Pine Belt Public Relation Association of Mississippi Awards Local Professionals

HATTIESBURG, MS – The region’s best public relations professionals were recently honored for their achievements by the Pine Belt Chapter of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi (PRAM). The awards, bestowed annually at Pine Belt PRAM’s Awards Banquet, recognize outstanding work in the field of public relations and celebrate select individuals for their contributions to the profession. This year’s event was held virtually on Tuesday, February 23 due to COVID-19.

“Public relations practitioners work tirelessly behind-the-scenes to help their organizations thrive in spite of challenges like a global pandemic,” said PRAM Awards Chair, Ashley Rea. “These awards allow us to recognize their efforts and the skills required to achieve success, but also reward the technical proficiency in the four-step process that is the foundation of any productive campaign.”

University Communications at The University of Southern Mississippi was awarded the organization’s highest honor as the judges’ choice recipient for their Flight Path 2020 campaign. The university staff also received a SPARK Award from the association for their work. Additional award recipients were Dixie Electric Power Association for their Four Tornadoes Strike- Timeline Storytelling graphics and Jessica Breazeale Consulting for their Sanitation Plus campaign.

In lieu of traditional chapter awards, Pine Belt PRAM elected to present a one-time special award for achievement in the field of public relations during 2020. Deemed the 2020 Resilience Award, this honor was bestowed to the City of Hattiesburg for their clear and effective communication during a time of crisis. The award will be presented to Mayor Toby Barker at a later date.

Brittney Dykes, 2020 Vice President of Programs and incoming president for Pine Belt PRAM, was presented with the Chapter’s President’s Award, recognizing service to the association including navigating the challenges associated with converting all member benefits to virtual offerings as a result of the onset of COVID-19.

Additionally, the 2021 Board of Directors was sworn in to the association. Board members are as follows: Brittney Dykes, board president; Niki Giacona, vice president of programs; Ashley Rea, vice president of membership; Matt Martin, treasurer; Keenon Walker, communications director; Jonah Taylor, director of social media & website; Shuntasia Coleman, scholarship & student affairs chair; Kelsey Barrett, community action chair; Marissa Landon, awards chair; Jessica Breazeale, professional development/APR chair; and April Jordan, past president.

Pine Belt PRAM is an affiliate of the statewide Public Relations Association of Mississippi, serving practitioners and students in the Hattiesburg-Laurel area with professional development opportunities aimed at enhancing and growing individual skill sets, contributing to the expanding science of public relations policies and practices.

Chapter meetings are held virtually on the third Tuesday of each month. Visit for more information.

For more on these awards and the upcoming state and regional competitions, visit the following pages: