The University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Mass Communication and Journalism will host presentations for its students by alumnus Rex Kelly, a former executive with Mississippi Power and past director of the Southern Public Relations Federation on Tuesday, March 21 from 11 a.m. – noon in College Hall, room 201, and again from 1– 2 p.m. in College Hall, room 102.
Kelly, now a consultant of corporate relations, will discuss with USM public relations students the growth of public relations, and the trend in the profession by distinguishing management from practice in public relations. He will also take questions afterwards to offer more insight into the field.
Kelly currently serves as a consultant in the areas of public and corporate relations through his own firm and as a senior counselor with The Hawthorn Group in Alexandria, Va. He has leveraged his expertise and experience to assist clients who seek additional perspective regarding corporate relations, public affairs and organizational effectiveness.
His skill set includes crisis management as well as identifying the long-term bottom line for organizations through appropriate positioning. His success as a consultant mirrors that of his work with Mississippi Power as an executive responsible for positioning the company among its many publics.
Kelly is well-respected within his profession, having served in many capacities with the Public Relations Association of Mississippi (PRAM), Southern Public Relations Federation (SPRF) and other related organizations. He is past president of PRAM and recipient of its Professional Achievement Award. In 2001, the Mississippi Beach Chapter of PRAM created the Rex E. Kelly Professional Achievement Award in his honor. He is a member of SPRF’s Council of Leaders, and was inducted into its inaugural Hall of Fame class in 2010.
With a long and distinguished history of community service, Kelly was named a Top Ten Community Leader in 2003. He currently serves on the board of governors for the Mississippi Economic Council as the voice of business in our state. He has also used his expertise and experience in service to his alma mater, Southern Miss, and was inducted into the USM Alumni Hall of Fame in 2005. He has served as President of the USM International Alumni Association and as President of the USM Foundation.
Kelly served as co-chair for USM Presidential Transition Teams for both President Martha Saunders and President Rodney D. Bennett. He serves as a member of the Mass Communication and Journalism Advisory Council, and was inducted into the Mass Communication and Journalism Hall of Fame in 2009.
Dr. Jae-Hwa Shin, professor in the School of Mass Communication and Journalism, said Kelly’s outstanding public relations experiences will benefit many, but in particular students aspiring to a career in public relations.“Rex is an engaged and dedicated USM alumnus and advisory board member for our school, and his exemplary role and reputation in the field of public relations and community service makes him an excellent role model for our students,” she said.