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b2ap3_thumbnail_DSC_0043.jpgWaynesburg University’s student-run public relations firm, Red Brick Communications, earned National Affiliation in January. Red Brick Communications is an organization available to Waynesburg University students through the institution’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Chapter.

National Affiliation is an honor bestowed upon PRSSA’s most accomplished student-run public relations firms, deeming them well-structured, professional and credible. To receive National Affiliation, a firm must demonstrate that it meets the standards set by PRSSA, some of which include being ethically based and outcome-driven, displaying accountability, and possessing professional and faculty support.

“I am beyond excited about receiving National Affiliation for the firm because it is a true testament to the dedication we have put into our clients' work,” said Jordan Mitrik, firm director at Red Brick Communications and senior public relations major. “I know how much effort was put into achieving this goal, and having it become a reality is something truly incredible.”

According to PRSSA, there are more than 100 student-run public relations firms throughout the United States. Of these student-run public relations firms, only 26 are Nationally Affiliated. Red Brick Communications is the only agency in Pennsylvania possessing this honor.

“To be Nationally Affiliated means that we are part of the best - it means that our hard work is being recognized and that we meet the standards set by PRSSA,” said Natalie Gloady, assistant firm director at Red Brick Communications and junior public relations major. “It shows that our firm, and our PRSSA Chapter, is dedicated to the work that we do, along with the public relations field overall.”

The firm began working to achieve this honor a year and a half ago. The National Affiliation application was an extensive process, one that required much time and commitment from the firm director and staff members.

“Jordan has done an excellent job leading the students within the firm,” said Richard Krause, chair of the Department of Communication. “National Affiliation recognizes the outstanding work that Jordan and other members of the firm have done. This accomplishment is significant for our Chapter and the Department of Communication.”

Founded in 2011, Red Brick Communications is a fully-functioning public relations agency, staffed entirely by Waynesburg University students. The firm offers pro bono public relations services to regional nonprofit organizations, including Waynesburg University’s Business Club, Corner Cupboard Food Bank, the Waynesburg Area Chamber of Commerce and Special Olympics of Greene County.

“I am so blessed to oversee such talented communication students as firm director and be an integral part of a firm that has achieved such a distinguished honor,” said Mitrik.

For more information about Red Brick Communications and its services, please contact Mitrik at mit3036@student.waynesburg.edu, or visit the agency’s website, http://redbrick-communications.squarespace.com/.

For the list of Nationally Affiliated firms operated by PRSSA, visit http://prssa.prsa.org/chapters/firms/Affiliated_Firms/.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_PRSSA-Teahan-Award.jpgWaynesburg University’s Public Relations Student Society of America Chapter was honored with the Dr. F.H. Teahan Award for best Chapter Newsletter November 9 at the PRSSA 2015 National Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

Waynesburg University PRSSA’s newsletter, “Trending Topics,” is a monthly publication that was developed in 2012. Each issue includes professional development tips and officer updates, as well as summaries of all major Chapter events and initiatives. The content, design and overall development of each newsletter issue are completed by Waynesburg University students that make up the Chapter.

“Through the newsletter, I want to show all of the great things our Chapter is doing to expand and succeed,” said Natalie Gloady, junior public relations major and public relations director for Waynesburg University PRSSA. “It is important for those in our professional networks to witness our accomplishments. It shows them that we are serious about public relations and are working to make ourselves better and more productive future professionals.”

The Dr. F.H. Teahan Award for Outstanding Chapter Newsletter is presented to one PRSSA Chapter each year, naming its newsletter as the organization’s best chapter publication. Since the award’s inception in 2004, Waynesburg University is the only institution in Pennsylvania to have received this honor.

“We made a number of significant changes to the newsletter about a year ago that we thought greatly improved its overall quality,” said Richard Krause, chair of Waynesburg University’s Department of Communication and faculty adviser to its PRSSA Chapter.  “After only three years of publishing a newsletter, we are now recognized as having the most outstanding Chapter newsletter. It's been a really exciting year.”

According to prssa.prsa.org, each publication submitted for the Dr. F. H. Teahan Award for best Chapter newsletter is judged by the quality of its writing, content, design and creativity. Judges may also consider distribution efforts, length of publication cycles and newsworthiness of stories when making their decisions.

“Now that our Chapter has received this honor, it will only make us work harder,” said Gloady. “I am proud to work with a staff that puts significant time and effort into making our newsletter and Chapter great.”

To view the latest issue of “Trending Topics,” please visit www.wuprssa.wordpress.com.

For more information about Waynesburg University PRSSA, please contact Megan Bayles, president of the Chapter, at bay2547@student.waynesburg.edu.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_StarChapterwithMegan.jpgWaynesburg University’s Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) was honored as a Star Chapter for the third consecutive year Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, at the PRSSA National Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

PRSSA is present in four countries and oversees approximately 344 Chapters and 11,000 members. This year, only 43 of the organization’s chapters received Star Chapter status, placing Waynesburg University PRSSA in the top 13 percent.

“Receiving this recognition from PRSSA National is such an incredible and rewarding accomplishment,” said Jordan Mitrik, vice president of Waynesburg’s Chapter of PRSSA and firm director of Red Brick Communications. “This award means that our Chapter is among the best of the best and we are creating an innovative working environment for public relations students. It also reflects the overall strength of the public relations program at Waynesburg University.”

The Star Chapter recognition is awarded to PRSSA chapters that meet at least eight of 10 requirements set by the organization’s national headquarters. Requirements include attending a PRSSA national event, completing a community service initiative, conducting a high school outreach program and earning Chapter media recognition.

“We are very pleased to have received Star Chapter status for the third consecutive year. This award recognizes the diligent work of our students and staff,” said Richard Krause, chair of Waynesburg University’s Department of Communication and faculty adviser to Waynesburg’s Chapter of PRSSA. "Our student leaders have done a wonderful job with the Chapter. The accomplishments of the past year have been simply amazing!"

Waynesburg University’s PRSSA Chapter plans to apply for Star Chapter status again in 2016. As of November 18, 2015, the Chapter has met six of the ten requirements for next year’s award.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_ConferenceLogoJPEG.jpgWaynesburg University’s Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) will host a regional conference Friday, April 8, through Saturday, April 9, 2016. The event, which will take place on Waynesburg’s campus, will afford attendees the opportunity to network with public relations professionals and expand their knowledge of the field.

“Caffeinate Your Career,” the slogan defining Waynesburg PRSSA’s regional conference, symbolizes stimulating your career to ensure success in the professional world.

“It [the theme] is intended to play off of the running joke in PR: that we all run on coffee due to the demands of our positions,” said Samantha Peer, senior public relations major and co-director of the regional conference. “Within the event, we plan to incorporate coffee-themed speakers and favors, as well as a community outreach initiative centered around coffee.”

PRSSA chooses approximately 10 of its chapters to host regional conferences each year. Chapters interested in hosting a regional conference must submit a bid form to PRSSA Headquarters outlining the conference’s budget, logistics, promotion plan, schedule and theme. Bid forms are reviewed and chapters are chosen by PRSSA Headquarters, as well as its national president and vice president of regional conferences.

“The process of bidding for the regional conference was challenging and nerve wracking, but exciting at the same time,” said Peer. “Basically, when bidding, you are planning everything, start to finish, so that your Chapter presents itself as though it is prepared to take on this large responsibility.”

Richard Krause, chair of Waynesburg University’s Department of Communication and faculty adviser to Waynesburg’s Chapter of PRSSA, expresses his excitement to host a regional conference, as it will recognize the hard work and dedication of the institution’s public relations students.

“Hosting a regional conference has been one of our Chapter’s goals since its inception, and now, just five short years later, we are fulfilling that objective,” said Krause. “This is a large feat, especially since we are the smallest university that was chosen to host a conference. However, I have confidence in our students and their abilities to execute a well-planned, professional event.”

For more information about Waynesburg University PRSSA’s regional conference, “Caffeinate Your Career,” please visit info.waynesburg.edu/caffeinateyourcareer.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_0063-2.jpgMegan Bayles, senior public relations major from Carmichaels, recently earned the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) National Gold Key Award.

The National Gold Key Award is the highest individual honor bestowed upon members of PRSSA, and is given annually to seniors that excel in their academic study of public relations, have pursued ambitious professional development opportunities and are leaders in their PRSSA Chapter.

“I feel extremely honored to be a recipient of the National Gold Key Award,” said Bayles. “As one of PRSSA's highest honors, I feel as though all of my hard work is being rewarded; however, the notoriety and prestige of this award not only celebrates my hard work, but it also represents the amazing public relations program Waynesburg University has to offer.”

To be eligible, applicants must have held a PRSSA leadership position, completed at least one public relations internship, have a GPA of at least 3.4 in their major and intend to become a PRSA Associate Member within one year of graduating.

Bayles, Waynesburg University’s first recipient of this award, met all of the requirements for this award. She serves as Waynesburg University’s PRSSA Chapter President and has interned at the Intermediate Unit 1, a regional educational agency located in Coal Center, as well as at Elias/Savion, a marketing and public relations agency, located in Pittsburgh.

“Megan is very deserving of this recognition,” said Richard Krause, chairperson of the Department of Communication and faculty adviser to the Waynesburg University PRSSA Chapter. “She is a very effective leader who invests so much time in the Chapter.”

This is not the first time Bayles has received national attention for her work as a public relations student. Last fall, Bayles received first place in the Betsy Plank PRSSA Scholarship competition, an award granted annually to students that demonstrate dedication to the field, practical experience, academic excellence and proven leadership.

Bayles’ award is indicative of Waynesburg University’s PRSSA Chapter’s continued success amongst other chapters.

“Megan's receipt of this award is another acknowledgement of the rapid development of the chapter from a local entity to one that now receives national recognition,” said Krause. “It indicates that we are certainly competitive with other larger, successful national chapters, and it should encourage other members of the Chapter to pursue their dreams and aspirations with renewed vigor.”

Bayles received a plaque in recognition of her award and was honored at the PRSSA National Conference in Atlanta November 7.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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