CIPR Excellence Awards: Record of excellence

The CIPR Excellence Awards Diamond Dinner took place at the Park Lane Hilton last week. Cathy Wallace takes a look at the deserving winners of the past year.

PUBLIC SECTOR

Slavery: Unfinished Business by Hull CC

Two hundred years ago Hull-born William Wilberforce led a campaign that would mean the eradication of the slave trade in the British Empire. In 2007, the city council launched a campaign to recognise his pioneering work, and highlight the fact modern-day slavery still exists.

The PR team raised awareness with slogans such as 'Slavery: Unfinished Business' and a conference at which Archbishop Desmond Tutu (pictured) spoke.

The campaign was covered on three regional radio stations, in the Hull Daily Mail, and by the BBC, Sky, and Channel 4.

A Fight for Freedom petition was signed by more than 50,000 people.

BEST PR CONSULTANCY

Blue Rubicon

In 2007, Blue Rubicon delivered outstanding financial performance. Turnover increased by 50 per cent with fee income up by 41 per cent. Fee income per head was more than £114,000.

BEST IN-HOUSE PR TEAM

Yorkshire Water

The team had to cope with the floods of 2007 and the subsequent critical report. Despite this, research showed 75 per cent of customers understood the value of what the business does.

INTERNATIONAL PR

McAfee Virtual Criminology Report by The Red Consultancy

McAfee prides itself on being one of the original online security companies, but its own analysis of press coverage in the first half of 2007 showed it had 75 competitors. McAfee asked The Red Consultancy to help it appeal to a worldwide market.

Red identified three core themes: the increasing threat of cyber attack; the growth of a data black market; and the threat to online services.

A group of independent researchers boosted credibility by speaking to law enforcement agencies and security experts across the world - including Nato, the FBI, Soca and the Institute for Counter-Terrorism.

The campaign generated more than 506 pieces of coverage across 30 countries. The Virtual Criminology Report generated 1,355 sales leads from downloads in the first five days. They were part of the 10,972 people who viewed the site in the five days after the launch.

FINANCIAL PR AND INVESTOR RELATIONS

Bringing Stobart to the Stock Market by Lansons Communications

When iconic haulier Eddie Stobart and the Westbury Property Fund merged to create the Stobart Group, the £150m deal was not big enough to warrant substantial coverage on its own. Lansons Communications was asked to promote the merger.

The day the merger was announced, key management figures were driven to the London Stock Exchange in an Eddie Stobart lorry. Newsdesks were sent a mini Stobart lorry, one of which appeared on The Daily Telegraph's business section banner.

The story was covered across a wide spectrum of broadcast media on the day, and achieved blanket national print coverage.

Andrew Tinkler, CEO of the Stobart Group, said: 'Given the complexity of the messages, Lansons delivered a well-structured day, delivering in all aspects throughout the process.'

CONSUMER RELATIONS

Trunki - UK media launch by Dangling Carrot PR

The launch of the world's first ride-on suitcase for toddlers turned into a PR nightmare for travel brand Trunki after a disastrous appearance on the BBC's Dragon's Den. To get over the product's difficult birth, Trunki brought in Dangling Carrot PR.

Products were given names and characters were even 'christened' on Facebook. Journalists were won over with products matched to their own children, and the 'posh' Trunki was headed by an campaign entitled 'Too Posh To Push'.

Sales exceeded £2m and UK retailers on board include Mothercare, John Lewis and Harrods.

BEST USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

RAF Afghan Diaries by Royal Airforce Careers and COI

In early 2007, the RAF Regiment was identified as falling short on recruitment targets.

Senior aircraftsman Paul Goodfellow recorded daily video diaries during his six-month deployment to Kandahar. The first diary was posted in April 2007.

The RAF Regiment achieved 98 per cent of its recruitment target in 2007, with all RAF Regiment gunners signing up between January and April 2008 claiming they had watched the Afghan Diaries.

INTEGRATED CAMPAIGN

'Fireworks and Bonfires ruin lives in a flash' by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service

The misuse of bonfires and fireworks mean late October to early November is one of the busiest for emergency services.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) led a partnership campaign across the Northumbria region, with Northumbria Police, Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, 11 local authorities and the NHS.

Children aged 10 to 15 years and their parents were the key audiences for the campaign, so actors were given cosmetic burn scars and sent to busy shopping areas in Newcastle and Sunderland to hand out leaflets.

From 1-6 November 2007, the number of calls to TWFRS fell by 13 per cent compared with the previous year, and the number of incidents TWFRS attended fell by 15 per cent. Attacks on TWFRS staff reduced by 39 per cent and injuries fell from 20 to 10.

On Bonfire Night itself, TWFRS received 27 per cent fewer calls and attended 33 per cent fewer incidents than in 2006.

BROADCAST

Doctor Doctor by Pfizer

The Doctor Doctor project involved the sponsorship of a daily TV show broadcast at 9.30am on Five every weekday morning in August 2007. It aimed to raise awareness of the Pfizer Life health information web site. Each hour-long live Doctor Doctor TV show covered health topics in detail. More than 80 topics were covered.

The pfizerlife.co.uk website received an additional 1,000 page impressions a day, with the majority of people visiting the site after seeing the TV show.

EVENT

The PAH and Scleroderma Mastermind Symposium by Packer Forbes Communications

Tracleer (by Actelion Pharmaceuticals) is one of the leading treatments for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), a devastating and life-limiting disease with no cure.

Research amongst rheumatologists revealed they do not regularly screen their patients at risk of PAH even though early identification and treatment is critical to prolong the survival of these patients.

Packer Forbes Communications planned a symposium event at the British Society for Rheumatology Annual Meeting, which attracts 1,600 rheumatologists over four days. John Humphrys, the BBC's Mastermind host, took the role of celebrity chair.

More than 165 rheumatologists attended the symposium. Of those, 89 per cent said they learned something new about the serious complications of scleroderma and PAH.

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