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Two University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) staff received Best Presenter Awards - Lecturer Category in the ASEAN University Conference on Public Relations and Communication (APRC 2016). They were Ms. Anna Ma. Elizabeth F. Cañas-Llamas, Information Officer, UPOU Information Office; and Ms. Jeniffer de Passion, University Extension Associate, Faculty of Management and Development Studies (FMDS).

Ms. Cañas-Llamas presented the research paper “Communicating with Prospective Students: Public Relations Media and Strategies of a University Information Office.” She discussed the different media that the UPOU Information Office utilized to communicate with its public, especially with the prospective students of the university. These included various methods of face-to-face, print, telephone, print, broadcast, multimedia and new media tools. In addition, she presented the Public Relations (PR) strategies used by the Information Office based on Grunig and Hunt’s Four Models of PR.

Ms. De Passion’s paper is on “The Use of Blogs and Comics as Student Support Communication Tools for Incoming Online Students.” The study explored the use of blogs and comics as communication tools for incoming online students, specifically in supporting and engaging them to maximize their online learning experience. Posts and replies of students in the blogs were analyzed using thematic analysis. The results of the study served as guide for FMDS in designing appropriate communication tools and other student support strategies for students who has no knowledge about online learning. She co-wrote the paper with Dr. Joane V. Serrano, Associate Professor of FMDS; Ms. Paula Grace M. Muyco, Research Assistant of FMDS; and Mr. Christian C. Guevarra, Information Associate.

The criteria of the awards were paper content (60%), presentation media/visuals (20%), and delivery (20%).

The second ASEAN University Conference on Public Relations and Communication was held on 18-20 November 2016 at the EDC Hotel, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), Malaysia. The conference, organized by Institute of Public Relations Malaysia Student Association UUM Chapter (IPRMSA-UUM Chapter) & Student Development and Alumni Office, UUM CAS, had the theme “One Vision, One Identity, One Community: Fostering Public Relations Network for ASEAN Communities.” Almost 300 individuals, comprise of lecturers and students from Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Nigeria, Sudan, Thailand, Australia, and the Philippines participated in the conference, including nine paper presenters from the UPOU. (Luisa A. Gelisan, Multimedia Center).