2013 Nonprofit PR Awards: Media Relations

Winner: Singer Associates Public Affairs/Public Relations - The $70 Million Press Conference

In 2012, after more than a year of negotiations, Pacific Gas & Electric walked away from the negotiating table with the city of San Bruno, Calif., which had been seeking $70 million in restitution for a 2010 natural gas explosion that killed eight residents, hurt 52 others, destroyed 38 homes and damaged another 70 residences. Not giving up, the city of San Bruno turned to Singer Associates to apply its considerable media relations know-how and pressure PG&E to come back to the table and work out a deal.

Singer then planned and executed its “$70 Million Press Conference,” bringing in San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane and members of the San Bruno City Council, and supporting it with a press release that called upon PG&E to return to the negotiating table. A press release and a press conference? Where’s the originality in that, you might ask? It’s the David and Goliath story behind the press conference that the media picked up on: that of a small city to standing up to a major statewide utility and demanding compensation in a press conference and news release.

Local and national media responded to the David and Goliath theme; the Wall Street Journal, Associated Press and other major national media covered both the press conference and news release. Within a month of the press conference, PG&E agreed to pay $70 million to the city of San Bruno for compensation and restitution for the damage. Score one for David. —Steve Goldstein

Honorable Mentions:

·      Fleishman-Hillard and St. Baldrick's Foundation - St. Baldrick's Foundation: Mission to Conquer Childhood Cancers 

·      Global Strategy Group - Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence:  Engaging the Media to Enhance the Safety of Victims of Domestic Violence

·      The Nature Conservancy - Coral Reefs Saved My Life

·      U.S. Olympic Committee - Thank You Britain

·      Weber Shandwick - Taking a Tech Detox: Nat’l Day of Unplugging

Back to the 2013 Nonprofit PR Awards

Comments Off


About Bill Miltenberg

Community Editor at PR News.

Deals of the Week

Get $150 Off PR News' PR Measurement Conference


Join us on April 20, 2015, for PR News’ essential PR Measurement Conference at the National Press Club in D.C., and learn how tie PR metrics to measurable business outcomes.

Use code “150off” at checkout to save $150 on the regular rate.

Get $50 off PR News' Book of Employee Communications


In this 5th volume of PR News’ Book of Employee Communications, our authors cover more than 45 articles on crisis communications, social media policies, human resources collaboration, brand evangelism and more.

Use code “50off” at checkout.

Save $100 on a PR News Subscription


Let PR News become your weekly, go-to resource for the latest PR trends, case studies and tip sheets. Topics covered include visual storytelling, social media, measurement, crisis management and media relations.

Use code “SUBDEAL” at checkout.

Comments are closed.