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PRSA Maryland Recognizes Excellence in Communications with 32 Awards at Diamond Anniversary ‘Best in Maryland’ Gala

BALTIMORE, Dec. 10, 2021 — The Public Relations Society of America Maryland Chapter bestowed 32 Best in Maryland and Award of Excellence awards in 16 categories, as well as two professional awards, during a virtual gala and awards show held on December 9, 2021.

The Best in Show award was presented to The Hatcher Group for its Student African American Brotherhood work to refresh SAAB’s visual brand and redesign their website. SAAB is dedicated to ensuring men of color have the support needed to excel academically, socially, and professionally while pursuing higher education.

Crosby Marketing Communications won the most awards with five, followed by Montgomery Parks (four) and MDOT SHA, Devaney and BGE, each bringing home three awards.

Entries were reviewed by a panel of judges made up of public relations professionals from PRSA’s Phoenix Chapter and carefully evaluated based on the following criteria: planning/content, creativity/quality, technical excellence and overall results.

This year’s gala, recognizing the Maryland chapter’s 60th anniversary, was emceed by Dr. David Marshall, Ph.D., APR, Professor and Chair, Department of Strategic Communication, Morgan State University and 2021 Maryland chapter president; Jeffrey Davis, APR, three-time chapter president and head of J. Davis Public Relations; and Dianna Fornaro, M.A, APR, Senior Communications Specialist, Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company and the chapter’s accreditation/APR chair.

Following is a list of all awardees:

Professional Awards

  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Anita Brightman, APR, PRSA Fellow, A. Bright Idea Advertising and PR
  • Rising Star Award, recognizing an up-and-coming professional in public relations – Jamie Abell, A. Bright Idea Advertising and PR

This year’s Best in Maryland Awards Signature sponsor is Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company, supporting the chapter along with JukeStrat, Maryland Marketing Partnership, BGE, Fovndry, Maryland Lottery and TheYuCrew.

Best in Maryland Award Winners

Programs

PRO BONO

BEST IN MARYLAND – Boost Bmore, Abel Communications

COVID-19 COMMUNICATIONS

BEST IN MARYLAND – Helping Marylanders Protect Themselves Against COVID-19, University of Maryland School of Medicine Office of Public Affairs & Communications

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – COVID-19 Employee and Customer Communications and Media Engagement, BGE Communications

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Promoting Public Health and Safety During COVID-19, Crosby Marketing Communications

MARKETING

BEST IN MARYLAND – BGE ConnectedRewards, BGE/Honeywell

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Fairy Tale COVID Campaign, Baltimore Gas & Electric

INTEGRATED COMMUNICATIONS

BEST IN MARYLAND – Re the We Relationships Initiative, Crosby Marketing Communications

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Lead Boldly B2B Campaign, Crosby Marketing Communications

PUBLIC SERVICE (Campaign)

BEST IN MARYLAND  – Support More Victories for Veterans PSAs, Crosby Marketing Communications

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – The Financial Education Initiative Maryland Auto Insurance

EVENTS AND OBSERVANCES < 7 DAYS

BEST IN MARYLAND – REALTOR® Fest 2020, Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS (GCAAR)

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Financial Education Initiative, Maryland Auto Insurance

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – THB Bagelry & Deli Columbia Grand Opening, Planit

REPUTATION/BRAND MANAGEMENT

BEST IN MARYLAND – Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB), The Hatcher Group

EVENTS AND OBSERVANCES >7 DAYS

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Open Parkways, Montgomery Parks

Tactics

MAGAZINES/NEWSLETTERS-Print

BEST IN MARYLAND – Adventist HealthCare and You Magazine, Adventist HealthCare

CREATIVE TACTICS – Assoc/Nonprofit-Govt

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Flooding Maryland with Safety: State of Maryland Hazard Mitigation Plan Update Virtual Room, AECOM

BROCHURES – Digital

BEST IN MARYLAND – Virtual Meeting Toolkit, Chesapeake Employers Insurance Co.

CREATIVE TACTICS – For Profit

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – COVID-19 Construction Safety Banners, Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance

WEBSITES

BEST IN MARYLAND – MyMOS Mobile App, Crosby Marketing Communications

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Montgomery Parks Online Programs, Montgomery Parks

BROCHURES – Digital

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Heartstrings Fund Brochure, Devaney & Associates/Baltimore Medical System

ANNUAL REPORTS

BEST IN MARYLAND – The Year in Review, Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Making a Masterpiece 2020 Annual Report, Devaney & Associates/Carroll Hospital

VIDEOS

BEST IN MARYLAND – U=U Maryland Testimonial Video, Devaney & Associates/Chase Brexton Health Care/Baltimore City Health Department

EDITORIALS/OP-ED COLUMNS

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Private Sector Voice on Challenges of Today, Greater Baltimore Committee

VIDEOS

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – 2020 Board Installation Promotional Video, Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS (GCAAR)

PUBLICATIONS

BEST IN MARYLAND 2021 Scholarly Journals Subscription Catalog, Johns Hopkins University Press

ANNUAL REPORTS

BEST IN MARYLAND – Year in Review for the State Legislature, MDOT SHA

MEDIA RELATIONS-Assoc/Nonprofit/Govt

BEST IN MARYLAND – A Highway to History: MDOT SHA Archaeologists Discover Home of Harriet Tubman’s Father, MDOT SHA

SOCIAL MEDIA – Assoc/Nonprofit/Govt

BEST IN MARYLAND – Highway Workers Nearly Struck and Killed, MDOT SHA

CREATIVE TACTICS – Assoc/Nonprofit-Govt

BEST IN MARYLAND – Trails Less Traveled, Montgomery Parks

MAGAZINES/NEWSLETTERS – Digital

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Explore From Home Newsletter, Montgomery Parks

MEDIA RELATIONS – Assoc/Nonprofit/Govt

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE – Tobacco Free Kids Media Relations, The Hatcher Group

About PRSA Maryland
The Maryland Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA Maryland) was established in 1961 to help public relations and communications professionals stay connected professionally and personally. As part of the nation’s largest and foremost organization of communication professionals, PRSA Maryland offers networking, training, resources, and support to assist members in practicing public relations at the speed of communication. For more information, visit www.prsamd.org.

Anita Brightman to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award from PRSA Maryland

Anita Brightman, APR, PRSA Fellow, will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Public Relations Society of America Maryland Chapter during a virtual ceremony at the 2021 Best in Maryland Gala on December 9.

The award recognizes industry leaders, with a minimum of 20 years of experience, who have exhibited extraordinary achievements and demonstrated outstanding leadership in the field of public relations.

“It is such an incredible honor to be recognized for my achievements as a public relations practitioner,” said Brightman, founder and CEO of A. Bright Idea Advertising and PR. “Much of this honor belongs to friends, colleagues and family whose support I counted on for nearly three decades. I will continue to learn, adapt and serve as a committed public relations professional.”

Brightman started her decades-long journey in the public relations field as public affairs contractor for the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Activity, after earning a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Towson University. Brightman committed herself to life-long learning and promotes it as a value to colleagues and A. Bright Idea employees.

Brightman achieved her Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) designation in 2003 and earned the ultimate distinction for public relations in 2014 with an induction into the Public Relations Society of America College of Fellows. Today, Brightman passionately mentors seasoned as well as emerging public relations stars through employment, networking, college visits and as part of the PRSA Maryland Chapter Mentorship Program.

In 1996, Brightman founded A. Bright Idea to support government, local businesses and nonprofits. In those early days of the business, PRSA provided the guiding principles for consulting clients as a sole public relations practitioner. Brightman led by example with her focus on serving as what she dubbed a “consultant contractor.” Working in concert with clients, she and her team offer strategic consultation in addition to implementing required tasks, with the proven PRSA four-step process of research, planning, implementation and evaluation.

Over the last 25 years, Brightman grew A. Bright Idea from a sole practitioner home-based business to a creative campus with locations on both coasts, including its headquarters in Bel Air, Maryland, and two offices in Burbank and Sonoma, California. Brightman built the company to nearly 40 employees, earning recognition as one of the Top 100 Minority and Women Business Entrepreneurs in Maryland.

Brightman’s focus for A. Bright Idea from day one was to create a team passionate about doing good work for clients who, in turn, do good work for others. Brightman instilled a culture of “selfless service” at her agency, mentoring or creating career opportunities for aspiring creatives, prioritizing volunteerism support, donating work and sponsorship for organizations providing services for our youth and our military.

PRSA Maryland Reveals 21 Finalists for “Best in Maryland” Awards

BALTIMORE, Md. (November 2, 2021) — The Public Relations Society of America Maryland Chapter (PRSA Maryland), the leading organization serving communications and public relations professionals in central Maryland, has announced names of the finalists for its annual awards program.

A total of 21 organizations are up for awards in the “Best in Maryland” program. Winners, including Best of Show, will be revealed at the chapter’s virtual awards gala on December 9. Finalists, who will win a “Best in Maryland” award or a runner-up “Award of Excellence,” represent the following organizations:

Abel Communications
Adventist HealthCare
AECOM
BGE Communications
Chesapeake Employers Insurance Company
Crosby Marketing Communications
Devaney & Associates
Greater Baltimore Committee
Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS
Johns Hopkins University Press
Maryland Auto Insurance
MDOT SHA
Montgomery Parks
Planit
The Hatcher Group
University of Maryland School of Medicine Office of Public Affairs & Communications

The 2021 Virtual Best in Maryland (BIM) Awards Gala will take place on December 9 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets ($45 general admission; $35 for PRSA Maryland members) are on sale now and can be reserved online: https://prsamd.wildapricot.org/event-4540072

This year’s BIM Signature sponsor is Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance. Additional sponsorship levels are still available. Contact Laurie Farrell at info@prsamd.org.

Open to all communications professionals who work in Maryland, the BIM Awards are presented annually to public relations practitioners who have successfully addressed a communications challenge with exemplary professional skill, creativity and resourcefulness.

Each entry was reviewed by a panel of judges made up of public relations professionals from the PRSA’s Phoenix Chapter and carefully evaluated based on the following criteria: planning/content, creativity/quality, technical excellence and overall results.

About PRSA Maryland
The Maryland Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA Maryland) was established in 1961 to help public relations and communications professionals stay connected professionally and personally. As part of the nation’s largest and foremost organization of communication professionals, PRSA Maryland offers networking, training, resources, and support to assist members in practicing public relations at the speed of communication. For more information, visit www.prsamd.org.

PRSA MD Service Opportunity: Call for Judges for Wisconsin PRSA Awards

It is that time of year again where our chapter performs a valuable service for another PRSA chapter around the country – the judging of their chapter’s annual professional awards.

This time we are being called to judge The Northeast Wisconsin Chapter awards. https://prsanewis.org/index.php

This service is invaluable because without judges PRSA chapters would not have a ready remedy to celebrate the hard work and professional achievements of PRSA members.

Of course, this act is reciprocal.

Because of our participation in this, it allows our Best In Maryland entries to be judged by a sister PRSA chapter later this year. We are expecting an announcement soon about what chapter will be judging us this year for our December BIM awards.

With that said, I am soliciting your help. We will need at least 20 volunteers to participate in this year’s judging.

Here are the touchpoints:

1. If you won a PRSA MD Best in Maryland Award last year or your company did, this is a great way to pay your win forward. Your award was made possible because other PRSA members around the country volunteered their time to look at your entries.

2. If you want to submit an award this year for PRSA MD BIM, this is a good chance to see what the judging process is so that you can form a strategy when our BIM call for entries goes out later this year.

3. If you want to see what other PRSA professionals are doing around the country with campaigns, this is a great opportunity to get a look at the landscape of work in another part of the country especially with COVID communications.

If you can help, please send me an email: david.marshall@morgan.edu letting me know that you are willing to participate.

The entries are expected to be delivered to PRSA MD this weekend, and all entries are due back to NE Wisconsin on March 27.

I will be in touch with further directions once I receive your email saying you can volunteer.

Thanks so much for considering this meaningful service opportunity. It would be great to hear from volunteers by this Saturday.

Best to all, and thanks for being a member of PRSA MD.

David Marshall, Ph.D., APR
PRSA MD Chapter President

PRSA Maryland Bestows 47 Awards at First Virtual ‘Best in Maryland’ Gala

The Public Relations Society of America Maryland Chapter bestowed 47 Best in Maryland (BIM) awards in 26 categories, including a new COVID-19 category, as well as five professional awards during a virtual gala and awards show held on December 10, 2020.

For the second year in a row, the Best in Show award was presented to Sandy Hillman Communications, this year for “Apollo 11 50th Anniversary at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.”

Maryland Auto Insurance won the most BIM awards (seven), followed by Crosby Marketing Communications with six.

BIM 2020 award submissions were judged by the PRSA Hoosier Chapter. The event was emceed by Tia Malloy, following an introduction by outgoing chapter President Lisa Brusio Coster. Following is a list of all awardees:

Professional Awards
Lifetime Achievement (20+ years) – Kenneth R. Smith, APR
Paul E. Welsh (10+ years) – Courtney Benhoff, Erickson Living
Partner of Distinction – Beyond Definition
Educator of the Year – Melanie Formentin, Towson University
PR Team of the Year – Abel Communications
Kathleen Kelly Scholarship – Faith Schanck, Hofstra University

Best in Maryland Award Winners
Programs
COMMUNITY RELATIONS
Best in Maryland: HASA Partners with BOPA as “Access and Inclusion Partner” – Abel Communications
Award of Excellence: Community Comes First in West Baltimore Hospital Acquisition – LifeBridge Health

COVID-19 COMMUNICATIONS
Best in Maryland: Promoting COVID-19 Relief Fund to Support America’s Veterans – DAV and Crosby Marketing
Award of Excellence: Helping the Military Community Navigate the Impacts of COVID-19 – Military OneSource and Crosby Marketing
Award of Excellence: United Way of Central Maryland’s COVID-19 Communications – Sandy Hillman Communications

EVENTS AND OBSERVANCES < 7 DAYS
Best in Maryland / Best in Show: Apollo 11 50th Anniversary at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex – Sandy Hillman Communications
Award of Excellence: Project Sanctuary Comes to Maryland – Devaney & Associates, Inc.
Award of Excellence: St. John Properties $10M Bonus Announcement – Planit

EVENTS AND OBSERVANCES > 7 DAYS
Best in Maryland: Made Possible By Viewers Like You: Celebrating 50 Years of MPT – Maryland Public Television
Award of Excellence: Work Zone Safety – Maryland State Highway Administration

INTEGRATED COMMUNICATIONS
Best in Maryland: DAV Victories for Veterans PSA Campaign – Crosby Marketing and DAV
Award of Excellence: “Designed by Moms” Family Birthplace Campaign – Devaney & Associates, Inc.

INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS
Best in Maryland: I’m Dedicated to my C.R.A.F.T. – Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company

MARKETING
Best in Maryland: FineFix – Maryland Auto Insurance
Award of Excellence: BGE Fairy Tale Campaign – Baltimore Gas & Electric
Award of Excellence: Maryland 529 Marketing Campaign – The Hatcher Group

MULTICULTURAL PUBLIC RELATIONS
Best in Maryland: FineFix – Maryland Auto Insurance

PUBLIC SERVICE
Best in Maryland: #StopScammersSunday – BGE
Award of Excellence: Active Shooter Preparedness Seminars – Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company
Award of Excellence: MD Move Over Campaign – Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company

Components
ADVERTORIALS
Best in Maryland: FineFix – Maryland Auto Insurance

ANNUAL REPORTS
Best in Maryland: Tuerk House 2018-2019 Annual Report – Devaney & Associates, Inc.

BEST USE OF INFLUENCER COMMUNICATION
Best in Maryland: FineFix – Maryland Auto Insurance

BROCHURES – Print
Best in Maryland: E-ZPass Maryland: The Broulder – Van Eperen
Award of Excellence: MD Move Over Pamphlet – Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company

CREATIVE TACTICS – Assoc/Nonprofit/Govt
Best in Maryland: E-ZPass Maryland on Wheels – Van Eperen
Award of Excellence: Washington Dulles International Airport Takeover – Kaiser Permanente and Crosby Marketing

CREATIVE TACTICS – For Profit
Best in Maryland: Conrad Siegel’s “Investment Committee Meeting in a Box” – Abel Communications

EDITORIALS/OP-ED COLUMNS
Award of Excellence: State Highway Administrator Appeals to Drivers Approaching Work Zones – Maryland State Highway Administration

FEATURE STORIES
Best in Maryland: United Way of Central Maryland’s FISH Project – Sandy Hillman Communications

MAGAZINES/NEWSLETTERS – Digital
Best in Maryland: Photo Solutions – Coyle Studios

MEDIA RELATIONS – Assoc/Nonprofit/Govt
Best in Maryland: Reading Partners – Collins + Co.
Award of Excellence: Ingenuity Project Media Relations Campaign – Devaney & Associates, Inc.
Award of Excellence: NAA’s Rent Control & Housing Affordability Media Relations Campaign – Abel Communications

MEDIA RELATIONS – For Profit
Award of Excellence: Live! Casino & Hotel’s Chef Ed Competes on Chopped – Stanton Communications, and Live! Casino & Hotel

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS (PSA)
Best in Maryland: DAV Victories for Veterans — Bobby & Carmen PSA – Crosby Marketing and DAV
Award of Excellence: The Good In You PSA – Crosby Marketing and HRSA

PUBLICATIONS
Best in Maryland: 2020 Scholarly Journals Catalog – Johns Hopkins University Press

RESEARCH/ EVALUATION
Best in Maryland: FineFix – Maryland Auto Insurance

SOCIAL MEDIA – Assoc/Nonprofit/Govt
Best in Maryland: FineFix – Maryland Auto Insurance
Award of Excellence: MilSpouse Appreciation Day – Crosby Marketing and Military OneSource
Award of Excellence: Move Over Law Safety Campaign – Maryland State Highway Administration

VIDEOS
Best in Maryland: Afya Video – The Hatcher Group
Award of Excellence: Virtual Ribbon Cutting for Watkins Mill Interchange – Maryland State Highway Administration

WEBSITES
Best in Maryland: Secom, LLC Website Redesign – IMPACT Marketing & Public Relations
Award of Excellence: FineFix – Maryland Auto Insurance
Award of Excellence: New Project Portal Explains Highway Construction – Maryland State Highway Administration

BIM 20 sponsors included Abel Communications; Bay Media, Inc.; Pixilated; Researchscape; The Hatcher Group; HBP; and Dr. David Marshall, APR, and PRSA-MD president-elect.

The Maryland Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America was established in 1961 to help public relations and communications professionals stay connected professionally and personally. As part of the nation’s largest organization of communication professionals, PRSA Maryland offers networking, training, resources and support to help members in their practice of public relations.

–Industry News