WMPRSA Distributes Annual Recognitions

June 16, 2008
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GRAND RAPIDS — Some 70 public relations pros gathered last month for the West Michigan Public Relations Society of America’s 23rd annual PRoof Awards.

Using a super hero theme, the WMPRSA hosted a strolling dinner at Naya Bistro and Wine Bar, followed by chapter President Tim Pietryga handing out 22 gold and silver awards for projects from parties to publications. Entries were judged by the West Virginia PRSA chapter, while the local PR pros returned the favor by picking winners for West Virginia.

Honored as Communicator of the Year was Jim Dunlap, West Michigan Region President for Huntington Bank. PR Practitioner of the Year was Seyferth Spaulding Tennyson Inc. Senior Vice President Brooke Vining. Named Journalist of the Year was Val Lego of WZZM channel 13, who also emceed the event.

Best of Show winner was Carmichael Lynch Sprong for Whirlpool Corp.’s effort to replace the retiring Maytag repairman, an advertising icon created in 1967. The marketing campaign, “The Next Maytag Repairman: Could It Be You?,” was launched after Whirlpool, headquartered in Benton Harbor,  purchased Maytag in 2006. Carmichael Lynch Sprong ran casting calls in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, which drew 1,600 hopefuls and a spate of media coverage.

The campaign used mobile billboards, online advertising and print ads in the nation’s three biggest markets, as well as a Web site. Clay Jackson of Richmond, Va., eventually won the job. Minneapolis-based Carmichael Lynch Sprong is owned by Interpublic Group of New York, and has five additional offices around the country. The Maytag campaign earned a total of three Gold Awards from WMPRSA.

Snagging four Gold Awards and one Silver Award was Lambert Edwards & Associates. The public and investor relations firm was honored with gold for LE&A SMID — West Stock Conference; Zondervan: Inspired By … The Bible Experience Electronic Press Kit; Zondervan: Inspired By … The Bible Experience, The Complete Bible Launch; and Spartan Motors: 2007 Investors Conference. The firm garnered silver for Encompass Lighting Group 2007 Media Relations.

Also earning Gold Awards were: Metro Health Hospital for Metro Health Hospital Move; Seyferth Spaulding Tennyson Inc. for McDonald's of Outstate Michigan: Healthy Moms and Kids Forum; Grand Rapids Community Foundation for its publication Current; and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital for the Shaken Baby Radio Roadblock.

Claiming four Silvers was Grand Rapids Community Foundation, for 85th Anniversary, Elements of Planned Giving, Youth Grand Committee Peer Survey Results, and This Is What 85 Looks Like.

Grand Valley State University received three Silver Awards for Grand Valley Magazine; All Four Won—Won for All DVD; and Study Abroad. Taking two Silver Awards was Priority Health, for Priority Health Grand Cycling Team and Priority Health: Health Journal (62+). Also winning silver was Seyferth Spaulding Tennyson for Grand Rapids Art Museum Inaugural Ball.

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