Congratulations 2022 PRSA Oregon Spotlight Award and Award of Distinction Honorees

For more information: Sally Ridenour, 2022 Spotlights committee, 503-507-7445

On Friday, Oct. 7, Public Relations Society of America’s Oregon chapter celebrated the best campaigns and tactics our local PR pros delivered this year. The PRSA Oregon Spotlight Awards recognize campaigns and tactics that exemplify excellence and leadership in public relations, digital media, and integrated communications. The Awards of Distinction commemorate commitment, support, leadership and lifetime achievement by outstanding communication leaders.

We are proud to share the achievements of an exceptional group of public relations and communications professionals and showcase their outstanding work and contributions to our industry and community.

A William W. Marsh Lifetime Achievement Award 

Patti Atkins, APR

William W. Marsh was a towering figure in Oregon public relations, and was referred to as, “the dean of public relations in Oregon.” In 1963, Marsh served as president of what was then the Columbia River Chapter of PRSA. In his honor, the Oregon Chapter of PRSA presents the William W. Marsh Lifetime Achievement Award to a chapter member who has advanced the field of public relations, accomplished landmark professional achievements, and furthered the mission of PRSA. 

Patti Atkins has taken PRSA’s motto to heart – advancing the profession and the professional. Her career achievements, service to our chapter and dedication to helping our members attain their accreditation are amazing. 

Patti is a successful and highly ethical public relations executive with broad global experience in business-to-business, public education, state government, high technology, consumer products and health care. 

She is one of our most active PRSA members, serving as chapter president, secretary, treasurer and assembly delegate, as well as the chair or member of dozens and dozens of chapter committees. She has helped dozens of public relations practitioners earn their accreditation. 

Ron Schmidt Community Involvement Award 

G. Harvey Gail, MBA

The Ron Schmidt Community Involvement Award is named for a person who had a regional and national impact on public relations. This award honors the outstanding use of public relations to support community improvement and important causes. It is presented to a public relations practitioner who has used public relations to better the community, engage others and further the practice and innovation of our profession.

This year’s honoree is Harvey Gail, MBA. He’s a successful public relations professional and business owner (VanNatta Public Relations and Spire Management in Salem, OR), but he’s also a dedicated community advocate and volunteer. If you look behind the scenes at almost any Salem charitable event, you’ll see that Harvey is involved. Community service is something that Harvey is passionate about. He puts his extensive communication skills to use helping support West Salem Rotary, The Salem Dream Center, Scouts BSA, Salem Rowing Club, his church and dozens of other nonprofits.

Harvey is passionate about the public relations profession. He’s helped organize PR training events for non-profit organizations, small businesses and political candidates. He’s mentored more than 100 interns at his firm over the last two decades.

He was an active member of the Oregon Capital Chapter of PRSA serving in many different leadership roles and helping put together dozens of professional development events. 

Olga M. Haley Mentorship Award 

Julie Reed, APR, MBA

A longtime member of the PRSA Portland Metro Chapter, Olga M. Haley served as president in 2003 and continuously gave back to the PRSA community by serving as a mentor to members of the chapter. Haley passed away in March 2014 at the age of 69, leaving behind an unparalleled legacy of mentorship, excellence and professionalism. The Olga M. Haley Membership Award is given to a PRSA Oregon Chapter member who demonstrates exceptional mentorship and supportiveness of others as they advance their careers in public relations. 

This year, Julie Reed, APR, MBA is our very deserving recipient. Recently retired from an award-winning career in public relations, most recently in health care, Julie is a consummate professional. She’s admired and respected by many. Active in PRSA locally, Julie served in many board roles including chapter president. As chair of the 2018 Communicator’s Conference, she mentored many volunteers on how to run a very successful event. 

Julie coached and guided many fellow public relations professionals with her thoughtful advice and award-winning experience. Her encouraging manner gives people a big boost on their way to their career goals.

Spotlight Awards

The Spotlight Awards showcase the best of our industry and really the best of the profession. These awards were given high marks by the judges for exceptional campaigns and tactics that exceeded goals, got noticed and measured much success.

  • Internal Communications: VanNatta Public Relations for Introducing 911 Dispatchers to the Salem Fire Foundation
  • Community Relations: A.wordsmith for the Talent Urban Renewal Agency / Gateway Transitional Housing Project in Talent, Ore.
  • Brand Management: Quinn Thomas for Build Oregon Brand Campaign
  • Media Relations: Finn Partners for Relaunching an Iconic Luxury Hotel
  • Social Media: Amico PR for Using short social videos to engage youth in a megaproject
  • Website: Amico PR for Infusing Equity and Accountability into a Megaproject Website
  • Editorial: Amico PR for Physical and mental health are equally important for strong teams

Best in Show

The Best in Show distinction is presented to the award recipient with the highest overall score. This year’s recipient is –

  • Brand Management: Quinn Thomas for Build Oregon Brand Campaign

Merit Awards

The Merit awards were found to be of good quality and merited honorable mentions for all the hard work.

  • Printed Communications: VanNatta Public Relations for Recognizing Women in Medicine:  Marion-Polk County Medical Society ChartNotes
  • Feature Story: VanNatta Public Relations for World War II Vets from Salem Get to Soar in Vintage Aircraft
  • Internal Communications: Del Monte Foods for Del Monte Foods’ First-Annual Team Member Survey
  • Podcast: Finn Partners for Changing how physicians and healthcare providers treat obesity
  • Videos: Amico Public Relations for Using video to humanize the concrete and steel of the Interstate Bridge
  • News Release: News Writing Pro, LLC for “Despite long odds, Lasheera Chamber opens her own barbershop in Portland”
  • Marketing Campaign: Tualatin Valley Water District for Backflow Testing Compliance: An A/B test of messaging

Participation and membership in PRSA — advancing the profession in line with the standards and ethics of our association and honoring our work that upholds these values — is so important to our practice and the many organizations and communities served by this work. 

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