Paragon Awards honor best PR campaigns

For years, press releases trickled in to BizTimes from various public relations agencies who won various Paragon Awards Southeastern Wisconsin chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

This year, I asked – and received – the full list of winners, so we don’t have to report them so sporadically.

This year’s entries were judged by the PRSA Sunshine District in Florida and were evaluated based on five criteria: objectives; research and planning; execution; budgets; and results. Laughlin Constable excelled as they received Best in Show for their “2013 Wisconsin Department of Tourism PR Campaign,” which was one of five finalists in the Programs portion. The entry was recognized for its successful campaign elements, partnership utilization and extremely impressive results, which included mentions in 2,220 articles, a total of 1.5 billion impressions and $68.5 million in PR value.

“We received nearly a 40 percent increase in submissions. This showcases the great talent and passion of Milwaukee’s communications professionals,” said Samantha Andrews, chapter president. “Our members consistently seek groundbreaking ways to meet and exceed client needs, and the entries confirm their creativity and efforts. They continue to amaze us and we look forward to another great year in public relations.”

The event also recognized two established professionals for their admirable work in the local community. The Communicator of the Year award was presented by Phill Trewyn, chapter secretary, to Marquette University’s President-Elect, Michael Lovell. And former PRSA board member Jerry Topczewski presented the Dorothy Thomas Black award, which was given posthumously to Colleen Smith, principal at Emerald Isle Marketing • PR.

The PRSA Paragon Awards were created in 1983 to honor public relations professionals on their exceptional work.
A complete list of 2014 winners is included below.

Communicator of the Year – Michael Lovell, Marquette University president-elect

Dorothy Thomas Black – Colleen Smith, principal at Emerald Isle Marketing • PR

Best in Show

· Finalists
       – Laughlin Constable – Travel Wisconsin Goes Hollywood
       – Clear Verve Marketing – TEC Repositioning
       – BVK – Random Acts of Funjet
       – Laughlin Constable – 2013 Wisconsin Department of Tourism PR Campaign
       – BVK / Serve – Guitars for Vets
· Winner
       – Laughlin Constable – 2013 Wisconsin Department of Tourism PR Campaign

Media Relations Programs: Business / Industry

· Award of Merit
       – Core Creative – 2013 ORBIS Corporation Media Relations
       – Capstone National Partners – Old School Home Run for Gorman and Company
       – Vollrath Associates – Milwaukee Air and Water Show
       – Laughlin Constable – Introducing U.S. Cranberries to South Korea
· Award of Excellence
       – Bader Rutter – Butler Manufacturing Public Relations Program
       – Hanson Dodge Creative – Koss Fit Series Product Launch
       – Cramer-Krasselt – Generac Powers Hurricane Sandy Anniversary Coverage

Media Relations Programs: Government / Nonprofit

· Award of Merit
       – Laughlin Constable – Holiday Surprises from McDonald’s
· Award of Excellence
       – Laughlin Constable – Lung Cancer Alliance USPSTF Recommendation

Social Media Campaign: Ongoing

· Award of Merit
       – BVK / Serve – United Way #SexMyths Social Media Campaign
       – BVK – Foresters Tech Timeout
       – Laughlin Constable – Travel Wisconsin’s “Sweaterize Yourself” Facebook App
       – BVK – Dominican Republic Has it All
       – Bader Rutter – Zoetis Dairy Wellness
       – BVK – CITGO Fueling Good Road Trip
· Award of Excellence
       – Laughlin Constable – Promoting Travel Wisconsin with Jordy Nelson on Social Media
       – BVK – New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange Social Media Campaign
       – BVK – Random Acts of Funjet
       – BVK / Serve – Guitars for Vets

Community Relations Programs

· Award of Merit
       – Celtic, Inc. – Kohler The Gift of Backup Power

Public Service Programs

· Award of Merit
       – BVK / Serve – Guitars for Vets
       – BVK – Foresters Tech Timeout
       – BVK / Serve – United Way #SexMyths Public Service Campaign
· Award of Excellence
       – State Farm – Celebrate My Drive

Integrated Communications: Business / Industry

· Award of Merit
       – Cramer-Krasselt – BISSELL Febreze Campaign
       – Cramer-Krasselt – Johnsonville “Don’t Pierce the Brat”
       – Celtic, Inc. – Edvest Leap Into Reading
       – Potawatomi Bingo Casino – Miracle on Canal St. 20th Anniversary
       – Bader Rutter – Eastman Cyphrex Microfibers

Integrated Communications: Government / Nonprofit

· Award of Merit
       – Laughlin Constable – Jordy Nelson Learns There’s No Place Like Wisconsin in the Fall
· Award of Excellence
       – Laughlin Constable – Travel Wisconsin Goes Hollywood
       – Laughlin Constable – 2013 Wisconsin Department of Tourism PR Campaign

Marketing Consumer Products and Services

· Award of Merit
       – Celtic, Inc. – Color Me Red Milwaukee Irish Fest Red Hair Promotion

Marketing Business to Business

· Award of Merit
       – Standard Process – A Fish Story You Can Believe!
       – Bader Rutter – The Standard Employee Benefits Business Unit Media Relations Program
       – LePoidevin Marketing – Eraticate Campaign
       – Celtic, Inc. – Always Looking Ahead Rite-Hite White Papers and Case Studies
· Award of Excellence
       – The Falk Group – MSI Data Tend Tracker
       – Primum Marketing – Provade Inbound Marketing Campaign
       – Clear Verve Marketing – TEC Repositioning

Internal Communications

· Award of Merit
       – Bader Rutter – Bader Rutter Rebrand
       – Clear Verve Marketing – Supporting iStrategy

Media Relations Tactic: Press Kit

· Award of Merit
       – Laughlin Constable – Travel Wisconsin’s 2013 Press Kit
· Award of Excellence
       – Potawatomi Bingo Casino – 2013 Kentucky Derby at Potawatomi Bingo Casino
       – Cramer-Krasselt – Soujourner Candy Hearts Press Kit

Media Relations Tactic: Releases or Other Tactic

· Award of Excellence
       – Laughlin Constable – What’s Happening at the BMO Harris Bradley Center?
       – Laughlin Constable – Introducing a Game Changer Hard Rock Kenosha


· Award of Excellence
       – Laughlin Constable – Airplane! The Commercial Poster

Direct Mail

· Award of Excellence
       – Clear Verve Marketing – Skyline Technologies BI Direct Mail Campaign
       – LePoidevin Marketing – Rock-Paper-Scissors


· Award of Excellence
       – Cramer-Krasselt – Bringing Awear-ness to Domestic Violence
       – The Falk Group – A Cry for Help at the Water
       – Standard Process – Seasons on the Farm


· Award of Merit
       – The Falk Group – University Club of Milwaukee Member Newsletter “Forum”

Special Events

· Award of Merit
       – Cramer-Krasselt – Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Program Launch Event
· Award of Excellence
       – The Falk Group – A Tribute to Br. Bob Smith
       – Laughlin Constable – Keeping Trees Safe from Emerald Ash Boreer / Creating Buzz for Arborjet

Annual Reports

· Award of Excellence
       – Vollrath Associates – Badger Meter Fiscal 2012 Annual Report

Social Media Tactics

· Award of Merit
       – Cramer-Krasselt – Gumout “Money for Motorheads” Social Media Promotion
       – BVK / Serve – United Way #SexMyths Quiz

Online Tactics: E-Newsletters

· Award of Merit
       – Wisconsin Dental Association – Tongue ‘n’ Cheek…and Teeth, too! E-Newsletter
· Award of Excellence
       – Laughlin Constable – Travel Wisconsin’s E-Newsletter Redesign

Online Tactics: Mobile

· Award of Merit
       – Vollrath Associates – FestaMKE Mobile App


· Award of Merit
       – MAP Communications – Rigor and Research in Healthcare Design Book


Steve Jagler is executive editor at BizTimes.

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