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Donovan Group Receives NSPRA Gold Medallion for Referendum Communication

The Donovan Group has received a Gold Medallion from the National School Public Relations Association as part of the team that helped the Howard-Suamico School District communicate effectively around its recent referendum effort.

The award, which is the top public relations honor the organization gives out, recognizes Howard-Suamico’s communication surrounding its successful April 2018 referendum. The Donovan Group’s president, Joe Donovan, received the award at a banquet in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, July 17.

We were very pleased and honored to receive this award. We truly appreciate the invitation from our client, the Howard-Suamico School District, including Superintendent Damian LaCroix and Director of Communications Brian Nicol.

NSPRA’s Gold Medallion recognizes excellence in school public relations and communication, including the programs of school districts, postsecondary institutions, state and national education groups and communication agencies.

In April 2018, a referendum presented to voters in the Howard-Suamico School District passed by 17 percentage points. That was just a year after a previous referendum proposal had been defeated in the community.

The district engaged the Donovan Group to plan and execute a strategy for the 2018 referendum, including two community surveys and a staff survey. Information gathered from these surveys informed the district’s approach to communication, messaging, ballot language and the board’s development of the new referendum question.

The strategy also included banners and graphics, mailers, a referendum website, media engagement, videos, newsletters and post-referendum communications.

We are so grateful for this award and for the opportunity to work on this effort with the team at the Howard-Suamico School District. To learn more about the award, please visit

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