0 Items

Announcing our 2019 Best in Maryland Award Winners

Sandy Hillman Communications Takes Best in Show.

 

On December 4, Maryland PR/communications pros, students and other guests gathered at the Mt. Washington Dye House in Baltimore for the 2019 Best in Maryland Awards program. During the program, the Maryland Chapter presented awards in 23 categories, six professional awards, and revealed the Best in Show which was presented to Sandy Hillman Communications for “The National WWI Museum and Memorial WWI Centennial.”

The evening began with a reception complete with an array of hors d’oeuvres and food stations where guests mingled and celebrated the year’s successes. The awards program featuring Deborah Weiner of WBAL-TV as emcee followed. After the awards presentation, guests were treated to a dessert table of incredible sweets. 

Congratulations to all the award winners and honorees!

Professional Awards

Click here to learn more about our honorees.

Lifetime Achievement – Barb Clapp, Barb Clapp Advertising & Marketing, LLC

Paul E Welsh -Emily McDermott, Van Eperen

Educator of the Year – David Marshall, Ph.D., APR, Morgan State University

Rising Star – Lorraine Walker, Able Communications

PR Team – Planit: Christina Perry, Ashlene Larson, Nikki Bracy, Jennifer Donahoe, Harry Hammel, Kendall Dougherty

Volunteer of the Year – Dianna Fornaro, APR Chair, Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company

Best in Maryland Awards Winners

Click here for summaries of winning entries.

Components

Annual Reports

Best in Maryland – 2018 Annual Impact Report, The Nature Conservancy Maryland/DC

Best Use of Influencer Communication

Best in Maryland – LiveAbode Influencer Campaign, Planit and Royal Building Products

Award of Excellence – Facebook Live Somos Baltimore Latino, Maryland Auto Insurance

Creative Tactics – Assoc/Nonprofit/Govt

Best in Maryland“Best Foot Forward” Employee Engagement Socks, LifeBridge Health

Creative Tactics – For Profit

Best in MarylandLyft Ride Smart Maryland, Abel Communications

Editorial/Op-Ed Columns/Story Placement

Best in MarylandByline Series: You Can Do What with a Library Card?, The Cyphers Agency

Award of Excellence – National Apartment Association Op-Ed Program with Robert Pinnegar, Abel Communications

Magazines/Newsletters – Digital

Best in MarylandJohns Hopkins’ Hopkins on Alert Newsletter, Johns Hopkins Medicine

Media Relations – Assoc/Nonprofit/Govt

Best in MarylandFlying Queens Make the Hall of Fame, Abel Communications & Harrison Communications

Award of Excellence – Poe Baltimore, Coster Communications, Ltd.

Award of ExcellenceASK4ME: Two Prongs to Promote the New Bay Plate, The Cyphers Agency

Media Relations – For Profit

Best in Maryland – Cirque du Soleil: Crystal – Baltimore, Weinberg Harris & Associates

Award of Excellence – BrightFarms Series D Funding Announcement, Abel Communications

Podcast

Best in Maryland – A Valuable Perspective: Roland Park Place, Weinberg Harris & Associates

PSAs

Best in Maryland – National Recovery Month, Crosby Marketing Communications

Publications

Best in Maryland – MPT 50th Anniversary History Book, Maryland Public Television

Award of Excellence – JHU Press 2019 Scholarly Journals Catalog, Johns Hopkins University Press

Research/Evaluation

Best in Maryland – Exploring the Spirit of Sagamore Brand, Van Eperen

Social Media – Assoc/Nonprofit/Govt

Best in Maryland – MDOT SHA Explains Winter Weather Safety, MDOT State Highway Administration

Award of Excellence – 13 Folds of the American Flag, Crosby Marketing Communications

Videos

Best in Maryland – Fighting the Celiac Monster, Crosby Marketing Communications

Award of ExcellenceDeal Island: Maryland’s Green Suit of Armor, The Nature Conservancy Maryland/DC 

Websites

Best in MarylandBaltimore City Health Department “U=U Maryland”, Devaney & Associates and Chase Brexton Health Care

Award of Excellence – Thank-A-Vet Web App, Crosby Marketing Communications

Campaigns

Community Relations

Best in Maryland – Toyota Promotes ‘Mobility for All’ with Girls Scouts of Northeast Texas, imre

Award of Excellence Maryland Health Connection Open Enrollment 6, Sandy Hillman Communications

Events and Observances < 7 days

Best in Maryland – Vintage Festival, A. Bright Idea

Award of Excellence – BrightFarms Share the Harvest, Abel Communications

Award of ExcellenceGrand Opening – Springwell Senior Living’s The Homestead, Clapp Communications

Events and Observances > 7 days

Best in MarylandThe National WWI Museum and Memorial WWI Centennial, Sandy Hillman Communications

Integrated Communications

Best in MarylandBGE’s Natural Gas Safety Campaign, BGE

Award of Excellence Victories for Veterans, Crosby Marketing Communications

Marketing

Best in Maryland – Great Escape New Business Campaign, Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company

Award of Excellence – Len the Plumber Magnet Postcard Campaign, Victory-360, LLC

Multicultural

Award of Excellence – Los Taxes Mailer, Maryland Auto Insurance

Public Service

Best in Maryland – Victories for Veterans PSA Campaign, Crosby Marketing Communications

Award of Excellence – HASA Hearing Hospitality, Abel Communications

Award of Excellence – Vectren “Don’t Be That Guy” Public Safety Campaign, Devaney & Associates

Reputation/Brand Management

Best in Maryland – Maryland Philanthropy Network Rebrand, Clapp Communications

Click here for summaries of winning entries.

A Special Thank you to …

Chesapeake Employer’s Insurance Company for sponsoring the valet service, Abel Communications for sponsoring our Educator of the Year award, and Van Eperen for sponsoring the reception.

To A. Bright Idea, Maryland Public Television, and Sandy Hillman Communications for sponsoring the dessert bar.

To tabletop sponsors Clapp 360 Communications, Coster Communications, Ltd., and Planit for your contributions.

To Devaney & Associates for creating the #BIM19 designs, Coyle Studios for documenting the event through pictures (check out this sneak peek on Facebook), Crown Trophies for the assisting with the awards, and Strategic Factory for serving our printing needs.

And to our event chair David Harrison, Harrison Communications, for bringing this all together.

Your generous support is greatly appreciated!

*This year’s awards were judged by PRSA San Antonio Chapter.

 

 

 

 

Have something to say? 4 Ways to Share your News & Ideas

Webnotes and the PRSA Maryland Blog bring members and readers innovative and inspiring ideas about public relations and PRSA. We welcome input, feedback and content. There are 4 ways you can get involved, including joining our PR Writers’ Resource Pool.

Send news and announcements about your organization. Include Webnotes on your distribution list for press releases and announcements. Email news@prsamd.org.

Share your experience. Keep us informed of which topics are most important to you as a PR Pro. Tell us how you or a professionals you know solved a problem, created an initiative, or applied a new idea. Email news@prsamd.org

Join the PR Writer’s Resource Pool. This isn’t a commitment to write; it’s an opt-in to a team email about upcoming stories or questions/requests from writers looking for story ideas, expert sources and comments. You’ll get a monthly email from the PRSA Communications Team. If you see something in the email that prompts a reply – respond. For example, we recently reached out for advice on preparing entries for PR awards. In the past, we looked for experts on working with influencers to answer questions for a blog post. It’s easy to opt-in. Just email your interest to news@prsamd.org.

Submit an article or blog post. We love submissions for bylined articles and posts. If you have an article or post you think other PR professionals would be interested in, send it along for our review. If you have an idea, it might be best to discuss it with us before you write. Email a brief summary to news@prsamd.org and will follow up with you personally.

 

imre: Employee Needs Leads Decision to Move Office

Submitted by Jill Wroblewski, Senior Program Director, Public Relations, imre

After more than 26 years in the Baltimore area, imre will move from its current office in Sparks, MD to Towson. Diving into the why move now and why Towson gives us a peak at how a PR agency lives its brand with a commitment to its staff – and how it uses research to yield decisions.

The catalyst for change came as imre needed more space to keep adding employees to its fast-growing marketing communications agency. CEO Dave Imre and President Mark Eber wanted to make sure the new locale would be convenient for 80 percent of its local workforce and would accommodate future growth. Taking staff’s needs in consideration, they utilized a heat map using employees’ ZIP codes that helped narrow the possibilities down to between Hunt Valley and Mount Washington. They then considered staff’s needs for easy access to dining and fitness among other conveniences. In the end, Towson won.

“We wanted a place with lots of light, collaborative working spaces where you could walk to great restaurants, go to the gym.  We will also be sure to utilize the kitchen space; which will be our focal point, since a lot of our employees work and gather in the kitchen,” said Eber.

Towson’s burgeoning core — with more retail and restaurants on the way — fit the bill. Imre, which has offices in New York and Los Angeles, had previously been located in Towson, but moved north to Sparks 12 years ago. The firm will be moving its 95 employees on November 1, 2019. The new offices, located at 210 West Pennsylvania Avenue, will be able to house 149 people.

The new office will include large conference spaces, a sprawling modern kitchen and an outdoor patio where employees can work in warmer weather. The goal is to create a technology-friendly space with multiple outlets to plug devices in and big TV screens.

Imre expanded in October 2018, with the acquisition of JMPR, a boutique firm in Los Angeles whose clients include Infiniti, Bugatti and Airstream.  Founded in 1993 and owned by David Imre and Mark Eber, the agency has a 26-year history of delivering meaningful results for some of the world’s leading brands through full-service creative, social, digital marketing and public relations services. Imre’s client roster includes brands such as, 3M, AstraZeneca, Dickies, John Deere, NFL, Pfizer, STIHL, T. Rowe Price and Under Armour.

 

Unfortunately, PR company websites are some of the more challenging sites to SEO. But all is not lost.

By Jessie Newburn

To my colleagues in the PR industry, and particularly those in the PRSA Maryland Chapter, I’d love to tell you that you should get your website SEO-ed. That you can have great expectations of not just more traffic but more leads. That you can transform your website from a digital brochure into an actual lead-generation tool.

That would be lovely, wouldn’t it?

But I would be remiss were I to promise such things.

This is not to say you shouldn’t tune into and implement good SEO practices. It’s simply that so many PR agencies are general practice agencies working with a variety and range of clients. Alas, the big search volume keyphrases you may wish to opt your site for–keyphrases such as public relations, media training, reputation management–are already “taken,” and it would require Herculean effort, intense focus and probably more dollars and technical skill than you either have or want to spend to rank for such terms.

But even if you did rank for such phrases, there isn’t much buying intent in those keyphrases and so you’d potentially get a lot of traffic but hardly any conversions, so your efforts to rank would be for naught.

Also, for those of you who five or so years ago got on the “Public Relations, Annapolis,” “Public Relations, Baltimore” bandwagon, you might have achieved some success with such an approach, though I’d guess any previous successes there have dwindled of late.

So, what do you do?

Throw in the towel? That’s one option.

Get smart about it? That’s a better option, I’d think. Here are some tips.

First, you’ve got to have an SEO strategy (preferably based on research) and a content creation schedule aligned with your strategy.

Second, go for the long-tail keyphrases. Long-tail keyphrases show greater indication of buying intent, and when you create content and optimize it for the long-tail, you may not get as much traffic volume, but you’re likely to get better conversions. Examples of long-tail keyphrases are —

How do I respond to a PR crisis

Media relations training for government officials

How do I get rid of negative information on the internet

3 tips for managing influencer relations

Third, do what you do so well! Get those backlinks to your site. Work with bloggers and influencers. Get some buzz about what you’re doing. Get people talking. And get them linking to your site.

And, overall, remember to write for people and optimize for search engines. This approach is key. People want to read relevant, useful information and Google wants to deliver relevant, useful information to people. This is where you come in and where PR professionals are poised to get great SEO results for their companies and clients.

There’s a lot more to SEO, of course, and much of it technical, though, as you can see, a lot of good SEO practices are within your reach.

Thanks! And wishing you the best!

About the author: Jessie Newburn manages BizDev and the Partner Program Manager at Atigro Digital Marketing. She can be reached at 202-794-7276, or at jessie@atigro.com.

*Atigro Digital Marketing was the top sponsor at the 2018 PRSA Maryland Conference. We hope you got a chance to talk with Jessie.

Photo by Martin Sattler on Unsplash

Greater Baltimore Committee & Associated Black Charities to Host Maryland Gubernatorial Forum

Join the Greater Baltimore Committee and Associated Black Charities for a Maryland Gubernatorial Forum featuring seven Democratic candidates for Governor of Maryland: Rushern Baker, Benjamin Jealous, Kevin Kamenetz, Richard Madaleno, Alec Ross, Jim Shea and Krish Vignarajah.

If you go:

When: Thursday, April 26, 2018; 5:30-6 p.m. reception, 6-7:30 p.m. program
Where: University of Maryland School of Medicine, Leadership Hall, 685 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201
Cost: Complimentary, but you must be pre-registered to attend

Register to attend

For event and sponsorship information, contact Sophia Silbergeld, Director of Membership and Member Relations, at 410-727-2820.

Learning Never Ends: The Value of Continuing Education for Public Relations Professionals

Learn how staying on top of the latest trends can help practitioners in one of the most dynamic professions continue to advance their careers.
By Malissa Carroll 

As someone who works in a health professions school, I have become familiar with the value that continuing education holds for physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other health care professionals. In addition to the mandated continuing education requirements to which they must adhere to remain in practice, these practitioners are always searching for new opportunities to expand their knowledge and skillsets, allowing them to better serve their patients and practice at the top of their licensure. While health care and public relations are two vastly different fields, my experience has shown me that, in the area of continuing education, there might be some lessons that we can share.

To Learn is to Lead

Similar to health care, which has witnessed an incredible evolution in recent years, advances in technology have helped public relations become one of the most dynamic professions in which individuals can pursue a career. The constant advent of new mediums and platforms through which brands can share their messages – from smart phones to social media – challenges public relations professionals to keep up with ever-changing trends, contributing to the need for continuing education to help us acquire the skills necessary to incorporate these advancements into existing plans, strategies, and tactics.

Fortunately, we as public relations professionals do not need to look too far for opportunities to build on our existing knowledge and skills to ensure that our work makes the greatest impact for our clients. Whether you are an early career professional who is interested in obtaining an advanced degree or an experienced practitioner who wants hone his or her skills on a new platform, there are numerous options available to help you meet your personal and professional education goals.

Attend a Conference

One way for working professionals to gain new knowledge or acquire new skills is to attend conferences focused on their field or area of interest. These events often feature distinguished speakers who are leaders in the profession and from whose experiences everyone in attendance can learn. In addition to the national conferences and workshops offered through the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), you can find a number of local and regional events through PRSA-MD, which can offer insight into how peer organizations are staying on top of the changing industry.

Complete an Advanced Degree

Colleges and universities are becoming increasingly sensitive to the needs of working professionals who are looking to advance their careers with a master’s or other professional degree. Many institutions now offer students the option to complete their degrees entirely online, while others provide evening and weekend courses that seamlessly fit into working professionals’ busy schedules. The University of Maryland University College, Notre Dame of Maryland University, Georgetown University, and New York University are just a few of the institutions that offer advanced degree programs for public relations professionals. A quick Internet search will lead you to many more results – at least one of which is sure to meet your unique needs.

Pursue a Certification

Obtaining a professional certification is another way to demonstrate your proficiency as a public relations practitioner. As the nation’s largest professional organization serving the communications community, PRSA offers a range of certifications for new and experienced professionals to demonstrate drive, dedication, and values in the field of public relations, including the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) credential. The APR credential certifies a public relations practitioner’s drive, professionalism, and principals, setting that individual apart from peers and positioning him or her as a leader and mentor in the public relations field.

Register for a Webinar

For public relations practitioners who do not have much time to spare, webinars provide an excellent opportunity to pursue continuing education. These one- to two-hour events are designed for professionals who want to keep abreast of current trends in the field, but who might not have the time available to earn a formal certification or degree. PRSA offers a wide range of webinars – many available at no cost to members – that aim to help practitioners understand new concepts or tools, as well as refine their existing skills.

Abigail Adams once said, “Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.” Whether on the frontlines of patient care or behind-the-scenes bringing awareness to a brand, the value that continuing education can have on an individual’s career cannot be understated. If you have one hour, one week, or one year or more to spare, there are continuing education options available that will help you stay on top of current trends to ensure that you can continue providing the best service for your clients.

Thank You to Our Chapter Sponsors

Thank You to Our Chapter Sponsors