Corporate social responsibility leaders gathered in Washington, D.C., to celebrate the best CSR campaigns and teams of the last year at PR News' Spring Awards luncheon on March 22, 2017. CSR Award winners and honorable mentions for campaigns in categories like CSR On a Shoestring, Community Affairs and Social Media were announced at the event, held at D.C.'s National Press Club. PR News also announced the winners and finalists of the 2017 Nonprofit PR Awards.
CSR Award winners were asked to share the "Aha" moments behind their winning campaigns. Christy Phillips-Brown, accepting one of several awards for Food Lion (including a CSR Hall of Fame induction), highlighted leveraging employees as part of a CSR strategy: "When you [realize you] can harness the power of 65,000 employees, you can recruit them as brand ambassadors," said Phillips-Brown.
As part of the ceremony, Honest Tea co-founder Seth Goldman delivered an energizing keynote address on how businesses can leverage their resources for positive change. Goldman told the story behind Honest Tea, from the company's humble beginnings (home-brewed in his kitchen) to its subsequent purchase by The Coca-Cola Company and national distribution in more than 100,000 outlets and chain restaurants. While Honest Tea has excelled at living up to its "honest" reputation, Goldman warned attendees "not to over-promise" when it comes to CSR messaging, and challenged honorees to envision and empower themselves as "activists making a difference" in their industries.
Aaron Sherinian, chief communications and marketing officer at the United Nations Foundation, was named the CSR Professional of the Year.
View the full list of CSR award winners and honorable mentions.
Below are the 2017 CSR Hall of Fame inductees and Agency CSR A-List winners.
Hall of Fame
- Food Lion – Food Lion Feeds
- IKEA – People & Planet
- Michelin – Partnership with FIA for Beyond the Driving Test
- PNC Financial Services Group – Grow Up Great
Agency CSR A-List
- APCO Worldwide
- Cone Communications
- G&S Business Communications
- Havas PR North America
- Nebo Agency
- The Siren Agency
- VOX Global
- Weber Shandwick