"A non-traditional team puts professionalism front and center, and drives awareness and public information into the social networking age," said one judge of the Boston Police Media Relations Unit. "Their results and commitment to PR and social media can be an inspiration to other public sector PR teams."
Indeed, this team of five (two department members and three civilians), led by Elaine Driscoll, is exceptionally adept and effective - with no PR budget beyond their salaries. And the team has certainly helped lead the way among law enforcement agencies in communicating via blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and text messaging.
"Great PR for a public entity," said a second judge. "Excellent use of social media."
BPDNews.com includes a recently launched "Virtual Community" neighborhood-based social networking and safety blog that gets 10,000 visitors daily. The team also distributes nearly 1,000 press releases annually, communicates with 15,000 on Twitter, and manages several hundred monthly media inquiries.
"Great demonstration of PR with key and diverse stakeholders," said another judge.
The team collaborates with multiple internal departments, including Homicide, Fugitive and Apprehension, Crime Stoppers, Drug Control, and Special Events. Pro bono partnerships are cultivated and help deepen community relations. For example, teaming with ad agency Hill Holliday resulted in an Anonymous Text-a-Tip program.
"Effective communication is the cornerstone of a progressive police organization," the team said. "Open and transparent communication is vital to maintaining public trust and building credibility. A more informed public creates an empowered community. An empowered community is more likely to report crimes, work with neighborhood officers, and have a favorable perception of the department, ultimately leading to stronger community relationships, more effective community policing, and a safer city."
Judges also praised the team for "commitment and persistence."
Honorable Mention: Deloitte
In just five years, this team has grown from 12 to 32. Led by Keith Lindenburg, the first national PR director to report to Deloitte's CEO, the team has established PR as key to reaching business goals. PR supports all industry sectors and corporate initiatives, including reputation management, talent, community involvement, CSR, and executive eminence on a budget of $10 million. A series of highly targeted campaigns, largely based on original research, unique studies, and trend analyses, helped Deloitte dominate share of voice last year and increase revenues to $10.9 billion. Judges called the team "very strong" with a "compelling" story.
The Award Open to any in-house nonprofit, government, or corporate PR team, this award honors success in addressing the spectrum of management issues and objectives, and in handling corporate communications, campaigns, and programs, including crisis situations. Judges considered communications management achievements, such as cost-effective use of in-house and external resources, department restructuring programs, and success in integrating other communications functions - including advertising, event management, and Web development - into the PR function.
Boston Police Department
Ford Motor Company
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