GVPRSSA Takes Home Four Prestigious Awards at PRSSA National Conference

Grand Valley State University Public Relations Student Society of America (GVPRSSA) is the pre-professional organization preparing students for their future careers in public relations and others in the communications industry through speakers, workshops, agency tours, PRSSA national trips, and the award-winning student-run firm, GrandPR. Annually, PRSSA national hosts an international conference that allows attendees to explore and master both the new and the traditional methods of public relations.

This year the PRSSA International Conference was held in sunny San Diego with a focus on the intersection of technology and media. It provided 12 young GVSU PR pros with an opportunity to tour local agencies, have 1:1 engagement with industry pros, and it overlapped with the parent organization, Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) International Conference so students were able to catch sessions alongside PR pros and future employers all within the same location.

Each year, at the international conference, PRSSA offers several awards for its outstanding Chapters. Honoring achievements from ethical leadership to student-run firms, these awards offer diverse recognition, prestige and even funds for chapters who dare enter. Following last year’s conference in Austin, Texas, where teams were winning from all across the nation, Sabrina Antcliff, former Chief Executive Officer of GrandPR, set a goal to win big at the San Diego conference in 2019. She put in place a process to highlight programs and people of Grand Valley State University’s chapter, entering many major awards and it paid off!

Sponsored by Champions for PRSSA, a mentorship group made of PRSA members, the Dr. F.H. Teahan Chapter Awards Program recognizes the outstanding achievements of PRSSA Chapters in 12 categories each year. Of these categories, GVPRSSA took home three prestigious Teahan Awards in the categories of:

University College Service – GrandPR’s integrated communications campaign celebrating Sawyers Days.

Adviser, Dr. Adrienne Wallace, recapped the campaign in the entry:

In celebration of what could have been – GVSU Athletics wanted to change their name from the Lakers to Sawyers for one day only, February 23, 2019 as part of a trendy Faux Back idea that has been actively pursued by many sports teams over the years. The GVSU men’s and women’s basketball teams were going to don ‘faux back’ jerseys along with warmup and sideline gear for their doubleheader against rival Michigan Tech. GVSU Athletics came to GrandPR, GVSU PRSSA’s student-run firm, to spearhead this idea. They came only with uniform mock-ups and GrandPR ran with it. The resulting campaign won a 2019 West Michigan Public Relations Society Gold PRoof Award for campaigns and events less than 7 days in length. GrandPR conducted an integrated communications campaign, offering up their time, talent, and services to GVSU in support of the university objectives, organizations, and interests.

Outstanding PRSA/PRSSA Chapter Relationship with West Michigan PRSA

Brooklyn Wilson, GVPRSSA past PR chair, submitted,

The relationship between West Michigan PRSA and Grand Valley PRSSA is constantly growing and evolving. This past year, significant strides were made in working more closely with one another and learning how to rely on each other for support. Speaking for GVPRSSA, as a pre-professional organization helping students prepare for their careers following graduation, we would not be able to do what we do without the continuing support and guidance from our parent chapter, WMPRSA.

Outstanding Faculty Adviser of the Year – Dr. Adrienne Wallace. 

Nominator, alumna and former GVPRSSA podcast director, Courtney Fogle submitted this entry and said,

Going above and beyond is Adrienne’s specialty. She provides the guidance and tools for students to become successful professionals, but she doesn’t stop there. Adrienne leans on her network to provide students with connections in their areas of interest. If a student is looking for a connection in the music industry, she’ll link them to an alumni working in Nashville. If there’s a student that needs an internship in the healthcare field, she’ll connect them with one of her esteemed peers from the Medical Mile. Her willingness to support her students does not go unnoticed. Adrienne works behind the scenes to build strong professional development opportunities for her students, assisting us in becoming award-winning and accomplished young professionals in the field. With her guidance this year, our PRSSA chapter received four Pacesetter awards, received recognition from Feedspot and Player FM for our Podcast “PR Hangover”, we hosted CreateAthon for the second year in a row, landed several media mentions for our work, and took home three Gold PRoof Awards from West Michigan PRSA. We are forever grateful to have her in our corner, because without her, none of this would be possible. Her confidence is contagious and she believes in us unconditionally.

GVSUPRSSA was also honored with the Star Chapter Award, making this the seventh year in a row that GVPRSSA won this honor. The Star Chapter Award, for which all Chapters in good standing are eligible, encourages Chapter leadership to provide programming and relationship-building opportunities for students and rewards them for achieving these goals. This award is the gold standard for Chapters trying to achieve excellence.

Interested in becoming a member of GVPRSSA? Goto: https://gvprssa.com/

For more information about GrandPR goto: https://www.grand-pr.org/