Two members of The Northwest Florida Coast Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) were presented with Communicator of the Year awards for excellence in public relations programming and projects at the recent Image Awards Ceremony in Pensacola. 

A Communicator of the Year represents an individual who exemplifies outstanding public relations skills. Individuals are nominated by their peers, based on their outstanding public relations skills and their overall impact on the local community.

Winners were selected by an awards committee comprised of local media professionals who are not FPRA members. Three media representatives for each chapter — from newspaper, magazine and digital media — were selected to serve as judges, based on their experience in the communications field. The judges scored the nominees based on the nominations and summaries provided, as well as on their personal media-to-PR-practitioner relationship, evaluating the nominees’ public relations experiences and impact on their local community. The judges’ scores were then averaged, and the awards were presented to the nominees who received the highest average in each of the three categories.

Jami Ray, chief communicator for Outright Social, won Communicator of the Year in the For-Profit Category. As a young professional, Northwest Florida Coast Chapter president Ray has established herself as an up-and-comer in the South Walton public relations scene, most notably launching her own agency one year ago. At Outright Social, she assists her clients in managing their online and social presence as an extension of their public relations efforts.

Ray has handled social media and audience engagement for area events including Digital Graffiti, 30A Songwriters Festival and ArtsQuest, communicating with more than 30,000 Facebook, Twitter and Instagram users. She has created, curated and managed communications for clients like 723 Whiskey Bravo, Magical Kingdom of Dance, Sandcastle Escapes, A List Salon and many others in addition to launching 30A Street Style, an online e-zine already making an impact on the local fashion scene.

She previously served as the community relations/public relations coordinator for Visit South Walton and as the membership & marketing director at Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club. Somewhere in the middle of her busy schedule, she found the time to serve as a part-time adjunct professor at FSU Panama City, from which she graduated with her Master’s degree.

Marcia Hull, executive director for the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation, won Communicator of the Year in the Non-Profit Category. With 35 years of communications and marketing experience, she has distinguished herself not only as an exemplary communications professional but also as a community leader. Over the past 14 years, Hull has established the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation as one of the Northwest Florida’s leading cultural charities, participating in countless fundraisers, education outreach events, media promotions and volunteer involvement in various civic organizations and committees, including active membership in FPRA. Her dedication, passion and ability to inspire positive community action make her a fitting recipient of this award.