ROANOKE COUNTY, VA (November 16, 2011) The Roanoke County Public Information team was honored at the Blue Ridge Public Relations Society of America’s 10th Annual Summit Awards Gala in November.
The Summit Awards include sixteen categories which allow individuals or agencies to submit their work in a variety of areas, with most divided into modest or average budgets. Submissions have the opportunity to receive either a Gold or Silver Summit Award. This year’s entries were judged by the Central Michigan Chapter of PRSA and were evaluated in four areas: research, planning, execution, and evaluation.
Roanoke County’s Public Information Office received the Gold Summit Award for its entry “Finding Brittany” in the “Issues and Crisis Communications” category. The entry detailed the communications plan and process used by the Public Information team to capture and sustain the national media’s attention in December 2010 after learning that a murder and child abduction had occurred.
The comprehensive plan included message development, media relations, news releases, press conferences, and social media components. A woman who saw the story on CNN during the week-long campaign recognized Brittany panhandling outside a grocery store in California. Brittany was returned home shortly after to Virginia and her alleged abductor remains in jail awaiting trial on abduction and capital murder charges.
Roanoke County Parks, Recreation and Tourism received a Gold Summit Award in the magazine category for the department’s redesigned "Recreation Family Fun Guide" and also received a Silver Summit Award for its “Civil War Homes Tour” brochure.
Roanoke County Schools received Gold Summit Awards for projects connected to the “Rachel’s Challenge” anti-bullying campaign and also for its “Graduation Live” streaming video project.
The Blue Ridge PRSA Summit Awards competition is open to all professional public relations practitioners in Southwest Virginia and membership in PRSA is not required.