Herald News Report
FAIRBORN — Fairborn Public Relations Specialist Katie Lewallen is now a two-time PRism award winner, as judged by the Dayton Area Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).
“We’re so thrilled,” she said. “We weren’t expecting to win.”
The PRism award is the top award for entries who score an 85 or higher in the category an entry is submitted. Fairborn entered the Community Relations Category with a project that began in December relating to the community survey and information gathering for the upcoming trash and recycling contract. Judges commented that the entry had nice media coverage with a link to the questionnaire on the city’s main web page, information and links on Fairborn’s Facebook and Twitter pages, along with news articles and an enclosure with every utility bill issued in January 2016.
Since entering the award in 2015, the requirements have changed, which led Lewallen to believe there was a less-likely chance of winning. However, Lewallen was elated that it had scored as well as it did.
The City of Fairborn first went up for the award in 2014 and received a merit award, meaning it scored between 74 and 85 points. Last year and this year, it scored an 85 or above, which is grounds for winning the PRism award.
Lewallen initially started her career heading down the path of journalism. She served as the editor of her high school newspaper and later wrote for Sinclair Community College’s student newspaper, The Clarion. Upon earning her degree at Sinclair, she transferred to Ohio State University and changed her field of study from journalism to communications. Upon graduating, she worked for a credit union in Columbus, but found a job opportunity that would allow her to move back to Dayton and use her skills to help popularize internet banking. She landed a clerk of council position for the City of Fairborn in 2005. Two years later, the city created the public relations specialist position.
Lewallen is the first and only individual to hold that position.
She enjoys running the city’s Facebook page, as well as creating the newsletter, as both serve as an opportunity to be creative.
Herald News Report compiled by Whitney Vickers.