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10/1/2015 - Jackson, Miss.

Mississippi Public Universities have been recognized with three awards from the Southern Public Relations Federation (SPRF). The honors included the federation's top award, the Lantern, and the Award of Excellence.

The Southern Public Relations Federation (SPRF) recognizes outstanding work in the field of public relations through its annual Lantern Awards program. SPRF is a network of more than 1,400 public relations professionals from Alabama, North Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi who share a common interest in the public relations profession. Members include communicators from agencies, associations, businesses, corporations, government, non-profits universities, utilities, and other organizations.

The entries are judged on their individual merit by nationwide PR practitioners. The awards program offers three levels of recognition, including Lantern Awards, Awards of Excellence and Certificates of Merit.

Mississippi Public Universities were recognized for the following entries:

  • Lantern Award: In the category, Tactical Materials/Projects, Publications & Writing, Brochures, Fact Sheet Brochure for 2015 Legislative Session was recognized with a Lantern Award.
    • The one-page brochure presented facts on the university system and was used in face-to-face meetings with legislators, posted on the website and shared through social media. In an at-a-glance format, the fact sheet brochure showed that universities have increased enrollment, credit hour production, degrees awarded, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) degrees awarded and online offerings. It also showed that while, general fund collections had increased during this same time period, state appropriations to the universities and average faculty salaries had decreased.
  • Lantern Award: In the category, Tactical Materials/Projects, Publications & Writing, Editorials/Opinion Pieces, Letter to the Editor by Aubrey Patterson, President of the Board of Trustees was recognized with a Lantern Award.
    • The letter to the editor focused on the important role that faculty members play in the success of students, both in the classroom and after graduation, and mirrored that with the important role that universities play in the success of the state. The letter included facts and figures on faculty salaries in Mississippi and other states in the Southeast, as reported by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB).
  • Award of Excellence: In the category, Long-Term Strategic Programs (7 months or longer), PR Programs, Public Affairs, Strategic Communications Plan for 2015 Legislative Session was recognized with an Award of Excellence.
    • Utilizing a timeline developed around the legislative calendar, the plan was implemented to ensure that communication efforts were ongoing throughout the session and maximized exposure with key publics.


The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

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