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The Rapidian voted Best in Show by West Michigan Public Relations Society

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

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The GRCF and its partner, the GRCMCenter were honored with the PRoof PRemier Award for The Rapidian.

The GRCF and its partner, the GRCMCenter were honored with the PRoof PRemier Award for The Rapidian. /Tommy Valdez

The launch campaign for The Rapidian was honored last night by the West Michigan Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America at the 25th annual PRoof awards. The Rapidian received a gold award in the Public Service category and then went on to win best in show, the PRemier Award. The Rapidian is a project of the Grand Rapids Community Media Center and is funded by the Grand Rapids Community Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The grassroots launch campaign for The Rapidian was created by Roberta F. King, APR, Vice President of PR and Marketing at Grand Rapids Community Foundation.  Guided by the principles of social media and consumer engagement, the launch of The Rapidian involved dozens of community meetings with a variety of audiences, reporter recruitment, outreach to nonprofits, the creation of The Rapidian website (by the Community Media Center), an integrated social media campaign and a New Year’s Eve style launch party.
The biggest boost to The Rapidian’s launch was acceptance by established Grand Rapids media to the project. Pre-launch, articles appeared in Rapid Growth, The Grand Rapids Press, The Grand Rapids Business Journal, on Michigan Radio and on local television stations. This acknowledgment helped The Rapidian gain ground with readers and create overall awareness.

“It isn’t often that a small budget, grassroots project like the launch of The Rapidian rises to the top in a competition like the PRoof Awards. I am pleased that the judges from the Volunteer Chapter of PRSA (Knoxville, TN) could see the merits of the planning, strategy, execution and results of this project,” said King. “The Rapidian is a community-owned project through and through. Everyone involved in The Rapidian shares in this honor.”

The launch of The Rapidian has been a model for other Knight Foundation grantees and new citizen journalism projects throughout the U.S. and has increased visibility not only for The Rapidian, but for the Community Media Center and Grand Rapids Community Foundation.

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 its nice to have such a great resource in our own community... its actually something that helps make this a community! And i like being a part of it all too