2015 Rising PR Stars (corporation and association): Matthew Windsor, Sr. Publicist, Animal Planet

Matt Windsor, senior publicist with Animal Planet's communications team, demonstrated superb skill, leadership and outstanding creativity with the planning and execution of the network’s first-ever Road to Puppy Bowl prior to Super Bowl XLIX in February 2015.

In support of the annual Puppy Bowl experience, Windsor, along with some of his colleagues, helped devise the Road to Puppy Bowl concept. He worked with community relations contacts at various NFL teams and animal shelters across the nation to bring the Road to Puppy Bowl to select cities.

The goal of Road to Puppy Bowl is to promote Animal Planet’s tent pole special (Puppy Bowl XI) and generate pet adoptions within Animal Planet’s select affinity group of pet owners. Windsor helped to bring NFL players to the shelters to communicate the message that Animal Planet is covering adoption fees on select animals. He ran point in several of these NFL cities, ensuring that all logistics were covered to guarantee smooth events.

His efforts included conducting press outreach prior to the event to maximize the number of names collected for opt-in goals; staffing the on-site media to assure the Road to Puppy Bowl mission/message was conveyed; and serving as a local referee in some locations.