2013 PR People Awards: PR Professional of the Year: Nonprofit/Association

Winner:  Fred Sainz, Vice President of Communications and Marketing, Human Rights Campaign

Fred Sainz is the man who induced more than 10 million Facebook users to change their profile pictures to an iconic red equal-sign in support of marriage equality—one of the largest viral campaigns in the history of social media and a compelling visual representation of the country’s growing acceptance of gay marriage. That symbol is also the logo of his organization, the Human Rights Campaign, which he has kept front and center during the most critical year in the history of the movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.

He has led multiple intersection public affairs and advocacy campaigns, including a television and print-ad blitz, and a sympathetic earned media and op-ed campaign that drew attention to real Americans harmed by marriage discrimination. He secured appearances for the organization on major national news programs, built an online presence that reaches millions on a daily basis through Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram, and has made a blue-and-yellow equal-sign ubiquitous on car bumpers and road signs nationwide. With a budget of $3 million and a staff of 25, Sainz has done as much as any single person can to promote a fundamental shift in the mores of our nation.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Julie Hamm, Account Manager, Henson Consulting
  • Charles Weber, Principal, Weber Public Relations, for American Pain Society

Comments Off


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.

Deals of the Week

Get $200 Off PR News' Digital PR Conference

Join us June 1-3 where you'll hear from top brands such as Walmart, Miami Heat, Verizon and Ritz-Carlton on PR and communication best practices for the next wave of digital trends.

Use code “200off” at checkout to save $200 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.