KYSPRA member named ‘Rising Star’ by IABC/PRSA

12122841_10101708192036644_3399883933951401633_nTracy Green, KYSPRA Treasurer, was one of six Metro Louisvillians honored Oct. 21 for advancing the community through effective communications.

Green, the Director of Communications and Development for Oldham County Schools, received an award as one of three 2015 Communication Rising Stars at the Landmarks of Excellence Awards, presented by the Public Relations Society of America’s Bluegrass Chapter and the International Association of Business Communicators/Louisville.

This is the first year for the Rising Star award, which recognizes emerging leaders — age 32 or younger — whose work reflects ongoing and exceptional growth in contributing to the fields of public relations or communications. The other Rising Star recipients are Charissa Acree, public relations manager for Price Weber, and Gary Stinson, digital media manager for the Kentucky Derby Festival.

In addition, Kentucky Commission on Women Executive Director Eleanor Jordan and Louisville Orchestra Music Director Teddy Abrams will be honored as 2015 Communicators of the Year. “Both Eleanor Jordan and Teddy Abrams succeeded where others have failed through building relationships, creating consensus and initiating new conversations with the community,” said CJ Parrish, IABC LOU president.

Matt Kamer, partner and director of public relations for Bandy Carroll Hellige, will be inducted into Landmarks’ Communicators Hall of Fame. Kamer, partner and director of public relations of Bandy Carroll Hellige, has demonstrated the highest levels of professional ethics, leadership and service to the profession as well as the community.

Since 1982, PRSA and IABC have partnered to recognize outstanding communications achievement in Louisville.

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November observances

Looking for some ideas for your November school PR efforts? Here’s a list of observances that might spark some coverage. A lot of great options this month!

Recent threats, college shooting prompt renewed calls to arm teachers

Following the shooting at Umpqua Community College (Oregon) on Oct. 1 and a number of threats at local schools — EKU, Jefferson County (Sept. 25 part 1, Sept. 25 part 2) and Bullitt County — there has been a renewed call to arm teachers and school staff.

Update: Six NKY, Cincy schools evacuated after bomb threats on Oct. 20

Update: Burgin Independent (Mercer Co.) cancels school Oct. 22 after threat

Update: JCPS’s Ballard on heightened security Oct. 23

Update: Lincoln County cancels school Nov. 2 after threat

In particular, an organization called POST Kentucky has contacted districts in the Commonwealth and has inquired about speaking at board meetings. POST advocates for training staff using a model similar to the “National Armed Pilots Program” — officially called the Federal Flight Deck Officer program. Here’s a 2014 story on the organization, founded in Northern Kentucky. 

Last week, the Cincinnati Enquirer published an editorial titled “Guns in schools a bad idea.”

In 2013, NBC News found 18 states allow firearms to be carried in schools with varying regulations. In Kentucky, school boards have the authority to make that decision — KRS 527.070(3)(g). Kentucky law prohibits carrying firearms onto any school property except anyone authorized by the school board, “including but not limited to historical displays.” According to the Enquirer, “The language leads some to believe lawmakers didn’t intend the statute to allow for armed teachers, even though it doesn’t prohibit it, and the courts and the Kentucky attorney general have never issued an opinion on the question.”

“I could cite 173 school boards in Kentucky that have tried to keep weapons out of school,” said Brad Hughes, spokesman for the School Boards Association. “I cannot imagine a district, other than having a school resource officer, that has armed its staff.”

Update: Simpson County bomb threat case heads to federal court

2015 Fall Conference Session Topics

Customer Service: PR in action

Paul Schaumburg, Community Relations Director, Graves County Schools

Customer service and public relations fulfill several closely related needs for your school district. They’re both about attitude and communication. They both are future oriented and focus on serving the needs of our parents and school communities. And both can be key elements in conflict resolution. Whatever way you stack it, public relations and customer service go hand-in-hand.

Using social media to build a “Culture of Care”

Heather Warrell, Assistant Principal, Thomas Nelson High School

Thomas Nelson High School has harnessed the power of social media in a big way to help build community and foster their own unique school culture. Now in just their fourth year of existence, TNHS has received wide notoriety and frequent visits from school leaders all across the state and beyond to study just how they do what they do in a variety of areas. For them, social media is a buffet and “force multiplier” that allows school leaders to “celebrate everyone at every level” in a very intentional way that is closely aligned with their school branding.

Social Media and Schools: The good, the bad and avoiding the ugly

Brad Hughes, KSBA Member Support/Communications Services

The “how to” of videography for schools

Jeff Gray, KET videographer

Videography is an increasingly accessible and important tool for communicators of all stripes. Through smartphones and small digital cameras of all types, video “production” has become just another fact of life for students, parents and people everywhere. KET videographer Jeff Gray will talk about how we can use these important tools to round out the communication product for out district and do so in a way that presents your district in the best light possible. The tools are here. The “how to,” is still very much a work in progress for many.

Make photography work for you and your school district

Steve Shaffer, KET photographer

Lighting, composition and exposure are still very much a fundamental aspect of visual communication. Many photographers now use cameras to produce videos and still photographs alike and frequently go back and forth between the two on the same assignment or subject. Either way, the fundamentals still apply to both. KET photographer Steve Shaffer will help firm up your knowledge in this arena of ideas that uses a multitude of tools while remaining grounded in the reality of everyday life.