2011 Platinum PR Awards: Public Affairs

Winner: Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute – Amphibian Rescue PR Campaign

To increase awareness of the fact that nearly one-third of all amphibians are at risk of going extinct from a disease called chytrid, the Smithsonian’s PR campaign for the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project engaged new and strategic audiences, and provided individuals with options to take action. The Smithsonian public affairs team told the story about the work in progress to rescue 20 species of frogs in eastern Panama, the last stronghold for amphibian diversity, while also seeking a cure for the disease wiping them out. A comprehensive multimedia press kit, six separate releases related to the project and a mobile giving campaign were created and promoted on the Smithsonian Web site, in exhibits and on all publications related to the project. —BM

Honorable Mentions:

Burson-Marsteller/The Board of Elections in the city of New York – Mark It. Scan It. Vote the New Way – Preparing NYC Voters for Paper Ballots: The targeted multilingual public education program ensured voters were confident using a new voting system.

McNeely Pigott & Fox Public Relations – Friends of the Gaile Owens Campaign: Telling Gaile Owens’ story via local and national media outlets, MP&F changed public perception and inspired Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen to lift Owens’ death sentence.

NYU Langone Medical Center – Organ Donor - Concept Trial: To enlarge the organ donor pool in NYC, a campaign was designed to announce to the public via the press a new Concept Trial in order to educate political and community leaders about the details and benefits of such a program.

Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, Taiwan – Taiwan Pavilion at Expo 2010: Ogilvy’s campaign raised awareness of Taiwan’s Shanghai Expo 2010 participation, contributing to positive cross-strait relations and generating “brand” value for Taiwan.

Widmeyer Communications – Pool Safely: Simple Steps Save Lives: A series of national public media events and activities resulted in 636 TV reports, 142 print stories, 229 online pieces and 62 radio broadcasts.

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