The Arkansas Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) held its annual Prism Awards event Sept. 21, honoring exceptional public relations programs and skills of the state’s practitioners, companies and organizations. 

“As PR practitioners, this is one of our favorite events: seeing what each of us has been doing and celebrating each other’s triumphs,” said Shira Kelley, APR, chairperson of the Prisms Committee. “Arkansas communicators constantly develop exciting and innovative ways to promote clients and meet challenges in a rapidly changing world, and we love this time to share success stories.”

As part of the festivities, the chapter awarded the PRSA Crystal Award to Heide Harrell, APR, MA. Harrell is vice president and communications director of the Private Wealth Management Division at Stephens and is a former Arkansas PRSA president and current national PRSA board member. The Crystal Award is the highest award presented by the chapter’s Past Presidents Council, recognizing significant and continuous contributions to the PR profession and to PRSA.

Accepting the award, Harrell said, “Becoming a member of the Arkansas PRSA Chapter in 2006 was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, both professionally and personally. To join this elite and prestigious group of Crystal Award winners, I’m truly humbled and honored.”

Little Rock public relations agency The Peacock Group won the 2023 Bob Sells Best of Show Award for La Petite Roche Global Service Award.

This year’s Prism Awards had 67 entries in categories ranging from community relations to social media. Members of the Oregon chapter of PRSA judged entries. Former Miss Arkansas and Arkansas Food Bank’s director of external affairs Ebony Mitchell emceed the event. The evening was sponsored by The Sells Agency, Empower Healthcare Solutions, UA Little Rock Alumni Association, Rose Law Firm and MHP/Team SI.

Winners are as follows:

Institutional Programs

Winner: MHP/Team SI – Little Rock Cultural Promotions 

Finalist: MISO – Community Impact Report

Internal Communications

Winner: MHP/Team SI – Content Studio

Content Marketing

Winner: MHP/Team SI – Neurolens

Crisis Communications, sponsored by Rose Law Firm

Winner: The Peacock Group – Navigating the CTEH Plane Crash of February 2023

Public Affairs

Winner: MHP/Team SI – Draft Day 2023

Finalist: The Peacock Group – Every Child Arkansas

Public Relations on a Shoestring Budget

Winner: MHP/Team SI – Arkansas Women’s Commission

Finalist: The Peacock Group – Illuminate the Rock

Special Events & Observances, Less Than 7 Days

Winner: The Peacock Group – Giving Birth in America

Finalist: MHP/Team SI – Leveraging VIP Charity to Spice Up Chuy’s Fayetteville Opening

Special Events & Observances, More Than 7 Days

Winner: The Communications Group – Arkansas Soybean Month

Finalist: MHP/Team SI – Prostate Awareness Month

Reputation and Brand Management, sponsored by Empower Healthcare Solutions

Winner: SixtyOne Celsius – The Stone Ranger

Other Public Relations

Winner: The Peacock Group – La Petite Roche Global Service Award

Finalist: MHP/Team SI – Making the Most of NIL

Finalist (tied): The Communications Group – CGXperience 

Creative Tactics

Winner: The Communications Group – ComGroup Classic

Finalist: MHP/Team SI – Show Me the Money Strategy

Feature/News Writing

Winner: MHP/Team SI – Data Driven Thought Leadership

Finalist: The Peacock Group – Home Screens to Foster Homes

Media Relations

Winner: The Peacock Group – Giving Birth in America

Finalist: Arkansas Heart Hospital – Can Your Heart Handle a Haunted House?


Winner: MHP/Team SI – UA Little Rock CyberLearn Recruitment

Finalist: The Communications Group – Women in Industry

Advertising Support

Winner: MHP/Team SI – Support NIL with Advertising (KJ Jefferson & Rock Dental Brands)

Social Media & Influencers

Winner: The Communications Group – Women in Industry podcast

Finalist: MHP/Team SI – Keeping Up With KJ 

Promotional Printed Pieces

Winner: MHP/Team SI – Arkansas Food Hall of Fame Food of the Year

Finalist: The Communications Group – 2022 Research Annual Report 


About Arkansas PRSA
The Arkansas Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America is dedicated to developing and enriching the professional lives of public relations practitioners. The chapter seeks to build an understanding and support for public relations throughout the business community and within the academic community for future practitioners. From monthly meetings and professional development seminars to awards competitions and promotion of the profession, the chapter provides opportunities to enhance professional growth and networking throughout the year.

About Heide Harrell, APR, MA
With nearly 20 years of public relations, communications and marketing experience, Heide Harrell, APR, currently serves as vice president and communications director of the Private Wealth Management Division at Stephens, one of the largest, privately held independent investment firms off of Wall Street. She oversees communications for the division as well as assists in relationship-building opportunities for its financial consultants across the U.S. 

Prior to joining Stephens, Heide was director of marketing and business development at Rose Law Firm, the oldest law firm west of the Mississippi. She spent nearly six years at Stone Ward as a senior public relations account manager and senior brand manager. Heide also worked at Mangan Holcomb Partners as a public relations account executive as well as five years, for now, Congressman J. French Hill at the former Delta Trust & Bank as a communications and marketing officer.

She earned a Bachelor’s degree in speech communication from the University of Central Arkansas and a Master’s degree in applied communication studies from UA at Little Rock. 

Heide is a past president of the PRSA Arkansas Chapter, past chair of the Southwest District and was a member of the 2018 PRSA Board of Directors Nominating Committee. She was elected to serve on the PRSA National Board of Directors in 2019 and 2021. In 2022, Heide was elected by the PRSA Officer Nominating Committee to serve on the 2023 Executive Committee as Secretary.

Heide is a graduate of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce Leadership Greater Little Rock Class XXIX, the 2021 Arkansas Business Executive Leadership Academy and serves as president of the UA Little Rock Alumni Association Board of Directors. In 2020, she was selected as an honoree in the 27th class of Arkansas Business 40 Under 40.