Sunday, June 27, 2010

Picture-Perfect Protos: Honoring the Best of PR

I'm a highly competitive person.

And throughout my nearly 20-year career in public relations and communications, I've submitted case studies on projects that not performed exceedingly well in the business world, but also had to meet the highest levels of documented success of the four cornerstones of effective PR -- research, planning, implementation and evaluation.

Watch an interview with John Wayne Airport Spokeswoman Jenny Wedge on the significance of the awards program.

And you can hear an audioBoo interview with PR university students attending the prestigious event for the first time.


This year was no exception as we prepared entries for the annual Protos Awards for the Orange County Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. But it was a bit different this year. As soon I stepped into the Surf and Sand Resort Hotel in Laguna Beach Friday evening, I knew it was unique.

The regular competitive edge was replaced with friendly smiles and a celebratory note. We were gathered to honor the achievements of our industry. And it was especially meaningful in the current economic recession where harsh financial realities forced all of us to do more with less.

The event emcee, Ric Romero, consumer reporter for ABC7 news, joined veterans in the profession to  pay tribute to award winners in numerous categories and to recognize area university PR students -- Alicia Guiterrez of Cal State Long Beach, Jennifer Nguyen of Cal State Fullerton and Amy Chase of Chapman University -- as Shining Star Scholarship recipients.

As you can see from the above music slideshow, we were among the many honored for our behind-the-scenes dedicated work on behalf of our organization or clients. We took home awards for every one of the entries we submitted, including the only two prizes for social media programs and one for our interactive transportation-focused e-newsletter.

But the highlight of the night was sitting next to and chatting with a PR legend -- John van Barneveld of Public Communications Worldwide -- who won both the Distinguished Service Award for Individual and for Organization. See the video interview taken with my new iPhone 4 with the father-daughter Barneveld team and the TV journalist.

As the night progressed, I found myself cheering for every winner. It wasn't about who collected the most hardware, but a celebration of how much we have progressed as an industry.

The event was special because of the passion of a handful of PR professionals. Please join me in thanking Protos Chairwoman Ricca Silverio of Bock Communicatons and her hard-working team of:

Nicole Hoperich, NDH Creative
Mairim Martinez, Integrated MarketingWorks
Julia Meza, Integrated MarketingWorks

Jocelle Untalan

Laura Figge, Pacific Communications
Rachel Smith, GolinHarris

Teri Sawyer, T&Co.
John Tomaszewski, Marketwire

Jenny Corsey, Westbound Communications
Alexis Linn, GolinHarris

Kate Mossbarger, Global Results Communications
Julie Murphy, Kia

Barbara Ruelas, Global Results Communications

Jill Cagle, Building Industry Association
Courtney Day
Anne McNulty
Molly Smith, PRSSA, Cal State Fullerton

Did you attend the event or experience it via live tweets? What did you think about the event and the recipients of the Protos honors?

I also welcome your thoughts about the future of the PR industry in our fast-changing world of real-time information.

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