PR News on Nov. 29 handed out its PR People Awards, recognizing some of the top players in the public relations industry. The awards ceremony, which took place at Washington D.C.’s National Press Club, drew roughly 250 people from the PR and marketing precincts.
Following a keynote speech by Alyse Nelson President-CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership, five distinguished, influential PR leaders were inducted into the PR Hall of Fame: David Finn, chairman of Ruder Finn; Ray Jordan, senior VP of corporate affairs for Amgen; Janice M. Maiman, senior VP of Communications and Media Channels at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and Marian Salzman, CEO of Havas PR.
There was also an induction In Memoriam for Peter Morrissey, founder of the PR firm Morrissey & Co. and associate professor of public relations at Boston University, who died in August from complications of brain cancer.
Following the Hall of Fame inductions, PR News recognized a potpourri of winners for the PR People Awards.
For instance, Sara Schwartz, assistant account executive at Havas PR, was named Account Manager of the Year. Schwartz, who has played a key role in cultivating Havas’ social media efforts, is part of the agency’s Sears/Kmart team, working on Sears’ Online Business unit.
In one of the more traditional skill sets for PR pros, Tony Felts, public relations director for health insurance company WellPoint, captured the Crisis Manager of the Year award.
Felts had a very busy year, what with developing the company’s PR strategies in response to the Affordable Care Act of 2012 and dealing with a class-action lawsuit against the company stemming from WellPoint’s conversion from a mutual insurer to a publicly traded company more than ten years ago.
In the nonprofit arena, Ellen Murphy, senior director of communications for the YMCA, won PR Professional of the Year—Nonprofit. Murphy was instrumental in executing PR campaigns including the 160th anniversary of the YMCA and the Y’s Experts Bureau. She’s also taken pains to that measurement and ROI is on track for the community organization.