Grover Smith Award

    Grover Smith

    Lifetime Achievement Award Guidelines

    Deadline – Monday, March 5, 2018


    The Public Relations Council of Alabama (PRCA) Grover Smith Lifetime Achievement Award is the organization’s highest honor. It was established to recognize a dedicated practitioner whose lifetime has been one of distinguished service to the public relations profession and PRCA.  Recipients must have demonstrated the highest and most meritorious contributions to the improvement, promotion, development and progress of public relations throughout their careers.


    The award will be presented to individuals who have contributed to or achieved prominence in the field of public relations above their salaried position assignments. Nominees, who have received recognition outside of their field of work, and those who have made contributions of national significance to the profession, will be most highly rated. It is given the discretion of the PRCA State board of directors and does not have to be awarded annually. A panel of three accredited public relations professionals in good standing with PRCA will review the nominations.

    The PRCA State board of directors will appoint the panel that will recommend whether a nominee should be honored.


    This award is presented to individuals who have devoted 25 or more years of service to the field of public relations. Individuals to be considered for nomination may also have:

    • Received special honors or recognition for job performance or contributions to the community,
    • Held key professional offices or committee appointments,
    • Published professional works, or
    • Made any other significant contributions to the public relations profession.

    Nominees must have been members of the Public Relations’ Council of Alabama for at least 10 years prior to the nomination and have contributed to the organization in some capacity.


    A nomination dossier must be developed for each nominee and must include:

    The Grover Smith PRCA Lifetime Achievement in Public Relations Nomination Form to be used as page 1.

    Support information

    Each of the following sections should include no more than two, double-spaced pages (front only) in Times New Roman 12-point font:

    1. Section A (page 2): Honors and Recognitions
    2. Section B (page 3): Professional Offices Held
    3. Section C (page 4): Professional Memberships and Activities
    4. Section D (page5): Professional Achievements
    5. Section E (page 6): Community/Volunteer Activities
    6. Section F (page 7): Publications and/or Presentations
    7. Section G (page 8-9): A minimum of two letters of support should be pages 8-9 of the nomination dossier. Endorsement letters might come from political leaders, professional association leaders, business and industry leaders, educational leaders, civic leaders, students, and others who are familiar with the nominee’s work.

    The last page of the nomination dossier should be a completed Public Relations Recognition Information Form.

    Application Guidelines Format

    Hard Copy submissions must be sent in a 3-ring binder clearly marked with the nominee’s name and chapter (no decorated folders/binders, please) and include the following:

    • a headshot of the nominee; a copy of the nominee’s most up‐to‐date resume
    • 15-20 relevant high resolution (print quality, full-sized) photos (include on a cd or jump drive inside the binder):
      • 5 photos of the nominee in professional settings;
      • 5 photos in community service/PRCA activities;
      • 3 personal photos; and
      • 7 general photos/logos/publication covers/high-res examples of major events and/or projects the nominee oversaw ;
    • a 250-word script that follows the submitted photographs in chronological order, written in active voice.

    This will be used to narrate the video during the award presentation, and often includes personal information on friends and family.

    Submit Nominations to

    Penny Hatcher, VP-Awards
    c/o Southern Earth Sciences, Inc.
    6352 Piccadilly Square Drive
    Mobile, AL 36609


    Electronic Submissions

    If you would like to send your submission electronically via a Dropbox link you may email VP-Awards, Penny Hatcher, at

    Submission Deadline

    All Grover Smith PRCA Lifetime Achievement Award Nomination dossiers must be RECEIVED no later than Monday, March 5, 2018. All nominations received after the deadline will not be considered. If an award is made, it will be presented during the PRCA annual conference. 

    For questions about this nomination and selection process, please contact Penny Hatcher.

    Who Was Grover C. Smith?

    grover smith head shot

    Born: Louisville, Kentucky & raised in Birmingham, Alabama

    Married: 54 Years to Sarah "Ruthie" Smith

    Children: Mitchell Anthony, MiaLena & Marqueta

    Died: 2005, Panama City, Florida

     "Grover C. Smith gets more done asleep than most people do awake," quoted Wayne Greenhaw of Montgomery, Alabama, former editor of the Alabama Magazine. "He's a friend and a loyal Alabamian to boot."

    For a number of years Smith was press secretary to US Senator John Sparkman. In that capacity, he was well known among the journalists in Washington DC and across the nation.

    He returned to Alabama after the Korean War and attended the University of Alabama where he was editor of the Crimson-White campus newspaper. After graduation, he became editor of a weekly, the Tuscaloosa County Times, and then departmental editor of the Tuscaloosa News.

    In 1955, Mr. Smith went to Washington. He arrived in time to become chief clerk to the US Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare. In that position he wrote press releases for the chairman, Senator Lister Hill of Alabama, and also composed most of Senator Hill's speeches.

    In 1957, Smith was named press secretary to Senator Sparkman, with whom he worked until 1979, when he became press consultant to the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, writing speeches and lobbying Congress in Washington.

    A man who was always filled with the latest stories on what was happening in the hallway of Congress - up on the latest gossip about Alabamians in Washington - Grover Smith did much to bring you the best in Alabama while working at Alabama magazine.

    At the time of his death in 2005, he resided in Panama City, Florida, where he was the marketing consultant for First American Corporation, First American Retirement Communities, and First American Health Services, focusing on the companies' work with nursing and retirement homes in Tennessee and South Carolina.

    An expert knowledgeable in Alabama politics, the state's history, and its personalities, Smith wrote "Remember When...” giving us a nostalgic look at events of the past, accompanied by photographs that put us on the spot when the event actually took place. He also wrote a "Where Are They Now" column which located some of our friends and kept us up to date on what they are doing these days.

    Ed Mullins, Chair for the Department of Journalism of the University of Alabama, and lifetime friend had this to say about Grover, "He was by far one of the most universally liked and respected individuals of our time. His manner was one of complete graciousness, his integrity unparalleled and was an individual whom I am proud to say would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. Over the twenty years I worked with Grover in various capacities ranging critiquing and writing short stories to planning University functions such as Homecoming Receptions, Installations to the University of Alabama Hall of Fame and many "Art of Communication" conferences. At the time PRCA established the Grover C. Smith Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004, Grover was the first recipient. He could not accept in person due to health issues.

    A close friend had this to say about him on that occasion: “Grover is indeed a ‘hell-of-a’ Public Relations Practitioner but it is my opinion that if you scratch his skin, you will find printer's ink in his veins! PRCA is to be commended for naming this award after one of the hardest working individuals to ever grace this fair state."