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2020 Best in Maryland Awards – To be or not to be? That isn’t the only question!

As 2020 is fast becoming the year on pause, the PRSA Maryland Board of Directors is looking ahead to this year’s Best in Maryland Awards Gala, which is annually held in December. Will members feel safe enough to attend? Will stay at home orders be in effect? Will award submissions still be in the budget? The board doesn’t have a crystal ball, but luckily it can ask its members to gain insight and perspective.

Please take five minutes to respond to our quick 5-question poll. Your responses will help guide this year’s decision to move forward with the 2020 Best in Maryland Awards or hold a combined event and make it extra fabulous next year.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to respond. Looking forward to your feedback!

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.

 

 

 

 

2019 Best in Maryland Awards Gala

Online registration is closed. Please contact us at info@prsamd.org to register or register onsite.

Join us as we celebrate the Best in Maryland at this exciting and different awards gala in the beautiful
Mt. Washington Mill Dye House 

Results are in.
Click here to see who is nominated!

Where: Mt Washington Mill Dy House, 1340 Smith Avenue, Baltimore MD 21229

Parking: Valet parking will be available at the main entrance (by the large stone lions) available courtesy of Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance.

Time: 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

The evening begins at 6:30 with a networking hour and reception including a variety of heavy hors d’oeuvres, food stations, beverages, and open bar (beer/wine). Reception will be followed by the awards ceremony featuring WBAL TV anchor Deborah Weiner as emcee! Stay afterwards for a sweet ending with a delicious dessert bar.

*Business or cocktail attire is appropriate

Deborah Weiner
News Anchor, I-Team Reporter, WBAL-TV
Click here to read about Deborah

Tickets – includes reception, open bar (beer/wine), hot/cold beverages, dessert bar, and valet parking courtesy of Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company.

  • PRSA Members/Nominees (includes all employees of a nominated organization): $125
  • Guests: $150
  • Students: $100 – Help us support our PRSSA student members by being a student sponsor. Bring your own student or we’ll match you with one. Please contact us for more details.

Online registration is closed. Please contact us at info@prsamd.org to register or register onsite.

This year the PRSA Maryland Best In Maryland Awards is celebrating the state’s drivers in PR and Communications excellence. Jump in the driver’s seat for the celebration as a Driving Force Sponsor. We have options for as low as $150! Click here to learn more. 

A special thank you to our sponsors and partners …

VALET

EDUCATION

RECEPTION

DESSERT

DESSERT

DESSERT

TABLE TOP

TABLE TOP

TABLE TOP

DESIGN

PHOTOGRAPHY

AWARDS

PRINTING

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.

 

Still working on your #BIM19 Entries? Here’s some tips!

Design courtesy of Devaney & Associates

Still working on your 2019 Best in Maryland entries? Or have you finished but just not sure if it’s good enough?

Did you know that every year, we see entries get pushed aside not because the campaign or component wasn’t creative, effective and successful, but because the entry wasn’t? It’s not enough to show what you did – you need to show how you did it and what the outcome was.

So to help answer any nagging questions you may have, here’s some things to consider as you complete your entries:

Before Preparing Your Entry:

  • Take the time to determine if your entry is truly award-winning. Did you make an impact on the organization’s bottom-line? Was there a reason for doing the program in the first place? If you can’t come up with a good reason for doing the award entry (besides “my boss wants me to do it”), you will have a hard time putting it together.
  • Know the entry criteria. Many award entries are submitted without measurable objectives or outcomes, budget or timelines. If you leave out information that is requested in the entry form, you will lose points. If you can follow the four-step strategic planning process for program entries (click here), you are more likely to have a good entry.

Objectives:

  • Think long and hard about your objectives. They should outline what you’re trying to accomplish as a result of your entry. Remember, the objective is not the entry itself.
  • Objectives should be SMART: Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound.

Research/Evaluation (these tend to be the weakest areas of entries):

  • You might have done informal research without even realizing it. Look back at your records; did you talk with personal contacts, key informants, advisory committees and boards, and field employees about the issue? That’s informal research. (But don’t push it.)
  • Your evaluation should iterate your objectives verbatim and then show how you achieved them specifically.
  • Even though qualitative data can work for evaluation purposes and explaining results, it’s always good to build in quantitative data as well.
  • Identify ways you can evaluate a program and build evaluation in at the beginning. Even if you don’t have a huge budget, you can still plan some measurement capability.

 Supporting Materials:

  • Provide back-up materials to your summary. If you talk about something in your one- or two-page summary, please include with your submission.  The judges want to see evidence of your hard work, so be sure to show it off!

Before Submitting to the Awards Committee:

  • Don’t worry if one of your sections isn’t as strong as another. As long as the section is addressed, it should be okay.
  • When in doubt, submit. Forces beyond your control – such as the number of entrants in a category, judges’ prerogatives, etc. – have a lot to do with winning. Besides, the exercise you go through in assessing your work and putting it together according to PRSA qualifications is worth the exercise, because it sets you up to evaluate your own work. You can often make use of this in making a case for continuing a program, launching a new one, or increasing the budget to do more.
  • Proof your entry carefully! If you have a typo in the summary (which we’ve seen happen!), the judges are very likely to take your entry less seriously than they would that of a well-written summary.

And of course, if you still have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at info@prsamd.org or call our chapter office at 301-725-2508 and ask away.

Click here for Categories

Click here on Preparing Your Entries

Thank You to Our Chapter Sponsors

Thank You to Our Chapter Sponsors