PRAL Central News

PRAL Central Announces 2019 Award Recipients

The Public Relations Association of Louisiana – Central Chapter recognized outstanding work in the field of public relations during the Cypress Awards ceremony held recently. Awards, including Awards of Merit, Awards of Excellence and Cypress Awards, were given within two tiers. Judges also select the overall Best of Show Award and a Judges’ Choice Award. Two individual honors were also given out, Practitioner of the Year and Member of the Year.

“Awards programs like these allow public relations practitioners to have their work judged by a jury of their peers,” said Sarah Clancy, APR, the 2019 president for PRAL Central and public relations coordinator at Rapides Regional Medical Center. “Whether you take a home a trophy or not, the awards and comments from the judging panel, give us feedback that can be used to enhance our understanding of the public relations process, improve our writing, editing and design skills, and see how other practitioners approach similar issues.”

PRAL Central’s Practitioner of the Year Award was created to recognize and honor public relations professionals who have distinguished themselves through the past year. The judges said of this year’s honoree, “an active PR practitioner for 15 years, she has not only been extremely active with PRAL on a local and state level, but she has also worked within her local community on a wide range of community-service projects.”The 2019 PRAL Central Practitioner of the Year Award went to Kelli West, TMP, Director of Marketing and Communications, Natchitoches Convention and Visitors Bureau.

"Being recognized as the Practitioner of the Year from the pool of this year's nominees is an incredible honor," said West. "I am truly fortunate to be able to do what makes me happy every day."

PRAL Central’s Member of the Year Award was established to recognize a member who has gone above and beyond to contribute to the chapter through his or her time and talents. The honor was awarded to Micah A. Walker, MBA, Assistant Vice President – Marketing and Public Relations, Southern Heritage Bank.

Rapides Regional Medical Center (RRMC) was honored with the overall Best of Show Award for their entry: Campaigns & Strategic Programs: Lagniappe: Nurse Recruitment Campaign. RRMC was also honored with a Cypress Award for the same project.

The Judges’ Choice Award went to Southern Heritage Bank for: Campaigns & Strategic Programs: External Relations – New Lender Campaign. The campaign also received an Award of Excellence.

Also receiving Awards of Excellence were:

  • Louisiana State University Alexandria: Tactics: Publications & Writing: LSUA Travel Piece
  • Sarah Catherine Laborde: Tactics: Publications & Writing: A Prime Time For Reading
  • RoyOMartin: Campaigns & Strategic Programs: Internal Communications: RoyOMartin 95th Anniversary Video Project
  • Visual Concepts & Designs: Tactics: Branding or Rebranding: Holy Savior Menard Rebrand
  • Sarah Catherine Laborde: Campaigns & Strategic Programs: Integrated Social Media Campaign: Manna House Summer Spotlights
  • Southern Heritage Bank: Campaigns & Strategic Programs: Integrated Social Media Campaign: Facebook Launch

Two Awards of Merit were also handed out to:

  • Louisiana State University Alexandria: Tactics: Publications & Writing: LSUA Alumni Magazine
  • Louisiana State University Alexandria: Tactics: Lagniappe: LSUA Gala Video

To learn more about the Public Relations Association of Louisiana or to join the organization, visit




PRAL Central, the area’s only professional public relations organization, has announced its 2018 Board of Directors. They are as follows:

President: Micah A. Walker, MBA*◊ (Southern Heritage Bank); Immediate Past President and Vice President of Student Services: Sarah Black (Louisiana State University Alexandria); Vice President for Programming: Kelli M. West* (Alexandria Pineville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau); Vice President for Membership: Sarah Clancy, APR*◊ (Rapides Regional Medical Center); Vice President for Projects/Ethics: Christi Thomas (Fox48); Secretary/Communications: Amanda Guillot (RoyOMartin) Treasurer: Bridgette Ward (D’Argent Companies); APR Chair: Missy Laborde (Louisiana State University Alexandria)


PRAL Central is the local chapter of the Public Relations Association of Louisiana, an affiliate of the Southern Public Relations Federation. Membership meetings are held the second Friday of every month and are open to members and the general public. 


*denotes members serving on the PRAL State Board of Directors

◊denotes members serving on the Southern Public Relations Federation Board of Directors