Awards & Honors
Dr. Terri Hernandez & PRISM students win multiple PRAM PRism Awards

Dr. Terri Hernandez & PRISM students won eight PRism awards at the late July virtual Public Relations of Mississippi awards ceremony. 

The Mercedes-Benz of Tuscaloosa Social Media Campaign: “Who is MBT?” won two awards: Best of Tier 3 category (Tactical Materials/Projects) and a PRism Award. The campaign effort was coordinated by Hernandez, and students Blake Williams and Angela Reives. Mercedes-Benz of Tuscaloosa (MBT) is a luxury car dealership that offers its clients new, certified pre-owned and used vehicles with access to highly qualified, master certified technicians in its service department. One of the biggest issues MBT faces is brand differentiation. The dealership is constantly confused with and compared to MBUSI, MB plant in Vance, AL and MB of Birmingham (owned by beloved Nick Saban - University of Alabama, Head Football Coach). As such, MBT hired the PRISM team to help differentiate its brand by utilizing social media to communicate how MBT serves Tuscaloosa residents. The purpose of this campaign was to create and monitor content on MBT’s Facebook page to help its target audience understand that MBT is a local, luxury dealership located in their backyard.

The PRISM Organization Identity Campaign won a PRism Award, in the T3 category (Tactical Materials/Projects). The campaign was guided by Hernandez and students Lauren Lucas, Madeline Burdine, and Peyton Neal. Graphics Public Relations and PRISM is a full service student-led agency at Mississippi State University. PRISM provides communication and branding services to local profit and non-profit organizations through strategic-awareness planning, insights and optimization. With PRISM being in its second semester of operation, the agency was still considered new and lacked brand recognition. An account team was formed to help PRISM promote its benefits to future clients and students. The purpose of this campaign was to establish an organization identity by creating brand recognition and increasing recruitment efforts across MSU.

The Center for Sommunity-Engagment: 2019 Annual Publication won an Award of Excellence in the T3 category (Tactical Materials/Projects). The publication was created by Hernandez and students Carly Pippin and Charlotte Corr. The Center for Community-Engaged Learning (CCEL) works with Mississippi State University faculty, staff, and students to connect MSU with the Starkville community through research, learning and service. CCEL’s work emphasizes community-engagement and strives to train others in engagement efforts in order to better the surrounding area. CCEL produced annual highlight publications to acknowledge and honor its work and accomplishments. Past highlight publications had not met CCEL’s expectations for design elements, creative content or timeline objectives. As such, CCEL partnered with PRISM to utilize its many resources (e.g., creative skillset) in order to construct its 2019-2020 highlight publication. The purpose of this campaign was to better showcase CCEL’s community-engagement efforts through the creation and completion of a consistent and professional publication that displayed the work and impact of CCEL and its fellows.

The Mercedes-Benz of Tuscaloosa “Community Involvement” Social Media Campaign won an Award of Excellence in the T3 category (Tactical Materials/Projects). The project was coordinated by Hernandez and students McKinsy Harris and Avery DeVaughn. MBT is a client-centered business with the need to showcase its community involvement in the city of Tuscaloosa and increase its brand awareness. Social media was a great way to showcase who Mercedes-Benz of Tuscaloosa is as a company and its efforts to be involved in the community. This need became a problem when Mercedes-Benz of Tuscaloosa realized their social media did not reflect its company in a community centered way and also the issue of confusion between MBT and other Mercedes-Benz dealerships. Therefore, MBT hired the PRISM team to design a social media campaign with strategies and tactics specifically targeted towards showcasing community involvement and brand awareness among social media audiences. Therefore, the purpose of this campaign was to showcase community involvement and increase brand awareness, measured by the amount of engagement such as follows, likes, comments and shares.

The PRISM Logo creation won an Award of Excellence in the T3 category (Tactical Materials/Projects). The logo was created by Hernandez and student Tate Smith. In January 2019, the Department of Communication at MSU established its own student-run public relations and media agency, PRISM. In order to create a successful brand unique to PRISM, an aesthetic was established. A major component of establishing a brand aesthetic was creating the logo. In order to do this, the PRISM Account Team conducted a SWOT analysis to inform how the logo should be designed. The current PRISM logo was created as a result of the SWOT analysis.

The Gender Impacts Lab Website creation won an Award of Excellence in the T3 category (Tactical Materials/Projects). The website was created by Hernandez and students Marisa Laudadio, Amelia Henson, Leah Worley, and Camille Stevenson. The Gender Impacts Lab (GIL), a research lab located at the Social Science Research Center in Starkville, Mississippi, strives to produce high quality research that promotes global gender equity by addressing issues to close gender and empowerment gaps. Its work focuses on addressing gender inequities by promoting community development and empowering women, men, and youth through hands-on research to improve the lives of families and communities worldwide. The PRISM team was hired to create a sustainable, easy-to-maintain online platform through which our client could share its life-changing research and that could serve as a hub of information for other researchers conducting similar work. The purpose of the campaign was to create a robust website that could be used to share the Gender Impacts Lab’s work and increase awareness of their efforts to promote global gender equality, help obtain funding for future projects, and recruit new research partners.

The Center for Community-Engaged Learning Social Media Campaign won an Award of Excellence in the T3 category (Tactical Materials/Projects). The campaign was coordinated by Hernandez and students Bailey Sennett, Emily Stone, and KaLeigh Walker. The Center for Community-Engaged Learning (CCEL) is a program that creates partnerships between community partners and community-engaged learning classes to incorporate community service into classrooms at MSU. CCEL fellows incorporate community-engaged learning into their classrooms. All professors are allowed to become fellows and all students are allowed to enroll in CEL classes, so social media poses as a great platform to advertise the opportunities available to faculty and students at the university. The problem began in June 2016, when the organization rebranded from the Center for the Advancement of Service-Learning Excellence, or CASLE, to the Center for Community-Engaged Learning, or CCEL. Because of this, many people are not aware of what CCEL is and the organization suffers a lack of brand awareness. As such, CCEL hired the PRISM team to manage and create a social media strategy to establish brand awareness and to increase the awareness CCEL to MSU faculty and students. The purpose of this campaign was to increase awareness of CCEL through social media by featuring community-engagement among the students and faculty of Mississippi State University.

The Children’s Foundation of Mississippi’s Website Creation won a Certificate of Merit. The website was created by Hernandez and student Madeline Burdine. Mississippi Kids Count is the leading resource for comprehensive information on Mississippi’s children and serves as a catalyst for improving outcomes for children, families, and communities. This program was created as a unit within the Social Science Research Center at Mississippi State University and directed by Linda Southward and Heather Hanna. In July 2019, Linda officially retired from MSU; however, she wanted to continue to do her work for the children of Mississippi. As such, the Children’s Foundation of Mississippi was created to be the new home to Mississippi Kids Count. The Children’s Foundation seeks to foster collaboration, shape systems, deliver data, do big things, and build resources. Specifically, this program seeks to be the change in Mississippi and provide a better tomorrow for its children. The first step in launching this program was to create a website that clearly communicated the mission, needs, and goals of the program to donors. As such, Linda solicited the PRISM team to create the Children’s Foundation of Mississippi’s website. As such, this campaign exclusively focused on the successful creation of the website that would highlight the need for the organization and provide fundamental information about the organization and how to get involved.