The Rapidian

The Rapidian, ArtPrize, GVSU among top honorees at 25th Annual WMPRSA Awards

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The Rapidian's PRoof Awards

The Rapidian's PRoof Awards /Amanda St. Pierre

The Rapidian, Grand Rapids Community Foundation, Grand Valley State University, and ArtPrize were among the top honorees at the West Michigan Public Relations Society of America’s (WMPRSA) 25th annual PRoof Awards held Thursday night.

More than 60 public relations professionals gathered at the Grand Rapids Art Museum (101 Monroe Center NW) to honor their peers. The PRoof awards, co-hosted by WXMI Fox 17 anchor Lindsay Kus, awarded 27 prizes to 12 local firms and organizations.

Awards were divided into four major categories: Projects—which included gold and silver awards for marketing tools like brochures, annual reports, and webcasts; Campaigns—which included gold and silver awards for public, internal, and event related projects; Individual awards including Newcomer, Student, and Communicator of the Year among others; and the PRoof Premier award for the overall best in show project.

Winners were picked by an external chapter of PRSA (Volunteer Chapter in Knoxville, TN) to keep selections impartial.

The Rapidian was awarded both the night’s top prize, the PRoof Premier award as well as the gold award for Public Service for the Web site’s pre-launch marketing campaign. The campaign was led by Roberta F. King, Vice President of PR and Marketing at Grand Rapids Community Foundation (GRCF) and leveraged the power of social media to offset a limited budget.

“It isn’t often that a small budget, grassroots project like the launch of The Rapidian rises to the top in a competition like the PRoof Awards. I am pleased that the judges from the Volunteer Chapter of PRSA could see the merits of the planning, strategy, execution and results of this project,” King said in a press release.

King and her associate, Amanda St. Pierre, also landed awards in the Brochure, Annual Report and Magazine Intended for an External Audience categories.

Rick DeVos, founder of ArtPrize, emerged as WMPRSA’s 2010 Communicator of the Year. ArtPrize was also awarded the silver prize for Events and Observances (More than Seven Days) for the campaign The Inaugural ArtPrize: A Grand Experiment, orchestrated by the PR firm Seyforth & Associates.Other Individual awardees included:

  • PR Professional of the Year - Jeff Lambert, partner at Lambert, Edwards & Associates, who also received accolades in the categories of Community Relations, Investor Relations, Public Affairs and Webcast
  • Newcomer of the Year - Amy Sawade of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, also a gold winner in the Media Relations category for her work on the Christmas & Holiday Traditions Around the World project at the Gardens
  • Media Person of the Year - John Gonzales, for his work as Entertainment Editor of The Grand Rapids Press
  • Student of the Year - Mikinzie Stuart, a graduating senior at Ferris State University who is noted for her use of social media.

Grand Valley State University took home the most awards, a grand total of seven, for projects ranging from Video News Release to the silver award for Events and Observances (Fewer than Seven Days) for the L. William Siedman Memorial Service.

A list of the rest of the evening’s winners can be viewed online in this PDF.

Disclosure: The author is a Rapidian staffer and was involved in the pre-launch marketing of the project.

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