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Gadsden State’s Public Relations and Marketing Department earns state awards

The Public Relations and Marketing Department at Gadsden State Community College earned six awards for exemplary work at the Alabama Community College System Public Relations Association Conference. It was held Sept. 4-6 in Orange Beach. Pyramid Awards, Certificates of Achievement and Certificates of Merit were awarded to top PR and marketing projects among the state’s community colleges.

“We are very proud of the accomplishments of our Public Relations and Marketing Department,” said Jackie Brehm Edmondson, director. “We have a great team that works together to spread the message about Gadsden State and all it has to offer our communities.”

A Pyramid Award (first place) was earned in Newswriting for a feature written about Nadia Katbi, a Syrian immigrant who was crowned Gadsden State’s Homecoming Queen. The article was written by Edmondson and has been featured in many local, state and national publications and online resources.

A Pyramid Award was also received in the Fundraising Event category for the Swoop Sprint 5K. The scholarship fundraiser is a Gadsden State Cardinal Foundation event that was organized by Brandy Hyatt, the public relations and marketing specialist, and the Gadsden Runners Club.

In addition, a unique promotional item was given a first-place Pyramid Award. The technology tattoos – Gadsden State stickers that can be placed on devices such as tablets, cell phones and laptops – were designed by Kasey Langley, website and social media specialist. Kathy Brown, administrative assistant, is responsible for the coordination of all promotional items at the College.

A Certificate of Achievement (second place) went to Electronic Publications for the annual President’s Report, which was written by Edmondson and designed by Langley. The President’s Report can be seen at

Certificates of Merit (third place) were earned by the PR and Marketing Department in two categories. The “Watch Me Fly” campaign was recognized in the Public Relations and Marketing Campaign category. The campaign includes billboards, print ads, social media campaign, digital advertising and a television commercial. The department worked with Venture Marketing on the production of the TV commercial and the digital advertising campaign.

The groundbreaking events held in July 2018 at the Cheaha Center on the Ayers Campus and the science building on the East Broad Campus received a third-place award in the Special Events category. The groundbreaking ceremonies were organized by Edmondson and the Gadsden State Events Committee.

“It is always a pleasure to be recognized by our peers and other PR professionals,” Edmondson said. “The world of PR and marketing is ever-changing, and it’s the workshops and educational conferences provided by industry organizations, like ACCSPRA, that keep us on top of the trends in communicating to prospective and current students as well as parents, community stakeholders and secondary educators and influencers.”

The National Council for Marketing and Public Relations also announced last week that Gadsden State is a Top 3 finalist for three awards that will be given at the Medallion Awards dinner next month in Asheville, N.C. The categories are Electronic Publication for the President’s Report, College Promotional Brand Video for the “Watch Me Fly” testimonial video and Television/Video Advertisement for the “Watch Me Fly” commercial. Other Alabama community colleges to be announced as finalists include Coastal Alabama and Wallace State.

To view the testimonial video and TV commercial, visit the Gadsden State channel on YouTube.