Marketing VP named PR Professional of the Year

Heather Adkins
Heather Adkins

Heather Adkins, UT Health San Antonio’s vice president and chief communications/marketing officer, has been selected as the PR Professional of the Year by the San Antonio chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

Since joining the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio in March 2015, Adkins has spearheaded the uniting of communications, marketing and creative media into one department. The new alignment paved the way for a comprehensive rebranding, marketing, advertising and public relations transformation of the university.

“This is a recognition of US, our team,” Adkins said, referring to the Marketing, Communications & Creative Media Department. “Without you, your talent, your grit…nothing would be possible. I’m grateful to work alongside you.”

In 2016, Adkins led university efforts to strengthen its already positive relationship with its many audiences by increasing its general awareness, reputation and brand reach. Through meticulous research, she identified perception/awareness challenges, both internal and external, facing the university.

She then crafted a plan to utilize a new doing-business-as name (UT Health San Antonio), and a new visually smart and appealing logo. A highly coordinated week-long internal brand launch utilized brand “ambassadors,” printed materials, posters, banners, T-shirts, information sessions, a rebranding microsite and a catered lunch for more than 5,000 faculty staff and students, all under the campaign theme of “United: People. Passion. Purpose.”

The external rebranding campaign, UT Healthier, went live in January and today can be experienced via outdoor billboards, airport monitors, TV/radio spots and online/print ads. Efforts to push out the rebrand included myriad platforms – our various websites, corporate identity papers, magazines and other publications, media relations and special events.

“Resulting from Heather’s leadership, 2016 was truly a year during which a sense of community and pride became ever more evident throughout our Health Science Center – and there’s not a better testimony to the art, science and privilege of public relations than that,” said Nancy Arispe Shaw, senior executive director of communications who nominated Adkins for the award.

Adkins has more than 25 years’ experience in marketing, advertising, public relations and communications, primarily in hospitals and health care systems.

She will receive the PR Professional of the Year award at the PRSA’s Del Oro Awards dinner May 11.

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