2016 PR People Awards: Community Relations Professional of the Year

Winner: Jenna Thomas, Senior Director of PR and Social Media Marketing, Nebo Agency

An innovator in the truest sense, Jenna Thomas is dragging PR out of the world of boilerplate, cookie-cutter press releases and irrelevant impressions and into the digital ecosystem of the modern world. She’s established herself as the strategic head of Nebo’s thriving PR team, but also as its moral leader, providing wisdom, a diplomatic hand and leading by example.

Thomas’ style of truly valuing the audience and providing them with the right message at the right time does more than just bring humanity back to PR; it generates staggering results. Keeping Nebo’s emphasis on bettering the world top of mind, a huge portion of her professional work goes toward worthy causes. She’s played an instrumental role in driving success for Nebo’s pro bono initiatives, helping execute over $1 million in philanthropic efforts in two years. Thomas' efforts have generated over 280 million impressions, 2,700 earned placements and dozens of recognitions for PR campaigns.

Thomas’ work on ChooseATL—a community-driven pro-bono campaign to brand Atlanta as a digital hub and show the world why it’s America’s best place to live, work and start a family—helped make the effort a big success. Nebo wanted a grassroots movement to help share Atlanta’s amazing story, but had no PR or advertising budget. Thomas led the way in forming a task force of key local influencers and board members including leaders from Atlanta’s largest organizations like Coca-Cola, Home Depot and Turner Broadcasting.

Thomas then coordinated an official launch party at Atlanta Tech Village incubator. Over 300 of Atlanta’s elite attended, including over 20 targeted media contacts. In three months, the campaign surpassed expectations with over 45 million earned media impressions, over 400 media placements, and upwards of 10,000 views of the ChooseATL video.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Lubomir Alamanov, SiteMedia Ltd.
  • Jon Sullivan, Aflac