GCI, WS win top honors at PRWeek Awards

NEW YORK: In 2004, Medtronic and GCI Group waged a highly emotional integrated campaign to secure greater public access to the company's life-saving defibrillators. Last Thursday, they won PRWeek's Campaign of the Year award for the effort, beating

NEW YORK: In 2004, Medtronic and GCI Group waged a highly emotional integrated campaign to secure greater public access to the company's life-saving defibrillators. Last Thursday, they won PRWeek's Campaign of the Year award for the effort, beating

Please click here to view all of the winners.

The team's initiative, which was also named Public Affairs Campaign of the Year, focused on increasing awareness of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators as a means of preventing sudden cardiac arrest, which is responsible for more US deaths each year than AIDS, breast cancer, and traffic accidents combined. They upped Medicare reimbursement for at-risk patients, and reversed an earlier decision restricting access for many patients.

Weber Shandwick, which took home a total of five awards, won both the overall Agency of the Year and Large Agency of the Year categories. The runners-up in the Agency of the Year category were Midsize PR Agency winner Carmichael Lynch Spong and Small PR Agency winner RBB Public Relations.

Earlier in the evening, WS was awarded the Investor/Financial Relations Campaign of the Year for work with Sempra Energy; Best Use of Research or Measurement for its work with the US Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Bank; and Promotional Event of the Year with General Motors.

ESPN won the Large Corporate Communications Team of the Year award, with Outside the Classroom taking the category for small in-house team.

Personality awards went to APCO Worldwide's Margery Kraus for PR Professional of the Year; the University of Illinois at Champaign's Joshua Morton for PR Student of the Year; and former Burson-Marsteller associate Matt Pitzarella, (currently with the Duquesne Light Company) for Young PR Professional of the Year.

Other winners included Burson-Marsteller, which won the B-to-B, Crisis/Issues Management, and Public Sector Campaign of the Year categories. Golin Harris took home awards for Consumer Launch Campaign, Employee Communications Campaign, and Global Campaign of the Year.

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