Public Relations Award Recognizes UM Communications Chief Executive and General Secretary

January 30, 2009

PRSA Honors Larry Hollon as Apollo Award Winner

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (January 27, 2009) - The Nashville Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) announces the 2008 Apollo Award winner, the Rev. Larry Hollon, Chief Executive of United Methodist Communications, the global communications agency for the 11.5-million member United Methodist Church. The Apollo Award is given annually to a senior Middle Tennessee executive who has a proactive public relations and communications philosophy and, as a leader, demonstrates the public relations function within his or her organization. Hollon receives the award Jan. 27, 2009, at the monthly PRSA meeting.
Past Apollo Award recipients include Phil Bredesen; John Seigenthaler; Jeff Fisher; Jane Jerry, President, Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art; and Gordon Gee, among others.
"PRSA is proud to honor Reverend Hollon for his effective use of proactive public relations and communications strategies to engage a global audience and reach many areas of the world with his organization's message," said Julie K. Davis, President of PRSA Nashville. "We appreciate that Reverend Hollon's leadership through strategic communications helps to advance the profession in Nashville and internationally."
In his role with United Methodist Communications, Hollon is responsible for more than $40 million in advertising that has helped to raise public awareness of The United Methodist Church. Since becoming chief executive, Hollon has revamped a 100-person communications agency, establishing a denominational public information office, positioning the church as an influential voice, and training United Methodist agencies and congregations around the world to effectively share their stories.
In 2004, Hollon's leadership helped organize the church's response to the East Asia Tsunami, putting together the denomination's first Web-based disaster relief drive that brought in over $60 million. His oversight of United Methodist Communications' coverage of the humanitarian disaster after Hurricane Katrina helped raise more than $120 million in a disaster relief effort.
Among Hollon's many global outreach efforts, his first-hand documentation of African children dying of malaria catalyzed the denomination to become a founding partner with Sports Illustrated, NBA Cares, and the United Nations Foundation in Nothing But Nets, an initiative that has raised more than $200 million to purchase lifesaving, malaria-preventing bed nets. Additionally, under his leadership, United Methodist Communications will develop communication strategies to raise awareness and motivate action around global-health related issues.
"Larry Hollon is an incredibly creative, forward-thinking individual who continues to lead the denomination into a new era of global communications," said Bishop Sally Dyck, president of United Methodist Communications. "We are extremely pleased and excited that he has received this recognition from PRSA."
Before moving to Nashville, Hollon was an award-winning television and radio producer whose primary focus was telling stories of persons affected by poverty. His work has taken him to more than 30 countries and earned him a national EMMY nomination for the "Share the Joy" radio and television campaign, among other honors.
Nashville Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America 
The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is the world's largest organization for public relations professionals. The Nashville Chapter of PRSA is a 150-member organization of professionals representing business and industry, counseling firms, independent practitioners, government, hospitals, schools, and nonprofit organizations. For more information about the 2008 Apollo Award winner or the Nashville chapter of PRSA, contact Kallie Bienvenu, public relations chair for PRSA, at  615-321-4939  or Visit Nashville PRSA online at