Cymru Wales CIPR PRide Awards: Champions of Cymru

CIPR PRide Award winners in Wales include Torfaen council and Welsh Water.

Best campaign 10k and under: Carmarthenshire County Libraries
Best campaign 10k and under: Carmarthenshire County Libraries

Best Campaign £10K and under

Carmarthenshire County Council 'Carmarthenshire Libraries'

Carmarthenshire County Council wanted to increase membership of its already popular library service. A three-month membership drive was launched, particularly targeted at children.

Offers were given to all new library members during the campaign, such as sessions at a ski slope, DVD hire and free theatre vouchers. A schools competition was run, sponsored by local printers Gomer Press. The campaign exceeded its target for new members by 60 per cent and was carried out at no cost to the library service.

Crisis Communications

Torfaen County Borough Council 'Snowed Under'

The worst weather to hit the UK since 1981 brought weeks of Arctic conditions to Torfaen. With snow leaving many streets impassable, driving conditions were treacherous, rubbish collections were disrupted and schools and council buildings were shut for some time.

The council wanted to protect its reputation during this time, and get essential services to the area's most vulnerable people. It also wanted to reassure residents, and convey information about school closures, roads, social care and waste collections.

The council's emergency response team, headed by the deputy CEO and including the comms team, met daily using conference calls and webcams. Snow pages on the council's website were kept updated and 104 press releases were issued. Councillors were kept updated so they could reassure residents.

Comms highlighted employees who went above and beyond the call of duty, such as Ryan Nightingale, who was out gritting while his partner was in labour. The team also used the opportunity to promote the dry ski slope as a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience actual snow skiing in Torfaen.

The council achieved widespread media coverage. As one resident wrote on Twitter: 'Keep up the good work guys - you've been awesome during this cold spell!'

Best Event

Welsh Water and Warwick Emanuel PR at the Royal Welsh Show

Welsh Water wanted to let the public know what it was doing to minimise the impact of weather conditions such as flooding followed by drought, and show how people can make a contribution to saving water. The firm put together a display at the Royal Welsh Show, including a model of a town and hillside demonstrating how natural drainage helps avoid flooding, a game featuring a giant toilet that roared and lit up when the wrong objects were thrown in it, and a giant egg-timer to promote the fact that showers should last four minutes only. In total, 5,000 people visited the stand during the four-day event.

Outstanding in-house PR team

Carmarthenshire County Council

The council's comms team runs its own professional PR agency - SigarPR. A recent survey of local media found 100 per cent felt the press office provided an excellent service, and in the latest residents' attitudes survey, 72 per cent said they felt well-informed about the council, up 20 per cent from the previous survey.

Outstanding Public Relations Consultancy

Working Word Public Relations

Cardiff-based Working Word PR has seen a 20 per cent rise in fee income in 2009-10, despite the recession. The agency has also been recognised with a CIPR Excellence Award.

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