MaverickPR, the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s (UNO) student-run public relations firm, was recognized this week as one of the nation’s best during the 2013 National Conference for the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), taking home six individual awards - a first for the group.
Among the top awards taken home by MaverickPR this week included first place for the chapter’s entry for this year’s National Organ Donor Awareness Competition (NODAC); the F.H. Teahan National Chapter Community Service Award; the F.H. Teahan Outstanding Faculty Adviser Award for MaverickPR Adviser Karen Weber; the National President’s Citation Award for chapter president and graduate student Megan Romero; the Star Chapter Award and Best Firm Tactic for MaverickPR’s promotion of Omaha pastry shop Mockingbird Cupcakes.
The PRSSA 2013 National Conference took place Friday, Oct. 25, through Tuesday, Oct. 29, in Philadelphia. The team was represented at the conference by 10 students from the School of Communication in the College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media (CFAM).
Each of the projects and participants that received awards represent the culmination of hard work and creativity.
“Our students spend countless hours actively engaged in public relations and other communication work that directly benefits the campus and community,” Weber said. “These awards represent a legacy of hard work and professionalism from our students past and present.”
In April 2013, MaverickPR launched its award-winning Organ Donor Awareness campaign in partnership with the Nebraska Organ Recovery System with an organ-donor drive outside of the Milo Bail Student Center, a guest speaking event led by heart transplant recipient Scott Stanley, and a cupcake giveaway featuring cupcakes from the team’s client – Mockingbird Cupcakes.
The team’s work with Mockingbird Cupcakes, which included free samples at charitable events, creating a Facebook page, starting a YouTube page and expertly designed press kits, was featured earlier this year by the Omaha World-Herald.
Weber, who earned this year's advising award, has been the MaverickPR advisor for 14 years while Romero, who earned the National President’s Citation, has been with MaverickPR for two years, starting during her senior year as a management major at UNO.
This also marks the fifth time in the past decade the chapter has earned the national community service award. The award recognizes steps taken by the chapter for community service initiatives such as its backpack drive for Youth Emergency Services and its Santa Paws event for Hearts United for Animals as well as its volunteer activities for such organizations as the Alzheimer’s Association of the Midlands and Ultra Chic Prom, a benefit for the Lydia House.
Additionally, as Star Chapter, MaverickPR was recognized for its impressive recruiting efforts, increasing the chapter’s personnel to 40 members.
Each award marks a continuation of previous years’ successes, including being named the nation’s Outstanding PRSSA Chapter in 2009 and 2012.
“At UNO we are well aware of the talent and dedication of our students, and of Karen as their advisor, but these recognitions help highlight our commitment to excellence to a national audience,” said Gail F Baker, dean of CFAM. “These awards reflect positively on CFAM, UNO and the Omaha-Metro area.”
PRSSA is the pre-eminent professional organizations for students interested in public relations with more than 10,000 members from 300-plus chapters across the country.
For more information on MaverickPR, please contact Charley Reed, UNO media relations coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 402.554.2129.