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Friday, March 26, 2010


Last night, the Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) celebrated the best public relations campaigns of 2009 during the 32nd annual Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards, held at International Market Square. The awards banquet, emceed by KARE-11 weekend anchor reporter Rena Sarigianopoulos, was attended by more than 250 communications professionals from area agencies, corporations, non-profit organizations and independent practitioners.

“The Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards recognize excellence in the field of public relations,” said Candee Wolf, APR, president of Minnesota PRSA. “We have a talented pool of local professionals, and the bar set by our peers is extremely high. This year’s winners really stand out for their exemplary professional skill and creativity.”

The Classics Awards are divided into two categories: Elements and Programs. Classics Elements Awards honor the best program tactics, while Classics Programs Awards honor the best overall public relations campaigns.

The highest-scoring entries in the Programs Awards category were eligible for the top honor of the evening – Best of Show. The award for Best of Show was presented to the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) and Padilla Speer Beardsley for “Be the Match.”

A vital need for more support had the National Marrow Donor Program taking a new approach to engaging the public in its life-saving mission, which included a new name for its marrow donor registry – Be The Match. The NMDP turned to Padilla Speer Beardsley to launch Be The Match and encourage more people to join the cause. Despite a very limited budget and the reluctance of media to cover “just a name change,” Padilla created a highly successful campaign that captured public attention by showcasing compelling stories of patients and donors, attracting thousands of marrow donors, volunteers and financial contributors.

Donald G. Padilla Distinguished Practitioner Award
Also at the Classics, Minnesota PRSA honored Ted Davis, APR, with the Donald G. Padilla Distinguished Practitioner Award.

The late Mr. Padilla devoted himself to helping civic, educational, human services and arts organizations communicate more effectively. He was equally diligent in teaching the clients of his firm to see the many benefits of community stewardship and relationship building. The Donald G. Padilla Distinguished Practitioner Award recognizes an individual who is judged to have made selfless contributions to the community and to the mission of PRSA, and who has demonstrated exceptional professional achievement.

Davis has worked in public relations in Minneapolis/Saint Paul for 25 years. He founded Davis Communications Management in 1998 to provide strategic public affairs council to companies, organizations and individuals across Minnesota. His practice focuses on navigating complex public issues through media and community relations, crisis communications and mobilizing grassroots advocacy.

Throughout his career, he has maintained a strong commitment to the community. He has served as a crisis media relations volunteer for the American Red Cross and as a public relations advisor to numerous public officials and community organizations. As a frequent guest lecturer and adjunct instructor at the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communications, he has helped young PR practitioners prepare for their careers.

He has been a member of PRSA since 1986 serving as a director, National Assembly Delegate and committee member including past service as co-chair of the accreditation committee.

Along with the award, Minnesota PRSA will contribute $500 to a charity of Davis’ choice. Padilla Speer Beardsley will donate another $500 to the same organization.
A total of 54 Classics Awards were presented during the evening to public relations agencies, corporations, non-profit organizations and students from the metro and out-state areas.

For a complete list of the 32nd Annual Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards click here.