The PRWeek Awards is always one of my favorite nights of the year. Part of the reason is that it allows me to connect with various contacts throughout the industry that I don't get to see on a regular basis. But more importantly, it always serves as a very welcome reminder of the genuine enthusiasm that PR professionals have for their work— and their commitment to generating results for their clients and companies. Last night's awards ceremony was no different.
After a tough year for the industry, it was a great time to honor the best agencies, campaigns, personalities, and teams. What was especially interesting about this year's Awards in particular is that the top winner of the evening really illustrated that the contribution of PR to a company's overall business is greater than ever and the expectation that PR can impact the bottom line is being met.
The Campaign of the Year award winner, “Dreyer's Beat the Blues with a Taste of Recovery” by Ketchum and Dreyer's Ice Cream, impressed judges with its creative idea. It launched a new recession-themed “Red, White and No More Blues” ice cream flavor with a campaign that featured a contest centered on a unique job opportunity scooping ice cream. The campaign garnered an enormous amount of media attention and visits to the contest's Web site. But what most impressed the judges—and led to it being named the overall winner of the evening-- was that the campaign preceded a 25% year-over-year increase in sales.
That ability to drive business goals is something for which every PR campaign should be striving. Of course, the PRWeek Awards will always honor creativity as well, but it's that combination that stands out the most—and serves as an important example for the rest of the industry to follow.