Wesson woman named 2024 PR Practitioner of the Year

Published 2:25 pm Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Wesson public relations professional Jessica Breazeale has been honored as the 2024 Bud Kirkpatrick (PR) Practitioner of the Year.

The Pine Belt Chapter of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi presented the award to Breazeale, who has owned her marketing firm, JBConsulting, since 2017.

“It’s hard to believe someone from a small town was selected for such a huge, prestigious honor,” she said. “I couldn’t be more thrilled. It reminds me that the reward truly is in the hard work. It’s not easy working in public relations, especially working from a small town. This award did not come easy.”

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Having been in the field for nearly 20 years, Breazeale said she has seen everything go from print to digital, which meant she had to adapt to make sure her efforts were received.

JBConsulting’s spring intern is Callie Hodge, of Madison, hired as a part-time employee. Hodge is a PR major at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. She was an intern at WDAM news station prior to her internship with Breazeale.

“This internship has been such a great opportunity for me to grow in the field of public relations. JBConsulting truly wants the best for its clients. I have learned so much from this experience,” said Hodge.

The Bud Kirkpatrick Practitioner of the Year Award is an award that recognizes achievements in the field of public relations and service to the chapter. The annual recipient must have practiced in the field for at least five years, have contributed to the success of the chapter, state PRAM and/or Southern Public Relations Federation (SPRF), and have realized success in the practice or teaching public relations.

The Kirkpatrick Award is named for the former public relations director at The University of Southern Mississippi for 30 years and a founding chapter member. Kirkpatrick’s career spans more than four decades and six halls of fame.

Breazeale teaches public speaking and journalism at Copiah-Lincoln Community College’s Wesson campus and has served on the PRAM Board as professional development chair for the last five years. She took home Best in Show in 2019 on “Summer Safety Campaign” for her work at Georgia Pacific. Breazeale has won numerous SPRF awards, such as the 2021 Senior Practitioner Award, 2021 Award of Excellence, and 2021 Award of Merit.

Additionally, Breazeale has won numerous PRAM awards such as Spark Award 2019 and Spark Award for Summer Safety Campaign.

Breazeale received her bachelor’s and master’s in public relations from USM, and gained her Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) in 2019. APR is a designation from the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB) that exhibits an exemplary standard of character in a general fitness for the profession. It demonstrates a high level of competence in the practice of public relations over a prescribed period of time after successfully passing the written and oral examinations required. The credential is evidence of a real interest in the development and growth in the profession of public relations.