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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.

The results are in: Congratulations to 2020 Best in Maryland Finalists!

The following organizations will win a Best in Maryland or Award of Excellence.

Attend the gala on December 10, 2020, for the reveal.

Now it is time to celebrate. Please join us on December 10, 6:00 – 7:30 PM for our 2020 Virtual Best in Maryland (BIM) Awards Gala! During the evening, we will announce winners in 26 categories. We will also honor our professional award recipients including Lifetime Achievement, Paul E. Welsh, Educator of the Year, Rising Star, Partner of Distinction, and PR Team of the Year. And the top prize, Best in Show, will round out our night, so stay seated even after your first win!

The event is free so bring the whole team. Register today. All you need to do is BYOB, find a comfy chair and let the celebration begin! We will host a bartender, games, polls, virtual sponsor booths, and giveaways. Have a question? Contact us at info@prsamd.org or 443-283-8060.

Support the event while increasing your organization’s visibility!

We have unique sponsorship opportunities available.

We’re moving ahead and celebrating our successes!

Best in Maryland Call for Entries is now open! Early deadline is August 31, 2020; final deadline is September 15, 2020.

Remember a time before the pandemic when you completed an award-worthy project, campaign or single tactic that wasn’t tied to COVID-19? And, can you believe you have produced more incredible work because of coronavirus?

We want to celebrate all of those accomplishments with the 2020 Best in Maryland Awards. This year’s program will feature two new awards recognizing how PR and Communications Professionals have stepped up to the challenges brought to us by this year’s pandemic and the racial justice movement.

  • COVID-19 COMMUNICATIONS (Campaign Award) – 2020 has been particularly crisis-oriented as the entire world continues to deal with a global pandemic. This new category includes programs designed to address issues resulting directly from the novel coronavirus and its effects on industry throughout the world. Entries can entail any work done to address COVID-19-related issues through the time of the award deadline. Given the circumstances of this pandemic, leniency will be employed when considering supporting documents, research, and results.
  • DIVERSITY & INCLUSION (Professional Award) – PRSA Maryland is committed to building consciousness by increasing visibility of D&I standards, resources and best practices for racial, ethnic, religious, sexual orientation, and gender differences, as well as diverse skill sets, mindsets and cultures at all levels of the organization. This award recognizes PR firms and organizations that have developed strategies, established more diverse workplace environments, and have established management programs to help minority groups and LGBT practitioners move up the employment ladder.

We will celebrate virtually and creatively in December, toasting to the achievements of our colleagues and friends.  Details TBA.

Best in Maryland also honors those who have made great contributions to our profession and provides a communications student with a scholarship!

Click here for categories, guidelines and more!

PRSA Maryland Recognizes Barb Clapp for the Lifetime Achievement Award at PRSA Maryland ‘Best in Maryland’ Awards Gala

Barb Clapp has been selected as the 2019 Public Relations Society of America Maryland Chapter Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Clapp, founder of Barb Clapp Advertising & Marketing LLC, will be recognized at the Best in Maryland Awards Gala on December 4 at Mt. Washington Mill Dye House. The Awards Gala will also recognize the Rising Star, Paul E. Welsh Professional and Educator of the Year winners as well as Best In Maryland PR awards.

Barb Clapp started out conducting business from her attic and grew the firm to be one of Baltimore’s most respected full-service agencies as well as a nationally recognized PR juggernaut.  She has more than 30 years of experience to public relations, marketing, and business development. Clapp has been recognized for other leadership awards, such as the CEO Report’s Mid-Atlantic Women’s Leadership Award, The Daily Record’s Most Influential Marylander, Most Admired CEO, Top 100 Women, and induction into both the Circle of Leadership and Circle of Excellence.

PRSA Maryland’s Lifetime Achievement Award honors a public relations professional whose career spans 20 years or more and who has exhibited extraordinary achievements, demonstrated outstanding leadership in the field of public relations and upholds the PRSA Code of Ethics.

Other honorees of the evening will include Educator of the Year David Marshall, Ph.D. from Morgan State University; Rising Star Lorianne Walker of Abel Communications; and Paul E Welsh recipient Emily McDermott of Van Eperen. Click here to learn more about the professional awards honorees.

“Recognizing PR professionals for career milestones has been an honor we have bestowed since 1961. I am honored to be amongst their ranks and am proud to award this year’s outstanding leaders, some of whom I know personally,” said Lisa Brusio Coster, Chapter President and president of Coster Communications.

In addition to the professional awards, winners in 23 categories will be announced culminating in the final award, the coveted Best in Show. Full list of honorees and nominees can be viewed here.

Click here for more information on the Gala.

 

–Industry News