2010 Platinum PR Awards: Branding


Winner: Hormel Foods/Burson-Marsteller Hormel Foods Corporate Reputation Program

Hormel Foods and PR agency Burson-Marsteller have worked successfuly to change Hormel’s external reputation as the company that makes Spam and canned chili. Burson-Marsteller and Hormel’s 2009 reputation effort was structured around five short-term strategies, which included:
  • Employee communications that put Hormel’s Our Way messaging (composed of people, process, products, performance and principles) into Hormel’s annual CSR report; internal communications from the executive team; and in the company’s monthly magazine.
  • Promoted the company’s growth and merger and acquisition within the recessionary environment through press briefings and comprehensive media outreach.
  • Leveraged new technologies to combat “stodgy” image, and to be more green, which included a complete overhaul of Hormel’s Web sites, and a social media upgrade.
  • Demonstrated thought leadership across business lines and philanthropic efforts, including a shopper research study that concluded there was a better way for grocery retailers to organize convenience meals in their stores; and the fielding of its fourth annual Hormel Hunger Survey.
  • Earned recognition for Hormel’s innovations and superior management team via 51 awards and rankings won in 2009.
The efforts paid dividends, with better-informed employees, more positive media mentions (6,307 print and broadcast stories), increased customer loyalty and improved rankings of Hormel by analysts.

Winner: Peppercom Solazyme’s Green Diesel Conquers COP15

Peppercom Strategic Communications literally “drove” PR for bio-fuels company Solazyme at 2009 U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP15). With the goal of showcasing the company’s algae-derived diesel fuel, Soladiesal, Peppercom secured a diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz that would squire conference delegates, VIPs (including Sir Richard Branson and Nobel Prize recipients) and journalists to major events at the conference. Thanks to the buzz generated from the algae-powered ride, Peppercom and Solazyme facilitated meet and greets and one-on-one meetings with numerous government leaders, including U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. In addition, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger mentioned Solazyme by name and cited the company’s work with algae-based fuels.
The visibility helped Solazyme, a California-based company, deepen a relationship with the U.S. Department of Energy and explore a possible partnership with Brazilian sugar cane officials. Thanks to extensive media outreach, including reaching journalists via Twitter, Peppercom placed 21 articles that featured or mentioned Solazyme’s work in Copenhagen.

Honorable Mentions: 

Cardinal Health – Launching the “New” Cardinal Health: Healthcare company Cardinal Health communicated the spin-off of a number of business lines and reenergerized its reputation among stakeholders via a comprehensive internal effort, employee volunteer and annual giving programs and proactive media relations to push the “new” Cardinal Health.
The Fore Good Group – Duracell South Africa, the Power to Break World Records: With the goal of powering market share for Duracell in South Africa, Fore Good combined the Duracell bunny and Easter with the creation of the world’s largest chocolate Easter bunny—a light-hearted stunt that earned serious media coverage.
Medco Health Solutions/Coyne Public Relations – A Prescription for Change: Communicating the Safety Platform: Coyne PR and Medco put the heathcare company’s pharmacy care practice front and center with compelling clinical research on cardiovascular disease and cancer.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation: To gain more awareness among gun industry constituents, the National Shooting Sports Foundation executed an integrated campaign that included a new logo, a new Web site and extensive media outreach. The result: a 13% rise of awareness from 2008 into 2009.
Siemens Corporation/Weber Shandwick – Siemens: Answering the World’s Toughest Questions:
Looking to position Siemens Corporation as a solution in rebuilding the U.S.’s aging infrastructure, Weber Shandwick and Siemens ably communicated Siemens’ capabilities with thought leadership, national and regional media outreach via online platforms and industry events.
Weber Shandwick India – Shave India Movement 2009 (SIM):
Weber Shandwick India pushed Gillette’s Mach3 razor by launching W.A.L.S. (Women Against Lazy Stubble), a "movement" through which actresses shaved unsuspecting men in public places, and a Shave-a-thon, which saw 1,858 men shaving at the same place at the same time.

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