2011 PR People Awards – Public Affairs Professional of the Year

Co-Winner: Mike Hotra

Senior Vice President, APCO Worldwide

There’s been one hallmark of Mike Hotra’s approach to client service: delivering results. In 2010, Hotra played an instrumental role in leading the public affairs campaign around the United and Continental Airlines merger. His team prepped the CEOs of both airlines for congressional hearings, which included stakeholder mapping, policy research, drafting testimony and preparing briefing materials. In addition, Hotra has trumpeted for the adoption of better hiring standards of outside counsel for the States’ Attorney Generals and helped an oil-spill response company be cited in approved federal permits as a reason to resume energy exploration and development in the Gulf of Mexico. —SP

In 2012, PR will:
“Push digital deeper into our clients than ever before —ready or not.”

Hometown: Arlington, VA
College Attended: Syracuse University
Favorite Sports Team: Boston Red Sox
Favorite Sports: Lacrosse and rowing


Co-Winner: Karen Oliver

Senior Vice President, Porter Novelli

Karen Oliver’s robust public affairs portfolio includes leading the team working on public education and outreach for the IRS, as well as other consumer education and product campaigns for organizations such as the Council for Responsible Nutrition, PBS, United Way and the Pfizer Foundation. In 2011, she led a communications effort to help the IRS’ Small Business/Self-Employed Division become a valuable resource for small businesses. The campaign included an Internet media tour that directed small businesses to the division’s Web site and securing 14 interviews with relevant media and resource sites. The campaigned generated 10 million impressions and increased traffic to the IRS site by 10% within the first week it was launched. —SP

What’s Sexier: Page 1 placement in WSJ or a video that goes viral? “It’s a toss-up, like trying to decide between Ryan Gosling
and Bradley Cooper for People’s Sexiest Man of the Year.”

Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
College Attended: University of Florida
Best Business Book: Blink
Favorite Movie: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington


Honorable Mention:

Suzanne Zurn, Vice President, Wagggener Edstrom Worldwide: Merging public affairs with digital, Suzanne Zurn convinced the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center to implement a cost-per-action campaign.

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