KUA Triumphs at FPRA Image Awards

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KISSIMMEE, Fla., April 27, 10:00 p.m. – Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) was among the big winners at the 2006 Image Awards, an annual competition sponsored by the Orlando Area Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association. The winners were announced Thursday evening at a ceremony held at the Orange County Regional History Center in Orlando.

The utility walked away with two of the competition’s highest honors — Grand Image Awards — as well as three Image Awards, one Award of Distinction and a Judges’ Award. Only three Grand Image Awards are awarded each year.

The Image Awards competition recognizes companies that exhibit and employ comprehensive public relations projects that meet the highest standards of excellence in four components of PR programming: research, planning, execution and evaluation.

An Image Award is presented to the top-scoring entry in each category. An Award of Distinction is presented to all entries that meet the standard of excellence set by a panel of judges. A Judges’ Award is presented by judges for an outstanding entry that achieves maximum results while using a minimum amount of money.

Image Award winners in each division are automatically considered for the Grand Image Award, representing the finest examples of public relations programming in Central Florida.

In the crisis communications category, KUA received an Image Award for its 2005 hurricane information campaign. The seven-month campaign included the development of electronic storm alerts, printed newsletters, a 36-page hurricane handbook and the hosting of a series of free neighborhood meetings designed to help residents prepare for the storm season. The campaign was implemented at a cost of 33 cents per utility customer. Additional information is available at http://www.kua.com/hurricane.

In the public relations programs division, KUA received an Award of Distinction for its decommissioning of the historic Roy E. Hansel diesel power plant. The month-long event featured public tours, a decommissioning ceremony and a commemorative poster giveaway. The total cost of the event was 12 cents per utility customer.

In the calendar/poster category, KUA received an Image Award and a Grand Image Award for its 2006 calendar of energy conservation. The annual calendar features the artwork of Osceola County students in an effort to support and encourage the conservation of electricity among utility customers. Copies of the calendar –10,000 in all — were provided free of charge to area teachers and students. The winning artwork is featured at http://www.kua.com/Community/Features/StudentArt06.

In the audio/visual division, KUA received a Judges’ Award, Image Award and a Grand Image Award for the online version of its 2005 annual report. The report — titled “A Lifetime of Power” — pays tribute to the Hansel diesel plant which was decommissioned in September after 104 years of continuous service. The report has been downloaded 1,600 times from the utility’s Web site since its debut on Feb. 10. The report is available online at http://www.kua.com/corporate/press/reports.

The winning entries will now advance to FPRA’s statewide level of competition, known as the Golden Image Awards.

KUA has earned 183 local, state, national and international communication awards for public relations programs, events and publications since 1995.

Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility providing electric and telecommunication services to 170,000 residents in five Central Florida counties.

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Chris M. Gent
(407) 933-7777 x 1116