigan Micro Lending Initiative 

Integrated Communications

  • Gold - Experience Grand Rapids, Cocktail Week GR
  • Silver - Grand Rapids Community Foundation, Planned Giving Campaign

Social Media/Blog/Viral Marketing

  • Silver – 834 Integrated Communications, SheFit Shark Tank
  • Silver – Lambert Edwards, NAIAS Digital Strategy

Development or Fundraising

  • Gold – West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology, Leave Your Mark Campaign
  • Gold – SeyferthPR, Grand Rapids Public Schools Turkey Trot 2016
  • Gold – Mel Trotter Ministries, Fund the Truck Campaign
  • Silver – Meijer Gardens, “Why I Give” Video Series
  • Silver – Grand Rapids Community Foundation, New Philanthropists
  • Silver – Aquinas College, Our Lade Seat of Wisdom Chapel

TACTICS

Media Relations

  • Gold – Zondervan Publishing, Go Big or Go Home Book Launch
  • Gold – Spectrum Health, Vein Center
  • Gold – Priority Health, Diabetes Awareness Month 2016
  • Gold - Grand Valley State University, Antibiotic Resistance Research
  • Silver – Spectrum Health, Toxic Shock Syndrome Awareness
  • Silver – Spectrum Health, Music Therapy Program
  • Silver – SeyferthPR, Give a Hand Michigan
  • Silver – Blue Blaze PR, World’s Longest Ice Cream Dessert
  • Silver – Bissell Pet Foundation, Empty the Shelters
  • Silver – Aquinas College, Translation & Interpretation Program
  • Silver - 834 Integrated Communications, WMCAT White House Award

Feature Story

  • Gold – Blue Blaze PR, Flint in 48 Hours
  • Gold – Diocese Grand Rapids, Momentum Magazine Article
  • Gold – SeyferthPR, “McFamily: The Curtis Quintuplets”
  • Gold – Grand Valley State University, “Inside-Out Program”
  • Gold – Grand Valley State University, “Hot Ideas and Inventions”
  • Gold – Grand Valley State University, Louie the Laker
  • Gold – Grand Valley State University, “A Team of Their Own”
  • Gold – Grand Valley State University, Puppeteering Professor
  • Gold – Spectrum Health, “A Blessing I Didn’t Expect”
  • Gold – Spectrum Health, “A Dying Child’s Spirit Shines”
  • Gold – Spectrum Health, “An Awesome Life”
  • Gold – Spectrum Health, “I Didn’t Fight Alone”
  • Gold – Spectrum Health, “Life for Lily”
  • Gold – Spectrum Health, “Mighty Boy Defies the Odds”
  • Gold – Spectrum Health, “Peter Lombardo’s Miracle”
  • Gold – Spectrum Health, “We Are Not Walking Out of Here Without Her”

Editorial/Op Ed

  • Gold – Truscott Rossman, Sky’s the Limit Op-Ed
  • Gold – Grand Valley State University, Latino Student Success
  • Silver – SeyferthPR, Donald Rumsfeld Op-Ed

Press Conference

  • Gold - 834 Integrated Communications, WMCAT’s Leave You Mark
  • Gold – Miller Johnson, Arena Place Media Day
  • Gold – SeyferthPR, Polar Army
  • Gold – SeyferthPR, Michigan Cherry Institute Salutes Michigan McDonald’s
  • Silver - 834 Integrated Communications, The Pulse ER for North Ottawa Community Health System

Media Kit

  • Gold – 834 Integrated Communications, Gray Skies Distillery
  • Silver – Zondervan Publishing, “The Pug List”

Website

  • Gold – Aquinas College, Website Re-Design
  • Gold – Grand Valley State University, GVNow Re-Design
  • Gold – The Right Place, Main Website

Social Media

  • Gold – Bissell Pet Foundation, Empty the Shelters
  • Gold – Sabo PR, “Elves and More”
  • Gold – SeyferthPR, Mayor’s Greening Initiative
  • Gold – Spectrum Health, Health Beat
  • Gold – ArtPrize, Award Video Series

Blog

  • Silver - Spectrum Health, Health Beat Blog

Video – Internal

  • Gold – Davenport University, 150th Anniversary Video
  • Silver - Grand Valley State University, December 2016 Commencement Video

Video – External

  • Gold – Lambert Edwards, “Plackers Dental Flossers”
  • Gold – Sabo PR, Children’s Health Center
  • Gold – Sabo PR, Make-A- Wish Michigan
  • Gold - Grand Valley State University, 2016 Holiday Greeting
  • Gold - Grand Valley State University, Gratitude Project
  • Gold - Grand Valley State University, Health North Groundbreaking
  • Silver – The Right Place, Success Stories
  • Silver – Spectrum Health, Pill-Sized Pacemaker
  • Silver – Spectrum Health, Titanium Jaw Implant
  • Silver – Grand Valley State University, Mascot Cleaning Campus

Creative Tactic

  • Gold – Grand Valley State University, “Snap GV Project”
  • Silver – SeyferthPR, Bird in Hand Serves Up Scholarships

Newsletter

  • Gold – The Right Place, RPI Insider Newsletter
  • Gold – Priority Health, Employee Insider Newsletter
  • Gold – Priority Health, Member Health Journal
  • Silver - Mary Free Bed, Momentum Newsletter.
  • Silver – Grand Rapids Ford International Airport, Airport Connections Newsletter

Brochure

  • Gold – Experience Grand Rapids, 2017 Visitors Guide
  • Gold – Grand Valley State University, 2016 Economic Impact Brochure
  • Gold – Meijer Gardens, Summer Concert Series Mailer
  • Silver – 834 Integrated Communications, OnSite Wellness
  • Silver – Experience Grand Rapids, Music Trail Brochure

Magazine

  • Gold – Grand Valley State University, Grand Valley Magazine
  • Gold – Grand Rapids Community Foundation, Current Magazine
  • Gold – Meijer Gardens, “Seasons” Magazine
  • Gold – Davenport University, DU Review Magazine
  • Gold – Diocese Grand Rapids, FAITH Grand Rapids
  • Silver – SeyferthPR, BenchMark Magazine
  • Silver – 834 Integrated Communications, GVSU Expressions Magazine

Special Purpose Publication

  • Gold – Diocese Grand Rapids, Annual Report
  • Gold – Grand Valley State University, Talking Points Card
  • Gold – Meijer Gardens, Mimmo Paladino Exhibition Catalog
  • Gold – Spectrum Health, “Spectrum Health InFocus”
  • Silver – Sabo PR, Children’s Healing Center Year-End Recap
  • Silver – Grand Rapids Community Foundation, 2015-2016 Annual Report
  • Silver – 834 Integrated Communications, GVSU Expressions Publication

Best in Show Award

  • Meijer Gardens, Summer Concert Series Mailer

An award show of this magnitude could not happen without the help of our sponsors! The 2017 PRoof Award Show sponsors include:

  • Program Sponsor - SeyferthPR
  • Flower Sponsor - Weber Shandwick
  • Bar Sponsor - Gerald Ford International Airport

Table Sponsors

  • 834 Integrated Communications
  • Experience GR
  • Grand Rapids Community Foundation
  • GVSU
  • Hungerford Nichols CPAs + Advisors
  • Lambert Edwards & Associates
  • Priority Health
  • Spectrum Health
  • Truscott Rossman

Top 10 Takeaways from the Changing Media Landscape with Steve Kelso

Here are our top 10 takeaways from Steve Kelso, featured speaker at WMPRSA's lunch program on March 16:

Steve brings 30 years of television news experience to his current position of Marketing and Communications Manager at Kent County Health Department

Steve brings 30 years of television news experience to his current position of Marketing and Communications Manager at Kent County Health Department

  1. Media buyouts and consolidation have a significant impact on local journalism. Since 2008, 6,500 reporters have been eliminated nationwide. At the same time, reporters are expected to do more (longer newscasts, work with fewer photographers, maintain social media presence, etc.). This leaves less time for investigative and beat reporting, but more room for "content."  This is where PR practitioners can help—become a quality content provider.
  2. Cell phones can capture quality photography and even video in some cases. Steve favors the camera pictured below video.
  3. Try playing around with editing in Adobe Premier Pro, Final Cut Pro or iMovie. Steve says they’re fairly intuitive.
  4. Resist the urge to brand video content that you send to the news media (sorry, logo). Instead Steve suggests asking for a courtesy credit.
  5. To maintain journalistic integrity, it is important that media are able to edit your content as they see fit.  As the PR practitioner and content provider, you get to shoot in a controlled environment, control the quality, protect clients’ privacy and decide gets released.  Media determine news value and how to tell the story. Ultimately, everyone wins!
  6. Since many TV stations are working with fewer photographers, creating your own content can help ensure you get coverage (or more coverage) than you would without interesting visuals.
  7. Post your content on your YouTube channel.  You can send an exclusive email link or password protect the content that you are creating specifically for the media, so it doesn’t junk up the videos you share with your general audience.  Steve also likes Vimeo for its quality.  Video should be 1080i or 720p.
  8. Not confident in your video making skills?  Steve suggests taking a class on story-telling techniques or searching YouTube for how-to videos.
  9. Richard Branson said, “If it can't fit on the back of an envelope, it's rubbish.” Steve agrees. He recommends keeping your content clear, succinct and easy-to-cover. Think of the viewers/media consumers first.
  10. Here are some examples of Steve’s work: Take the Shot. Mosquito testing.
  11. BONUS: As any good Health Department employee should do, Steve reminds you to always wash your hands.

Spring Break - WMPRSA Style

During the month of March, new WMPRSA members will receive a FREE 1-year Chapter Membership (up to $100 value) when they join National as a Member. The cost to sign up as a National member is $255 annually, plus a $65 initiation fee. When you sign up, you'll need to pay your local Chapter dues up front, but PRSA National will reimburse you later.

Also, in case you didn't know, there are various membership opportunities for PRSA based on your experience. If you are signing up as an Associate Member 1, 2, 3, PRSSA Graduate or Graduate Student, you'll get a FREE New Professionals Section membership with promo code AM17. 

Join today!

Photo Courtesy: Pixabay