Close to 200 public relations professionals attended the 25th annual Edward L. Bernays Mark of Excellence Awards Ceremony on October 12, hosted by the San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA SD/IC). At the “Bloom Where You Are Planted” themed banquet, attendees were welcomed with a resort cocktail reception at The Dana on Mission Bay, a waterfront resort enveloped by lush tropical landscaping and blooms. They then enjoyed a three-course meal where more than 65 winners were announced and presented with Silver and Bronze Bernays Awards. Emcee for the event was Abbey Gibb, award-winning journalist, lifestyle TV host and holistic nutritionist from San Diego’s own Fox 5 news team.
“The Bernays Awards is the Chapter’s largest annual event, bringing together hundreds of public relations professionals to recognize the great work accomplished over the past year,” said Melissa Cameron, president of the PRSA SD/IC Chapter and vice president of Southwest Strategies. “As PR and communication pros, we spend most of our time in the background, pushing our clients and executives into the limelight. So it’s nice to be celebrating 25 years of the Bernays Awards that recognize the hard work and dedication we put into these creative campaigns and tactics.”
Named after Edward L. Bernays, the “father of public relations,” the awards were open to all agencies and organizations in San Diego and Imperial counties. They recognize excellence in public relations campaigns and tactics in a range of categories including media relations, community relations and public affairs.
The Bernays Awards are divided into two categories—Silver, honoring entire public relations campaigns, and Bronze, honoring PR tactics. Silver Bernays assessments included research, planning, execution and evaluation of a campaign or program. Bronze Bernays recognized outstanding public relations tactics, consisting of individual items or components of programs or campaigns. Members of the West Michigan PRSA Chapter judged all award entries.
Canale Communications took home the most awards with 11 Bernays including six Bronze and four Silver and one Best of Show Bernays Award. Allison+Partners took home nine Bernays including five Bronze, three Silver and one Best of Show Bernays Award.
Five special awards were also presented to individuals and teams who made exemplary contributions to the public relations and San Diego communities.
The special awards included New Pro of the Year, Olivia Stafford, account executive at Focuscom Inc.; Eva Irving Community Service Award, Bill Johnston, San Diego Padres; Otto Bos Lifetime Achievement Award, Joe Charest, Katz & Associates., and a Director’s Award — given at the discretion of the Chapter Board of Directors — was awarded to the Nuffer, Smith, Tucker Leadership Team to recognize exemplary leadership after the sudden loss of long-time agency President Bill Trumpfheller. New this year was the PR Team of the Year recognition, which was awarded to The Katz & Associates and City of San Diego Pure Water integrated team.
In one of the most highlighted moments of the night, Joe Charest of Katz & Associates was surprised with being awarded the Otto Bos Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes an experienced practitioner for lifetime achievement in the public relations arena. Nominated by his peers, Charest’s 40-year career in public relations was celebrated, and during which he has helped clients do important work in the non-profit, health care, transportation, water and environmental fields. Charest has also served on multiple nonprofit boards and donated countless pro-bono hours to organizations throughout San Diego County including the San Diego Crime Victims Fund, San Diego Foundation, Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce, and more. For the generosity of his time as well as his knowledge accumulated throughout his career, PRSA SD/IC is proud to award him with this lifetime achievement.
The event ended with the Best of Show Award winners, recognizing the highest and perfect 100/100 scores among the Silver and Bronze categories. Silver Best of Show Awards were given to the City of San Diego and Katz & Associates (Representing the Events and Observances (7 or Fewer Days) – Nonprofit/Government/Association category) and J&J Team at Canale Communications (Reputation/Brand Management category) — who both tied with perfect scores. A Bronze Best of Show Award was given to Allison+Partners (Video Programs category).
Read complete list of winners here.
The deadline to order a duplicate award is Nov. 17. Click here for more information.