2013 PR People Awards: PR Professional of the Year: Corporate

Winner: Chris Hook, Director of Enthusiast and Component PR, Social Media and Product Reviews, AMD

At the beginning of 2013, Chris Hook inherited a portfolio in turmoil, a team of zero, and a mission to transform the perception of AMD from an also-ran semiconductor manufacturer into a cutting-edge brand. Persuading his superiors to triple his budget, he recruited a team of nine employees that included former semiconductor journalists and engineers as well as PR and marketing pros. The team speaks eight languages and has a collective 45 years in the semiconductor business. Their Surround Computing campaign placed AMD at the center of the “Internet of things” discussion two weeks before top competitor Intel at a key industry gathering.

Other efforts included AMD Technograffiti, which demonstrated novel AMD-based gadgets like a desktop PC with internal missile bays that fired model rockets or a retro gas pump turned into a jukebox, and a publicity stunt that put the world’s fastest graphics card up for sale on eBay a week before the formal product launch. The resulting bidding war caught the attention of enthusiasts and the press.

For the launch of a new graphics processor, Hook had to tame enthusiast expectations and frame the product’s strategy with the business community, accomplished through an interview in Forbes. Hook used a keynote slot at a major international technical meeting to combine AMD’s engineering expertise with consumer-like appeal, describing how a Star-Trek style “Holodeck” could someday be enabled by technologies where AMD shines.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Scott Gilmore, Director of Communication, Muller Quaker Dairy
  • Stephen McGettrick, Associate Director, U.S. Communications, EMD Serono



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About Steve Goldstein

Steve Goldstein is editorial director of events for Access Intelligence’s PR News brand, which encompasses premium, how-to content, data and competitive intelligence for public relations professionals; PR News Online; PR News conferences, webinars and awards programs; and PR News guidebooks. Previously at AI Steve was editorial director of min, min ’s b2b and minonline as well as managing editor of CableFAX: The Magazine and CableWorld. Before joining Access Intelligence, he was executive editor of World Screen News, and editor of Film/Tape World, which covered film, television and commercial production in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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