Human Resources, Marketing, PR & Advertising, and Nonprofits

PR industry hands out PRoof awards

May 23, 2019
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WMPRSA PRoof Awards table
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The region’s public relations industry has recognized the best work over this past year.

Winners of the 34th-annual PRoof Awards were honored last night by the West Michigan Public Relations Society of America, or WMPRSA, at Clearwater Place downtown.

The awards competition celebrates practitioners who "successfully used skill, creativity and resourcefulness to address a communications challenge" in 2018.

It is open to public relations, communications and marketing professionals who work in West Michigan.

This year’s competitors were judged by a PRSA chapter in San Diego, which received a record 131 entries.

“This year’s record number of entries showed some serious talent from West Michigan public relations pros and highlighted excellent and creative work being done in our community," said Andrea Finnigan, president, WMPRSA.

For the first time, the PRoof committee established minimum of 80 in a 100-point scale in order to qualify for an award. Previously, gold and silver awards were given to the top two point earners in each category.

“The team really focused on improving the judging criteria for this year’s award ceremony,” said Sarah Pazdziora, communications and PR specialist at Trace3 and WMPRSA PRoof Awards chairperson.

“We felt that it was important to align our point system with the standards of other PRSA national award programs, so that award recipients could easily submit their winning campaign or tactic to any of PRSA’s most prestigious award shows.”

Individual award winners

2019 Communicator of the Year Award - Cheryl Schuch of Family Promise Grand Rapids

2019 Public Relations Professional of the Year - Dr. Adrienne Wallace, Grand Valley State University

2019 Media Person of the Year - Nick Manes of the Michigan Advance

2019 Student of the Year - Winner: Trevor Bryan, Grand Valley State University, 2018 President

2019 Newcomer of the Year - Sean Billisitz, GVSU AdPR Alumni, associate account executive at Truscott Rossman

2019 Best of Show

Spectrum Health, “The Next Us” – Wave 2 of the Nexus Journey. Spectrum Health also won the Best of Show category in 2018.

Strategic public relations campaigns

Community Relations

Silver - Lambert & Co., West Ottawa Public Schools “IB AP Week” Campaign

Gold - Priority Health, “Champions” Campaign

Content Marketing

Silver - Spectrum Health, Health Beat

Silver - Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Meijer Gardens Corpse Flower Bloom

Gold - Spectrum Health, “Reasons” Member Stories Campaign

Corporate Social Responsibility Campaigns

Silver - Grand Rapids Community College, “Raising Awareness of New Laptop Vending Machines” campaign

Gold - SeyferthPR, Sawyer Products/Sawyer International campaign

Crisis Communications

Gold - Sabo PR for PFAS Contamination in Plainfield Township campaign

Events and Observances (more than seven days)

Silver - Sabo PR for its Legacy Trust Award Collection campaign

Silver - 8THIRTYFOUR Integrated Communications for its Sartori ArtPrize campaign

Gold - GVPRSSA’s Grand PR for its Sawyers Day campaign

Gold - SeyferthPR for its West Michigan Prostate Health Alliance Launch campaign

Gold - Lambert for its JSJ 100th Anniversary campaign

Gold - GVPRSSA’s Grand PR for its Timeless Ten campaign

Events and Observances (fewer than seven days)

Silver - Sabo PR for its Greater Wyoming Community Resource Alliance 10th Anniversary Breakfast

Gold - BISSELL Pet Foundation for its BISSELL Blocktail Party

Gold - 8THIRTYFOUR Integrated Communications for its Tarana Burke event

Influencer Marketing - Macro-influencers (10,000 to 1 million followers)

Silver - 8THIRTYFOUR Integrated Communications for its Cirrus North America Launch

Gold - Grand Traverse Resort and Spa for its Women Writers Weekend

Influencer Marketing - Micro-Influencer campaigns (500 to 10,000 followers)

Gold - 8THIRTYFOUR Integrated Communications for its Woodhouse Day Spa Influencer campaign

Integrated Communications

Silver - Spectrum Health for its 2018 president & CEO Announcement

Silver - Mel Trotter Ministries for its “There's More to My Story” campaign

Gold - Sabo PR for its FloraCraft CEO Gift

Internal Communications

Silver - Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital for its “With a Mary Heart” Employee Giving campaign

Gold - Spectrum Health for its “The Next Us” - Wave 2”of Spectrum Health’s Nexus Journey campaign

Marketing Campaign

Silver - Priority Health for its Small Group satisFACTion campaign

Gold - Priority Health for its Digital Member Onboarding 1.0

Most Effective Campaign on a Shoestring Budget

Silver - BISSELL Pet Foundation for its BISSELL Pet Foundation's #GivingTuesday Campaign

Gold - Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Foundation for its #VoteForMiracles campaign

Public Affairs

Gold - Truscott Rossman for its Lucerne Steel Tariffs campaign

Public Service

Silver - Grand Rapids Community Foundation for its “Unlocking OUR Potential: 2017-2018 Annual Report”

Silver - SeyferthPR for its Sawyer Products/Sawyer International campaign

Gold - 8THIRTYFOUR Integrated Communications for its ACLU LGBT Aging Initiative

Reputation/Brand Management

Gold - Grand Rapids Community College for its Ford Fieldhouse Legacy Murals campaign

Gold - Lambert & Co for its Bethany Christian Services/Zero Tolerance communications support


Media Relations

Silver - Sabo PR for the Woodland Mall Redevelopment

Gold - Zondervan Publishing for “Kind is the New Classy”

Gold - Priority Health for “Wellbeing Makes Headlines”

Feature Articles

Silver - SeyferthPR for its “Sister Larraine Lauter Water with Blessings” article

Gold - Sabo PR for its Grand Rapids Press features on Emmanuel Hospice


Gold - SeyferthPR for its John Kennedy Op-Ed

Press Conference

Silver - Spectrum Health for its president and CEO announcement

Gold - Blue Blaze PR for its Manistee Historic Sites Tour Launch with Toni Trucks

Media/Press Kit

Gold - Spectrum Health for its president and CEO announcement media kit

Public Service Announcement

Silver - Sabo PR for its “Mission Read” PSA

Gold - SeyferthPR for its “Just Talk to Me” PSA


Gold - GVSU PRSSA “Empowering Students” the PR Hangover Podcast


Silver - Diocese of Grand Rapids for its website redesign

Gold - Spectrum Health for the Spectrum Health Beat website

Social Media

Silver - The Right Place Inc, for West Michigan Life Instagram

Gold - Spectrum Health for Wellbeing 2018


Gold - Experience Grand Rapids for its Beer City Brewsader App

Internal Video

Silver - SeyferthPR for Talent 2025 Early Childhood Literacy

Gold - Western Michigan University College of Arts and Sciences for its 2018 College of Arts and Sciences Giving day video

External Video

Silver - SeyferthPR for its “Archways to Opportunity: High School Graduation” video

Gold - Rick Chambers & Associates for “Journeys United: Visually Telling Personal Stories of Impact” video


Silver - SeyferthPR for Bang the Gong - “Waking Up” bedding trade show media

Gold - Priority Health for its Cost Estimator Employer Toolkit


Silver - Council of Michigan Foundations for its “Weekly Download” newsletter

Silver - Spectrum Health for its Spectrum Health Beat newsletter

Gold - Priority Health for its Employee Insider Newsletter 2018


Silver - SeyferthPR for I-CAR's "Collision Reporter"

Gold - Diocese of Grand Rapids for its “FAITH Grand Rapids” magazine

Gold - Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park for its “Seasons” magazine

Special-Purpose Publication

Silver - Rick Chambers & Associates for “Our Impact: Sharing the Measure of Transformed Lives”

Silver - Priority Health for “Understanding Health Savings Accounts”

Gold - Diocese of Grand Rapids for its Diocesan Annual Report

Advertorials (Native Advertising)

Gold - SeyferthPR for its McDonald’s Helps to Lead Detroit’s Neighborhood Rebirth

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