CIPR Pride Awards: Home Counties South - Southern bounty

Pride Award winners in the Home Counties include Man Bites Dog and Pegasus PR.

Business and trade

Dangerous Liaisons by Man Bites Dog

Hay Group (HG), traditionally perceived as salary experts, needed a vehicle to reposition the company as a management consultancy and provide an umbrella theme to promote its broader services.

HG and Man Bites Dog (MBD) identified the 2007 merger boom as a topical boardroom issue around which to package HG's high-end consultancy services. But HG faced a crowded M&A market and media landscape, dominated by global accountancy and law firms.

MBD's strategy was to create an authoritative white paper that would 'lift the lid' on life after mergers, and promote HG's unique M&A expertise.

The Dangerous Liaisons campaign has secured 296 pieces of media coverage across 10 countries, with an independently evaluated AVE of £663,918 (Mantra International).

Community relations

We're Backing Brighton by Southern Water

Southern Water is conducting a £15.5m scheme to replace 57 kilometres of water mains for its 250,000 customers in Brighton and Hove. This leads to road closures, traffic diversions and disruption.

The PR strategy kept residents, traders and stakeholders informed about the work and a community support programme called 'We're Backing Brighton' was created to deflect criticism by allowing the public to witness how the company was working as a good neighbour.

Outstanding PR consultancy

Man Bites Dog

PRWeek's New Consultancy of the Year 2007, Man Bites Dog, has a profit margin of 41 per cent and has grown its fees by at least a third every year.

Outstanding in-house PR Team

Southern Water Services

From 2006 to 2008 Southern Water's in-house PR team won 43 industry awards. It responds to media enquiries 24 hours a day, seven days a week and handles nearly 2,000 requests a year.

Best use of design and photography

A Problem Shared by Pegasus PR

Colic affects one in five babies from birth to four months. Colief Infant Drops break down the lactose in breast and formula milk to make the feed easily digestible.

Rugby player Ben Cohen was recruited to act as an ambassador, talking about his experiences of colic with his five-month-old twin daughters. Media coverage created more than 66 million opportunities to see.

Integrated communications

Homeopathy - Banishing the Myths by Pegasus PR and Nelsons

Nelsons Homeopathic Pharmacy in central London has been a destination for natural healthcare since 1860. Despite a growing interest in complementary healthcare, there are still many misunderstandings about homeopathy. Pegasus PR and Nelsons' in-house comms team were charged with banishing the myths as part of Homeopathy Awareness Week (14-21 June).

The campaign generated 33 pieces of editorial coverage, reaching an audience of 25.5 million.

Visitors to the Heal Through Homeopathy website increased by 29 per cent in the week before Homeopathy Awareness Week and by 43 per cent during the week. Visitors increased a further 19 per cent following national coverage in You and OK! magazines and 738 consumers downloaded a guide.

Best Newspaper or Magazine

Taste West Sussex by West Sussex County Council

Supporting the rural economy, promoting environmentally friendly behaviour and reducing carbon footprint are key priorities for the council. A major initiative to support this policy involves encouraging consumers to reduce 'food miles' by buying from local farmers, growers and producers.

Taste West Sussex was launched as a showcase for local producers and to give shoppers vital information about the goods and services available locally. It is written and designed by the council's comms team.

Readers are encouraged to share tips, recipes and ideas, which are also publicised on supporting web pages and in a bi-monthly electronic TastEmail.

The magazine has been widely praised by local businesses and farmers' groups.

Low Budget/Consumer Communications

Aldi's Amazing Hope in a Jar by Kavanagh Communications

Aldi wanted to put its skincare credentials on the map with ABC1/C2 females aged over 30 and increase sales of its 'Amazing Hope in a Jar' skin cream by 20 per cent.

Kavanagh faced two major obstacles: the beauty media's bias towards 'high-end' products and the public's alleged perception of Aldi as a downmarket brand.

After the Aldi Day Cream topped an independent study of skincare products, Kavanagh challenged beauty writers to test its creams against high-end brands. It also ran a campaign to change Aldi's brand perception.

Sales rose by 1,500 per cent at the end of the first week.

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