From an inspiring Communicator of the Year to a deep bench of incredibly inspiring campaign work, the PRWeek Awards prove the profession is not just part of the conversation - it's starting to lead it.
PRWeek's editorial team discusses the PR and communications news of the week.
The Interpublic Group firm won Agency of the Year for the third straight year at Thursday night's PRWeek Awards in New York City.
The campaign received 650 traditional media placements, garnering more than 315 million impressions worldwide.
USA Swimming, with Exponent PR, jumped in with a goal of increasing swim-team membership by an unprecedented 10%. To do this, organic searches for swim clubs and overall site traffic would need a 50% boost.
Influential, effective, impactful - just a few of the words that have been used to describe Ray Kerins' career and personal endeavors.
Despite its 500 locations in the U.S. and Canada, Kampgrounds of America (KOA) wasn't very well-known. Allison+Partners, working with Cairn Consulting worked to change that.
The campaign built awareness about Goldfish in the community with a minute $14,000 budget.
More than 275,000 employees joined an 88-day journey across five stages, embracing next-generation work methods, including agile development and IBM Design Thinking, among others.
Leslie Gaines-Ross won over the judges with her commitment to thought leadership in the PR industry. Her work on reputation is exhaustive, and Gaines-Ross has led close to 50 studies at Weber Shandwick, where she is chief reputation strategist, since 2008.
In an effort to increase curiosity about Sweden, while also highlighting the country's open and honest communication, the tourist association's agency partners decided to hand over control of Sweden's image to the Swedes themselves.
Burson executed a yearlong brand-repositioning campaign to increase overall media placements by 50% year over year, position executives and partner organizations as leaders in digital banking, and increase innovation message penetration by 50%
Flemming Ørnskov, Shire's CEO, wanted to transform the Ireland-based company, well known for ADHD treatments Adderall and Vyvanse, into a biotech powerhouse having a speciality in rare diseases.
Clearly, one of America's most iconic restaurant chains was ready for a revamp. So when the company finally decided to roll out an all-day breakfast menu, it tasked Golin with announcing something customers had already asked for.
By its open enrollment period, state insurance exchange Covered California had provided more than 3 million residents with insurance, but it still had work to do reaching stragglers who had not signed up for plans.
Weber Shandwick, APartnership, and Gilead Sciences wanted to reach the Asian-American community with a discussion of hepatitis B.
Camino PR turned to a strategy used by health pros to contain infectious disease, systems dynamics.
The strategy included engaging stakeholders, especially naysayers - NGOs and consumer advocacy groups - to earn an opportunity to be part of the solution.
Clients praise Harvest for its "agility," being "highly engaged," and "superbly creative." New wins in the past year include the American Angus Association and CHS.
Decades in, the recently rebranded Carmichael Lynch Relate remains a solid PR powerhouse with expertise in brand marketing and corporate reputation that few match.
Harman, a $7 billion international auto technology company, maintains a nimble global corporate comms team of 15.
In an age where consumers have unprecedented influence over building brands, Tish Carmona's focus on adaptability to customer demands - served as one of many reasons awards judges named her PRWeek's 2017 Outstanding Student.
It seems Weber Shandwick can't be toppled. For the third year running, the IPG firm scoops the large agency award.
Netflix's campaign results speak for themselves. More than 95% of representative sample media had a positive sentiment with a key message penetration of nearly 100%, and the hashtag reached about 31,500 posts per day during the launch.
As McDonald's got ready to unveil its rollout, Golin went to work with The People's Launch, bypassing media in favor of customers. It tweeted to every person who had requested an all-day breakfast.
Only two months and change after having undergone a heart transplant, Oscar Munoz returned full time in March 2016 to his role as CEO of United Airlines.
Overall media impressions hit 1.3 billion, with headlines such as "How Tecate Won the Presidential Debate" (Time), and tweets such as "Who thought a beer ad could send a more powerful message then 90 minutes' worth of debate?
Negroni Week spurred a 50% increase in Campari sales over the same period a year earlier. In 2016, the number of participating venues rose 63% from 2015, with 6,078 total participants.
JetBlue inserted itself into one of the most divisive presidential elections ever with a message of compromise. The effort built on the idea that Americans were tired of staunch political gridlock.
In the competitive fast-food category, taking a risk to stand out from the big guys isn't easy, especially on a smaller budget. But Rob Lynch, brand president and CMO at Arby's, does it over and over again - and with great success.
A Ketchum and Whirlpool survey discovered that as many as one in five American students struggle with access to clean clothes. So Care Counts by Whirlpool was born.
Haggard's ability to cultivate media relationships stood out, as did a fearless, tenacious attitude that helped her achieve results through perhaps the most difficult PR channel: earned media.
Disney needed to generate buzz without giving away too much of the movie's plot -- and it had to be something retailers could use.
"Weber Shandwick is leading the way for the future," said one judge. And it's hard to disagree with that statement as the IPG-owned firm cements its place as the best of the best for a third consecutive year by claiming top honors as Agency of the Year.
Once again the lauded PR department at the Newhouse School takes top honors for its robust comms program.
REI created the #OptOutside movement, urging Americans to leave their credit cards behind and spend the day after Thanksgiving enjoying more natural pursuits.
United Airlines differentiated its bid from those of its competitors by proposing a package of flights from various parts of the country rather than solely from Florida.
Brooklyn-based Praytell had the kind of year every agency chief prays for. And it wasn't just about growth, although it had that too, at record-setting rates.
The effort, which also took home honors for Best Consumer Launch and Best in Social Media, was deeply personal as Golin staff reached out to every tweeter who mentioned the idea on Twitter.
Leveraging the February 2016 Super Bowl 50 frenzy, Pantene and DeVries Global released the Dad-Do video series days before the big game.
Pantene Dad-Do garnered 1.68 billion media impressions and 45 million video views. #DadDo trended organically on Facebook for 48 hours after launch, with dads and daughters posting their own #DadDo pieces.
Ketchum's integrated multimedia campaign for Narcan's launch addressed three audiences: the nation at large, community organizations, and consumers.
Bayer's Ray Kerins and Weber Shandwick's Leslie Gaines-Ross won the Outstanding In-House and Agency Professional awards, respectively.
Ketchum and Adapt Pharma took home honorable mention.
"Daltyn's combination of old-school skills and digital savvy makes me proud," added one judge.
Always' #LikeAGirl took home the award for Campaign of the Year.
Always, P&G's feminine care brand, has long been committed to empowering girls through puberty education.
Share Our Strength set out to bring more nourishing dishes to children, while simultaneously stacking support and funds for summers to come.
Procter & Gamble reinvigorated its Thank You, Mom campaign, which took home this year's prize.
The launch of Advanced Micro Devices' new generation of Radeon graphics cards helped re-ignite customer passion.
CVS made national headlines when it announced that it was pulling all tobacco products from its shelves for good.
Juniper Networks' Introducing Hackonomics campaign helped the company regain a foothold in the IT security industry.
Weber Shandwick had "an exceptional year in which it redefined and expanded client reach."
Frates' rousing success in the face of tremendous obstacles makes him a clear choice as PRWeek's 2015 Communicator of the Year.
Gatorade entered the fiercely competitive protein-based recovery product category with the launch of its Recover Whey Protein Bar.
Leveraging new analytics and socialization tools helped Allstate Insurance create the most robust edition of its annual America's Best Drivers Report
Dubbed "clever, moving, and relevant" by one judge, this campaign set out to honor the important role moms play in their children's lives.
WE Infinity is a data-mining and analytics platform built in the cloud that delivers insights to inform campaign strategies and help improve business outcomes.
"A great course with a hugely innovative, world-class curriculum," said one judge.
Judges applauded Kempner for "making bold moves within the industry" and for "truly transforming the business in radical ways."
Judges praised Mónica Talán, EVP of corporate communications and PR at Univision, for her leadership and business accomplishments.
Last year, Fastenberg showed knowledge and experience beyond her youth as she managed more than $1.2 million in accounts.
The deck was stacked against the Illinois Department of Insurance and FleishmanHillard as they set out to enroll state residents for healthcare plans through the Affordable Care Act.
Wintergreen Advisers teamed with Bryant Park Financial Communications to bring the facts about Coca-Cola's plan to light.
Dominion and agency Davies wanted to counter the work of environmental groups, which had rallied against the Cove Point terminal project in Maryland.
CVS Health worked with its integrated agency team on a rebranding campaign to highlight its dedication to healthcare.
US Mint won for an effort that helped Americans remember a key moment in the country's history.
BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York and Eric Mower + Associates won for a campaign addressing the epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse.
Toyota initiated a campaign to bring its four existing North American headquarter operations under one roof in a new location.
In 2014, revenue at Singer Associates doubled to $9 million from $4.5 million in 2013.
Praytell Strategy's revenue grew 217% to $2.94 million in 2014 as the agency added a number of US and international clients.
All judges recognized Weber Shandwick as a true industry leader that continually breaks barriers and embraces change.
World's Toughest Job rose above the competition and made Mother's Day more special for consumers around the country.
Allison+Partners' acquisition of PR Century last year in Beijing and Shanghai enhanced the China practice, and Asia-Pacific revenue soared 300%.
Far surpassing the brand's expectations, the effort garnered 76 million views on YouTube, making it one of the top viral videos of the year
Last year's Honorable Mention is this year's winner as NASCAR's Integrated Marketing Communications team raced off with top 2015 honors.
As a sponsor of the US Speedskating team at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Under Armour developed the US Mach39, but the suit did not live up to its hype.
MSLGroup knocked it out of the park with this campaign that transformed the insulting phrase "like a girl" into a positive and empowering statement.
Ketchum and the US Farmers & Ranchers Alliance won for a campaign around the documentary film Farmland!
Wells Fargo's 2015 branding initiative drew praise -- plus some high-profile criticism -- and generated more social media engagement than any of its previous efforts.