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Local practitioners received 14 awards for PR excellence 

FORT MYERS, Fla. (May 1, 2023) – The Southwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) presented 14 awards for excellence in public relations programming and projects at the 2023 Local Image Awards celebration, held on Thursday, April 27 at Suite Forty Eight in Fort Myers.

FPRA members organized a fiesta-style themed event, which also recognized four chapter members and two student members for their outstanding contributions to the PR profession and FPRA.

The Local Image Awards have become a standard of excellence in the state of Florida. Winners demonstrate the very best examples of innovation, planning and design. Image Awards are presented to entries that surpass campaign expectations and objectives, while Awards of Distinction are given to entries that meet judging expectations. Judges’ Awards are given to entries that were smartly budgeted or achieved more with less funding, and the most prestigious award of the evening, the Grand Image Award, is presented to the overall best entry in each division with submitted entries.

Division A – Public Relations Programs: A public relations program is defined as a broad-based communications endeavor using two or more public relations tools.

·         An Image Award in the Public Relations Programs – Community Relations category went to Priority Marketing for Comerica Bank’s ‘gomerica Gratitude.’

·         An Award of Distinction and Judges’ Award in the Public Relations Programs – Public Service category went to Evelyn Longa, MS, APR, CPRC, Andrea Hernandez and Vanessa Caporale of Collier County Government for Preserve Our Paradise.

·         An Award of Distinction and Judges’ Award in the Public Relations Programs – Institutional category went to Priority Marketing for Family Initiative Autism Acceptance Campaign.

·         An Award of Distinction in the Public Relations Programs – Public Information category went to Priority Marketing for Mighty Mussels “Butts in the Seats” Campaign.  

·         An Award of Distinction and Judges’ Award in the Public Relations Programs – Public Affairs category went to Pushing the Envelope, Inc. and Tiffany Hernandez for Hendry County School District Half-Cent Surtax Referendum Campaign.

·         A Judges’ Award in the Public Relations Programs – Special Event category went to Pushing the Envelope, Inc., Tiffany Hernandez and Rogers Media Group for Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida Hall of Fame. 

Division B – Collateral of Public Relations: Public relations collateral is any material, printed or digital, used for a public relations purpose, either standing alone or as part of a public relations program. It includes written and electronic material and specialty items.

·         A Grand Image Award, Image Award and Judges’ Award in the News Release or Pitch category went to Priority Marketing for Conservancy of Southwest Florida – Python research pitch.

·         An Image Award and Judges’ Award in the Collateral of Public Relations – Other category went to Priority Marketing for Orlando Senior Health Network – Continuing Care at Home Collateral.

There were no awards given in Division C – Digital Tools of Public Relations at this year’s award ceremony.

FPRA also presented chapter awards to recognize exceptional members of its local association. This year’s winners were:

·         Karen Ryan, APR, CPRC, Director of Public Relations at LCEC. She was honored with the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award, which is reserved for public relations professionals who have dedicated their career to the profession and the advancement of it. This award is given only when there is someone eligible for it.

·         Lisa Murray, APR, CPRC, Director of Corporate Communications at Interop Technologies. She received the 2023 PR Professional of the Year Award, which honors a member who exemplifies the high standards of the public relations profession in Southwest Florida.

·         Heather Doane, APR, CPRC, Senior Marketing Content Editor at Arthrex, who received the 2023 Chapter Member of the Year Award, which is given to a chapter member who goes above and beyond their commitment of time and energy to ensure the success of the organization.

·         Shannon Williamson, Media Specialist at LCEC, who received the 2022 Rising Star Award, which is presented to an up-and-coming leader in the chapter who shows enthusiasm and passion for the PR profession while making a positive difference through their service to the organization.

·         Jada Bigord, Florida Gulf Coast University FPRA chapter president and Melanie Lamarche, vice president. They both received the 2023 Pam Nulman Soaring Eagle PR Award, which recognizes student leaders in public relations who demonstrate exceptional leadership ability, talent and passion for the profession as well as contributions to the student organization.    

Four FPRA Annual Conference scholarship winners were also selected by the awards committee. The 2023 recipients were:

·         Heather Doane, APR, Senior Marketing Content Editor at Arthrex

·         Savahnah Pierre, Communications Coordinator at Community Cooperative

About the Florida Public Relations Association

Established in 1938, FPRA is the oldest public relations organization dedicated to developing public relations practitioners, who, through ethical and standardized practices, enhance the public relations profession in Florida. It is comprised of 15 professional and 14 student chapters throughout the state, providing professional development, networking and professional recognition opportunities. The Southwest Florida Chapter serves professionals in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. For additional information, please visit the Southwest Florida Chapter of FPRA website at  




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