PRWEEK AWARDS: People & Agencies - The Xchangeteam Award - Solo Practitioner of the Year

WINNER - Sam Price

In January 2001, Price set up her own consultancy, which specialises in design, architecture and the built environment. Architects, designers, property developers and, most recently, educationalists make up her client list.

Anyone walking along London's Oxford Street may have seen Sam Price's work up close. Her idea to build a prototype - complete with live occupants - of the Microflat, the affordable apartments aimed at urban dwellers, in the window of department store Selfridges, was hailed as an idea 'bordering on genius' by one commentator.

With Piercy Connor Architects, she launched the Microflat, a project which this year has done well in the PRWeek Awards.

She has also been retained to launch The Business Academy in Bexley, part of the government's City Academy programme - the first of its kind in the world, and sponsored by David Garrard, founder and executive chairman of property investment and development group Minerva.

Her work demonstrates the role that PR can play as part of the wider business process. This was demonstrated by her persuading one of the UK's leading investment companies to enter into a joint venture and fund the product's development, resulting in the formation of the Microflat Company, of which she is a shareholder.

She also works with Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners Industrial Design and has launched three award-winning products for Merten, the largest controls company in Germany. Price also launched Tecton, a lighting system.

Before making the move to go solo, Price was jointly responsible for establishing the Midlands office of IT specialist Berkeley PR in 1996, before moving to London in May 2000 to become PR and communications manager for digital media company Hayes Davidson. Her move into solo practice receives a strong endorsement with this award.


Dealing with a client's consolidation of global manufacturing - resulting in the closure of a UK factory - involved Tim Kaye in devising and implementing a 15-month programme of change management which had to address international media, local employees and government. The reception remained positive, which is something of a feature of Kaye's work. Projects in corporate brand positioning with the new division of an existing client, and an extensive online internal comms programme with another, were models of skill and professionalism.

COMMENDED - Jane Folwell

Breaking into wireless networks using £500 of equipment and a Pringles crisp tube proved an irresistible opportunity for journalists in a demonstration set up by IT PR specialist Jane Folwell. One of her clients, a security firm, found two-thirds of companies in the City of London were doing nothing to protect themselves against hackers. Her development of a simple news hook for an abstract subject was amply illustrated through coverage from outlets as diverse as Sky News, BBC Online, Computer Weekly and The Sunday Telegraph.

COMMENDED - Robert Minton-Taylor

The clients of this freelance practitioner range from barristers' chambers in Leeds to a logistics company, and a Sweden-based international shipping group.

Last year, he managed a major crisis when one of the latter's vessels picked up Afghan refugees from their stricken ship and attempted to take them to Australia, which refused them entry. Minton-Taylor also lectures part-time in PR at Leeds Metropolitan University and offers his services unpaid in his local Yorkshire Dales area to help firms hit by foot-and-mouth.

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