USAO Receives Honors at Public Relations Conference
CHICKASHA – A small team of public relations specialists recently showed their mettle while competing with state universities and professional advertising agencies. The University of Science and Arts’ Media and Community Relations team picked up several awards at this year’s annual Oklahoma College Public Relations Association (OCPRA) conference July 8-10.
Nearly 50 college and university public relations offices across Oklahoma entered 495 projects in 27 categories for the awards contest. Many universities submitted projects completed by outside advertising agencies. USAO’s marketing team brought home seven awards, bringing the total number of OCPRA awards for the university to 33 in recent years.
“What a great team of people, highly dedicated and fully deserving,” said Randy Talley, director of media and community relations for USAO. “I am privileged to work with some of the best people anywhere. We love to tell the USAO story because it’s easy — USAO is a great place to study, live and work.”
In an unprecedented win for both top notches in a single category, Zac Underwood, sports information director, took first and second place in sports photography.
Marcie Price, graphic designer, won first place in cover design, an entry that judges then chose as Best of Show for this year’s conference. Her design was chosen from all first place awards in all categories.
David Duncan, television production specialist, won third place for video feature and Michael Bendure, news bureau director, won third place for news writing.
The marketing team, consisting of Talley, Underwood, Bendure, Price, Duncan, printing services manager Jenny Bendure and Laura Harrison, former administrative assistant, won second place for last summer’s Te Ata World Premiere event promotion and campaign.
According to its website, OCPRA was founded in 1969 by longtime Oklahoma journalist Carter Bradley, the first director of the Higher Education Alumni Council of Oklahoma (HEACO) and Ralph Hamilton, former director of public relations at Oklahoma State University. Its membership today includes communication professionals from nearly 50 schools in Oklahoma, both public and private.
The organization “provides meaningful networking opportunities and honors the creative imagination of its members and member institutions in their marketing and public relations efforts.” Since the 1980s, OCPRA has sponsored an annual summer conference designed to further this mission.
In 1992, OCPRA launched its annual awards competition and show, recognizing the top entries in writing, design, photography and video by Oklahoma colleges and universities. This year’s conference was held at Tanglewood Resort on Lake Texoma.
OCPRA’s website is www.ocpra.org.