Montgomery County won three silver awards and one gold award at the Blue Ridge Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America's 21st annual Summit Awards Gala on Nov. 15 at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center.
In the Public Service Announcement (PSA) category, both the gold and silver awards were given to Montgomery County for the Crazy for Cats video and the Sheriff's AID Panels 2017 video, respectively.
The Gold Summit Award recipient, Crazy for Cats, is a playful PSA intended to inform the Montgomery County community about the availability of adoptable cats at the new Animal Care and Adoption Center (ACAC). Since the former shelter accepted and adopted dogs only, this PSA helped raise awareness of the significant addition of cats at the new facility.
The PSA receiving the Silver Summit Award is the Sheriff's AID Panels 2017. This PSA is the first public demonstration of the Automatic Injury Detection System (AID) by the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Hank Partin advocated for Montgomery County to be used as a pilot community for the AID, which had previously only been used by the military and never by a police organization. The PSA is both a demonstration of the technology at work and an explanation of the intent for use of the technology by Montgomery County.
In addition, the county received a Silver Summit Award for the #AdoptASharkWeek social campaign, which featured images of cats and dogs dressed in shark costumes. The campaign helped increase pet adoptions and awareness of the new ACAC, resulting in 20 adoptions during the campaign and an increase in nearly 30 more adoptions than the month prior.
Finally, the Black Cat Appreciation Days special event received a Silver Summit Award. Black Cat Appreciation Days was a special cat adoption event at the ACAC. From August 17-20, the fee to adopt a black cat was reduced to $10. During this time, more than half of the available black cats at the center found homes.
The Summit Awards Gala is an annual recognition of the best in public relations and communications efforts by professional public relations practitioners in Southwest Virginia.
PRSA is the world's largest association of public relations professionals. Since 1992, the Blue Ridge Chapter, serving Central and Southwest Virginia, has strived to bring professionals together to enhance the practice, provide an exchange of experiences and ideals, and promote professional development. For more information on local programs, visit www.prsa-blueridge.org.