Second place in state for Borough video, crisis communications
Written by Patty Sullivan
Sunday, 27 January 2013 21:50
ANCHORAGE—Crisis communications during the federal flood disaster and a video on Port MacKenzie each earned second place in the Alaska Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America at a recent awards banquet on Jan. 24. Some 130 Alaska public relations professionals are members including business and industry, military, government, and marketing strategy firms.
Public Affairs Director Patty Sullivan and Media Design Specialist Stefan Hinman produced the video on the heavy lifting at Port MacKenzie of giant spools of cable from the hold of a ship onto a barge. The $5.4 million cargo is now connecting the Fire Island Wind project. The video included a time lapse of the ship and extreme tides, photographs, video clips, original music, informal narrative, and interviews.
In an online survey, 90 percent of respondents said they are either somewhat confidant or confident that Port MacKenzie is on track after watching the video.
The Borough also earned second place for crisis communications during the September flood disaster. A team of public information officers and some impromptu recruits worked 24 hours a day for a week to disseminate information to residents via facebook, Twitter, how-to videos, audio interviews, images, 98 press releases, three town hall meetings, and TV interviews. Maps of roads were posted hourly, showing more than 60 disrupted roads overall, 40 or more impassable at one time.
The Borough PIOs are Patty Sullivan-lead, Carol Vardeman, Pamela Ness, VickieLee Fenster, Mary Brodigan, and Stefan Hinman. In Talkeetna when river water inundated the town, Maureen McLaughlin, Amanda Randles, and Borough IT Director (CIO) Shannon Post gave updates on the crisis, sandbagging, and water quality.
The PIOs were the communication arm of a comprehensive effort of some 120 people who were working to mitigate the flood disaster, including the Incident Commanders Clint Vardeman, Casey Cook, and Dennis Brodigan.
The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) chartered in 1947 is the world’s largest and foremost organization of public relations professionals. The PRSA Alaska Chapter was established in 1973.
Photo: Top: Public Affairs Director Patty Sullivan and Media Design Specialist Stefan Hinman accepted two awards for the Mat-Su Borough. Middle: Borough PIOs left to right: Mary Brodian, Stefan Hinman, VickieLee Fenster, (front) Pam Ness, Carol Vardeman, and Patty Sullivan. Bottom photo: Amanda Randles, Maureen McLaughlin, and Shannon Post. For more information call Patty Sullivan 745-9577 or email