0 Items

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.

BIM Awards Gala – The Results Are In!

PRSA-MD would like to offer our most sincere congratulations to the following companies who have been nominated for a 2013 Best in Maryland (BIM) Award of Excellence:

A. Bright Idea, LLC

Abel Communications

American Urological Association

Baltimore Gas and Electric Company

Bonnie Heneson Communications, Inc.

Clapp Communications

Comcast

Crosby Marketing Communications, Inc.

Department of Juvenile Services

Devaney & Associates, Inc.

Erickson Living

Harford County Public Schools

Impact Marketing & Public Relations, LLC

Johns Hopkins HealthCare, LLC

Johns Hopkins Medicine

Johns Hopkins University Press

Maryland Port Administration

Maryland State Highway Administration

Mayes Communications, Inc. & Strategic Design Studio

MGH

National Association for Catering and Events/Harrison Communications

Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems

Rose Communications, Inc.

The Bryn Mawr School

The Coordinating Center

Weber Shandwick Worldwide

Want to find out who the winners are?  Satisfy your curiosity during an elegant evening at the absolutely exquisite Hotel Monaco to celebrate the best and brightest in Baltimore!

Group tickets (5+) are just $95 per person.  Make it your agency/department holiday party, and make sure to take a group picture on the huge, historic marble staircase!

Limited number of seats available.  Secure yours today!

Creating a Winning Awards Entry

So you have a great success story. Now you’re wondering if its award-winning material. Only one way to find out – submit it for one of the industry’s prestigious awards like the PRSA Silver Anvil or PRSA MD’s Best in Maryland. (Note the 2010 Best In Maryland entries are due May 7 with a discount on fees for entries received by April 23!).

Before you finalize that submission, did you know that at least 25% of entries get pushed aside not because they aren’t creative, effective and successful, but because the entry wasn’t – as in wasn’t creative, effective, well-presented.

Here a few tips from some pros – pro’s at winning and at judging – that may help you create an entry that is as successful at your program.

Peter Stanton, APR, Stanton Communications:

Keep in mind that the awards are as much about what you did that’s new and innovative as what you did well.  While the judges may be impressed that you scored a major hit in the national media, it’s far more interesting to know how you did that.  Did your overall program incorporate some new approach or some new tactic that galvanized media attention?  Was there something in your program that could be instructive for the rest of the profession?  If
so, flag it.

Judges may be called upon to review dozens of entries.  If you are hoping they discern the key element of your creativity, they may miss it.   If you are hoping they will be awed by very traditional tactics and outcomes, you may be disappointed.  Demonstrate innovation and prove that it accomplished your goals and not just achieved a nice news piece.  That’s the way to win.

Chuck Fitzgibbon, APR, Weber Shandwick

Two thoughts:

Judges value outcomes more than output.  Behavioral change is seen as more valuable than volume of messaging, impressions, material distribution, etc.  Smaller, local programs that moved the needle and affected real change often receive higher scores than massive national programs that had a lot of output, but didn’t demonstrate real change.

Organization is key.  If your entry isn’t organized as specified in the guidelines, judges may overlook critical information in your entry, or may assume that either you’re not paying attention, or just resubmitting an entry from another competition.

Paul Eagle, APR, Imre

Winning entries go far above and beyond typical campaigns …

  • Results must match objectives
  • Campaigns are too focused on media placements – especially “integrated campaigns”
  • Pay close attention to the categories you enter – I judged three last week that were simply in the wrong category
  • Backup is critical – if you say you wrote a plan, include it…or at least parts of it so we know it exists
  • Research is more than “we conducted an informal poll at our agency”

Jody Aud, APR, MedImmune

Make sure what you are entering is really a “campaign.”. So often I see entries that are really a single tactic. – such as the launch of a  newsletter or an Intranet and the entry focuses on just the tactic and why it was selected, audience reach and so on. That’s the kind of thing you enter in a Bronze Anvil. For me, an entry that’s primary importance on the research, planning and evaluation – and secondary importance on the tactics is usually one that will stand out from the rest.

Lisa Miles, APR, Miles Public Relations

My biggest frustration when judging entries (both Silver Anvils and other chapters) is that MEDIA RELATIONS IS NOT A MEASURABLE OBJECTIVE!  It’s a tactic used to reach your target audience.  Start asking yourself the question of “why” each time you write an objective and if you can get to something measurable and timely, THEN you have an objective.  Also make sure your objectives match up with the rest of the program, particularly the results.  I heard a great quote from another judge when we were at the Silver Anvil judging this year – it’s the Alpha and Omega that we look at first – the beginning and end.

Harry Bosk, APR, Bosk Communications

Make sure when you say that you want to increase awareness that you state with whom, why and by what measurement.  Otherwise, it’s not a measurable objective.

Have your own tips and ideas? Add them. Have questions for the “pros”? Ask away here or send an email to PR Awards Pros at info[at]prsamd[dot]org.

–Industry News