Sophie McNeil Wolf, the Community Foundation for Mississippi’s Director of Communications, has been selected as the 2022 Outstanding Practitioner of the Year by the Public Relations Association of Mississippi (PRAM), Central Chapter. She was recognized Wednesday, January 25, during the January chapter meeting by her peers.
Each year, PRAM Central honors and recognizes the exceptional work and professionalism of chapter members whose accomplishments have made major contributions to the profession. Recipients embody the highest degree of professionalism, serve their communities, are committed to advancing the profession and have outstanding achievements in the practice of public relations.
One judge noted, “(Her) diverse and expansive experience is admirable… her dedication is reflexive, and her commitment to a growth mindset and commitment to continue growing and learning in the field is commendable.”
The judges were also particularly impressed with her most significant accomplishment on the job, where she detailed using her unique skill set of combining data and storytelling this past summer at CFM as Jackson fell into crisis over its crumbling water system.
Using the RPIE process, Wolf began listening to organizers and nonprofits on the ground to understand needs and quickly formulate a one-stop informational webpage that could be widely shared across partners and sectors to communicate needs and avenues for support. During this time, the CFM team also launched their Helping Friends and Neighbors (Disaster Response) Fund as a pipeline for giving that could be used to fill gaps in nonprofit needs both in the short-term and for mid- and long-term solutions post-emergency.
Post-launch, CFM became a leader in the crisis by filling the information gap. Feedback was immediate that many media professionals were thankful to have a trusted source for information, including the vetting of organizations to support through donations. Media coverage spread from local to statewide, which then caught national media attention. From WLBT and Mississippi Today to NPR and Vogue, the awareness of CFM and the power of local support was quickly in the spotlight. Philanthropy partners on a regional and national scale also lifted up the work, including Philanthropy Southeast, Council on Foundations and the Chronicle for Philanthropy.
“I am incredibly honored to be spotlighted by my peers at PRAM,” said Wolf. “There is a wealth of talent among our members and each year I am always blown away by the depth of those recipients. I am thrilled to be considered among them.”