April 5, 2004
Magazine, media relations program honored by Public Relations Association of Mississippi
By Jim Albritton
Health and Research News Service
JACKSON, Miss.—Methodist Rehabilitation Center has been recognized by the Public Relations Association of Mississippi for excellence in the field of public relations.
PRAM honored Ways & Means, the hospital’s magazine, and Reunion Race, its annual fundraiser, with two Prism Awards. The hospital’s statewide safety program, media relations program, Web site and employee newsletter received 11 certificates of excellence or achievement at the organization’s annual convention in Jackson.
Ways & Means received a Prism Award in the external publication category. The annual publication includes patient profiles, feature stories and the latest research news from the hospital’s Center for Neuroscience and Neurological Recovery.
Reunion Race, a 3.1 mile race which reunites former Methodist patients with the physicians and staff who cared for them, raises money for the hospital’s patient needs fund. It received a Prism Award in the short-term special events category.
The hospital’s Web site, methodistonline.org, was honored with an award of excellence. The site, which is updated daily by public relations staff, includes feature stories, audio, video and more than 200 news releases. Dateline Methodist, the hospital’s employee newsletter also received an award of excellence.
The hospital’s media relations program received four awards of excellence for news or feature stories and another award of excellence for its crisis communications efforts related to West Nile virus. The media relations program also received certificates of achievement for its establishment of the Health and Research News Service and for its creation of a West Nile virus media kit.
Think First, Methodist’s statewide injury prevention program received a certificate of achievement in the long-term public service category. Since its inception, more than 20,000 school children have heard the hospital’s safety message.
A four-minute overview video that focuses on the hospital and its programs and services also received a certificate of achievement.
The public relations staff includes special events manager and Think First coordinator Lauren Fairburn, communications manager Lisa Uzzle Gates, assistant director Susan Christensen and director Jim Albritton. The staff also works closely with Mac McLemore who produced and edited the overview video. The public relations department plans special events, writes news releases and feature stories, works with the media and produces numerous publications.
The annual Prism Awards competition is held each year and is open to any individual, company or organization engaged in public relations, community education or public affairs.