Madison resident receives state and regional recognition in public relations field

Madison resident receives state and regional recognition in public relations field


A Madison resident has received statewide and regional recognition for her work in the field of public relations.  Jan Schaefer, who serves as Director of Communications for the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, was awarded top honors for social media management and social media writing by the Southern Publication Relations Federation, comprised of public relations practitioners from Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida.  

Jan’s work, related to MDEQ #FossilFriday social media posts, received a Lantern award for social media writing.  The Lantern is the highest regional honor for a public relations practitioner from these four states.  She was also awarded the second highest honor, a Lantern Award of Excellence, for social media management related to her work at MDEQ.  Entries are judged by a panel of public relations practitioners from another state and scored on a variety of measures that demonstrate knowledge and application of the four-step PR process (known as R-PIE) emphasizing research, planning, implementation, and evaluation of a public relations strategy. 

“I am the kid who loved to dig for arrowheads, and search the creek for cool rocks, and marvel at the imprints in all the rocks in our gravel driveway,” said Jan.  “So, when I came to MDEQ, I fell in love with our #FossilFriday posts which Geologist James Starnes handles.  He and our Executive Director trusted me with an idea to help increase the reach of our posts while maintaining all the great scientific content.  Our strategy worked and now even more people are enjoying our #FossilFriday journeys.  That’s all the reward I need!”

Jan’s work also recently won statewide honors from the Public Relations Association of Mississippi.  Jan is a member of the Central Chapter of PRAM.  She and her husband of 31 years, Terry Hedgepeth, reside in Madison.  They are proud parents of Schaefer, Blake, Kalli and Drew and are members of First Baptist Church of Madison. 

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