Winners Announced for Diversity Distinction in PR Awards
New York, NY – (December 1, 2011) – The Council of Public Relations Firms, and PRWeek announced today the winners of the inaugural Diversity Distinction in PR Awards.
The awards, sponsored by the Council of Public Relations Firms in association with PRWeek, honor excellence in leadership and promoting ethnic diversity within the public relations sector.
Winners were recognized in three award categories: Best PR Firm Diversity Initiative, Best PR Firm Community Initiative and Diversity Champion.
Best Public Relations Firm Diversity Initiative
Winner: APCO Worldwide
From PRWeek article: “APCO Worldwide won the Best PR Firm Diversity by impressing judges with a holistic, multifaceted dedication to instilling a culture of diversity and acceptance throughout the global firm. This category recognizes an agency’s commitment to a diverse and equitable workplace, developed through training and advancement opportunities. APCO sought to create a program that would resonate with the whole firm. It instituted many initiatives to create companywide buy-in, including a lunch-and-learn series on the power of diversity and inclusion; mandated training for new staff and senior managers; and small touches such as an explanatory email of the history of a holiday anytime an APCO office closed in observance. It also established external partners, such as with 826, a nonprofit dedicated to improving urban youth’s reading and writing skills.”
The judges also commended the efforts of Porter Novelli and Mitchell Communications in this category.
Best PR Firm Community Initiative
Winner: Porter Novelli
From PRWeek article: “Porter Novelli’s collaboration with TORCH, a communications and arts career exposure program for underserved New York City public high school students, earned a near perfect score with judges. The Best PR Firm Community Initiative award recognizes an agency project to promote careers in PR, encourage diversity, fight discrimination, or work toward the empowerment of a local community. Porter partnered with TORCH (Together Our Resources Can Help) to develop its first PR program beginning last year. It also aided fundraising efforts through logistical, PR, and sponsorship support, employed TORCH students as interns, and established other mentoring relationships between the agency’s staff and the students.”
The Judges also commended the efforts of GolinHarris and Edelman in this category.
Winner: Kim Hunter
From PRWeek article: “The Diversity Champion award honors an exceptional PR pro who is a role model and champion of diversity through action. Kim Hunter personifies this description exceptionally, the judges agreed. Hunter founded Lagrant Communications in 1990. It has become a multimillion-dollar integrated firm specializing in Hispanic and African-American consumer markets. Later, he founded the Lagrant Foundation to provide scholarships, internships, and other career development programs to minority students. Over the past 13 years, the Lagrant Foundation has awarded $1.16 million to 162 undergraduate and graduate ethnic minority students nationwide.”
The judges also commended Bill Imada, IW Group chairman and CEO, and Rosanna Fiske, PRSA chair and CEO.
“All of the winners, as well as the dozens of other worthy candidates who submitted entries, will both inspire and inform our industry,” said Kathy Cripps, president of the Council of Public Relations Firms. “These awards are a great showcase of PR professionals from diverse backgrounds as well as those who have encouraged and strengthened diversity across the public relations workforce.”
“We were delighted with the response to the inaugural Diversity Distinction in PR Awards and the winners lay down a marker that sets the standard for future years,” said Steve Barrett, PRWeek Editor in Chief. “At PRWeek, we very much hope the awards will become a regular fixture in the PR calendar – until such time as they are no longer needed.”
The awards judges included: David Albritton, Chief Communications Officer, ITT Exelis; Shannelle Armstrong, director of public relations, Sears Holdings; Jaya Bohlmann, consultant; Carol Evans, president, Working Mother Media and CEO, Diversity Best Practices; Kim Hunter, president and CEO, Lagrant Communications, Chairman, Lagrant Foundation; Richard Jones, SVP, Chief Communications Officer, The Guardian Life Insurance Co., and Katie McBride, executive director of GM Community Connections.
The Diversity Distinction in PR Awards was open to US-based communications firms of all sizes and their employees. Nominees were accepted from both in-house communications professionals and firms themselves. Read more about the winners and the judging committee in the December 1, 2011 issue of PRWeek and on PRWeekus.com.
The Council of Public Relations Firms is comprised of America’s leading public relations firms. Its membership represents the premier global, mid-size, regional and specialty agencies across every discipline and practice area. The Council’s mission is to advocate for and advance the business of public relations firms by building the market and the value of firms as strategic business partners. For more information about the Council, visit www.prfirms.org.