KCC marketing team wins national award for Black History Month promotion

KCC Black History Month Poster

The National Council for Marketing and Public Relations recently honored Kellogg Community College’s Public Information and Marketing Department with a prestigious Paragon Award for the department’s efforts to promote Black History Month in early 2020.

The annual NCMPR Paragon Awards recognize outstanding achievement in design and communication at community and technical colleges in the United States and Canada. The awards competition is the only one of its kind and honors excellence exclusively among marketing and public relations professionals at two-year colleges.

Award recipients were announced March 17 during a virtual awards ceremony. KCC won a Paragon for a series of posters designed by Cab Rininger, Manager of Media Design at the College.

The KCC posters – displayed on free-standing boards and digital displays in January and February 2020 – drew attention to campus activities, including KCC’s Soul Food Luncheon and an African American History Museum field trip, while also incorporating quotes from important historical figures, including Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman.

The competition this year included hundreds of entries in 53 categories from colleges across North America. Entries were judged by marketing and public relations professionals from around the country.

Rininger said she was inspired by Dr. Gerald Case-Blanchard, Professor of Vocal Music at KCC, who suggested the campaign’s tagline, “Remembering the Past, Shaping the Future.”

“I wanted students to see themselves in the series next to other influential figures and feel motivated to shape the future,” Rininger said. “It’s an honor for me and a shared success for all of KCC that the materials were recognized and awarded among so many exceptional entries.”

Dr. Adrien Bennings, President of KCC, said the College continues to strengthen its embrace of equity, diversity and inclusion and valuing the lived experiences and perspectives of others.

“KCC is committed to creating an inclusive environment where we foster respect for others and support cultural understanding,” said Bennings said. “That’s why it’s particularly exciting to receive a national award for our work in promoting awareness of Black History Month and what it means for all of us at KCC.”

Eric Greene, who has led the PIM department since 2012 and is currently KCC’s Vice President for Strategy, Relations and Communications, said the department is driven by a passion for connecting current students, prospective students and community members with the many opportunities that are available to them at KCC.

“We hope everyone in our region understands that they have options at KCC and we hope everyone who comes to us as a student, fan, partner or guest feels a sense of belonging when they’re here,” Greene said. “Our promotion of Black History Month is one way we’re developing that sense of belonging, so we’re sincerely grateful that the NCMPR has recognized this work with a gold Paragon award.”

KCC’s PIM Department provides a variety of in-house strategy development, marketing management, graphic design services, print and document services and public relations leadership on behalf of the College. Prior to 2021, the department had won a total of seven Paragon awards for various projects since 2012. The department also has won 52 regional Medallion Awards from the NCMPR over that same period.

PIM employees include Eric Greene, Vice President for Strategy, Relations and Communications; Cab Rininger, Media Design Manager; June Lewis, Print and Document Services Process Specialist; Mike Loader, Print and Document Services Process Specialist; Brandon Smith, Media Design Process Specialist; Kristen Stolz, Department Specialist; and Simon Thalmann, Digital Marketing Manager.

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