Platinums and Post-its were a potent combination at the PR News Platinum PR Awards Luncheon held Friday, Sept. 14 at the Grand Hyatt in New York City.
Some 300 communications professionals gathered to honor the top people, agencies and campaigns in PR. This year's event featured 40+ categories (a record), plus nine Hall of Fame inductees (go to our Web site for a full list of winners and honorable mentions).
The event got off to a rather sticky start, with PR pros placing a total of 373 Post-Its on comedian Mark Malkoff's body, breaking a RecordSetter world mark. Malkoff is best known for visiting and consuming a beverage at all 172 Manhattan Starbucks stores within 24 hours.
The awards portion got off to a winning start for Mass Mutual Life Insurance Company, which won back-to-back Community Relations and Crisis Management honors for their work after a tornado struck Springfield, Mass.
Charles Duhigg, best-selling author of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, delivered the keynote address at the luncheon. Duhigg, a business reporter for The New York Times, spoke of Starbucks' efforts to train its employees to get into the habit of good customer service--using science-based tactics that PR professionals should take to heart.
The new PR News editorial director, Jon Gelberg, announced the Platinum Hall of Fame inductees, which included some venerable brands and campaigns: Blendtec — Will It Blend?; IBM — Smarter Planet; charity: water; GEICO—the GEICO Gecko; Oscar Mayer/Kraft Foods – Oscar Mayer Wienermobile; Ronald McDonald House Charities; SELF magazine—Pink Ribbon; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – Thanks and Giving Campaign; and Target—Take Charge of Education.
The event culminated in the Agencies of the Year awards--with ties in all three categories. Henson Consulting and InkHouse Media + Marketing picked up Small Firm honors. "Twelve years ago I left Edelman to be a consultant and had my first child," said Kathleen Henson of Henson Consulting. "Now we have five great kids and 16 amazing employees at Henson. We're grateful to be recognized for our work."
In the Midsize Firm category, Makovsky + Company and Cone Communications tied for the award. When asked what time he would go back to, Ken Makovsky said, "I would go back to Day 1, knowing what a fantastic journey it's been to grow this agency."
In the Large Firm category, Ogilvy PR and Weber Shandwick took top honors. "I'm proud of our 2,700 employees around the world, and of our collaborative culture," said Andy Polansky, president of Weber Shandwick.
PR News congratulates the winners and honorable mentions. For extended stories on the winners, go to prnewsonline.com/platinumpr2012.
Follow Scott Van Camp: @svancamp01