Tag Archives: Public Relations

PRSA Greater Cleveland Recognizes Winners of Hill Lighthouse Young Awards


CLEVELAND – April 12, 2018 – The Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Greater Cleveland Chapter recognized three area communications professionals with its prestigious Hill, Lighthouse and Young Awards at a luncheon ceremony yesterday, April 11.

L-R: David Gilbert, Barbara Paynter, Julie Miller

The John W. Hill Award is presented each year to the chief executive of a Greater Cleveland area organization who provides outstanding leadership and support for internal and external communications. The 2018 Hill Award was presented to David Gilbert, president and CEO of Destination Cleveland as well as president and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.

The Lighthouse Award is presented each year to recognize the career accomplishments, contributions to the profession and community service of a senor public relations professional who is a member of PRSA Greater Cleveland. The 2018 Lighthouse Awards was presented to Barbara Paynter, APR, Fellow PRSA who is president of Paynter Communications.

The Davis Young Award is presented each year to recognize a professional who excels in mentoring students and young professionals through hands-on instruction and support. The 2018 Young Award was presented to Julie Miller, APR, associate professor and director of public relations programs at Baldwin Wallace University.

“The caliber of the people we honored at this awards luncheon distinguishes the Greater Cleveland PRSA chapter as one of the finest in the nation,” said Bob Rotatori, PRSA Cleveland president. “It was a great honor to be part of it and witness the occasion with so many of our colleagues.”

More than 70 Cleveland-area communications professionals attended the awards presentation which took place at the Union Club. The event was sponsored by Vitamix Corporation, Eaton Corporation and Dominion East Ohio Gas.

Ethics and Our Society

By Chris Lynch, APR, Fellow PRSA

Falls Communications and PRSA Cleveland Programming Chair

According to the recent 2017 eKG Survey by PRSA of its 21,000 membership of public relations and communications professional practitioners, the most important value that PRSA provides is our Society’s Code of Ethics.

The Ethics Code also ranked number one in the survey’s competitive index, which in essence, said it was the most important feature our members tell other practitioners as the reason they joined or would recommend PRSA to other professionals.

Recently two articles by major U.S. media outlets lumped non-ethical PR practices onto the usual, all-encompassing reporting that eluded those in our profession are practically nothing more than “spin doctors or glorified snake oil salesmen” … yes, really still … by the same fourth estate scribes that turn around the next day begging us for story background and content.

Fortunately, PRSA National in New York keeps its finger on the pulse of these musings, and has – as usual – been right on top of these media misperceptions. You may have seen this in last week’s PRSA correspondence to members (I know, oftentimes there is so much email from the Mother Ship, we don’t see the important things), but to reiterate:

Our 2018 PRSA Chair, Anthony D’Angelo, APR, Fellow PRSA responded immediately through advocacy with two significant Letters to the Editor correcting the misperception of our industry and its practitioners.

One, when the Los Angeles Times’ February 2 Los Angeles Times op-ed by Virginia Heffernan was critical of White House Director of Communications, Hope Hicks, and her qualifications for the job, which is perhaps to be expected given that Hicks is a public figure who works for a controversial president. What was both unexpected and unacceptable was Heffernan’s broad criticism of public relations professionals, as she described PR’s “moral flexibility, callousness and charm,” and claimed “lying to the media is traditionally called PR.” Here is PRSA’s response.

The other came the following week when, the demise of the British agency Bell Pottinger (which described itself as a public relations firm), appeared in a story describing its actions on page one of Monday’s New York Times. In fairness, PRSA agrees writer David Segal did a masterful job detailing the firm’s unethical behavior, expulsion from the U.K. Public Relations and Communications Association, and its loss of all clients. However, per D’Angelo’s note to Society members, “I don’t fault The New York Times for covering the story — it’s important. But as chair of the Society that represents the ethical practice of public relations, I was compelled to write a letter to the editor stressing that what Bell Pottinger did is definitely #NotOurPR.”

I was fortunate enough to serve with Tony when I was on the National Board of Directors for PRSA.  It’s nice to see he’s still active, and still has our backs. As he said on the topic of Ethics: “By subscribing to and promoting our Code of Ethics in public relations, which is the right thing to do, is ultimately best for business as well as our industry and all the publics we serve.


PRSA Cleveland Announces 2017 Student of the Year Award Winner


Cleveland, Ohio – April 4, 2017 – The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Greater Cleveland Chapter is proud to announce that Latisha Ellison has been named the Chapter’s 2017 Student of the Year. The annual award honors one outstanding marketing and communications college student from the Greater Cleveland area. As the 2017 SOTY winner, Ms. Ellison has earned a $2,500 scholarship.

“Many talented students competed this year, but Latisha was the best of the best,” said Lorraine Schuchart, president of PRSA Greater Cleveland.

As a junior public relations student in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at Kent State University, Ellison has been honored as a dean list receipt in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Ellison is also a Marcus Thomas Promising Scholar and an active member of the Public Relations Student Society of America, Kent Chapter. She is currently the YouToo Social Media Conference Chairperson.

In addition to exceling at her studies and participating in PRSSA Kent, she’s currently a public relations intern at Flash Communications in Kent, Ohio. Prior to her internship at Flash Communications, Ms. Ellison was a student assistant at the School of Library and Information Science and a College of Communication & Information Beat Reporter for The Kent Stater.

“Latisha is a standout student in the public relations program in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State,” said Michele E. Ewing, APR, Fellow PRSA, associate professor of public relations at Kent State University. “She excels inside and outside the classroom. Faculty, staff and students enjoy working with Latisha because she’s a thoughtful leader with a can-do attitude and contagious positive energy.”

Ellison is from Butler, PA and will be interning in Cleveland this summer.

“I am extremely honored and surprised to have received this award from PRSA Cleveland. I’ve been working with the PRSSA Kent Chapter since freshman year and I’m passionate about this industry.” said Ellison

In addition to her scholarship, Ellison will have the opportunity to interview with local Cleveland area businesses for a potential internship including Great Lakes Science Center, Falls Communications, and Prosper for Purpose.

Latisha Ellison