2010 Platinum PR Awards: Community Relations

Winner: Cone Inc. with Time Warner Cable Time Warner Cable’s Connect a Million Minds

Enlisting agency partner Cone, Time Warner Cable sought to align its philanthropy with its technologically forward-thinking image. The resulting Connect a Million Minds educational effort connects youth with after-school programs teaching STEM skills (science, technology, engineering and math). Cone developed partnerships with FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology) and the Coalition for Science Afterschool and provided training for TWC divisions to support nonprofits on a local level. This smart outreach even earned attention from the president—Time Warner Cable announced its STEM commitment at a November 2009 White House event hosted by President Obama and attended by corporate and nonprofit leaders.

Honorable Mentions: 
American Airlines/Weber Shandwick – Answering the Call: American Airlines Provides Relief in Haiti
: Weber Shandwick publicized American Airlines' extensive Haiti relief efforts through traditional media outreach and AA's social media platforms. Rapidly changing news required round-the-clock updating; hundreds of media stories speak to a dedicated effort.

Bayer CropScience – BackPack Program
: The BackPack program, designed to help meet the nutritional needs of children at risk of hunger during non-school hours with non-perishable healthy snacks, has gotten spectacular feedback from the local community—90% of respondents feel it has improved the academic performance of students.

Davies – How the Santa Barbara Garden Grows:
The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden adjusted after the weather took a devastating toll on fauna with a PR campaign designed to raise awareness of the garden's value in the community. The garden received the necessary approval for a government funding plan after getting over 10,000 local signatures.

Entergy Corp. – We’ve Got the Power: Entergy motivated 14 communities across its service area to participate in a volunteer outreach to educate consumers on energy efficient use of home electricity.

Granite Construction Company/Missouri Department of Transportation – The New I-64 Reconstruction: The highest-profile reconstruction of a highway in Missouri history required massive public outreach for updates about traffic changes. The program's radio updates and dedicated Web site helped several million drivers stick to the right path.

Be The Match with Padilla Speer Beardsley – Capturing Public Attention for a Critical Cause
: This donor campaign aimed at under-represented minorities added over 5,000 minority donors to the Be The Match bone marrow registry, recruited nearly 200 volunteers and raised $40,000.

RF|Binder – Banking on the Arts: Bank of America’s Museums on Us: RF|Binder helped spread awareness of BoA's program to bring art to local communities through creative media links and incentives. The PR campaign garnered 905 pieces of print and significant coverage in art and family activity blogs.

Sears Holdings Corp. – Sears Blue Appliance Crew: Cash for Appliances: Sears Holdings engaged in a program to help consumers trade in energy-sapping appliances for cash, meanwhile setting itself up as an authority on energy and cost savings. The initiative led to 530 media impressions.

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