2011 Platinum PR Awards: Speech


Winner: Early Learning Division Ontario Ministry of Education – ‘I wish I was a messenger’

Leading up to the launch of a new program in all Ontario schools—full-day kindergarten for 4- and 5-year-olds—the Ontario Ministry of Education decided to go face-to-face with their message. This was in the form of speeches, 80 of them delivered to opinion leaders in education. One such speech, “I wish I was a messenger,” was based on a Pearl Jam song, and delivered by the ministry’s assistant deputy minister of education, Jim Grieve, to an audience of 250 school board trustees. Here’s part of Grieve’s speech: “There’s a song rolling around in my head. Not a whole song, really. Just one line. Repeating over and over again, like it’s on a loop…Well, turns out this line is actually rather apt for my time with you today. It’s from the Pearl Jam song “Wishlist,” and it goes like this: “I wish I were a messenger and all the news was good…Clearly, I too am the messenger…and I’m here to tell you, all the news is good.“

The result of the speech? Beforehand, support for the change was 70% negative. After the speech, the number switched over to the decidedly positive side. —SVC


Honorable Mention:

Sprint Nextel – M2M Connected Transportation Initiative: CEO Dan Hesse’s keynote promoting Sprint Nextel’s machine-to-machine leadership resulted in more than 1,000 media postings.


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