We’re excited to announce that it’s time for the 2017 East Central District Diamond Awards!  Click here for complete information.

The East Central District of the Public Relations Society of America is once again calling for shining examples of public relations campaigns and tactics for its 40th annual Diamond Awards competition.

The Diamond Awards are presented to public relations practitioners who have successfully addressed a communication challenge with exemplary skill, creativity and resourcefulness.

The Diamond Awards are open to any public relations professional who is a member of the 17 chapters of PRSA East Central District, or any nonmember whose place of business is within the district’s boundaries. The East Central District covers the states of Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

We’re also pleased to announce that the Central Michigan PRSA chapter is leading the Diamond Awards process this year and next and has some great plans in store. This year we are using an online entry program, Omni Contests, that will allow you to enter and pay for your entries completely online.  You can also start your entry at one time, then complete it at a later date.  Also, if your chapter uses the Omni Contest system, you can use your same user name and password from your chapter competition to enter the same award at the District level! Be on the lookout for messaging support soon within your chapters for the Diamond Awards!  In the meantime, we would ask that you share this Call for Entries with your chapter members.

Speaking of which, take a moment to Save the Dates below to ensure you’re planning accordingly (each deadline has a separate entry fee):
Early E
ntry Deadline: Friday, September 8, 2017
Regular Entry Deadline:  Friday, September 15, 2017
Extended Entry Deadline:  Friday, September 22, 2017

Now is an excellent time to begin reviewing your campaigns and tactics for submission. If you’ve already won at the chapter competition level, this is the perfect opportunity for the potential of additional professional recognition.  Remember that strategic, multifaceted public relations campaigns that exemplify the four-step process and meet specific goals are ideal for campaigns. A single project designed to accomplish a specific purpose that may be part of a larger campaign is perfect entries for tactics.

Start your planning now! We’re so looking forward to seeing all of the entries and winners this year. For more information, contact

One of Our Founders Passed Away

BRIDGEPORT — Raymond Jack Powers, age 81, went to be with the Lord on Saturday, August 5, 2017. Jack was born in Huntington, West Virginia, on February 16, 1936. He was the son of his two beloved parents, Orval and Hazel Powers.

He was one of the founding members of the West Virginia Chapter of PRSA.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Jacqueline “Jackie” Powers, along with his son Jerry Powers and his wife Mary, and daughter Jenny Gee. He will be greatly missed by his four grandsons, Josh Gee and wife Jessica, Justin Gee and wife Rachel, RJ Powers and Ryan Powers and wife Sarah, two granddaughters, Jessie Gee and Michael, and Jackie Gee and Justin, and seven great-grandchildren.

After graduating from Marshall with a teaching degree, Jack worked as a 4-H Extension Agent, was the Public Relations Manager at Consolidated Gas, Mayor of Bridgeport and built his real estate company with his son, starting out as Your Property Center on Main Street, Bridgeport, which after a few years became Re/Max Property Center with Jerry still involved as Broker. Jack was active in the Lions Club and Jaycees, was on the Clarksburg Library Board and attended the Bridgeport United Methodist Church.

Jack was an avid hunter, golfer and fisherman and enjoyed spending time doing these things with his family and friends.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association West Virginia, 1601 Second Avenue, Charleston, WV 25387.

Online condolences may be made to the family at

Chapter & Verse | August 2017

Please visit our August issue of Chapter & Verse for articles on the “PRSA at the Park” event, opportunities to enter the PRSA – East Central District Diamond Awards competition, our August 16 “Trivia Night” event with AAF-WV, the upcoming calendar and a message from President Brandon Totten.

President’s Corner | August 2017

It is hard to believe it is July already and we will soon be looking at cooler days, school buses and hearing football practices as we continue through our chapter’s 38th year.

Our “PRSA at the Park,” courtesy of Jeri Matheney, APR, Fellow PRSA and AEP, is a wonderful event that allows our members an opportunity to meet outside of our normal meeting atmosphere and enjoy some great food and baseball.

As I look down the road towards the end of my year as President of PRSA-WV, there are some fantastic opportunities for our chapter and our membership. In August, we will join with American Advertising Federation – West Virginia Chapter for a social networking event and September PRSA-WV members will participate in the United Way’s Day of Caring event.

In October, we return to the campus of Fairmont State University for our second Professional Development Day of the year.

Also, as part of your membership with the PRSA-WV Chapter, you have free access to almost 20 webinars through the national PRSA website.  The cost for these training webinars are $200 for non-members and feature topics from writing to reputation management to today’s practices in media pitching and more.

Please stay tuned to your e-mail, and the PRSA website and social media for updates on our August event with the AAF–WV. We have a few details to finalize for the upcoming event and we hope to see everyone there for this unique occasion.

Again, thank you for your membership in PRSA-WV,

Brandon S. Totten

Chapter & Verse | July 2017

Please visit our July issue of Chapter & Verse for articles on the Crystal Awards Gala, our July 12 meeting, “PRSA at the Park,” the upcoming calendar and a message from President Brandon Totten.

President’s Corner | July 2017

I can’t express how happy and pleased I was to see the tremendous public relations work on display at our annual Crystal Awards Gala last week. I remember attending my first Crystal Awards Gala at the Charleston Civic Center and being surrounded by a long list of prestigious names and companies within our field. It was a humbling, and surreal, experience to stand before some of those same individuals as the president of the chapter.
Please share your Crystal Award achievements with your clients, co-workers and peers within the communications industry. Help them see the value in public relations and how great practices play a vital role in all industries. From non-profit to student groups, the Crystal Awards provide the opportunity to educate those who believe public relations doesn’t deserve a seat at the table. Again, congratulations to all the winners. Information on ordering duplicate awards has been emailed to all winners and orders are due by June 30.
Now, it is time for us to have a lot of fun. Join us for our annual “PR at the Park,” an evening of baseball at the Appalachian Power Park on Wednesday, July 12, at 5:30 p.m. The event, sponsored by Appalachian Power, is $20 for PRSA-WV members and $10 for guests.

At the event, you can also register to win tickets to an upcoming Power game. Registration for the event is open on the website at
Thanks, and I hope to see everyone, and a guest, at the Power Park.


Chapter & Verse | June 2017

Please visit our June issue of Chapter & Verse for articles on PR and Health Care: CAMC Experience, the ROI on board service, the Crystal Awards Gala meeting notice, Crystal Awards sponsors, the upcoming calendar and a message from President Brandon Totten.

President’s Corner | June 2017

The time has arrived for our annual Crystal Awards Gala. Each year, this is our opportunity to shine a light on the best work our profession offers our clients and businesses. As the world of public relations continues to change, this premier event recognizes our best practices, campaigns and individual awards that mark West Virginia as a leader in the field.

From individual projects to statewide campaigns, our PRSA Crystal Awards gives a place for agencies, individuals in corporations, freelancers and students to put their best work forward in competition. The Crystal Awards is on Wednesday, June 14th, is again at the Culture Center in Charleston, and will feature music by Bob Thompson and our emcee is Charlie Cooper. Please bring an item for public service initiative to help “the Backpack Blessings” program that feeds 400-500 children per week along Elk River communities. Please bring:

  • Cans of Spagetti-Os/Ravioli.
  • Cans of soup.
  • Individual serving packages of fruit cups, juice boxes, cookies, Sun Chips and Little Debbie snacks. Finally, please mark your calendars for our annual “PRSA at the Park” on Wednesday, July 12th. For this event, again generously sponsored by AEP, PRSA members can bring a friend who may be interested in joining PRSA for $10. This is a relaxing event in which we can network, have food and drinks while watching baseball at Appalachian Power Park. It is one of my favorite PRSA events each year.

Thank you for your membership and support of PRSA-WV, and I hope to see everyone at the Culture Center next month.

Chapter & Verse | May 2017

Please visit our May issue of Chapter & Verse.

President’s Corner | May 2017

April has been Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) Month, and I want to recognize and say thank you to our chapter members who have achieved APR status, as well as those who are pursuing their APR. The APR will help you distinguish yourself from your peers and enhance the level of professionalism we offer our clients and companies. You can begin your APR journey on our website and connect with members on their journey and experiences in the APR process at our chapter meetings.

We are now a little less than two months away from the annual Crystal Awards Gala recognizing the incredible work being done by public relations professionals, educators and students across West Virginia. Each year at the Crystal Awards, we recognize individuals who have contributed to the public relations profession in significant ways.

Those awards, Young Professional of the Year, Student Chapter of the Year, Educator of the Year, The John Womack Chapter Service Award and Practitioner of the Year all represent the best of what we do daily.

Along with your own Crystal Award entries, I encourage everyone to nominate our peers for one of these prestigious awards.

The Crystal Awards Gala is Wednesday June, 14th at the Culture Center in Charleston, and we are working on a special event the day after the awards ceremony for our PRSSA student chapters. Stay tuned for more information!