Wow Factor Amped Up for 2012 Platinum PR Awards

It's usually crisis management PR campaigns—and even more often, PR blunders—that get the national headlines and bring the public relations profession into focus for wide audiences. Every year, with its signature Platinum PR Awards, PR News puts the focus back where it belongs—on the inspired and successful communications work being done day in and day out by PR professionals. 

This year's Platinum PR Awards honor outstanding PR campaigns in more than 40 categories, ranging from anniversary campaign and crisis management to social media and word of mouth. The winners and honorable mentions will be celebrated at a Sept. 14 luncheon event at New York's Grand Hyatt.

The WOW! Award category in particular offers a snapshot of PR creativity and originality in action. Great PR begins with great ideas, and this year's entries were overloaded with great ideas. Here are the eight finalists in the WOW! Award category:

  • Downy with DeVries Public Relations - Downy Puts Mike in the Window for Clean Sheet Week: In Macy's Herald Square location in New York City, Downy hosted "Mike in the Window," an event in a Macy’s window display featuring comedian Mike Birbiglia living and sleeping on Downy-treated sheets for seven days during Clean Sheet Week.

  • GM Western Region Communications & Weber Shandwick - Chevy Drive N Date Revs Up Speed Dating Like Never Before: Through a partnership with SpeedLA Dating, 31 Los Angeles singles were paired with 10 all-new GM vehicles in an event that turned speed dating on its head. Rather than jumping from table to table for short conversations with each potential mate, attendees hopped from car to car to mingle with eligible singles while being chauffeured down the streets of Beverly Hills.

  • H&R Block - The ’Stache Act, a case study of the greatest mustache campaign in history: H&R Block reached young males by tapping into mustache culture and partnering with the American Mustache Institute (AMI), a faux facial hair think tank created by Elasticity in 2007, to create a national movement for a tax break for those with facial hair. The campaign culminated in an event in Washington, D.C.: "The Million Mustache March," where mustachioed Americans would delivered the message to the White House and national media.

  • Hill+Knowlton Strategies - The Force is Strong with Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray: For the highly anticipated Blu-Ray release Star Wars: The Complete Saga, a 13-month campaign earned exposure through various partnerships and events including an announcement at CES 2011, a full booth at San Diego Comic-Con, promotional activities with Major League Baseball and Stand Up To Cancer and an official Star Wars: The Complete Saga iPad app.

  • Jennie-O Turkey Store - Jennie-O Creates Turkey Burger Converts One Switch at a Time: To pull Turkey out of a holiday dish haze, Carmichael Lynch Spong and Jennie-O took over one of the most popular New York City food trucks—The Bistro Truck—and rebranded it with striking graphics and switched out its menu with Turkey Burgers. Media were invited to a VIP-only Jennie-O bistro area, allowing them to sample five turkey burger recipes from Bistro Truck chef Yassir Z. Raouli.

  • Major League Baseball - MLB Fan Cave: The MLB Fan Cave gives baseball a 15,000-square-foot home in the heart of Manhattan's Greenwich Village, where thousands of visitors every day immerse themselves in and interact with the game in a variety of ways. More than 220 famous guests, including 90 current MLB players, have visited the MLB Fan Cave since its inception.

  • OWS with Workhouse - Occupy Wall Street: The Revolution Will Be Editorialized: Workhouse provided pro bono service to amplify the Occupy Wall Street movement's message by creating, a site that serves as the official hub for OWS-related culture. Releases were disseminated to a worldwide database of over 500,000 subscribers including notables in the realms of journalism and media and government and association officials.

  • The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino - The Venetian and The Palazzo Las Vegas Announce First-Ever Winter in Venice Holiday Celebration: To entice travelers to stay at the Venetian during the winter season and give locals a reason to venture to the Vegas Strip, the Venetian and the Palazzo communications department launched Winter In Venice—a 49-day, resort-wide celebration of the winter months complete with an ice skating rink atop the outdoor gondolas, room packages with elf tuck-ins and strolling holiday characters and music.

The winner of the WOW! Award and all of the Platinum PR Awards will be announced at a luncheon event on Sept. 14, 2012, at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. Register to attend the Platinum PR Awards luncheon.

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