Two UM employees win Lantern Awards for PR work

Published 6:00 am Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Southern Public Relations Federation recognized outstanding work in the field of public relations during the Lantern Awards ceremony held Sept. 22 at the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort in Point Clear, Alabama.

Awards, including Certificates of Merit, Awards of Excellence and Lantern Awards, were given within three tiers and a student category. Of the Lantern Awards given, the judges select the Best of Show Award and two Judges’ Choice Awards.

Local winners included University of Mississippi School of Education communications specialist Andrew M. Abernathy and academic counselor Kelvin Willingham who received the Lantern Award for The Education Minute, a monthly video news series delivered each month via Facebook.

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“It’s incredibly gratifying to see The Education Minute Facebook series honored by such an influential and respected organization,” said Abernathy. “We value our alumni, donors and students and seek to share their stories in exciting ways. I think we learn as much from them as they do from us each month.”

Abernathy serves as the series’ producer/director and Willingham as host.

“Presenting so much information in 60 seconds makes hosting the show both rewarding and challenging,” said Willingham. “I am so proud to be a part of the Education Minute team and honored to be recognized by the SPRF.”

Mississippi Department of Transportation received the William A. Taylor Best of Show Award for its “Get Your Game On” campaign designed around sports to inspire Mississippi residents not to litter.

Two Judge’s Choice awards were presented, one to The Focus Group for their campaign “Every Shrimp Has a Tail; Our Shrimp Have a Story” and one to Le Meridien New Orleans for their “Managing a Potential Identity Crisis: Transitioning W New  Orleans to Le Meridien New Orleans.”

About SPRF

Founded in 1972, SPRF is the umbrella organization for the Public Relations Council of Alabama, Public Relations Association of Mississippi, the Public Relations Association of Louisiana and Emerald Coast Public Relations Organization. SPRF exists to further the professional and networking interests of today’s public relations and  communication professionals in private, public and nonprofit businesses and  organizations. Along with networking, SPRF serves to advocate on behalf of and assist its members through ongoing professional development and defining ethical behavior.

For more information about SPRF, visit the organization’s website at