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New gifts support public relations at Cronkite School

July 27, 2012

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University has received two gifts to support the school’s public relations program.

In honor of its 50th anniversary, Phoenix-based public relations agency E.B. Lane has established the E.B. Lane Scholarship in honor of Diane Lane at the Cronkite School. The agency will contribute $1,000 per year for five years to support a Cronkite student specializing in public relations.  

The scholarship is the first at the Cronkite School that specifically benefits public relations students. The inaugural E.B. Lane Scholarship has been awarded for fall 2012 to senior Jennifer Crane of Chandler, Ariz.

“ASU is our community university, and we’re proud to establish this scholarship in support of the Cronkite School and its students,” said Beau Lane, CEO of E.B. Lane and an Arizona native. “My mother, Diane, started the public relations department at E.B. Lane nearly 50 years ago, making it the first agency in Phoenix to offer public relations services. This scholarship is a tribute to her, along with our agency’s legacy of being in business for half of Arizona’s statehood.”

The Phoenix chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, the world’s largest organization of public relations professionals, has committed $15,000 over three years to support the Cronkite School’s Public Relations Lab, a full-immersion professional program that puts advanced public relations students to work developing campaigns and strategies in a real-world environment.

The lab functions like a public relations agency, with students serving in roles that mirror those in a professional setting and developing campaigns and strategies for real clients. It has been named one of the “10 college classes that impact the outside world” by US News & World Report.

Work by Cronkite public relations students has been honored in numerous prestigious competitions, including the Accolade Competition, NASA Means Business Competition, PR News Platinum PR Awards, Zenith Awards and WorldFest Houston. Most recently, “21 or Too Young,” a public relations campaign to reduce underage drinking that was created in partnership with the Tempe Coalition, was named a finalist in the PR News Platinum PR Awards, which are considered an industry benchmark for excellence.      

“PRSA Phoenix will benefit immensely from supporting the Cronkite School’s Public Relations Lab,” said Christie Silverstein, president of the chapter. “The lab is an integral part of the comprehensive public relations curriculum at the school and is helping produce a workforce that is more valuable to future employers and better prepared to meet the constantly changing needs and dynamics of the industry landscape.”

Fran Matera, associate professor and director of the Public Relations Lab, said the gifts would “send a strong signal to our students that the Valley public relations community supports them and wants to play a major role in their success.”

Founded in 1962, E.B. Lane is a full-service advertising, interactive, social marketing and public relations agency with offices in Phoenix and Denver. Its clients include the Arizona Cardinals, Walmart, Xanterra Parks & Resorts, Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, Cable One Inc., Arizona Lottery, Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery, Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau, Mercedes-Benz of Littleton, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Prestige Imports, Phoenix Convention Center, Oliver Manufacturing, St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation and Stonebilt Concepts. 

The Public Relations Society of America is an association of more than 21,000 public relations and communications professionals in the U.S. Founded in 1947, it provides professional development, sets standards of excellence and upholds principles of ethics for its members. The Phoenix chapter, first established in 1957 as the Public Relations Society of Phoenix, is one of the largest and most respected chapters nationwide.