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University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943





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Professional Organization Honors UCM Student PR Firm

Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (May 16, 2013) – Taking advantage of knowledge and skills they obtained from classroom and practical learning experiences at the University of Central Missouri, members of the Innovative Public Relations student public relations firm were honored May 2 by a group of Kansas City communication professionals.

Innovative PR received an award for “Communication Skills” from the Kansas City chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (KC/IABC) during its 2013 awards program, The Kansas City Quills. The award received by Innovative PR was in a category for student entries, which were judged 50 percent on the work plan and 50 percent on the work sample.

Innovative PR’s submission related to the university’s first social media night, which took place Jan. 23 during the Mules and Jennies home basketball games. Innovative PR partnered with UCM Athletics staff members to host a fun and unique event where fans were able to voice online and interact with UCM Athletics and others using the hashtag  #teamUCM. Including competitive events for those in attendance and giveaway items made possible by local sponsors, the event gave fans a reason to attend the game, while also getting involved through special activities and social media.

UCM students who attended the award ceremony were Danielle Myers, a graduate student from Sedalia who advises the student group, and members Ashley Dolan, Chesterfield; Hannah Rhoad, Higginsville; Jonathan Haile, Kansas City, and Jessica Tandy, Blue Springs. Also part of the group, but unable to attend the ceremony was Megan Maher, a student from Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.

Innovative PR is a collaborative initiative that involves the public relations program within the Department of Communication and Sociology and University Relations, which houses the student firm. Students who participate in the program gain college credit through real public relations opportunities serving campus clients.  As of its launch in spring 2010, Innovative PR team members have provided more than 7,000 hours of service to UCM departments and organizations.

“The Innovative PR public relations specialists' achievements showcase the professional excellence they already exhibit as students in UCM's public relations program,” said Tricia Hansen-Horn, public relations coordinator in the Department of Communication and Sociology. “All four of the program's faculty are very proud of them. They truly set the bar for the students who are coming after them.”

The Kansas City Quills award was the second honor UCM claimed during the spring 2013 in which Innovative PR was involved. During the 28th Annual Educational Advertising Awards, sponsored by the Higher Education Marketing Report, the university received a Gold Award for Total PR Program, based on a promotional campaign for the fall 2012 Show Me Justice Film Festival. Working in cooperation with University Relations staff members and the Department of Communication and Sociology, Innovative PR students coordinated an advertising plan and outreach to relevant audiences through a kickoff event, news releases, social media and distribution of print material.

KC/IABC is an organization of approximately 200 members in the Kansas City area, who are employed communications professionals from major corporations, agencies and non-profit groups. The awards program included Communications Management, Communications Skills, and Communications Training categories that involved participants from professionals representing well-known companies such as Burns & McDonnell, Cerner Corporation, KCP&L, The University of Kansas Hospital, and more.