Thursday, November 4, 2010
Friends and colleagues will be greeted at the door with a glass of bubbly, then will sample four quality holiday wines handpicked by Jessica Gulano, certified wine specialist and proprietor of the Wine Studio of Asheville.
"The array will showcase two whites and two reds," Gulano says. "I'm always thrilled to showcase excellent holiday wines, particularly so for the Public Relations Association of Western North Carolina."
Accompanying the wines will be turkey rolls, baked brie with cranberry chutney, and a pumpkin sweet.
"My heart overflows with gratitude for the exceptional year PRAWNC has enjoyed. I can think of no better way to celebrate the official opening of the holiday season than among friends," says Sherri L. McLendon, president.
The event is PRAWNC's second annual tasting.
Public Relations Association of Western North Carolina hosts "A Time of Thanksgiving" at the Wine Studios of Asheville, Monday, November 15, from 6 – 8 p.m., the cost is $15 for members and guests and includes drinks and hors d'oevres. The Wine Studio of Asheville is located at 169 Charlotte Street. For more information or to RSVP, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
The Public Relations Association of Western North Carolina annual awards program, "Best of the Mountains," recognizes excellence in public relations and marketing communications in Western North Carolina.
And when the winners are declared, top performers get the recognition they deserve in an audience of their peers and colleagues.
Competing entries must have taken place between Sept. 1, 2009, and Aug. 31, 2010.
This year, approximately 50 entries competed for awards in 15 categories. Winners were honored during an awards dinner at Pack's Tavern on Thursday, Oct. 21 from 6-8 p.m.
"This year, we chose to keep the results of the judging secret until the very last minute," says Sherri L. McLendon, president. "Raising the level of anticipation among those who entered made for an exciting evening."
Among the honorees were:
1. Pardee Hospital, Advertising Campaign-Complete campaign, Pardee Orthopedic Center of Excellence (One Step Starts the Adventure)
2. Buncombe County, Advertising Campaign-Outdoor, Did you know-Green
3. Cassel Caywood Love, Advertising Campaign-Print/Direct Mail, Trauma Print
4. CarePartners Health Services, Advertising Campaign-TV, The Way Back
5. Summit Marketing Group, Brand/Marketing Campaign, Camp Tech-Head
6. United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County, Multi-Media Communication, Virtual Kickoff
7. Write Away, Inc., Online Marketing-Social Media, Action Pursuit Games video, web and FaceBook
8. UNC Asheville, Public Relations Campaign, Student Recruitment
9. UNC Asheville, Public Relations Writing, NASCAR Press Release
10. Buncombe County , Public Service/Advocacy-Campaign, Christmas in July
11. Pardee Hospital Foundation, Publications-Brochures, Orthopedics Brochure
12. Western Carolina University, Publications-Magazines, The Magazine of Western Carolina University
13. Pardee, Special Event, Hike to Health
14. Synergy Point, Online Marketing-Websites, The Upcountry
15. UNC Asheville, Online Marketing-Websites, Website Redesign
"The organization's goal remains to celebrate and gain recognition for the work of public relations, marketing, and design professionals in our region," McLendon says. "We have an amazing array of talent in this market. Its visibility and superior quality is a healthy economic indicator."
Monday, October 11, 2010
Results kept secret until the final hour!
Has your team's excellence been recognized?
RSVP Now! For Best of the Mountains 2010.
The 2010 Best of the Mountains awards ceremony honors our region's top performers with the recognition they deserve in an audience of their peers and colleagues. Winners will be honored during an awards dinner at Pack's Tavern on Thursday, Oct. 21 from 6-8 p.m.
Could one of them be you? Absolutely! "Count me in."
"This year, we chose to keep the results of the judging secret until the very last minute," says Sherri L. McLendon, president. "Raising the level of anticipation among those who entered will make for an exciting evening."
The Public Relations Association of Western North Carolina annual awards program recognizes excellence in public relations and marketing communications in Western North Carolina. Competing entries must have taken place between Sept. 1, 2009, and Aug. 31, 2010.
Emcee Tammy Jones of WOXL will provide commentary during the recognitions. Regrettably unable to attend last year's ceremony, she brings her trademark zany wit and experience in radio and print news to the podium.
Professional organizations or teams who wish to reserve group seating should get their request in immediately, says McLendon.
RSVP Now! For Best of the Mountains 2010.
"The organization's goal remains to celebrate and gain recognition for the work of public relations, marketing, and design professionals in our region," McLendon says. "We have an amazing array of talent in this market. Its visibility is a healthy economic indicator."
The Public Relations Association of Western North Carolina hosts "Best of the Mountains 2010" at Pack's Tavern in downtown Asheville, with catering provided by the Century Room, on Thursday, Oct. 21, with an opening reception at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 for members and guests, and includes seating, food and a celebratory glass of sparkling wine. Members may choose to purchase additional drink tickets for use at the bar. RSVP to email@example.com by Friday, Oct. 15 to make reservations.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Gold-nugget strategies mined from "Best of the Mountain" award winners was the topic of the roundtable discussion of the Public Relations Association of Western North Carolina (PRAWNC) at the organization's first member breakfast meeting Thursday, Aug. 12, at Buncombe County Television offices. The assembled team discussed best practices to gain precious recognition in the prestigious awards competition.
The Call for Entries is now available.
Bring home the gold on behalf of your own team with the collegial advice of Jill Yarnall with UNC-Asheville; Judy Rhew Davidson and Kathy Hughes with Buncombe County Government; Rick Prudhomme with Pardee Hospital, and Brenda Murphree with Clear Point Marketing. They, together with PRAWNC past-president Jennifer Perez, with Park Ridge Health, address the finer points of judging standards, and offer the following guidelines for a stellar showing.
Find out more about submissions in this year's featured categories, which include a new social media component.
Tip No. 1
Take your time
When beginning the submissions process, entrants need to read the entry guidelines and follow them carefully. Decide what categories in which to submit, and whether your entries are in-house versus agency products based on the provided definitions.
"Don't throw the entry together too fast," says Yarnall, known for her high performance press releases. "Go above and beyond, so that it's not just good. It needs to be unique in a certain way." To do this, she recommends leaving "plenty of time" to complete the entry process.
The final step of the entry process is to include a jpeg file of the work with submissions, Perez says.
Tip No. 2
Make the Entry Stand Out
One way to showcase a project's unique qualities is to include specific information, including the analytics on the product.
A rigorous proofing process stands the entry in good stead, says Prudhomme. He and Yarnall agree that showing measurable success, analytic information, return on investment (ROI), or other returns when submitting an award furthers this objective.
"Do it justice," Prudhomme urges. "Look at the entry as a project in itself. Evaluate the criteria and its effectiveness. Most importantly, evaluate the craft of the entry – the concept and process. Make certain yours is a professional presentation." Using the language from the Call for Entries assists in this latter endeavor, he suggests.
Tip No. 3
Proof Your Work
Once you've prepared the entry, reading the guidelines carefully, obtaining outside feedback could assist in gathering a competitive edge, the panel agreed. Murphree suggests culling "anything that's not award-winning work. If it's not award-winning in quality, one shouldn't consider submitting it regardless of category."
"Either the entry shows above and beyond performance, or we change it and make it better. If it doesn't have this quality – even if the project is good – we couldn't enter it," Hughes concurs.
Understand the Judges
Judges for Best of the Mountains are drawn from across the Western North Carolina region or the southeastern United States, according to Perez. "We do require they are a working member in the communications field. This would correlate to all fields, including print media, public relations, graphic design, and others who can speak to a broad spectrum of communications. Also, as a basic rule of thumb, the judges should not have any of their own work submitted into Best of the Mountains, nor should they have any clients submitted," she explains.
Entries are scored on a ten point system, with a maximum point total of 60, says Perez. Judges start with an average score of six in each of the ten criteria areas: creativity, innovation, planning, implementation, effectiveness, and overall evaluation. They, they may choose to grade up for superior work or down for below-average entries.
"We ask for comments and constructive feedback on the judging form," Perez notes.
Judges working in teams of two focus on the criteria and excellence of the submission during the judging process. They may reclassify entries they feel are entered into the wrong category, and may not find that a Best of the Mountains award is warranted in a given category.
Watch the winners and learn
If you give it your best shot, and your project doesn't place, what is a public relations pro to do? First, consider past and current winning entries, says Amy Fowler, 2010 PRAWNC chief of staff. "It really has to be great stuff to take Best of the Mountains."
Want to take "Best of the Mountains?" Download the submission guidelines now!
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Gain a competitive edge on your competition by joining past and current top award winners in a breakfast round table discussion at Buncombe County Government Television offices on Thursday, August 12, from 7:30-9 a.m.
But get your RSVP in early to firstname.lastname@example.org. The training room reserved is currently limited to 24 seats offered on a first come, first served basis. And this year's submission guidelines are scheduled to be released August 10, just prior to this member event.
Public Relations Association of Western North Carolina members will share the experiences and best practices capturing top recognitions in our area's most prestigious communications awards competition. Sharing the perspectives and lessons they've learned are Jill Yarnall with UNC-Asheville; Judy Rhew Davidson and Kathy Hughes with Buncombe County Government; Rick Prudhomme with Pardee Hospital, and Brenda Murphree with Clear Point Marketing.
By special arrangement, Jennifer Perez with Park Ridge Hospital, will speak regarding the finer points of the PRAWNC rules and judging standards. All shareholders in the roundtable discussion will enjoy a loose structure, with a small number of guided questions for the round-table participants. Then, the floor will be opened to member questions and information sharing.
At the breakfast networking event, PRAWNC members and colleagues and newcomers will enjoy City Bakery's fresh-baked bagels with cream cheese, jam, and butter and pastries. Featured are the Biltmore Avenue establishment's famous cheddar scallion biscuits with butter and jam, followed by assorted fresh fruit, juice and coffee.
The Public Relations Association of Western North Carolina hosts "The Best of the Mountains Awards Breakfast" at Buncombe County Government Television in the training room at 199 College Street, downtown Asheville. The cost is $10 for members, $15 for non-members, and includes City Bakery baked goods, fruit, and beverage. Metered parking is available on the street, or attendees may park in the County Parking Garage located between Carolina First Bank and Bank of America for $1 per hour.
For more information or to RSVP, visit prawnc.org, or email email@example.com.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
PRAWNC members and their guests will enjoy the opportunity to sample a selection of hors d'oevres prepared under the direction of Chef Eric Jump. Jump, and Ophelia's, is known for the use of locally sourced ingredients from Asheville farmers, as well as the freshest boat seafood from the North Carolina coast.
The fare will include mini crab cakes, a Middle Eastern Mezza featuring hummus with pita and vegetables, spinach rolls with goat cheese, grilled chicken satay skewered with an Asian peanut sauce, and a distinctive tiered cheese and fruit sculpture.
"I'm always thrilled to showcase locally sourced foods at Ophelia's, particularly so for the Public Relations Association of Western North Carolina," says Jump. The restaurant's arrayed selection of beer, wine, and microbrews will be available to PRAWNC members on a cash basis.
Additionally, PRAWNC members choosing to follow the evening's networking and sampler selection with a meal can expect a selection of organic, grass fed, and vegetarian, vegan, or gluten free options.
"The incredible buzz and upward trend-setting image of PRAWNC this year has been precedent setting," says Amy Smialowicz Fowler, past-president and 2009 financial chairman. "This is our moment, as communications professionals, to do our part to enhance Western North Carolina's economic growth. What better way than by spotlighting local food with a global sensibility?"
Public Relations Association of Western North Carolina hosts "A Sample of Eclectic Asheville" at the Ophelia's World Café, Wednesday, July 21, from 5:30-7 p.m. The cost is $12 for members, and $15 for non-members and includes a non-alcoholic beverage and hors d'oevres. Ophelia's World Café is located at 15 Eagle Street. For more information or to RSVP, contact Amy Smialowicz Fowler at firstname.lastname@example.org. Last day to RSVP is Friday, July 16.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
What’s the key? Sociability.
Known for his effective, aggressive tactics and internet successes, including the popular local blog, “AskAsheville,”and a Twitter feed that never sleeps, Charles will share insights with members of Public Relations Association of Western North Carolina in a program “Effectively Using Social Media to Build a Following” Friday, June 25, from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Asheville Chamber of Commerce.
A 15-year veteran of Internet marketing, he brings to bear experience including website optimization, email and newsletter communications, social networking, and now, social media. A self-taught social media guru, Charles is thought to be light years ahead of traditional education in his work with new media and communications, thanks to systematic trial and error.
“We watched and experimented with just about any new form of social media that came out and weighed the possibilities,” he says of his method.
“The number 1 rule I have made for myself is to ‘Be Sociable,’” he says. “You cannot effectively communicate in social media without this key element. I show people and businesses how to be sociable online and then maybe even blend it into their real life experiences,” he says.
And being social works wonders for Western North Carolina businesses.
“Money is not my motive,” he explains. “I thrive knowing that social media is working for my clients. I try to make it as painless and profitable as possible.”
Public Relations Association of Western North Carolina hosts Gary Charles and “Effectively Using Social Media to Build a Following,” at the Public Relations Association of Western North Carolina quarterly luncheon from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, June 25, at Asheville Chamber of Commerce. Members $15; Non-members $25. For more information or to RSVP, email email@example.com.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Continuing its efforts to offer communications professionals highly entertaining, effective networking opportunities, PRAWNC has come through yet again with the second annual "Take Me Out to the Ballgame: an Afternoon with the Asheville Tourists." Members and guests alike are invited to yell at the ump, cheer the action and enjoy a hotdog or pizza as the Asheville Tourists take on the Kannapolis Intimidators Sunday, May 23, at 2 p.m.
In addition to catching the action, attendees will be able to learn the history behind the Tourists, one of professional baseball's most storied clubs, from Chris Smith, assistant general manager and Tourist historian.
Baseball fans enjoy the spectacle of the game. All-American pastimes include people-watching, sampling ballpark fare, talking with fellow fans, and - as crazy as it sounds - actually watching the game. Sherri L. McLendon, PRAWNC president, admits to a fascination with pitching styles.
"No two pitches and no two pitchers are alike," she says. "It's a difference those of us who 'pitch' for a living really appreciate. We get the psychology of the game."
Brian Jennings, the PRAWNC board member organizing the event, recalls a two-decades past conversation with a former Tourist owner who said, "I don't promote baseball; I promote entertainment where a baseball game is being played."
The concept was not only years ahead of its time, but remains a nugget of knowledge PR professionals may choose to embrace in our own "fields" of expertise, says Jennings.
The Public Relations Association of Western North Carolina hosts "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" at historic McCormick Field, Sunday, May 23, at 2 p.m. The cost is $15 for members and guests, $13 for children ages 12-3, and free under age 3. Ticket includes game admission, food, drink and an official Asheville Tourist souvenir. McCormick Field is located at 30 Buchanan Place Asheville, NC 28801. RSVP by Monday, May 17, to firstname.lastname@example.org/
Friday, April 9, 2010
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Raise a glass in “A Toast to Spring” with Public Relations Association of Western North Carolina as at its after-hours event at Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar on Thursday, April 22, from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
PRAWNC members and their guests will enjoy the opportunity to browse the exceptional collection of books, participate in semi-structured networking activities, and enjoy a white, red, and sparkling
wine plus a selection of meats and cheeses as they mark the welcome arrival of spring.
This year, PRAWNC members have much to celebrate. “Our members are excited, and the enthusiasm continues to grow,” says Sherri L. McLendon, president. “We are metaphorically planting the seeds for a healthy, sustainable Western North Carolina communications sector. We’ve got fertile ground for leading the industry in innovation and creativity in the profession. Just watch us grow!”
“The incredible buzz and upward trend-setting image of PRAWNC this year has been precedent setting,” says Rachel Miller, PRAWNC vice president. “This is our moment to do our part to enhance Western North Carolina’s economic growth and positioning by advancing and celebrating its communications professionals.”
Public Relations Association of Western North Carolina hosts “A Toast to Spring” at from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m., at Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar on Thursday, April 22. The cost is $15 for members and guests and includes drinks and hors d’oevres. Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar is located at 1 Battle Square, Asheville. For more information or to RSVP, visit http://www.prawnc.org/, or email email@example.com.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
“As base salaries and bonuses for public relations and media communications jobs in Western North Carolina decreased in 2009, and layoffs continue in the corporate sector, it becomes increasingly important to offer support for professionals who seek positions or who wish to grow their careers,” says Brian Jennings, the PRAWNC board member who spearheaded the informal event.
The Career Coffee is an informal opportunity for members of PRAWNC to meet to share information and job leads, test new self-promotions strategies, and find support for the challenges of the emerging economy in the face of rapid, wide-spread changes in the communications industry, says Sherri L. McLendon, PRAWNC president. “It’s a new era, and we need to ‘wake up and smell the coffee’.”
“Our organization offers a level of knowledge and expertise necessary to grow sustainable economy. As a storehouse of some of the nation’s best talent, we consider it a valuable benefit to members to have a network of this caliber in place. It’s not enough to simply attract top talent. We want to keep that talent happy, supported, and employed in Western North Carolina,” says McLendon.
Many seeking positions or growth may choose to re-specialize in a health care, consumer, or high tech/social media fields, which continued to hire in 2009, according to The Official PR Salary and Bonus Report (2010). The report, which was synopsized last week by Public Relations Society of America in a press release on March 26, found that average base salaries for corporate communications jobs decreased 11.3% in 2009, while PR agency base salaries decreased 10.6%. Both sub-sectors enjoyed an increase of 2.7% and 2.9% respectively in 2008. Additionally, health care costs rose for most employees.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
"This year emerges as an exciting, energetic moment in the chronology of public relations and our organization," says Sherri L. McLendon, president. "Popular, scintillating topics, unprecedented networking strategies, social media integration, and the need for adaptive expertise have driven the PRAWNC board of directors to increase member benefits with an eye to best practice and a competitive edge."
New benefits for membership card holders include full access to PRAWNC's 2010 membership in the Asheville Chamber of Commerce. "We felt strongly our national quality talent pool deserves recognition in Asheville and throughout this region," says McLendon. For this reason, the board of directors made the decision to move quarterly luncheons to the chamber location, where PRAWNC will host speakers and conduct its regular business.
Improved member benefits include a range of "after-five" and evening events at a range of innovative venues, first in December 2009, at the Wine Studios of Asheville, and in February at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge. "The response from our members to the semi-structured networking opportunity we provide remains exciting; we've seen a 35% increase in attendance at events since December," says McLendon.
Continued and extended benefits include reduced fees for luncheons and events (including the prestigious Best of the Mountains awards entries and ceremony), unsurpassed networking opportunities, free job and internship listings on the PRAWNC web site and on Linked In, access to the Linked In private member network and discussion group, and support for students and job seekers.
Currently, membership is $50 for practicing members, and $25 for student members. To become a member, one fills out a membership form (emailed as a link to current and prospective members) and chooses a preferred payment option. Thanks to electronic data submission, membership is almost instant. For more information or to join, industry professionals are encouraged to visit www.prawnc.org.
Public Relations Association of Western North Carolina, or PRAWNC, is the region's premier professional organization for public relations, marketing, advertising and communications professionals since 1983. Learn more about PRAWNC at www.prawnc.org/.
PRAWNC is a 501C3 not-for-profit corporation providing practitioners with opportunities for education, collaboration, networking and professional excellence.
Monday, January 25, 2010
What do public relations and chocolate have in common? The sweet taste of success, of course.
“There’s an old proverb from Spain that says ‘Las cosas claras y el chocolate espresso,’" says Sherri McLendon, president of PRAWNC.
“Loosely translated, it suggests ideas should be clear and chocolate full-bodied. To me, it suggests the heart of public relations practice – to plan and execute tactics and strategies clearly, with the results fully realized.”
At the after-hours networking event, PRAWNC members, guests, and newcomers will sample three handcrafted artisanal chocolates chosen by chocolatier Jael Rattigan: pots de crème, salted honey caramel, and coconut macaroon with a chocolate ganache kiss. Complementary locally roasted French press coffee will accompany the treats.
Guests may also order signature liquid truffle hot sipping chocolates, local draught beer, small-production wines, organic loose-leaf teas, and gift chocolates at the counter.
Semi-structured networking activities ensure that all comers walk away with real connections to others who celebrate and appreciate all things public relations, says Rachel Miller, vice president of PRAWNC. “After all, isn’t success sweeter when it’s mutual and covered in chocolate?”
The Public Relations Association of Western North Carolina hosts “Sweet Success” at The French Broad Chocolate Lounge, Asheville, Thursday, Feb. 11, at 5:30 p.m., the cost is $12 for members and guests and includes chocolates and French press coffee. The French Broad Chocolate Lounge is located at 10 South Lexington Ave. For more information or to RSVP, contact Rachel Miller at email@example.com.
Public Relations Association of Western North Carolina, or PRAWNC, is the region’s premier professional organization for public relations, marketing, advertising and communications professionals since 1983. Learn more about PRAWNC at http://www.prawnc.org/.
PRAWNC is a 501C3 not-for-profit corporation providing practitioners with opportunities for education, collaboration, networking and professional excellence.