Some 250 PR leaders packed the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 30 for PR News' 2010 PR People Awards, Hall of Fame and 15-to-Watch event. The PR People Awards, which celebrate annually the innovators who are making communications matter in the marketplace, honor top individuals across categories ranging from Account Supervisor of the Year and Social Media Leader to Measurement Expert/PR Analyst of the Year. Also celebrated at the luncheon event were six PR News 2010 Hall of Fame inductees. In addition, PR News honored its 15-to-Watch—up-and-comers age 30 and under—in both corporate/nonprofit and agency categories.
Once presented with their awards, winners were asked to share their best career advice. Joseph Cohen (PR Agency Team Leader of the Year winner), group VP of MWW Group, advised the audience “to find a job where you are also rewarded an emotional paycheck.” David Siroty, Coldwell Banker’s VP of North American Communications and “Lemonade Maker of the Year,” shared a story demonstrating how to make the best of any situation. “You’re never just an intern; you’re always someone with a thought and an idea—use that in your career and you’ll go far,” he said.
PR Blogger of the Year winner, USANA’s Tim Haran, reminded the audience of the importance of maintaining relationships. “Customer service, both good and bad, does make a difference,” he said. Helen Havlak, Intern of the Year Winner from Euro RSCG Worldwide, shared how she became an aspiring PR professional: “I picked a career where I can keep learning something new every day after I graduate, and so far, PR has worked out really well,” she said.
An annual highlight of the PR People Awards event is the induction the new class of PR Hall of Famers. This year they include: Diane Gage Lofgren, SVP, brand strategy, communications and public relations, Kaiser Permanente; Lou Rena Hammond, chairman/founder, Lou Hammond & Associates; Jay M. Jaffe, president & CEO, Jaffe PR; Andy Polansky, president, Weber Shandwick; D'Arcy Rudnay, SVP, corporate communications, Comcast Corporation; and Scott Widmeyer, chairman and CEO, Widmeyer Communications.
Hall of Fame inductee Jay Jaffe said that the best career advice he ever received was from his father. “When I left for school, I’d say bye, and he’d say ‘don’t buy—sell,’” he said. Fellow inductee D’Arcy Rudnay shared advice she first heard as a teenager: “Whomever you work with, respect and work hard for them and they will treat you well for the rest of your life,” she said.
The luncheon’s keynote speaker, Values Coach Inc. CEO Joe Tye, delivered a passionate and entertaining speech highlighting the importance of inspirational leaders and productive corporate cultures. After the luncheon, he shared his closing thoughts with PR News: “Ownership is a state of mind, not a state of wallet. Anybody can think like a partner and act like an owner,” he said.