2016 Winners

Platinum PR Awards

The 2017 Platinum PR Awards entry deadline is May 5. For more information click here.

Have a question? Email jessica@accessintel.com.

Winners

Current Category Here

Winner: Edelman

Dove Men+Care First Fatherhood Moments

Anniversary_Edelman

Launched in 2010 to establish Dove’s pioneer status in the marketplace for grooming products designed for men, Edelman’s Dove Men+Care line needed to continue momentum as more competitors entered the space. To bring Dove to the forefront, Edelman’s 2015 First Fatherhood Campaign campaign, using targeted research about mens’ reactions to the portrayal of masculinity in the media, positioned Dove as a thought leader in a movement debunking traditional masculine stereotypes and celebrating fatherhood in the brand’s core demographic—fathers from the ages of 35 to 55—in time for Father’s Day.

The national campaign was incredibly well-received by the media, winning exclusive coverage with Mashable and “Good Morning America.” The campaign, which featured raw, user-submitted videos revelatory moments wherein men learned they were about to be fathers (and their emotional responses) brought “TODAY” show hosts to tears. One of the most innovative features of the First Fatherhood Moments campaign was a “Dad Care Package,” which included personal grooming products and advice to new fathers while at the hospital awaiting (or celebrating) their newborns. Winning millions of YouTube views and social impressions, a #2 spot in Buzzfeed’s organic “Trending” list, a multitude of earned and paid media placements, Edelman ensured Dove’s Men+Care line maintained leadership in the men’s grooming space and was one of the most visible brands during Father’s Day.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Bayer Corporation – Making Science Make Sense: 20th Anniversary
  • Cargill, Inc. – 150th Anniversary Program
  • CITGO Petroleum Corporation – Caring for Our Coast: Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina
  • Coyne PR – Goodyear’s Road to the Cotton Bowl Traditions Campaign
  • Kiwanis International – Centennial Celebration
  • Ruder Finn on Behalf of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research – A Future without Parkinson’s: Leveraging a mega pop-culture moment to reach new audiences and build donor base
  • Southwest Airlines – Celebrating Southwest Airline’s 30 Years of Commitment to Tennessee through Tennessee One
  • Text100 with SolarWinds – SolarWinds IT Pro Day

Winner: Hydro One Limited

Annual Report _Hydro One Limited

Hydro One Limited, one of North America’s largest electrical utilities, faced several unprecedented challenges as it began its annual report process in 2015. After the Government of Ontario, Hydro One’s sole shareholder, announced it was selling 60 percent of the company, Hydro One went from a privately traded company to a publicly traded one, ratified a new board of directors, appointed a new chief financial officer as well as a new president and CEO. These major changes meant the company now faced scrutiny from a formidable trio of public, private and government stakeholders.

The annual report team met all of these challenges head-on, presenting Hydro One’s complex operations to the public succinctly and clearly, humanizing the brand by with open letters from the new leadership, incorporating a visually appealing design replete with infographics and making the report available to the public in a variety of digital and non-digital formats.

Rather than balking under public scrutiny, the Hydro One team positioned the organization with positive messaging around these major changes, using the initial public offering as an opportunity to raise awareness of—and interest in investing in—the organization. The team’s efforts tripled page visits to the digital annual report over previous years, as well as delivering the report well ahead of time and on budget. The report was published the same day as the company reported its fourth quarter results—a major accomplishment when compared against other publicly traded companies in Canada.

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Honorable Mentions

  • COHN Marketing – DCT Industrial 2015 Annual Report
  • Digital Kitchen – The Coca-Cola Company 2015 Annual Review: Our Journey Forward
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta – The Graying of the American Economy
  • National Association of Insurance Commissioners – “To Serve & Protect in the Digital Age”

Winner: Voce Communications

Palo Alto Networks Blog: The Authoritative Resource for Media and Cybersecurity Leaders

Blog_Voce Communications

With the goal of raising awareness of Palo Alto Networks as a trusted source and leading voice in the cybersecurity industry, Palo Alto Networks established a research team, Unit 42, to generate up-to-the-minute intelligence threat research, building content for a blog with high readership and influence in the B2B cybersecurity space. The Voce Communications team used Palo Alto Networks’ internal resources—leveraging Unit42 subject matter experts, executives and industry leaders—to successfully position Palo Alto Networks as an authority in the cybersecurity industry.

The Voce Communications team set to work improving the quality of content, focusing on breaking news coverage and a focus on starting conversations and providing altruistic advice (rather than “selling” the overarching company’s services). The team substantially grew the pool of the blog’s contributors, as well as conducting media outreach to offer up Palo Alto Networks Blog’s expertise in cybersecurity articles. These tactics paid off, driving millions of page views, as well as making the Palo Alto Networks Blog a primary source for mainstream media outlets like The New York Times, Ars Technica and Reuters.

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Honorable Mentions

  • The Creative Group
  • PadillaCRT—Maintaining the Effectiveness of the Buzz Bin Blog during an Agency Acquisition
  • Regional Transportation Authority Northeastern Illinois—Ride On Blog
  • Tableau Software

Winner: WPP

The New Face of Lincoln

Branding_WPP

When Lincoln announced plans to release four new cars in four years, WPP was tasked with telling the story of the Lincoln as a “comeback kid” and influencing Lincoln’s target demographic, the culturally progressive Gen Xer, to see the car as a source of “quiet luxury.” After conducting significant research into the cultural progressive persona, WPP curated exclusive events replete with relevant influencers and pursued extensive earned media coverage to drive and amplify anticipation for the Lincoln releases.

After putting together an exclusive Continental release event attended by lifestyle and luxury media influencers, WPP continued momentum with post-release panel events in major cities across the U.S. WPP synchronized these events with media placements in Men’s Journal, Gear Patrol, New York Daily News, Business Insider and The Verge. The campaign was also featured on “CBS This Morning” and “Live! With Kelly and Michael.” Overall, WPP secured 550 media placements and 2.2 billion impressions in lifestyle, luxury, automotive and business outlets for the campaign, driving renewed interest and a more positive reception of the brand in Lincoln’s target audience.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Activision with PMK∙BNC / Step 3 PR – Destiny: The Taken King
  • DFW Airport & PAVLOV Agency – DFW Airport’s new global brand identity: “Travel. Transformed.”
  • IBM with Text100 – IBM Watson in 2015: The Dawn of the Cognitive Era
  • Molina Healthcare, Inc. – “Like Family” Integrated Campaign
  • New England Development
  • Story Partners – Trucking Industry: Moving the Numbers to Move it Forward

Co-Winner: Grey New York

Guns With History

Cause-Related Marketing_Grey New York

To address rising gun sales in the U.S., Status United to Prevent Gun Violence (SUPGV), a nonprofit dedicated to gun control, enlisted Grey to create a PSA to spur a national dialogue about gun violence. With the goal of getting first-time gun buyers to reconsider the protection guns provide by highlighting potential risks, SUPGV opened up a pop-up gun store in New York City for two days that educated potential buyers about the history of each gun on its shelves—and filmed everything for use in the PSA.

The PSA, utilizing copious research by Grey and SUPGV staff, was replete with gun violence statistics and video of unwitting first-time buyers learning the history of each gun at the pop-up shop. The video made national and international headlines and drove millions of organic views online. Celebrities, news anchors and the communications industry amplified the PSA. The campaign was the most-shared on Adweek in 2015 and lauded by MSNBC as “one of the most powerful advocacy videos ever seen.” A website that mirrors the store remains up and continues to draw heavy traffic.

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Honorable Mentions

  • American Heart Association and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation with Cohn & Wolfe and Edelman—Rise Above Heart Failure
  • Coburn Communication—”Be Good To Each Other” on behalf of CustomInk
  • American Lung Association & CVS Health, Edelman: LUNG FORCE
  • Esurance—Equal Dreams
  • Finn Partners—NO MORE. Together We Can End Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault
  • Havas PR North America—#GivingTuesday: The Day the World Gave Back
  • Mohawk Flooring—Cushion the Fight Against Breast Cancer
  • PwC LLP—Student Loan Program

Co-Winner: Ketchum on behalf of Michelin

Beyond the Driving Test: Michelin Puts Air in Teens' Tire Awareness

Cause-Related Marketing_Ketchum on behalf of Michelin

To address the major issue of car crashes (the leading cause of teen deaths in the U.S.), Michelin sought to close a knowledge gap around tire safety, both for teens and their parents. Michelin’s tire safety campaign, built on a core of strong research around specific knowledge gaps (e.g., tire checking frequency, parental knowledge of tire safety), sought to increase tire safety education in government driver’s ed curriculum, reach hundreds of thousands of teens on paid and earned channels through peer influencers, and align Michelin as a brand with tire safety.

The campaign was a resounding success: Michelin’s tire safety curriculum was included in more states’ drivers education programs than ever before, drove over a million views of teen influencer tire safety YouTube videos, and more than doubled social media impressions from previous years. Consumer perception of Michelin as associated with driving safety also significantly increased.

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Honorable Mentions

  • American Heart Association and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation with Cohn & Wolfe and Edelman—Rise Above Heart Failure
  • Coburn Communication—”Be Good To Each Other” on behalf of CustomInk
  • American Lung Association & CVS Health, Edelman: LUNG FORCE
  • Esurance—Equal Dreams
  • Finn Partners—NO MORE. Together We Can End Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault
  • Havas PR North America—#GivingTuesday: The Day the World Gave Back
  • Mohawk Flooring—Cushion the Fight Against Breast Cancer
  • PwC LLP—Student Loan Program

Co-Winner: Aspen Dental Management Inc.

Healthy Mouth Movement

Community Relations_Aspen Dental Management Inc.

After conducting a “Cost of Delay” survey with Ketchum that revealed a high number of patients delaying dental visits due to high costs, Aspen Dental Management launched a nationwide Healthy Mouth Movement initiative to provide one particularly underserved demographic—veterans—with free access to dental care. As the core of the initiative, Aspen Dental deployed a “MouthMobile” of dental professionals from Aspen’s practices, which made 30 stops nationwide.

In tandem with the tour, Aspen Dental released individual veterans’ stories to the local media at each stop. The tour was paired with a national day of service staffed by Aspen Dental volunteers, and bolstered by influencer NASCAR driver Danica Patrick, who resonated with Aspen’s target audience, as well as testimonials from Aspen dentists, staff and patients. This strategy resulted in a high number of earned media placements, millions of online impressions and an uptick in new patient signups.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Cohn & Wolfe with Bayer- Rallying Men Around the World to Speak Up About Advanced Prostate Cancer
  • CSX and APCO Worldwide – Tomorrow Comes Through: CSX and The Virginia Avenue Tunnel
  • Elefante – Nivea New Rinks: Big Difference for Small Communities
  • Finn Partners – Welcoming the Transgender Traveler
  • IBM with Ketchum – Reinventing the American High School

Co-Winner: MSLGROUP for The Home Depot

Celebration of Service: Creating Independence at Home for U.S. Veterans

Community Relations_MSLGROUP for The Home Depot

In its fifth year, The Home Depot’s “Celebration of Service,” a two-month long volunteer campaign, needed a new approach in order to stand out online and reach its fundraising goals. MSLGROUP met this need, crafting an influencer and social marketing campaign that amplified Team Depot (the volunteer group at The Home Depot) and its efforts to provide veterans with disabilities more accessibility in their homes.

Documenting the stories of several veterans, their struggles and the projects built by Team Depot, MSLGROUP partnered with multiple nonprofits, as well as media outlets like ESPN and Hearst Media, to amplify the Celebration of Service to The Home Depot’s intended audience. MSLGROUP engaged influencers by having them participate in in-store outreach and on-site Team Depot projects, as well as promoting the campaign on their own channels. The campaign was a major success, driving record impressions and resulting in the assistance of veterans in hundreds of cities nationwide.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Cohn & Wolfe with Bayer- Rallying Men Around the World to Speak Up About Advanced Prostate Cancer
  • CSX and APCO Worldwide – Tomorrow Comes Through: CSX and The Virginia Avenue Tunnel
  • Elefante – Nivea New Rinks: Big Difference for Small Communities
  • Finn Partners – Welcoming the Transgender Traveler
  • IBM with Ketchum – Reinventing the American High School

Winner: Porter Novelli New York

The Almond Industry Weathers the Drought

Crisis Management _Porter Novelli New York

Amidst a media narrative casting almonds as a culprit of wasted water during California’ drought, Porter Novelli was approached by the Almond Board of California to change the conversation around almond farming in mainstream media, challenging consumer perception that the almond industry was wasting resources. With a six-tiered plan that rallied farmers and industry insiders, and targeting consumers and environmental influencers in California and the U.S. at large through strategic paid media, Porter Novelli set to work changing consumer perception of the almond industry.

The campaign successfully achieved positive media coverage of almond farming practices, with the Porter Novelli team preparing farmers and influencers for notable media coverage like an almond farm tour with President Obama, MSNBC and CBS journalists. Pairing paid media with timely outreach to reporters to correct misinformation resulted in more positive consumer perceptions around the almond industry, according to surveys conducted after the campaign

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Honorable Mentions

  • Clapp Communications—FOP PR During the Baltimore Riots
  • Booz Allen under the Veterans Choice Program (VCP) Communications Support Task Order with the Department of Veterans Affairs—Transforming VA Community Care: How We Will Get There
  • HCK2 Partners—Labinal Power Systems Corporate Transition Announcement

Winner: SAP North America

SAP Q4 Digital Business Challenge

Employee Relations__SAP North America

With the goal of educating and getting employees excited about the company’s new digital strategy, SAP designed a company-wide contest in which employees submitted a video of themselves telling the SAP digital business story. The prize: two all-expense-paid tickets to the Super Bowl.

Thousands of employees across North America were engaged with the contest, leveraging their own networks and spreading SAP’s topical messaging. Entrants uploaded their video entries to an internal social networking platform, studying up on SAP strategy before submitting. The four winners recorded and shared live videos during their Super Bowl experience. Using a well-executed email campaign, promotional videos before, during and after the contest, as well as the company’s internal social platform, the SAP communications team kept momentum for the campaign going for maximum effect.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta – Values
  • FedEx Ground – Email Eddie
  • IBM – Think Academy 2015
  • The Home Depot Foundation – Celebration of Service: An Army of Associates Creates Independence at Home for U.S. Veterans
  • MerchantCantos LLC – Philips Healthy Society Series
  • Ruder Finn on Behalf of GSK – GSK Global Vaccines U.S. R&D Center: Driving Employee Awareness and Excitement
  • Singer Associates, Inc. – The New Stanford Hospital: Preparing 8,000 staff for the most advanced hospital in the world

Co-Winner: Burson-Marsteller

The SPAM Brand: First National SPAMERICAN Food Truck Tour Featuring Chef Curated Recipes

Event Marketing_Burson-Marsteller

Challenged to reinvent the SPAM brand, Burson-Marsteller sought to generate buzz around Hormel Foods’ SPAMERICAN Tour campaign. The campaign consisted of a food truck which travelled to live events associated with the brand’s target audience and served SPAM recipes with a foodie bent. Utilizing a combination of paid and earned media and influencer marketing, Burson-Marsteller led a successful campaign for the brand.

To generate excitement for the tour, Burson-Marsteller organized a tour kickoff on The Rachael Ray Show with Food Network star Sunny Anderson, who crafted SPAM recipes and served as the brand ambassador and key influencer of the campaign. Each stop of the tour enlisted local chefs to create SPAM recipes, raising awareness and excitement for the tour within their own networks. The tour was well-attended by members of the press and covered by both local and national media outlets. Winning millions of impressions online, the campaign led to higher sales and a more positive perception of the brand in its target audience.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Allison+Partners – Dew Tour Chicago and Los Angeles: Bringing the Dew to the Masses
  • AMN Healthcare and Finn Partners – 2015 Survey of Registered Nurses
  • Bayer Corporation – Bayer Presents Luke Bryan Farm Tour
  • Brand USA – National Parks Adventure Global Film Premiere
  • eBay with Edelman- Hot Deals for Hot Days
  • Inspira Marketing Group – GEICO Player’s Academy
  • Team Epiphany – FIGHTBALL Re-Invigorates One-On-One Basketball for Millennial Market

Co-Winner: GSK Consumer Healthcare

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Why

Event Marketing_GSK Consumer Healthcare

To address falling sales of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) products Nicorette Gum and NicoDerm CQ, GSK Consumer Healthcare launched a “What’s Your Why” campaign to drive engagement among potential quitters. GSK organized several “Smoke Swap” events strategically placed throughout the year at times when smokers are likely to try quitting. These events provided an opportunity for potential quitters to meet with smoking cessation experts and learn more about the quitting process. Concurrently, GSK drove social media engagement by sparking and responding to conversations about the “why” behind the decision to quit. Those in the process of quitting smoking were encouraged to support each other on the brand’s social channels.

GSK enlisted Dancing With the Stars’ Mark Ballas to act as the influencer muscle behind the campaign. GSK organized a media tour for Ballas, a former smoker, and his mother, also a former smoker. Dancing in front of live audiences made up of “Smoke Swap” attendees, the duo paired their media appearances with a call to action on social media for potential quitters to post their “why” around smoking, using a GSK-generated hashtag. The campaign increased sales of the target products, drove millions of social media impressions and won coverage in many online and televised media outlets.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Allison+Partners – Dew Tour Chicago and Los Angeles: Bringing the Dew to the Masses
  • AMN Healthcare and Finn Partners – 2015 Survey of Registered Nurses
  • Bayer Corporation – Bayer Presents Luke Bryan Farm Tour
  • Brand USA – National Parks Adventure Global Film Premiere
  • eBay with Edelman- Hot Deals for Hot Days
  • Inspira Marketing Group – GEICO Player’s Academy
  • Team Epiphany – FIGHTBALL Re-Invigorates One-On-One Basketball for Millennial Market

Winner: Clapp Communications

FOP's After Action Review

External Publication_ClappCommunications

With the goal of reviewing the actions of top police officials during the 2015 Baltimore riots, the Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) union commissioned Clapp Communications to put together an After Action Review of leadership during the riots. Compiling data from focus groups, surveys, signed statements, e-mails and phone calls from members of the police union, Clapp put together the report and released it at a press conference attended by members of the mainstream media. The report received a favorable editorial in The Baltimore Sun and ensured the Police Commissioner faced accountability for his lack of cooperation with the FOP before, during and after the compilation of the report (he was fired shortly after the report was released).

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Honorable Mentions

  • Best Friends Animal Society – Best Friends Magazine
  • Cherokee Nation Businesses – Anadisgoi magazine
  • Henson Consulting, Inc. – Magellan Development’s No Parallels Magazine
  • Makovsky – Soraa Product Guide
  • PepsiCo – Innovation Download
  • Raytheon Company – 2014 Corporate Responsibility Report
  • Sabre Corporation – The Future of Hotel Booking: A Guide to Hotel Retailing from PSFK & Sabre
  • US Postal Service – Postal Facts 2016 (online)

Winner: UN Foundation

#EarthToParis

Facebook Campaign_UN Foundation

The UN Foundation crafted the #EarthToParis campaign to serve as an amplification tool for communities worldwide to ask their government leaders to take action on climate change at the Dec. 2015 COP21 conference in Paris. The UN Foundation’s core strategy involved partnering with nonprofit organizations and online communities worldwide to produce and post videos asking others to continue the conversation around climate change. Incorporating infographic animations on climate change statistics and voiceovers and appearances from celebrity influencers like Jack Black and Morgan Freeman, the videos were posted to Facebook. Using captions for maximum readability, tagging the many partners involved in the campaign and attaching relevant hashtags to the video contributed to its going viral without a paid social budget. The campaign drove record numbers of users to the UN Foundation’s Facebook page, many of whom shared, commented on or liked the campaign’s core content.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Belstaff with Weber Shandwick – The World’s First Facebook Film Premiere
  • Food Lion – From Facebook Fans To Feeding Families
  • Loyola University New Orleans – “Fin It to Win It”: April Fools’ Day Joke
  • Molina Healthcare, Inc. – Community Champions Facebook Challenge
  • Weber Shandwick and GSK – Tumsworthy

Winner: Porter Novelli

T-Mobile's Earnings Call Drinking Games

FinancialInvestor Relations_Porter Novelli

In the wake of a negative news cycle spurred by competitors, T-Mobile’s PR team sought to change the conversation around T-Mobile’s coverage and brand personality. To that end, T-Mobile’s PR team designed drinking games to be played during competitors’ earnings calls, with the goal of amplifying the company’s new brand attributes to industry reporters and analysts and earning media coverage as a result. Goodie baskets containing the humorous board games were delivered to industry reporters and influencers, and the game was well-promoted on social media. The drinking games initiative exceeded earned media goals, winning coverage from publications like Forbes, which affirmed T-Mobile as “firmly injecting itself into the earnings season conversation.” The campaign also drove up positive perception of the brand in T-Mobile’s target audience.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Booker.com – Booker-Frederick Acquisition Announcement
  • Financial Profiles, Inc. – STORE Capital: Creating a Best in Class Net-Lease REIT Company Profile on Wall Street in Under Two Years
  • Hydro One Limited – IPO Investor Roadshow
  • Strategic Public Relations Group – Creating the Next Miracle
  • Strategic Public Relations Group – Nameson: Knitting a Path to Success

Winner: Edelman

The Vaseline Healing Project

Global PR Campaign_Edelman

To reinvigorate and increase awareness of the Vaseline brand, Edelman crafted a global campaign that stressed Vaseline’s contributions to public skin health worldwide. The campaign story centered on Vaseline’s provision of relief to skin injuries and skin health issues in critical situations. Edelman built an advocacy board of dermatologists to help plan and execute missions to areas in need of skin healthcare, and spread patients’ stories with help from influencer Viola Davis and top skin healthcare professionals. In 2015, Vaseline sponsored missions to Jordan to assist Syrian refugees and to the Philippines post-Typhoon Haiyan, along with several other sites worldwide where communities lacked access to dermatological care. Edelman’s efforts drove high web traffic to the campaign site and garnered high numbers of media placements and impressions.

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Honorable Mentions

  • AGT-agency, LLC – International Children’s Social FOOTBALL FOR FRIENDSHIP
  • Cohn & Wolfe with Bayer – Rallying Men Around the World to Speak Up About Advanced Prostate Cancer
  • CONRAD HOTELS & RESORTS – Stay Inspired
  • Current Marketing – #GladtoShare on World Food Day with Glad Food Protection
  • Grey Activation & PR – The Swedish Number
  • Ketchum on behalf of Mastercard – Mastercard Puts the ‘World’ in Mobile World Congress
  • Tableau Software – Vizable Global PR Campaign
  • Thomson Reuters – Thomson Reuters Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS)

Winner: Havas PR Global Collective

Earth To Paris: A Global Movement for Bold Planet Action

Green PR_Havas PR Global Collective

In 2015, Havas PR Global Collective was recruited by the United Nations Foundation to help spread word of its #EarthToParis campaign. The campaign asked individuals worldwide to send letters to world leaders with wishes and innovative ideas for the world’s environmental future during the COP21 climate change talks in Paris. With the goal of generating a groundswell of media attention for the campaign and its associated actions, Havas PR conducted outreach to the media about the Earth To Paris–Le Hub summit, a two day event attended and led by celebrity influencers like John Kerry and Alec Baldwin to showcase productive climate change solutions. Havas PR ensured journalists who could not attend the summit or talks in person had access to live streams of the summit, as well as coordinating media interviews with the celebrities who participated. The firm’s strategic media outreach led to a high media turnout at the Le Hub summit, followed by the massive outpouring of media coverage and social impressions needed to continue momentum for the #EarthToParis movement.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Experiencias Xcaret – Sustainability and PR Efforts in the US
  • Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) – Million Solar Strong

Winner: TogoRun

National Obesity Care Week supported by Novo Nordisk

Influencer Communications_TogoRun

To improve the ways in which healthcare providers address obesity, TogoRun was tasked with creating an integrated communications campaign that reached healthcare providers (HCPs) nationwide and provided them with necessary resources for addressing the disease. Using National Obesity Care Week as the vehicle for reaching HCPs, policy makers and third-party groups, TogoRun secured partnerships with corporate sponsors (Novo Nordisk and Takeda) and four key advocacy groups: the Obesity Society (TOS), the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). These groups acted as key influencers in the campaign.

TogoRun established a website portal to distribute educational resources among the campaign’s intended audience, and used its partnered organizations’ vast healthcare networks to spread word of the campaign and website to their own audiences. TogoRun also launched and curated events around National Obesity Care Week that provided onsite resources and education to HCPs and other key stakeholders, as well as generating a wealth of content that continued the campaign’s momentum on social media. The campaign was a success, driving a high number of social media impressions and website hits.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Coyne PR – Pennzoil Influences DIYers With Digital Engagement and Real World Activation
  • FleishmanHillard Vanguard – PepsiCo’s “Domik v derevne” brand: “Time to drink kefir”
  • H+M Communications – Driving Latino Audiences to Universal Pictures’ “Compton”
  • Ketchum on behalf of Michelin – Beyond the Driving Test – Michelin Puts Air in Teens’ Tire Awareness
  • LINKS Worldgroup – Marriott Rewards & UMG #WithTheBand with Juanes
  • Munchkin Inc. – Orcas Live in Oceans
  • Porter Novelli – The Laughing Cow Love Your Local Events
  • org & SOMA Strategies – #TalkEarly

Winner: Executives in an Elevator

Molina Healthcare, Inc.

Internal Publication_Molina Healthcare, Inc.

In 2015 Molina’s communications team was tasked with the challenge of amplifying Molina Healthcare’s messaging priorities to its large and growing staff. To educate employees about the ins and outs of Molina’s business, maintain company culture and show staff a new side of its senior leadership, the team planned and produced a web series which featured members of the executive staff in conversation with a pizza delivery guy in an elevator. Executives in different branches of the company discussed company policy and broke down industry jargon to a layperson’s (i.e., the pizza guy’s) level. The webseries was periodically posted to the company’s internal communications hub, and received a glowing reception from Molina’s staff. A high number of employees enthusiastically engaged with the videos, even requesting a second season of the series.

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Honorable Mentions

  • JLL – Connections Newsletter
  • Montreal Children’s Hospital – We should talk. Parlons-en.
  • Procter & Gamble – P&G Internal News: Raising the Bar
  • United States Postal Service/Eastern Area – Eastern Area Update
  • US Postal Service – LINK Mobile

Winner: Burson-Marsteller

Large PR Firm of the Year _Burson Marsteller

In the past year, leading global firm Burson-Marsteller has won an impressive list of new U.S. clients across multiple industries, including Oracle, Epson, Chipotle and the New York City Department of Transportation. All of those wins are accompanied by a strong emphasis on social responsibility, which the company has proven with its pro bono efforts for the Special Olympics, generating 700 million impressions in 2015 alone, as well as for G(irls)20, a nonprofit that works toward the economic empowerment of girls and women worldwide.

In 2015 Burson-Marsteller proved its mettle as a thought leader and industry innovator with several initiatives. Among them: StudioB, a data-driven center that pools company resources like data analytics, opinion polling and research capabilities into content production and distribution. The firm was also the first to launch a specialty service that counsels clients on policy changes and potential business opportunities in Cuba. The firm’s healthcare division won new clients in emerging markets like biologic medicines, genomic testing, wearables and models of care delivery.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Cohn & Wolfe
  • Finn Partners
  • LEWIS
  • Ruder Finn

Co-Winner: Cohn & Wolfe

Colgate Encourages Consumers to Save Water Because #EveryDropCounts

Marketing Communications_Cohn & Wolfe

To boost visibility of the Colgate brand with consumers in the U.S., Cohn & Wolfe designed a campaign around the simple message of saving water by turning off the tap while brushing one’s teeth. Cohn & Wolfe strategically placed the ad to air for the first time in the U.S. during the Super Bowl (held in drought-stricken California), as well as winning the campaign exclusive coverage in The Wall Street Journal. Many major outlets like The New York Times, Bustle and Ad Age followed suit. The #EveryDropCounts message, bolstered by millennial influencers, was shared and viewed widely on social media, and a paired website led to the capture of users’ email addresses (after signing a water conservation pledge) for use in Colgate’s future campaigns. Post-campaign third-party data showed the company’s likability and emotional bond with consumers is on the rise as a result of the campaign.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Food Lion – Igniting Customer and Associate Engagement Around Diversity through Strategic Partnership with CIAA
  • GOLD PR – Invisalign ‘Unbrace Teen Confidence’
  • Hill+Knowlton Strategies – One Day Pay: Submit Today, Smile Tomorrow with Aflac
  • PadillaCRT – Little Changes for a Healthy New Year
  • rbb Communications – Turning Bridezilla into “Bride-chilla” with Secrets Resorts & Spas
  • RF Binder – Dunkin’ Donuts’ PR Pours It On in 2015

Co-Winner: Esurance

Esurance Election Insurance

Marketing Communications_Esurance

Playing on the concept of Americans threatening to leave the country if the “wrong” candidate is elected this year, Esurance crafted a humorous election-themed April Fool’s marketing campaign with the end goal of raising awareness of Esurance’s home insurance policy through paid and earned media impressions. Offering a fake insurance policy that maintains homes while Americans wait out the next presidential term abroad, the Esurance ad was exclusively placed with Mashable in time for April Fool’s Day and received widespread media attention, featured on broadcasts like “Good Morning America” as well as receiving coverage by the likes of The Washington Post and Ad Week. Building on momentum from online outlets like Buzzfeed as well as influencer outreach, the campaign drove millions of social media impressions and successfully met brand awareness goals.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Food Lion – Igniting Customer and Associate Engagement Around Diversity through Strategic Partnership with CIAA
  • GOLD PR – Invisalign ‘Unbrace Teen Confidence’
  • Hill+Knowlton Strategies – One Day Pay: Submit Today, Smile Tomorrow with Aflac
  • PadillaCRT – Little Changes for a Healthy New Year
  • rbb Communications – Turning Bridezilla into “Bride-chilla” with Secrets Resorts & Spas
  • RF Binder – Dunkin’ Donuts’ PR Pours It On in 2015

Co-Winner: Hampton by Hilton

Hampton by Hilton Uncovers and Inspires a New Type of Traveler: The “Seekender”

Marketing Communications_Hampton by Hilton

With the primary goal of increasing weekend bookings, Hampton by Hilton conducted a survey that uncovered a new demographic: the “Seekender,” a persona that prizes weekend getaways and travel over consumer goods. Hampton broke down its target audience into a combination of smaller demographics, including those who tack weekend getaways onto business travel, millennials who travel for live music events and baby boomers with a penchant for road trips. With a combination of influencer marketing and media placements of survey data in outlets like Forbes and USA Today, the Hampton team successfully increased weekend bookings, drove social engagement and web traffic to its booking website.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Food Lion – Igniting Customer and Associate Engagement Around Diversity through Strategic Partnership with CIAA
  • GOLD PR – Invisalign ‘Unbrace Teen Confidence’
  • Hill+Knowlton Strategies – One Day Pay: Submit Today, Smile Tomorrow with Aflac
  • PadillaCRT – Little Changes for a Healthy New Year
  • rbb Communications – Turning Bridezilla into “Bride-chilla” with Secrets Resorts & Spas
  • RF Binder – Dunkin’ Donuts’ PR Pours It On in 2015

Co-Winner: WE Communications

An Old Tradition with a New Twist: Woodford Reserve $1,000 Mint Julep Cup Campaign

Marketing Communications_WE Communications

Woodford Reserve bourbon has been a well-known partner of the Kentucky Derby for a decade, but WE Communications was tasked with extending Woodford’s visibility beyond the Derby itself to reach new audiences and drive sales. WE paired the classic $1,000 Mint Julep cups (the proceeds of which are donated to equine and humanitarian causes) with two influencers: a prominent mixologist and a designer. WE Communications won unprecedented numbers of traditional and social media impressions, with placements lauding the Mint Julep cocktail and designer cups in The Wall Street Journal and Vanity Fair, as well as on “The Today Show.” Following the campaign, Woodford Reserve saw its sales rise significantly.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Food Lion – Igniting Customer and Associate Engagement Around Diversity through Strategic Partnership with CIAA
  • GOLD PR – Invisalign ‘Unbrace Teen Confidence’
  • Hill+Knowlton Strategies – One Day Pay: Submit Today, Smile Tomorrow with Aflac
  • PadillaCRT – Little Changes for a Healthy New Year
  • rbb Communications – Turning Bridezilla into “Bride-chilla” with Secrets Resorts & Spas
  • RF Binder – Dunkin’ Donuts’ PR Pours It On in 2015

Co-Winner: Chevy West Coast Communications

2016 Chevy California Double

Media Event_Chevy West Coast Communications

To raise awareness of the Chevy Colorado Shoreline Edition and drive high media coverage, the Chevy West Coast Communications team incorporated the midsize pickup truck’s reveal into the California Double, a joint surfing and snowboarding day-long event. Treating media representatives from lifestyle, outdoor/adventure, travel, men’s interest and LA-area outlets to participate in surfing and snowboarding lessons, the Chevy West Coast team were able to showcase the vehicle’s adaptability to multiple terrains. Surfer and influencer Damien Hobgood led the outdoor activities, which were followed by indoor social events. The Chevy Colorado won media coverage in its target markets, and drove high numbers of online impressions following the media event.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Flashpoint PR – A LEGO Celebration of American Innovation
  • GCI Health – America’s Diabetes Challenge
  • Grayling PR – Faraday Future Unveils FFZERO1 Concept Car
  • Hilton Worldwide With Edelman – Hilton Inspires Thousands To “Stop Clicking Around” & Start Playing With Surprise Concert
  • New Era Cap – New Era Cap Super Bowl 50 Campaign
  • PMK•BNC and PepsiCo – Pepsi + EMPIRE Partnership
  • Porter Novelli – T-Mobile Launches Binge On with Un-carrier X
  • Republican National Committee – Debate Innovation Project
  • Ruder Finn, Inc. – Novartis walks the talk of patient-centricity and corporate transparency by opening its doors to media
  • Sparkpr – Cobalt Aircraft: Soaring To New Heights

Co-Winner: Coyne PR

Media Receive First-­Ever Peek Inside the ChapStick Lip Lab

Media Event_Coyne PR

With the goal of extending the ChapStick brand into the beauty and skincare space, Coyne PR invited members of the beauty and fashion media to visit ChapStick’s laboratory, where beauty editors learned about the ingredients in ChapStick products, even taking part in mixing and preparing the ChapStick formula. The trip included a stay at a luxurious hotel, afternoon tea and a farm-to-table meal tied to some of the product’s ingredients. The event thoroughly surpassed both Coyne’s attendance goals and its target number of impressions.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Flashpoint PR – A LEGO Celebration of American Innovation
  • GCI Health – America’s Diabetes Challenge
  • Grayling PR – Faraday Future Unveils FFZERO1 Concept Car
  • Hilton Worldwide With Edelman – Hilton Inspires Thousands To “Stop Clicking Around” & Start Playing With Surprise Concert
  • New Era Cap – New Era Cap Super Bowl 50 Campaign
  • PMK•BNC and PepsiCo – Pepsi + EMPIRE Partnership
  • Porter Novelli – T-Mobile Launches Binge On with Un-carrier X
  • Republican National Committee – Debate Innovation Project
  • Ruder Finn, Inc. – Novartis walks the talk of patient-centricity and corporate transparency by opening its doors to media
  • Sparkpr – Cobalt Aircraft: Soaring To New Heights

Co-Winner: Creation

Going for Gold: Pizza Hut’s Golden Garlic Knot Pizza Shines at Super Bowl 50

Media Relations_Creation

For the Super Bowl’s golden anniversary, Creation tied the launch theme of Pizza Hut’s Golden Garlic Knots Pizza into Super Bowl 50’s host state of California (Golden State, Golden Gate Bridge) with a gold-flaked pizza delivered to 50 customers selected at random. The campaign aimed to drive Pizza Hut sales on one of the biggest pizza consumption events of the year and stand out amongst the many brands vying for attention during the Super Bowl. The PR team built buzz for the release early, serving up taste tests to outlets like The Huffington Post and winning exclusive coverage on “The Today Show.” The launch trended on Twitter; buzz around the campaign lasted weeks after the Super Bowl, as well as driving record sales for a new Pizza Hut product.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Bayer Corporation – Making Science Make Sense: 20th Anniversary
  • Cohn & Wolfe – Colgate Encourages Consumers to Save Water Because #EveryDropCounts
  • Hanna Lee Communications, Inc. – PR Campaign for Porchlight Bar Drives 1.5 Billion Impressions
  • Hill+Knowlton Strategies – Banfield Pet Hospital Pet-Friendly Workplace “PAWrometer”
  • Ketchum on behalf of Mastercard – Mastercard “Wears” the Future of Connected Commerce on its Sleeve
  • MSLGROUP – Celebration of Service: Creating Independence at Home for U.S. Veterans
  • National Geographic Channel – Story of God Media Relations Campaign
  • The Quaker Oats Company – Quaker Keep Playing! With Chewy
  • Reebok International Ltd. – Reebok Says See Ya Soda
  • Weber Shandwick & PMK*BNC – Stella Artois “Give Beautifully” Holiday Campaign

Co-Winner: MWWPR

Subaru Drives Home the Shocking Need for Pet Safety

Media Relations_MWWPR

To address the fact that most of its customers travel without proper safety measures for their pets, Subaru partnered with a pet safety nonprofit, Center for Pet Safety (CPS) to crash test pet travel safety products. To publicize the findings of its crash safety tests, as well as drive home the importance of pet safety during travel, Subaru recruited MWWPR for a national media campaign with the goal of coverage in outlets its customers viewed most. MWWPR secured coverage on “Good Morning America,” as well as exclusive coverage of the crash tests in PARADE and features in national publications like Forbes, USA Today and The Washington Post. The campaign resulted in a massive spike in web traffic and impressions for both Subaru and CPS. MWWPR’s efforts led to positive changes in the pet safety product industry: Several pet product companies contacted CPS after the campaign to discuss ways to make future products safer.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Bayer Corporation – Making Science Make Sense: 20th Anniversary
  • Cohn & Wolfe – Colgate Encourages Consumers to Save Water Because #EveryDropCounts
  • Hanna Lee Communications, Inc. – PR Campaign for Porchlight Bar Drives 1.5 Billion Impressions
  • Hill+Knowlton Strategies – Banfield Pet Hospital Pet-Friendly Workplace “PAWrometer”
  • Ketchum on behalf of Mastercard – Mastercard “Wears” the Future of Connected Commerce on its Sleeve
  • MSLGROUP – Celebration of Service: Creating Independence at Home for U.S. Veterans
  • National Geographic Channel – Story of God Media Relations Campaign
  • The Quaker Oats Company – Quaker Keep Playing! With Chewy
  • Reebok International Ltd. – Reebok Says See Ya Soda
  • Weber Shandwick & PMK*BNC – Stella Artois “Give Beautifully” Holiday Campaign

Winner: Matter Communications

Midsize PR Firm of the Year_Matter Communications

One of the 70 fastest-growing companies in Massachusetts, Matter Communications is a leader in visual storytelling, search marketing and content marketing. The firm’s commitment to these three areas made 2015 a strong year for Matter, which won CVS, Tyco Retail Solutions and JDA Software as clients, to name a few.

 

Matter’s initiative for JDA Software, “Is Black Friday Really Over for Some Retailers?”, put a heavy emphasis on thought leadership, driving successful survey-based media and lead generation. Matter won JDA Software exclusive coverage of the survey data in The Wall Street Journal, followed by 48 other outlets including Fortune, Forbes, CNBC and Business Insider.

Calling on their expertise in visual storytelling through infographics, Matter ran two survey-based campaigns for Lojack in the last year. The two infographics received over 43 press placements and generated over 120 million impressions. This year, Boston Globe named Matter Communications a Best Place to Work for the third time in three years.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Coyne PR
  • Eastwick
  • GCI Health
  • ICR, Inc.
  • InkHouse
  • Marina Maher Communications LLC
  • Peppercomm
  • PMK•BNC

Winner: Coyne PR

USA Swimming Foundation Makes a Splash within the Multicultural Community

Multicultural Campaign_Coyne PR

In 2015, Coyne PR led publicity for the USA Swimming Foundation’s “Make A Splash” campaign, which provides children nationwide access to swimming lessons. With the aim of raising hyperlocal and national awareness for the program and drive sign-ups, especially in African American and Hispanic communities, Coyne PR recruited Olympic medalists Cullen Jones and Jessica Hardy to help boost the campaign’s kickoff event and subsequent media tour. Coyne PR conducted media outreach to local and nationwide outlets, providing a branded fact sheet with swim safety tips to accompany the wider message—that all children nationwide should have access to swimming lessons. Media coverage in multicultural outlets included features on Telemundo and Univision, as well as in The Root, Vibe, Huffington Post/Black Voices, NBC Black, Afro.com and many more.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Cohn & Wolfe – Colgate Total’s 30 Days of Laughter
  • ESPN Deportes’ Virtual Reality Press Mailer – New Studios in Mexico City
  • Flowers Communications Group – Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey presents Art, Beats and Lyrics
  • Imprenta Communications Group – NEMS
  • PRecise Communications – Toyota Presents African American Treasures from The Kinsey Collection
  • Republica, LLC – Shutterfly Puts the Accent on Your Holiday Celebración
  • TELEMUNDO Creates Nostalgia for Legendary “Queen of Salsa” Celia Cruz
  • UPRAISE Marketing + Public Relations – “Your New CEO: Empowering Organizations to Embrace and Celebrate Authenticity in the Workplace”

Winner: Molina Healthcare, Inc.

Farm Fresh Freebies

On a Shoestring Campaign_Molina Healthcare, Inc.

For Molina Healthcare’s annual community outreach event, the company’s corporate public relations team organized a farmer’s market event that provided free produce, health education resources and free medical checkups to low-income residents of the Spartanburg, South Carolina area. Molina Healthcare also partnered with a local nonprofit to provide healthy cooking demonstrations for attendees at the event. Molina’s team maximized awareness of the event and drove high attendance with media placements on local television and via radio announcements.

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Honorable Mentions

  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – The Fight to #StopSuicide
  • Archer Malmo Public Relations – Introducing the Wolf River Greenway to the Memphis Community
  • ASU Cronkite PR Lab – 33rd Annual Phoenix St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Faire
  • Coyne PR – Red Robin Tries to Rope in the Pope for Lent Promotion
  • Creation – Pizza Hut Puts the “Pie” in Pi Day
  • Deveney Communication – Proposition Coalition
  • Fingerpaint – We Bring the Heavy Trash Talk, Yo…Don’t Trash Arizona
  • Hawkins International Public Relations – Hotel Vermont Launches Nation’s First Hotel Beer Concierge
  • Trefoil Group – Frigel “Imagine the Possibilities”

Winner: Abbott

Giving Millennials an ‘Eyeful’ on Tumblr to Consider LASIK

eyefulLogo-03

Tasked with addressing negative perception of LASIK procedures to drive up procedure rates, Abbott first conducted research to reveal the biggest barriers for people considering getting LASIK. Abbott’s research showed fear of complications post-procedure as the biggest source of resistance, and the convenience of living without the hassle of contact lenses and glasses as the biggest driver of positive LASIK perceptions. Focusing on millennials as the target age group, Abbott launched a Tumblr site replete with listicles on the annoyance of contact lenses and glasses as well as longer addressing common LASIK questions and misconceptions. The campaign successfully drove target audiences to the client’s website, as well as surpassing goals for positive engagement, especially among those voicing frustration with glasses and contact lenses online.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Accenture – Creating a Disruptive Digital Platform to Showcase the Best of Accenture
  • Activision with PMK∙BNC / Step 3 PR – Skylanders SuperChargers + Max Chilton Partnership Campaign
  • Coyne PR – Pennzoil Reaches New Heights with Airlift Drift Mini Film
  • Edelman – Dove Hair Love Your Curls
  • PepsiCo – Innovation Download
  • Weber Shandwick with Milk Processor Education Program – BUILT WITH CHOCOLATE MILK: Chocolate Milk Scores With Kelley O’Hara

Co-Winner: Cherokee Nation Businesses

Anadisgoi.com

Online Press RoomMedia Center_Cherokee Nation Businesses

Cherokee Nation Businesses (CNB) launched Anadisgoi.com with the goal of creating a central news hub accessible to both the Cherokee community and the media. The site incorporates visual and written content (photo, video, press releases) in the areas of Cherokee government, business, culture and entertainment. Cherokee leaders’ Twitter feeds have been integrated and featured on the site, and news articles have been formatted for easy social sharing. The site has seen increasing traffic since its inception and its readership continues to grow.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Ferguson
  • Food Lion
  • Hilton Worldwide – Curio Impresses Media with Revamped Online Press Room

Co-Winner: Sharp HealthCare

Online Press RoomMedia Center_Sharp HealthCare

Sharp HealthCare launched its newsroom, Sharp Health News, to serve content of interest to the news media, potential and current patients and employees. Sharp HealthCare enlisted members of its digital marketing team to ensure two new stories are posted per day; sourcing some of the articles internally, while pitching the media for others. The Sharp HealthCare team ensured visual interest by incorporating photo, video and infographics into posts. The launch of the newsroom has successfully translated into a higher rate of media coverage and engagement across the website and on social media.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Ferguson
  • Food Lion
  • Hilton Worldwide – Curio Impresses Media with Revamped Online Press Room

Winner: Just Not Sports

#MoreThanMean: Women in Sports 'Face' Harassment

Podcast andor Videocast _Just Not Sports

The podcast “Just Not Sports” launched the #MoreThanMean campaign to raise awareness of online harassment towards female sportscasters. The campaign video, a PSA in which men read vulgar tweets out loud to female sportscasters, was paired with “Just Not Sports” podcasts featuring interviews with the prominent female sportscasters who served as key influencers for the campaign. Interviewees included Sports Illustrated’s Julie DiCaro, who discussed her personal experiences with harassment and with filming the PSA, NFL writer Andrea Hangst, who spoke on self-censorship, and USA Today columnist Christine Brennan, who detailed the impact of the #MoreThanMean campaign as well as the sports news industry’s long history of misogyny and harassment.

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Honorable Mentions

  • APCO Worldwide – National Association of Realtors Real Insight Digital Communications
  • broadhead – The Great Yield Mystery
  • Discovery Education and Alcoa Foundation – Manufacture Your Future Live Virtual Field Trip

Winner: JDC Healthcare Management LLC

Dangerous Viral DIY Braces Trend

Press Release _JDC Healthcare Management LLC

To warn the public of a dangerous viral DIY braces trend and position JDC Healthcare as the leading expert on the issue, the company issued an urgently worded press release detailing risks and including commentary from JDC Healthcare’s lead orthodontist, Dr. Juan Rendon. Enclosed with the press release: A jarring photo of the worst-case scenario of tooth and gum damage caused by DIY braces. The press release was quickly picked up by Refinery29, who requested an exclusive interview with Dr. Rendon. Building on the momentum of the Refinery29 coverage, further pitches were sent and picked up by many other major outlets, including MTV and “The Today Show.” Media coverage linked to JDC’s website, which saw an uptick in traffic, and social media posts widely quoted Dr. Rendon.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Finn Partners for Fujitsu America – Fujitsu Milks IoT Day and Secures Udderly Fantastic Coverage with Finn Partners
  • FleishmanHillard – #ChevyGoesEmoji

Winner: LEVICK

Warren Weinstein

Pro Bono Campaign _LEVICK

Following the 2011 kidnapping of U.S. aid official Warren Weinstein by al-Qaeda members in Pakistan, Levick ran a pro bono campaign to put pressure on both the U.S. and Pakistani governments to negotiate Weinstein’s release. To that goal, Levick successfully placed an op-ed (translated into Urdu) in a Pakistani daily newspaper, arguing the case for Weinstein’s freedom. Levick representatives buffered Weinstein’s family in the U.S. from media heat in the events following Weinstein’s capture as well as after Weinstein’s tragic death in 2015 from a U.S. counterterrorism strike. Throughout the ordeal, the Weinstein family cited a lack of support and transparency from the U.S. government. Levick secured long-form articles sympathizing with the Weinstein family’s plight in The New York Times and The Washington Post among countless other national outlets, focusing a public eye on the U.S. government’s treatment of the families of hostages.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Deveney Communication – LUNA Fête 2015
  • FleishmanHillard Vanguard and Orta Communications Group – National Textbook on PR: uniting theory, ethics and best practices to create a new standard in PR education in Russia

Co-Winner: Coyne PR

ChapStick Shines as a Beauty Essential

Product Launch_Coyne PR

To launch ChapStick’s newest product line while positioning ChapStick as a beauty product, Coyne PR aimed to secure 20 media placements, generate millions of impressions and drive sales. Coyne invited prominent beauty magazine editors to a luxury weekend getaway replete with the first-ever tour of the Chapstick Lip Lab where the product is made. Drawing on research that showed Fashion Week and celebrity influencers were important to its target market, Coyne partnered with a Fashion Week designer to incorporate Total Hydration into models’ beauty routines, as well as hosting a red carpet event backstage at the Emmys, in which celebrities sampled and posted images of themselves posing with the product on social media. Coyne’s launch efforts surpassed its media placement goals, receiving double the amount of coverage, generated millions of impressions and drove record sales.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Alpaytac PR – SharkNinja Enters Coffee Market with Ninja Coffee Bar Launch
  • Arby’s Restaurant Group and Edelman – Arby’s Goes Vegetarian on Leap Day by Offering Meatless Menu
  • The Coca-Cola Company – Coca-Cola Journey Hi-C Ecto Cooler Relaunch
  • Inner Circle Labs – OMbra: The Women’s Wearable
  • PMK•BNC and PepsiCo – Crystal Pepsi Comeback
  • Taylor – Jordan Brand Introduces The Air Jordan XXX
  • Thomson Reuters – Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Integrated Product Launch Campaign
  • Weber Shandwick – WOW air Canadian Launch Announcement
  • WPP – The New Face of Lincoln

Co-Winner: Homewood Suites by Hilton

Setting Sights South: Homewood Suites by Hilton Expands into Latin America

Product Launch_Homewood Suites by Hilton

Seeking to expand Homewood Suites by Hilton into Latin America, Hilton launched a B2B campaign to introduce the brand to hotel developers, drive sales and hotel contracts and win coverage in publications read by key stakeholders. To reach hotel developers, Hilton identified three major hotel development conferences at which it could generate buzz around its expansion. At the first conference, Hilton’s team secured a front-page business section story with its announcement in the local newspaper, delivered to conference attendees at the conference hotel. At the second conference, Hilton secured a speaker for the panel as well as circulating an infographic about tourism growth in Latin America. At the third conference, Hilton unveiled its Latin American Homewood Suites prototype, and held a media tour of the construction. These efforts resulted in Hilton exceeding sales and media placement goals, as well as securing new development contracts.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Alpaytac PR – SharkNinja Enters Coffee Market with Ninja Coffee Bar Launch
  • Arby’s Restaurant Group and Edelman – Arby’s Goes Vegetarian on Leap Day by Offering Meatless Menu
  • The Coca-Cola Company – Coca-Cola Journey Hi-C Ecto Cooler Relaunch
  • Inner Circle Labs – OMbra: The Women’s Wearable
  • PMK•BNC and PepsiCo – Crystal Pepsi Comeback
  • Taylor – Jordan Brand Introduces The Air Jordan XXX
  • Thomson Reuters – Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Integrated Product Launch Campaign
  • Weber Shandwick – WOW air Canadian Launch Announcement
  • WPP – The New Face of Lincoln

Co-Winner: Just Not Sports

#MoreThanMean - Women in Sports 'Face' Harassment

PSA_Just Not Sports

In 2015, the “Just Not Sports” podcast launched a viral PSA campaign to raise awareness about online harassment of female sportscasters. The videos featured men reading abusive social media posts out loud to prominent female sportscasters. The PSA drove home the hurtful nature of online harassment, moving it “beyond the screen” to shock viewers into taking hurtful posts seriously. The PSA was sent to media outlets spanning multiple industries, and was picked up by a mix of publications like Buzzfeed, Jezebel and The New York Times, to name a few, as well as national newscasts and morning shows. The campaign quickly picked up steam on social media. Sportscasters and celebrities took part in the campaign, sharing their experiences with online harassment and retweeting the PSA hashtag #MoreThanMean. Despite having no budget for social ads, the campaign saw millions of impressions, trended on Twitter and Facebook, and was a part of the news cycle for weeks.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Area 23 – Free Killer Tan
  • Bayer Corporation – #Thankful4Ag: A PSA to Thank Farmers and Help Feed America
  • Burson-Marsteller – New York City Department of Transportation Vision Zero Campaign
  • Deveney Communication – Be an Everyday Hero
  • GCI Health – America’s Diabetes Challenge
  • Goodwill and Ad Council – “Donate Stuff. Create Jobs.”

Co-Winner: MSLGROUP University of Iowa, and National Safety Council

MyCarDoesWhat

Print

To address a spike in the many deaths caused by car crashes, MSLGroup and the National Safety Council sought to use University of Iowa’s latest transportation research to educate drivers about existing and emerging car safety technologies. The campaign, centered around several video PSAs educating consumers on vehicle safety features and directing them to the campaign website. Aiming to reach billions of impressions for the PSA, the campaign partners launched a robust social media campaign driving viewers to an interactive website replete with educational videos, games, quizzes and infographics based on the University of Iowa’s research. The campaign more than exceeded its impressions goal and won coverage in many national outlets including The Washington Post, USA Today and NPR. Following the campaign, 10 car manufacturers pledged to make automatic emergency braking a standard feature, and the U.S. Department of Transportation incorporated the feature into its safety rating system.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Area 23 – Free Killer Tan
  • Bayer Corporation – #Thankful4Ag: A PSA to Thank Farmers and Help Feed America
  • Burson-Marsteller – New York City Department of Transportation Vision Zero Campaign
  • Deveney Communication – Be an Everyday Hero
  • GCI Health – America’s Diabetes Challenge
  • Goodwill and Ad Council – “Donate Stuff. Create Jobs.”

Co-Winner: MWWPR

Subaru Drives Home the Shocking Need for Pet Safety

PSA_MWWPR

Seeing a major knowledge gap in its customer base regarding car safety for pets, Subaru partnered with MWWPR and the Center for Pet Safety (CPS) to conduct crash tests of pet safety devices and publicize the findings. The result was a powerful PSA that showed footage of ineffective pet carriers’ rapid disintegration in a crash scenario, as well as footage and product names of the few carriers that passed the crash test. The PSA closed with a link to the campaign website and an entreaty for pet owners always to protect their dogs with a carrier (pre-campaign research showed that a majority of Subaru customers who owned pets travelled with them on their laps). The PSA campaign was shared widely on social media, earning millions of impressions, national headlines in publications like USA Today and PARADE, and features on national television including “Good Morning America,” ABC and CBS newscasts.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Area 23 – Free Killer Tan
  • Bayer Corporation – #Thankful4Ag: A PSA to Thank Farmers and Help Feed America
  • Burson-Marsteller – New York City Department of Transportation Vision Zero Campaign
  • Deveney Communication – Be an Everyday Hero
  • GCI Health – America’s Diabetes Challenge
  • Goodwill and Ad Council – “Donate Stuff. Create Jobs.”

Co-Winner: Resolute Consulting

Illinois Beverage Association

Public Affairs _Resolute Consulting

2015 stood out as a particularly hostile and challenging year for the beverage industry due to tax proposals on sugar-sweetened beverages being considered in the Illinois General Assembly, Cook Country Board and Chicago City Council. The idea of a soda tax gained momentum as the need for additional revenue became more apparent throughout the year. In the face of the worst economic crises in Illinois history, the Illinois Beverage Association developed and managed a campaign to educate state and local elected officials and to demonstrate the significant economic impact the non-alcoholic beverage industry has on Illinois’ economy.

During such trying economic times, Resolute Consulting and the Illinois Beverage association were able to ensure the non-alcoholic beverage industry was not impacted by the fiscal crisis. The soda tax bill did not make it out of committee for consideration in the Illinois House of the Senate and support shifted away from the health advocates.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Burson Marsteller
  • Glen Echo Group – Try COMPETIFY. The Cure for Chronic Broadband Access Control
  • Ketchum on behalf of Michelin – Beyond the Driving Test: Michelin Puts Air in Teens’ Tire Awareness
  • MSLGROUP University of Iowa, and National Safety Council – MyCarDoesWhat
  • National Education Association – Ending No Child Left Behind So That Every Student Succeeds
  • TriNet – 2016 Presidential Election Survey
  • S. Green Building Council – State of Our Schools: America’s K-12 Facilities

 

Co-Winner: SOMA Strategies & CHPA

Up & Away: National Poison Prevention Week

Public Affairs _SOMA Strategies & CHPA

Building on data showing nearly 60,000 kids land in the emergency room every year due to accidental medicine ingestion (which translates to four busloads of kids every day), SOMA Strategies and CHPA built awareness among parents—moms in particular—of younger children during National Poison Prevention Week.

Conversation and engagement were the team’s markers of success. Recognizing the need for diverse content, the partners created gifs in Spanish and English for use exclusively on a newly launched Instagram feed. The content was short and to the point with just the child’s eye moving, launching the theme of “in the blink of an eye,” to convey how quickly accidents can happen. To leverage its messages and further cultivate strong relationships with important allies, SOMA Strategies and CHPA actively worked to ask its bloggers to tag and share content from partners like the Centers for Disease Control and the American Association of Poison Control Centers. The partners’ work resulted in more than 21,000 likes, shares and comments on Instagram with a 11,600 percent increase in followers.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Burson Marsteller
  • Glen Echo Group – Try COMPETIFY. The Cure for Chronic Broadband Access Control
  • Ketchum on behalf of Michelin – Beyond the Driving Test: Michelin Puts Air in Teens’ Tire Awareness
  • MSLGROUP University of Iowa, and National Safety Council – MyCarDoesWhat
  • National Education Association – Ending No Child Left Behind So That Every Student Succeeds
  • TriNet – 2016 Presidential Election Survey
  • S. Green Building Council – State of Our Schools: America’s K-12 Facilities

 

Winner: ChanceLight Behavioral Health, Therapy & Education

Employee Ambassadors Launch New Brand, Unite Family

Re-BrandingRe-positioning_ChanceLight Behavioral Health, Therapy & Education

The “Your Story is Our Story” video campaign was a series of five video vignettes produced to educate employees about ChanceLight Behavioral Health, Therapy & Education as a whole. The final video informed employees of the story behind the name ChanceLight: During World War II, pilots in distress could request a powerful light at the end of the runway to help guide them safely home. That light was called a Chance Light. School districts and families often turn to ChanceLight in situations of difficulty, and the brand provides guidance and hope just like the light at the end of the runway.

Immediately following the ChanceLight reveal, a survey was distributed to all employees. Respondents documented that the primary goal of informing employees that they were part of something bigger then themselves was successful. Forty percent of employees also said that they were better informed about the brand and its divisions.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Coyne PR – ChapStick Shines as a Beauty Essential
  • Inspira Marketing Group – The Life is Good Tour
  • Lockheed Martin – Engineering A Better Tomorrow: Our Enterprise-Level Storytelling
  • MWWPR – Revamping TIDAL’s Image as a Chart-Topping Music Streaming App
  • DFW Airport & PAVLOV Agency- DFW Airport Rebrand
  • Peppercomm – Wilmington Trust: Developing and leveraging a new brand positioning statement in the financial marketplace
  • Türk Telekom – Single Brand And New Logo Launch

Co-Winner: Aflac

The 2015 Aflac WorkForces Report

Research & Measurement_Aflac

The past few years have brought major changes to the health care industry that have affected consumers, businesses and insurance brokers. To further complicate the situation, employers and employees often lack current information to help them understand how health benefits programs and options are changing, leaving them unprepared to make the best decisions for themselves and their businesses. The Aflac WorkForces Report (AWR) campaign looked to provide insight on benefits and the current healthcare landscape to targeted audiences and sustain national, top-tier media coverage that included AWR information.

Aflac distributed information tailored to consumers, business owners and brokers through outreach to traditional media as well as other initiatives that secured more than 12 million media impressions. Aflac also generated an increase of more than 200,000 social followers, bringing the total to just under 1 million. Media placements in national business and industry trade media outlets enhanced Aflac’s positioning as a thought leader on voluntary insurance and healthcare with placements in outlets like CNBC, TheStreet, Forbes, FOX News, The Huffington Post, Mashable and The Motley Fool.

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Honorable Mentions

  • American Heart Association and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation with Cohn & Wolfe and Edelman
  • Flashpoint PR – SPIRE: Keep Calm and Pedal On
  • Hill+Knowlton Strategies – Banfield Pet Hospital Pet-Friendly Workplace “PAWrometer”
  • Infinite Global – Content Success: Law vs. Accounting
  • Paul Werth Associates – National Safe Boating Council: Wear It!

Co-Winner: AMN Healthcare and Finn Partners

2015 Survey of Registered Nurses

Research & Measurement_AMN Healthcare and Finn Partners

Immense changes are underway in the American health care industry, effectively reshaping the roles and duties of millions of clinical professionals, while also transforming supply and demand in the workforce. On the front lines of this revolution are registered nurses, by far the largest profession among healthcare workers and a dynamic force in the health of the American people. But the fate of nursing is unclear. That’s why AMN Healthcare and Finn Partners set out to provide much-needed information about the changes and challenges that lie ahead for nursing. The Registered Nurse Survey unveiled numerous insights into nursing trends and sentiments among nursing professionals and provided an opportunity to measure the impact of changes occurring in the healthcare industry.

Finn Partners and AMN Healthcare could measure the program in the immediate statistics of earned media, downloads and social engagement—but success is not about numbers alone. Most importantly, the survey accomplished its higher purpose of providing much-needed information to health care systems that will allow them to plan for the future. AMN Healthcare continues to use the survey’s findings in presentations it gives to the industry, ensuring the company maintains its leadership position as an innovator in the healthcare workforce.

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Honorable Mentions

  • American Heart Association and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation with Cohn & Wolfe and Edelman
  • Flashpoint PR – SPIRE: Keep Calm and Pedal On
  • Hill+Knowlton Strategies – Banfield Pet Hospital Pet-Friendly Workplace “PAWrometer”
  • Infinite Global – Content Success: Law vs. Accounting
  • Paul Werth Associates – National Safe Boating Council: Wear It!

Co-Winner: Bayer Corporation

Making Science Make Sense: A 20th Anniversary SMT to promote STEM education and science literacy in the United States

Satellite Media Tours_Bayer Corporation

The need to advance science education and improve science literacy is greater today than it has ever been. Although 67 percent of new jobs created by Fortune 500 companies are STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) positions, only half of these firms can find qualified STEM degree-holders to fill them. President Obama has called for improvements in STEM education. Bayer’s “Making Science Make Sense” initiative is an award-winning program built on a rich heritage of community outreach, public education, employee engagement and public-private partnerships to advance science literacy and workforce pipeline development.

The choice of Dr. Mae Jemison as the satellite media tour spokesperson put a human face on science and provided an inspiring role model, something many parents said their children lack. Dr. Jemison, the first African-American female NASA astronaut to orbit the Earth, headed the program throughout. Nearly 400,000 broadcast impressions were secured through interviews with Dr. Jemison, and many outlets contacted Bayer for additional information about science literacy, which resulted in additional coverage and media relationships.

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Honorable Mentions

  • AbbVie – Nutrition Resource Launched with Joy Bauer Spotlights Under-Recognized GI Condition
  • Coyne PR – Goodyear Celebrates 60th Anniversary of College Football Coverage with Desmond Howard
  • MerchantCantos on behalf of Philips Lighting North America – Philips Times Square Ball NYE
  • Strauss Media Strategies – Best Buy 2015 Holiday Season

Co-Winner: Burson-Marsteller

Bank of America Dream Vacation Sweepstakes

Satellite Media Tours_Burson-Marsteller

Everyone fantasizes about dream vacations, from luxurious island escapes to weekend road trips. But quite often dream vacations can be cost prohibitive, or the perceived cost of a vacation can be enough to prevent consumers from planning. In a highly competitive travel rewards credit card environment, Bank of America sought to increase awareness of credit cards as one method of making a dream vacation come true, while also addressing common misperceptions that travel rewards cards often don’t deliver on their promises of easy-to-earn, easy-to-redeem points that provide tangible value.

Ultimately, the satellite media tour orchestrated by Burson-Marsteller on behalf of Bank of America served as a catalyst to drive traffic and awareness for the Dream Vacation Sweepstakes. The tour resulted in more than 400 media placements that generated over 200 million impressions. The partners secured coverage in major media markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston and Atlanta. The contest compiled more than 190,000 entries, totaling almost 600,000 page views.

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Honorable Mentions

  • AbbVie – Nutrition Resource Launched with Joy Bauer Spotlights Under-Recognized GI Condition
  • Coyne PR – Goodyear Celebrates 60th Anniversary of College Football Coverage with Desmond Howard
  • MerchantCantos on behalf of Philips Lighting North America – Philips Times Square Ball NYE
  • Strauss Media Strategies – Best Buy 2015 Holiday Season

Winner: Henson Consulting, Inc.

Small PR Firm of the Year_Henson Consulting, Inc.

Described by one client as providing “exceptional personalized attention, creative inspiration and positive energy,” Henson has achieved much as a small firm, and it continues to grow: Founded by Kathleen Henson in a Chicago basement in 2001, the firm has grown to a staff of 34, managing over 40 leading brands on its roster. In the last year, Henson drove successful campaigns for major brands including Peter Pan Peanut Butter, Werther’s Original and Waldorf Astoria, among others.

Henson’s creative Werther’s Original campaign aligned the brand with a well-publicized celebration of National Caramel Day, incorporating influencer marketing and a media event in Times Square surrounding a 6-foot diameter jar filled with Werther’s Original caramels, which garnered almost 300 million media impressions. Henson also led a campaign for the makeup request app LISA, which gained name recognition through a well- researched and targeted earned media campaign. The app received so many downloads in its first week that the Henson team had to reel in its media efforts following the launch.

Henson has received numerous national and local industry awards for its work, and was certified by The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council in 2015 for its woman-led and women-dominated workforce.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Hawkins International Public Relations
  • HCK2 Partners
  • High10 Media
  • INK Public Relations
  • Murphy O’Brien Public Relations
  • Schmidt Public Affairs
  • Singer Associates, Inc.
  • Solomon McCown & Company
  • Warschawski

Co-Winner: FleishmanHillard

GameOn with AT&T

Social Media Campaign_FleishmanHillard

AT&T and FleishmanHillard brought to life what it meant to get your #GameOn during the 2016 NCAA March Madness college basketball tournament. As a lead sponsor of the competition, AT&T created a cross-platform social program that showcased how the brand connects fans to the game through the strength of the company’s network and device features that enable fans to connect to the action no matter where they are. The campaign came to life on the company’s main consumer channels—Facebook and Twitter—in addition to Tumblr.

AT&T and FleishmanHillard partnered with social influencers and bloggers to help amplify the #GameOn conversation on their own channels, as well as using their own influence to help promote a social sweepstakes that coincided with the campaign. The partners created an original content series using GIFs, videos and still images with corresponding copy to highlight use cases relating to streaming the games and why AT&T is the best network to do so on. The #GameOn conversation was used 22,000 times, garnering a reach of 67.4 million conversations across the three-week campaign. The conversations on Twitter were overwhelmingly positive, giving community managers ample opportunity to respond to fans with customizable graphics.

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Honorable Mentions

  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – The Fight to #StopSuicide
  • FamilyShare Network | Deseret Digital Media – Weinstein: Paddington Bear
  • Hilton Worldwide – Influencing Curiosity for Curio: a Burgeoning Hotel Brand
  • Mars, Incorporated – M&M’S and Red Nose Day: #MakeMLaugh
  • MSLGROUP for The Home Depot – Celebration of Service: #ServiceSelfies Create Independence at Home for U.S. Veterans
  • Transurban – Real Stories from the Express Lanes
  • SAP – The #One4 Project
  • SOMA Strategies & CHPA – Up & Away: National Poison Prevention Week

Co-Winner: Ruder Finn on Behalf of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research

A Future without Parkinson’s: Leveraging a mega pop-culture moment to reach new audiences and build donor base

Social Media Campaign_Ruder Finn on Behalf of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research

The Michael J. Fox foundation and Ruder Finn leveraged October 21, 2015—“Back to the Future Day”—to find a share of voice for Parkinson’s disease research. The date on which Mart McFly travels in the second part of the “Back to the Future” trilogy sparked year-long celebrations of the trilogy’s thirtieth anniversary. The partners sought to galvanize the Parkinson’s community to action and build the Foundation’s base of financial support and constituent engagement. The partners set out to highlight the Michael J. Fox Foundation’s mission to cure Parkinson’s disease, and to motivate giving and engagement as part of a larger feel-good moment related to Michael J. Fox and his iconic Hollywood career.

Through a strategic and cohesive approach, the partners successfully leveraged this pop culture moment to extend the Foundation’s share of voice. The White House letter penned by Michael was shared with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s email list of 5 million subscribers and tweeted out to its 7 million followers. Social reach across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram increased by more than 130,000 in a single day.

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Honorable Mentions

  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – The Fight to #StopSuicide
  • FamilyShare Network | Deseret Digital Media – Weinstein: Paddington Bear
  • Hilton Worldwide – Influencing Curiosity for Curio: a Burgeoning Hotel Brand
  • Mars, Incorporated – M&M’S and Red Nose Day: #MakeMLaugh
  • MSLGROUP for The Home Depot – Celebration of Service: #ServiceSelfies Create Independence at Home for U.S. Veterans
  • Transurban – Real Stories from the Express Lanes
  • SAP – The #One4 Project
  • SOMA Strategies & CHPA – Up & Away: National Poison Prevention Week

Winner: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

Goodyear's "Moonshot"

Speeches_The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

Goodyear was preparing to become the first tire manufacturer to sell tires online directly to consumers. This was a significant departure from the way people bought tires for generations—almost exclusively through independent tire dealers or company-owned stores. Goodyear’s choice was clear: lead the industry and commit to meeting the expectations of consumers by offering tires for sale online, or stay with the traditional business model and risk being left behind.

Goodyear had to make it clear that tire dealers would be a critical participant in the new model, as consumers would still rely on them for installation and service. The company announced its e-commerce platform at its annual North America Dealer Conference. The last major business event of the conference was the keynote speech from CEO Rich Kramer. The objective of Kramer’s speech was to “close the deal” and provide the last word on Goodyear’s commitment to e-commerce. By the end of the conference, 1,200 dealer locations were enrolled, which rose in three months to 2,500, hitting the full-year target.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Burson-Marsteller – Bank of America: Fostering Conversation and Strengthening Connections with Women-Owned Small Businesses
  • Qlik – Data-driven Possibilities Speech
  • Susan Davis International – Caregivers Face Suicide

Co-Winner: FleishmanHillard

Aflac

Team of the Year_FleishmanHillard

The FleishmanHillard team behind Aflac’s 2015 public relations efforts focused on several key initiatives, including an executive outreach and diversity and mentoring campaign, the launch of One Day Pay and a Workforces Report.

For the first initiative, the FleishmanHillard team was tasked with demonstrating the depth of Aflac’s attention to professional advancement of minority employees. To that end, the team focused on the stories of two African American women in leadership roles at the insurance giant, one of whom, Audrey Tillman, had yet to gain media recognition on a national level. The team succeeded in a breadth of earned media (The New York Times, Forbes, “Morning Joe”, to name a few), and Tillman was named to the Wall Street Journal’s list of Top 50 General Counsels in America.

The 2015 FleishmanHillard team also crafted Aflac’s One Day Pay campaign, amplifying a program that allowed customers to pay and process claims with a one-day turnaround. This campaign was a major success, driving record sales for the company in its fourth quarter, 1.2 billion media impressions, and more than a million One Day Pay claims paid in 2015. The same FleishmanHillard team planned and executed the public relations strategy for Aflac’s Workforces Report tracking employee benefits trends and overall attitudes about benefits in the workplace. The campaign finished with 1.5 billion impressions and was responsible for the generation of new sales leads at its height.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Bayer Corporation – Communications, Government Relations & Policy Group
  • Cisco Corporate Communications
  • COM – Global Public Relations Team
  • IW Group, Inc. – CODE
  • Ketchum – Mastercard
  • Salesforce Corporate Communications – Dojo
  • Tableau Software – Global PR Team

Co-Winner: Procter & Gamble

Internal Communications

Team of the Year_Procter & Gamble

In 2015, P&G’s internal communications team planned and executed a messaging strategy to keep employees informed about the company, excited about P&G’s future and engaged in company goals.

The team smoothly transitioned communications around P&G’s new CEO. Their CEO succession messaging strategy resulted in employee survey responses reflecting stronger confidence in the company’s future. The team then launched an employee engagement program entitled All In to Win, centering on a downloadable toolbox of visual assets which were incorporated into P&G office decor and culture worldwide.

The team released three video animations to let P&G employees in on a company-wide communications strategy, with an emphasis on company history and “straight-talk” for clearer, more assertive communication. The team also launched a brand ambassador program that successfully leveraged employees with active social media channels to voice their excitement about working at the company.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Bayer Corporation – Communications, Government Relations & Policy Group
  • Cisco Corporate Communications
  • COM – Global Public Relations Team
  • IW Group, Inc. – CODE
  • Ketchum – Mastercard
  • Salesforce Corporate Communications – Dojo
  • Tableau Software – Global PR Team

Winner: Consumer Technology Association

CES 2016

Trade ShowEvent PR_Consumer Technology Association

In order to maintain the primacy of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the brand launched a PR campaign focused on reaching and attracting industry influencers in targeted vertical markets and developing a narrative within the show to support those areas, integrating impactful and relevant consumer technology trends. The Consumer Electronics Association developed and executed an extensive, targeted media engagement campaign that included individual outreach, the launch of onsite coverage and international and domestic media tours.

The strategic plan focused on taking a fresh approach to how the show is viewed and discussed by attendees and exhibitors and how the media covers the show in Las Vegas. This plan helped CES draw more exhibitors than ever before. Media attendance also broke records with more than 6,500 outlets covering the event. CES spokespeople conducted 137 interviews (up from 109 last year), which were broadcast to television, radio and online audiences around the world.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Lambert, Edwards & Associates – North American International Auto Show
  • PAN Communications – SAP Hybris Americas Summit & Game Plan Conference
  • Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems – Raytheon AESA/GaN Radar Launch
  • Scott Public Relations – The Future of Healthcare: The CAPP Event that Redefined Patient-Physician Relationships

Winner: WE Communications

Volvo Intercepts the Super Bowl

Twitter Campaign _WE Communications

Volvo is an automotive brand with a storied legacy in safety in the midst of a massive brand revitalization and its biggest vehicle launch in more than a decade. But despite strong promise and residual fringe consumer love, U.S. sales were still declining in 2015. Many in the media were predicting the brand would soon fold in North America. As part of its brand revitalization efforts, Volvo and WE Communications identified one of its key audiences as young affluent families. These people—on the cusp of the millennial generation—are socially connected. The same marketing tactics and TV spots Volvo ran for 60 years simply wouldn’t do to win new buyers and prove the critics wrong.

The idea was simple. With a simple video, the brand gave consumers a task: during any Super Bowl car ad, tweet the name of someone they’d want to gift a Volvo using #VolvoContest. The team married the highly-active social media campaign with traditional media efforts including a press release followed by pitching and storytelling among general interest, consumer, business, automobile and advertising publications. The resulting coverage, from outlets as diverse as Refinery29 to The New York Times, led to Volvo’s XC60 winning the highest February sales increase of any car in its segment. And Volvo’s U.S. retail sales were up 18 percent with strong demand for the SC60.

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Honorable Mentions

  • The Bait Shoppe – Sheraton: Delight My Delay
  • MMC – Head & Shoulders and MMC Create an Army of Real-Time Endorsers
  • Mars, Incorporated – M&M’S and Red Nose Day: #MakeMLaugh
  • Mars, Incorporated – M&M’S 1 Million Tastes of Crispy Giveaway: #NashHasCrispy
  • DFW Airport & PAVLOV Agency – DFW Airport’s #DFWSpringBreak

Co-Winner: Happy Family

This is Happy

Video Program_Happy Family

As the number two organic baby food company in the U.S., Happy Family’s Happy Baby product is helping lead growth in the industry. But the brand knows there’s one hurdle standing in the way of it capturing and maintaining the number one spot: There are tons of baby food brands, and parents aren’t overly concerned with learning their names. In fact, all parents seem to care about is buying products at the lowest price possible. When Happy Family set out to create its campaign, it was focused on generating brand awareness and emotional affinity by showing its point of view on what happiness means for children and their parents. To do this, the brand created the hyper-targeted, easy to recall campaign “This is Happy.”

Because the brand knew the millennial mom greatly over-indexes in consuming content online, the brand developed a plan to serve its video in her native space—while perusing Facebook, checking in on her favorite influencer, or catching up on her most helpful websites. Shortly after the video launched, engagement with the brand soared. The video reached more than 1 million views in its first week. Combined viewership drove shares on social media that resulted in 175,000 total engagements.

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Honorable Mentions

  • American Heart Association FDA – Life is Why
  • BizWireTV – Business Wire
  • Consumer Technology Association – CES 2016 CESTV Campaign
  • FleishmanHillard & Avaya – Stuff Business People Say
  • Ketchum on behalf of Michelin – Beyond the Driving Test: Michelin Puts Air in Teens’ Tire Awareness
  • Porter Novelli – T-Mobile Launches Binge On Up for April Fools’ Day
  • Sparkloft Media – SB Story: Made in Santa Barbara
  • Trafalgar – Confessions of a Travel Agent
  • Weber Shandwick & National Pork Board – Grill Crashers

Co-Winner: Viacom

Witness the Power of Story

Video Program_Viacom _Witness the Power of Story

Viacom launched the “Witness the Power of Story” campaign in partnership with WITNESS, the global human rights organization co-founded by activist and musician Peter Gabriel, to inspire everyday people to tell their stories. The company aimed to create and empower audiences while raising awareness for its CSR initiatives and reminding people of the powerful storytelling tool that rests inside their pocket every day: their smartphone.

Viacom sought to engage as many people as possible in the campaign by activating not one, but eight of its brands in the initiative. What made the campaign especially ambitious is that fact that, through each of those eight videos and brands, Viacom tackled eight distinct social issues, including gender bias, veteran health and wellness, LGBT equality, rural education, African American youth stereotypes, motivating kids to help others and supporting music programs in school. The campaign totaled more than 33 million social impressions, helped along by shares from celebrities and individuals like Nick Cannon and Imam A Siddique. The campaign was also covered in outlets like Ad Week and MediaPost.

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Honorable Mentions

  • American Heart Association FDA – Life is Why
  • BizWireTV – Business Wire
  • Consumer Technology Association – CES 2016 CESTV Campaign
  • FleishmanHillard & Avaya – Stuff Business People Say
  • Ketchum on behalf of Michelin – Beyond the Driving Test: Michelin Puts Air in Teens’ Tire Awareness
  • Porter Novelli – T-Mobile Launches Binge On Up for April Fools’ Day
  • Sparkloft Media – SB Story: Made in Santa Barbara
  • Trafalgar – Confessions of a Travel Agent
  • Weber Shandwick & National Pork Board – Grill Crashers

Winner: eBay with Edelman

Hot Deals for Hot Days

eBays Hot Deals for Hot Days-mosphere, Airstream-mosphere

There are few things people love more than a great deal. eBay’s communications team was charged with increasing awareness of the eBay Deals program and its new inventory across fashion, technology and home, while encouraging visitors to keep coming back. People want high quality products and services at a great value. The team’s challenge was to turn thinking about eBay’s Deal’s program into a daily habit. Lightning struck when the team decided to tie the Deals program to a daily habit that people already have—checking the weather—making shoppers more inclined to engage and integrate the offering into their everyday lives.

Hot Deals for Hot Days was launched to give discounts corresponding to the weather. When it was 87 degrees in New York City, shoppers got 87% off their Ray-Ban or Michael Kors sunglasses. The idea became the core of an integrated communciations marketing campaign that drove consumer awarensss through hundreds of millions of earned media and social impressions in just one week. The team secured more than 50 articles in outlets like Mashable, Huffington Post, Time Out New York, Forbes and ABC News.

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Honorable Mentions

  • FirstEnergy Corp. – FirstEnergy Educates Customers to Prevent Frauds and Scams
  • JLL – Office ReNew
  • JLL – Skyline
  • PepsiCo – Innovation Download
  • Walker Sands Communications – #ImAnEngineer
  • Weber Shandwick & The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry – The Monster-Free Mouths Movement

Winner: Just Not Sports & One Tree Forest Films

#MoreThanMean: Women in Sports 'Face' Harassment

Word of MouthViral Campaign_Just Not Sports

Many U.S. women sports reporters are harassed, taunted or even threatened online just for doing their jobs in a male-dominated arena. When these reporters speak out, their complaints are often dismissed, or, worse, the vulgarities increase in intensity and frequency. Just Not Sport’s goal was to increase awareness about online harassment and change attitudes towards online harassment among sports media and fans alike.

The team asked real men to read real internet comments directly to women sports reporters. Finally, men heard, saw and experienced the shocking online harassment happening to women sportswriters every day. The team filmed the awkward, emotional exchanges to show tangible proof that most sports fans would never say such vulgar things to another person in real life. #MoreThanMean sparked a global conversation. The campaign generated hundreds of millions of social impressions and nearly 7 million organic video views. It prompted scores of major media figures, celebrities and others, to share how the campaign opened their eyes and changed their attitudes toward online harassment.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Area 23 – Free Killer Tan
  • Creation – Pizza Hut Puts the “Pie” in Pi Day
  • FleishmanHillard Vanguard – PepsiCo Time to Drink Kefir

Winner: WE Communications

Volvo Intercepts the Super Bowl

WOW! Award_WE Communications

Volvo is an automotive brand with a storied legacy in safety, currently in the midst of a massive brand revitalization and its biggest vehicle launch in more than a decade. But despite strong promise and residual, fringe consumer love, U.S. sales were still declining in 2015. Many in the media were predicting the brand would soon fold in North America. As part of its brand revitalization efforts, Volvo and WE Communications identified one of its key audiences as young affluent families. These people—on the cusp of the millennial generation—are socially connected. The same marketing tactics and TV spots Volvo ran for 60 years simply wouldn’t do to win new buyers and prove the critics wrong.

The idea was simple. With a simple video, the brand gave consumers a task: during any Super Bowl car ad, tweet the name of someone they’d want to gift a Volvo using #VolvoContest. The team married the highly-active social media campaign with traditional media efforts, including a press release followed by pitching general interest, consumer, business, automobile and advertising publications. The resulting coverage, from outlets as diverse as Refinery29 to The New York Times, led to Volvo’s XC60 winning the highest February sales increase of any car in its segment. Additionally, Volvo’s U.S. retail sales were up 18 percent with strong demand for the SC60.

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Honorable Mentions

  • BWK New York – “Meet the Press”: How We Opened up the Reporter Pitching Process to Help 20 Young Innovators Maximize PR Outcomes at TED2016
  • Coyne and Goodyear Set Epic World Record
  • Creation – Going for Gold: Pizza Hut’s Golden Garlic Knot Pizza Shines at Super Bowl 50
  • Hanna Lee Communications, Inc. – PR Campaign for Whimsical New Bar, The Happiest Hour, Drives 828 Million Impressions
  • Ketchum on behalf of Mastercard – Mastercard Chips Away Security Fears

2016 Platinum Hall of Fame Inductees

This is the seventh year we're including the Hall of Fame as part of PR News’ Platinum PR Awards. For the Hall of Fame, PR News selects communications campaigns or initiatives that were launched at least three years ago and that we think will likely be referred to in years to come-after the campaigns have ended-as having been very original and having had a larger impact than even its creators might have imagined. Congratulations to this year's class of inductees:

  • Centers for Disease Control and PreventionPreparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse
  • Coca-Cola Company#ShareaCoke
  • T-MobileUn-Carrier
  • United Nations Foundation and 92nd Street Y#GivingTuesday

2016 PR Professionals of the Year

  • Adam Woullard

    FleishmanHillard
  • Adriana Stan

    W Magazine
  • Brad Burke

    Weber Shandwick
  • Heather Feit

    PMK•BNC
  • Janice Kapner

    T-Mobile
  • Jon Sullivan

    Aflac
  • K. Sara Robertson

    National Education Association (NEA)
  • Mia Carbonell

    Forbes Media
  • Steve Ertel

    World Wildlife Fund
  • Wendy Lund

    GCI Health

Contact Us

If you have any questions, please contact:

Mary-Lou French, Awards Coordinator

mfrench@accessintel.com
301.354.1851

Rachel Scharmann, Marketing Manager

rscharmann@accessintel.com
301.354.1713