Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Jas N Smith - School PR Pro & Communications Strategist

I am Jas N Smith. I have a great deal of experience in media and public relations, and I am currently looking for a position in the communications, public relations or related fields.
My background includes serving as a communication director, PR coordinator, social media manager, on-line community manager, and working as a television journalist. 

Most recently, I have served as communication director for the Hattiesburg Public School District, where my responsibilities included handling: 
  • media relations
  • internal & external communications 
  • crisis management
  • public relation strategies
  • project management
  • community relations
  • event management
  • social media management 
  • vendor relations
  • policy development
 ...and many other duties that I feel would be applicable to a variety of other situations.

In 2016, I was recognized as the State Communicator of the Year by both the Mississippi School Public Relations Association AND the Mississippi Association of School Administrators.  I've also earned recognition and awards for newsletters (print & electronic), publications, handbooks, and photography.

Additionally, I have worked in television and network newsrooms, retail environments, and done small business communication support. In these positions, I developed the ability to meet strict broadcast deadlines, problem-solve in a fast-paced environment, and resolve a variety of issues.  In my most recent position, I also oversaw the operations of the HPSD Print Shop and Communication Department staff and interns.

In recent years I have been asked to present to students at universities about communication, public relations, social media, and community building. William Carey University has asked me to conduct an annual session for graduate students related to communication for schools. I am also a regular speaker for various community events, faith-based organizations, and parent workshops.

I am proficient in office software, HTML, copy-editing, digital photography, and Photoshop. Please see my resume for greater detail on my experience and education.

Here are a few news stories that I was interviewed for:

I also filmed and edited some videos to highlight different things happening around the district.

I am confident that I can offer the communication and public relations skills you are seeking for your organization. Feel free to email me at jasnsmith@gmail.com for more information. 

Thank you.

Jas N Smith

Monday, April 3, 2017

2016-17 MSPRA Awards of Excellence Winners

Mississippi School Public Relations Association - March 31, 2017

MSPRA announces 2016-17 Awards of Excellence winners

GREENVILLE — Mississippi’s public schools work in numerous ways to communicate with their students, parents, staff, and communities and some of those efforts were recently recognized.

During the Mississippi School Public Relations Association’s annual awards dinner on March 8 at Harlow’s Casino in Greenville, Miss., school districts and school public relations professionals from across the state were honored for their publications, marketing efforts and online communications. The recognitions are part of MPSRA’s annual Awards of Excellence program.

“This year’s program was very informative and, on behalf MSPRA, I would like to congratulate all of the winners and every person who submitted an entry into this year’s contest, said Everett Chinn, MSPRA President and Greenville Public School District’s Public Relations Specialist. “We look forward to continuing growing our program for years to come.”

The highest honor given was the Gold Medallion Award, which recognizes outstanding Public Relations campaigns. The recipient of this year’s Gold Medallion is Debbie Anglin, Pascagoula-Gautier School District. Anglin also won first place for Excellence in Photography.

The awards ceremony was a portion of the MSPRA three-day Nuts & Bolts Social Media conference which included keynote speaker Dawn Dugle of Dugle Media. Miss Mississippi Laura Lee Lewis was a featured guest speaker and helped present awards during the ceremony. Mississippi House Representative Jay Hughes also provided Legislative updates. The conference included various speakers from the education, public and legislative sectors who shared important information for public relations professionals.

The complete list of the 2016-17 Awards of Excellence winners includes:

  • Margaret Tynes, Petal Schools
    • First Place, Calendars
    • First Place, Identity/Image Packages
    • First Place, Audio/Visual Programs and Presentations
  • Elizabeth McDonald, Meridian Public School District
    • First Place, Handbooks
    • Second Place, Marketing Materials
  • Monique Gilmore, McComb School District
    • First Place, Electronic Newsletters
    • Third Place, Calendars
    • Third Place, Special Purpose Publications
    • Third Place, Marketing Materials
    • Third Place, Internet/Intranet
  • Melanie Shannon, New Albany School District
    • First Place, Multimedia Projects
    • First Place, Internet, Intranet
    • Second Place, Calendars
  • Lauren Hitchcock, Oxford Public Schools
    • First Place, Special Purpose Publications
    • Second Place, Special Purpose Publications
    • Certificate of Merit, Coordinated School Health
  • Jennifer Pyron, Biloxi School District
    • First Place, Marketing Materials
  • Debbie Anglin, Pascagoula-Gautier School District
    • Gold Medallion
    • First Place, Excellence in Photography
  • Sherwin Johnson, Jackson Public Schools
    • Second Place, Handbooks
    • Second Place, Audio/Visual Programs and Presentations
    • Second Place, Internet/Intranet
    • Third Place, Handbooks
    • Certificate of Merit, Annual Reports
  • Beverly Luckett, Canton Public Schools
    • Second Place, Electronic Newsletters
    • Second Place, Multimedia Projects
    • Second Place, Excellence in Photography
    • Third Place, Multimedia Projects
    • Third Place, Audiovisual Programs and Presentations
  • Gail Daigneault, Grenada Public Schools
    • Second Place, Identity/Image Packages
    • Third Place, Identity/Image Packages
  • Steven Richardson, Natchez-Adams School District
    • Second Place, Gold Medallion
    • Third Place, Gold Medallion
    • Certificate of Merit, Excellence in Writing
  • Leigh Anne Biggs, Long Beach School District
    • Third Place, Excellence in Photography
  • Robbie Buchanan, Grenada Public Schools
    • Certificate of Merit, Print Newsletters

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

My Talks With Bill Minor

Bill Minor died this morning. He chronicled of some of the uglier parts of Mississippi's history for the last half of the Twentieth Century.

I had the privilege of meeting him one afternoon when I lived in Jackson. It's no secret that I'm a news-junkie and I'd read dozens of his columns. He was in the grocery store and I recognized him, but debated whether or not to bother him. Turns out it was no bother. He was happy to talk and talk we did.

We spoke for almost half an hour in the aisle of the Winn-Dixie. As shoppers passed around us, he told me stories of governors and politicians, Civil Rights protests and newsroom politics. It was a joy.
A couple years later I saw a story about his birthday and sent him a letter wishing him a belated happy birthday and hoping he was well. About a week later he called me to thank me for the letter. This time we had an even longer conversation about his career and his mother, what he thought of our current state leadership, and education. It was amazing. I even jotted notes about it in my copy of Eyes on Mississippi.

Bill was not shy about sharing his opinion which could be politely described as "progressive." He was a much needed voice for liberal ideas and political dissent in a state where both are rare and often derided.

I am so grateful that I got to speak with such a legend. His career was a gift to all of us. His talent and tenacity were inspiring and spoke to the core of what it means to be a "newsman." There will never be another, but hopefully there will be many who try because of the example he set.
Rest In Peace, Bill. You will be missed.

#journalist #journalism #mississippi #clarionledger #timespicayune #mississippinews #tribute