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Cedarville professor Dr. Mark Caleb Smith on a television newscast.

Cedarville Earns Prestigious PRism Awards

by Mark D. Weinstein, Executive Director of Public Relations

Cedarville University’s public relations department was awarded two PRism Awards by the Public Relations Society of America (Dayton Chapter) Thursday, May 5.  Dayton PRSA awarded 17 PRism awards and 7 Awards of Merit at its annual recognition lunch at the Dayton Art Institute.
Cedarville was recognized for its successful Ben Carson presidential rally in September 2015 and for its newly developed internal newsletter, “The Buzz.” Jim Amstutz, director of event services, Ryan Bower, assistant director of public relations and Mark D. Weinstein, executive director of public relations accepted the PRism for the Carson rally nomination; Bower and Weinstein accepted the award for The Buzz.
According to the nomination form submitted by Cedarville University of the Carson special event, the PR goal was to gain local, regional, and national media exposure from the rally. Meltwater News, a third-party media analytics firm in Chicago, reported the potential number of people viewing the story on TV reached 1.4 billion people worldwide for an advertising value of $22.8 million (if the exposure was purchased).
All of Dayton’s major media outlets covered the rally, as did CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, NBC, and The Associated Press.
The rally also served as a backdrop to an emotional story involving Carson and Adam Brandt, a senior admissions counselor, who had a brain tumor removed by Carson 20 years ago. The rally was the first time Carson and Brandt interacted since Brandt left the hospital as a five-year-old boy. This story was told on The Kelly File on Fox News later that evening.
The second PRism was for The Buzz, an electronic newsletter designed to keep the university’s faculty and staff aware of campus news and media interviews by colleagues. The university currently has a print version newsletter produced once a month, but the frequency of The Buzz has created a stir of excitement on campus.
The goal of The Buzz is to communicate employee accomplishments, to provide faculty and staff with useful information, and to open new communication channels between the public relations department and the faculty and staff.
In less than one year, research data proves The Buzz has been successful.
In a March 2016 survey of the campus community, 97.5% of employees always or regularly open The Buzz when it arrives in their email inbox.  Anecdotally, faculty communicated they felt The Buzz provided useful information that helped them to feel more connected with the university.
Cedarville University has now won three PRism awards within the past six years. The other award was for its successful event with Karl Rove that launched the Center for Political Studies at Cedarville University.
About the Public Relations Society of America
PRSA is the largest professional organization serving the U.S. public relations community. With a mission to “advance the profession and the professional,” PRSA provides news and information, thought leadership, continuing education and networking opportunities; sets standards of professional excellence and ethical conduct; and advocates for the business value of public relations and greater diversity among public relations professionals. Based in New York, PRSA comprises 110 local Chapters; 14 Professional Interest Sections that focus on specific industries and practice areas; and the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which is active at more than 340 colleges and universities.
Cedarville University
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,711 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit

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