Unity co-founders Gerry Hopkinson and Nik Done took to the stage to receive the award alongside other colleagues after a year in which the agency has won business from Marks & Spencer and GlaxoSmithKline.
The night started with Lord Coe, KBE, being presented with the CIPR’s President’s Medal for his ‘outstanding contribution to public relations surrounding the Olympics’.
The awards were compèred by British Olympic medallist Colin Jackson, CBE, and special guests included Sharron Davies, MBE, Mark Foster and Adrian Moorhouse, OBE.
Other winners on the night included Lisa Gutcher of Liquid PR, who was named ‘Outstanding Young Communicator’; and Salt PR, which picked up two trophies for its ‘Lifebuoy: Global Handwashing Day’ campaign in both the Corporate Responsibility and Healthcare categories.
The Royal College of Nursing walked away with ‘Outstanding In-house Public Relations Team’ and Judge & Howard won the ‘Outstanding Small Consultancy’ award.
Emma Leech, University of Nottingham, was named the Institute of Directors and CIPR Public Relations Director of the Year – a joint award designed to recognise the role played by those who manage reputation.
Sally Sykes, president of the CIPR, said: ‘The competition was fiercer than ever, producing exceptionally high quality entries – which are particularly impressive considering the economic challenges we continue to face. The night was a reminder of the contribution excellent public relations makes to business and growth.’
There were a total of 28 Excellence Award winners announced during a black tie dinner at the London Hilton, Park Lane.
Full list of winners
CIPR’s President’s Medal Lord Coe, KBE
Corporate and Business Communications Man Bites Dog - The Cost Boomerang
Financial and Investor Relations John Lewis Partnership and MRM - Launching the John Lewis Partnership Bond
Internal Communications BT Operate - Communicating our Operate2014 Strategy
Consumer Relations Kärcher & Shine Communications - Kärcher Cleans Britain
Best Sporting Campaign Iris PR and The FA - The FA WSL - Call The Shots
Public Sector Working Word - People’s Collection Wales: A Nation Telling its Own Story
Corporate Responsibility Salt PR - Lifebuoy: Global Handwashing Day
Public Affairs Peter Carroll Associates - FairFuelUK
Not-For-Profit JPR - Community Relations Week
Healthcare Salt PR - Lifebuoy: Global Handwashing Day
Integrated & Marcoms Campaigns Queen's University Belfast - The Higher Education Funding Campaign
Best Use Of Media Relations Natural History Museum, London - Sexual Nature
Best Use of Social Media Umpf - Tweet Pie - The World's Shortest Recipe Book
Broadcast Campaign Ogilvy Public Relations - "W" for Winner – It's Your Word Against Ours!
Global Public Relations Slam PR - Sparking Brand Love for Zippo
Crisis Communications Nottingham City - One Nottingham - Communicating Through the Disturbances
Best Automotive Campaign Genesis PR - PR Drives Business at Ford Retail
Low Budget Lothian and Borders Police - Made From Crime?
External Newspaper, Magazine or Publication Sellafield, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Nuclear Management Partners - The Sellafield Plan
Internal Newspaper, Magazine or Publication UK Asset Resolution with scarlettabbott - U Magazine
Website RAF Benevolent Fund - RAF Benevolent Fund website
Event Kaizo - The Truvia Voyage of Discovery - Turning Over A New Sweet Leaf in the UK
Outstanding Young Communicator Lisa Gutcher MCIPR, Liquid
Best Freelance Practitioner Jane Hunt MCIPR, Catapult PR
Outstanding Small Consultancy Judge & Howard
Outstanding In-House Public Relations Team Royal College of Nursing
Outstanding Public Relations Consultancy Unity