The winners and honorable mentions in this year's PR news Platinum PR awards issue exemplify the most innovative approaches to redefining traditional PR with anything-but- traditional strategies. From a marketing communications effort that united a country over the search for the stars of a 1950s TV commercial to an event that landed a flock of pink flamingos around the windy city, the following winner confirms that the PR profession has indeed stepped out from the shadows to take a front-and-center role in delivering business results to their own organizations, and to their clients. Below is the winner of the 2008 PR News Platinum PR award for small PR firm of the year.
Makovsky + Company
2007 was a banner year for Makovsky + Company thanks to, among other efforts, its executives' contribution of intellectual property to the PR profession. From sponsoring a national research study and producing nine white papers to launching a blog focused on the digital revolution, the agency proved to be a thought leader to both its clients and its industry peers. This thought leadership helped contribute to a 25% jump in revenue over 2006.
Foresight is 20/20
Makovsky + Company supplemented its financial performance with new practices areas--Online Fluency, and Branding + Visual Communications--as well as by hosting breakfast seminars on "Global Reputation and the Digital Future," which featured Jeff Cole, director of USC Annenberg's Center for Digital Excellence.
Buying What They're Selling
Among the new accounts won by the agency in 2007 were American Express, Abbott Laboratories and Diageo. Perhaps more important, though, are the endorsements from long-standing clients like ATM Corp., Charles Schwab and Booz Allen Hamilton. According to Michael Bulger, director of Public Relations for Booz Allen Hamilton, "The Makovsky team has played a critical role n both strategy and execution, and our superior results are a testament to this strong partnership."
Since being founded in 1996, Warschawski has enjoyed year-over-year bottom-line revenue growth. But, beyond the bottom line, the firm invests in its talent to maintain its prestige and commitment to clients--so much so, that in 2007, each of its 17 employees received a raise or promotion. Additionally, the entire staff benefits from robust professional development and mentoring programs to enhance individual--and agency-wide--expertise.
We All Scream for Ice Cream
This robust expertise contributed to several new account wins in 2007, among them the Country of Norway, United States Tennis Association and MaggieMoo's. The latter client benefited from a campaign that increased the Ice Cream brand's visibility via Super Saturday, a star-studded, invitation-only event that was hosted by designer Donna Karan.
Thanks to the event and its related media outreach, traffic to MaggieMoo's Web site increased by 20%, and the company received feature coverage in national magazines including InStyle and Star.
Running for Cover(age)
Another of Warschawski's premiere clients, the Athlete's Foot, commends the agency for the successful execution of the company's 2007 back-to-school promotion.
According to Lori Hall, director of Retail Marketing for the Athlete's Foot, "Bar none, Warschawski is the best PR firm I've ever worked with--great strategy, exceptional execution, incredibly responsive, thoroughly committed. And, most importantly, you [get] results."