The Stevie Awards Blog

How a Stevie Award Winner Thinks Globally and Acts Locally in Germany

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, Dec 02, 2014 @ 05:56 PM

F&H Porter Novelli in Munich Germany won a Silver Stevie® Award and two Bronze Stevie® Awards in the Communications Awards, IR Awards, and Public Relations Awards categories of The 2014 International Business Awards.

F&HFreiherr Helmut von Fircks, CEO of F&H Porter Novelli, is a regular judge for the International Business Awards. We talked to him about what winning a Stevie® Award means to him, and for his view on the upcoming German Stevie Awards.

REVIEW THE ENTRY KIT HERE.

On winning a Stevie® Award, Helmut von Fircks had this to say: “Winning an award is a big honor both for the client and for the account team. And it not only motivates the dedicated team, the whole agency also benefits from a real boost to morale.”

Raising Awareness
We asked Helmut for his thoughts on the new German Stevie® Awards.  “Having a German Stevie Awards program will attract even more German businesses to attend and be part of this wonderful awards program,” he commented. “Having a German Stevie Awards is recognition of the importance of the German market and its role in the communications world. It will raise the awareness of the Stevie Awards tremendously.”

Think Global-Act Local
For companies already operating, or considering expanding into the German market, Helmut offers the following advice: “We suggest companies adopt the rule: Think global–act local. Even though we are part of the EU, Germans expect a tailor-made personal approach. So a campaign that might work in the U.K. does not necessarily work here in Germany.”

A Bright Future
Helmut is optimistic about the future. “Communications is an evolving industry, always at the heart of future trends and innovation,” he told us. “Learning something new every day keeps us excited and motivated for future challenges.”

About Freiherr Helmut von Fircks:
Helmut von Fircks founded the F & H agency whilst studying economics. Even though he started his career in advertising, he soon discovered the power of public relations within the communications mix. He has built a team of creative strategists who love consulting for large global organizations as well as medium-sized businesses. His heart beats communications, especially in challenging situations, and he is a proven crisis-communications specialist.

In his private life this father of four enjoys long walks with his Labrador Lady Mercey.

About F&H Porter Novelli:
F&H Porter Novelli was founded in 1980 and currently employs 60 people in its Munich office. The agency is exclusive German brand partner of Porter Novelli. F&H is amongst the top 20 PR agencies in Germany. The full service agency offers all parameters within a modern communication mix from PR to advertising. F&H Porter Novelli is a strategic communications consultancy supporting com- panies, organizations, institutions, and people in a variety of communications needs. Areas of expertise include traditional and social media public relations, crisis, special situations and long-term stakeholder communications. F&H offers international communications consulting from creative strategists. Bold and pas- sionate, the F&H team develops successful high quality solutions. More information via http://www.fundh.de/

Tags: communications awards, International business awards, PR awards, German Stevie Awards, public relations awards, ir awards, Busines Awards

Bridging the Culture Gap: Useful Advice From a Stevie Awards Judge

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Mon, Sep 15, 2014 @ 07:42 PM

Tore Claesson, a Director of U.S.-based creative agency TIO, has been sharing his time between the US and China since October 2013.  Tore was a judge for The 2014 International Business Awards, covering the Communications Awards, PR Awards, and Creative Awards categories.

The 2015 International Business Awards will open for entries in January. Join the mailing list and we'll email you once the entry kit becomes available.

ToreWe talked to Tore about his experience of judging for the Stevie Awards and were gratified by his enthusiasm. “I think I’ve learned more from judging the Stevie Awards than from any book on creativity!” he told us.

Tore sees judging as an opportunity to peek into other professionals’ brains. As he puts it: “To see how others have solved certain business and creative problems is invaluable. It’s like a secret peek behind the curtain.”

Why China?

Tore had a pithy response to why he has been in China for the past year. “To fill a void.”

Tore explained: “There are simply no agencies focused on small and medium-sized businesses and brands that can bridge the culture gap between the U.S. and China, or Europe and China. And that applies whether a Chinese brand is going west or a Western company is trying to penetrate China.

“You either get an agency that finds a ‘partner’ in China for adaptation work, or—if you’re a Chinese company—you may go to a Chinese agency, which most likely has no experience in the nuances of US communications.

“Nuance is key to all communication. Being on the ground in China, with a mixed Western and domestic team, means we master those nuances. With an agency in New York as well as an agency in China, both cultures are a daily part of our work.”

The Importance of Social Media

Tore stressed the importance of social media in China. “One has to immerse oneself in all social media in China such as Wechat, QQ, Weibo, Youku, etc.  China may have a long way to go before it is on a par with the US and Europe on branding and marketing communications—the industry is still young in China—but in social media, which is a much newer business, they are way ahead. The West can learn from China when it comes to using social media.”

Future Judging

The Stevie Awards recently introduced the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, and the 2015 competition opens this month. (For more information on how to participate, sign up to receive an Entry Kit.)   Tore is intrigued by the possibilities of this competition and has expressed interest in judging the newly revamped and expanded entry categories.

Life in China

Since October 2013, Tore has been working in China and is based in Chengdu, Sichuan.  Tore told us, “Chengdu is China’s fourth biggest city with 14 million people, a fantastic kitchen if you like spicy food, a world famous Panda park, and Geely, which makes Volvo cars.

“Chengdu is known as the Silicon Valley of China—a real tech-hub—and Chengdu Hi-Tech Zone (CDHT) is home to 33,237 hi-tech companies, of which 1,115 companies are foreign-invested enterprises, including over 120 Fortune 500 and world-renowned companies.”

When we asked Tore what kept him inspired or excited about the future, his apt response was: “In my case it’s a curiosity to see where the road leads. I can’t stand still. Petrification is for statues!”

You can read and see more of Tore’s adventures in China on his blog or view some of the work being done in China on his LinkedIn site. His profile page links to a showcase for a Swedish company, Sveba-Dahlen, that needed a Chinese name and more.

About Tore Claesson

Tore’s background at agencies such as Ogilvy and Anderson & Lembke McCann, based in Singapore, Tokyo, and Hong Kong in Asia, and Amsterdam in Europe, in addition to his many years in New York, means that TIO has a leader that knows the ins and out of cross culture communication better than just about anybody on this small planet.

About TIO Agency

TIO is a creative agency specializing in brand strategy, market communication, advertising, and design. TIO helps businesses communicate to their stakeholders with a unique, clear, and consistent voice. To be heard in today’s over-saturated media landscape, efficient brand communication must be designed holistically to convey a unified message to internal and external stakeholders, then transmitted via multiple media.By aligning to each client’s strategic vision, TIO ensures that its work is focused on concrete marketing objectives, rather than dictated by simple creative whims or technological indulgences.

TIO was founded in 2009 by designer Norman Rabinovich and brand strategist Michael Raisanen. Its team consists of 20 creative professionals across design, strategy, communication, technology advertising, public relations, and new media. The agency is headquartered in New Canaan, Connecticut, USA, with an office in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Tags: communications awards, International business awards, PR awards, creative awards, Tore Claesson, TIO Agency

Pushing the Envelope for its Customers Pays Off for Stevie Awards Winner TELUS

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, Jul 08, 2014 @ 05:43 PM

The National Field Support division of TELUS Communications in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, won the Gold Stevie for Support Department of the Year in the Support Awards categories of TELUSThe 2013 International Business Awards.

(The 2014 International Business Awards is still accepting entries.  Review the entry kit here.)

According to Mark Klotz, Director of TELUS Communications’ National Field Support, winning a Stevie Award represented an international acknowledgement of his team’s formidable accomplishments, and has contributed to further success in three areas. “First, the team achieved an all-time high team-engagement score, 7% above the ‘best employer’ index that we benchmark ourselves against,” Mark reported.

“Secondly, it elevated our already amazing culture to a level where front-line agents are driving unprecedented levels of continuous improvement. Lastly, it greatly benefited our customers, because the hope of being recognized by the Stevie Awards for a second year in a row has driven my team’s desire to push the envelope on all our key metrics.”

Providing Technical Support
The TELUS National Field Support (NFS) department trains specialists that capture and resolve anomalies that prevent orders from automatically provisioning in the myriad of complex systems.  They repair these anomalies to meet the customer needs prior to their due date.

These specialists also provide technical support to field technicians by aiding the installation and repair of TELUS products and services for consumer and small business markets in a timely and responsive manner.

The Pressures of Constant Change

Communications service providers are under continual pressure to optimize operational costs, gain agility, and offer superior services to customers. The business of providing voice, data, and TV services requires specialized skills on advanced provisioning systems in order to provide customers with the best possible service in a highly competitive telecommunications industry.

Making Life Simpler for the Customer
The constant evolution of technologies also puts pressure on the team to proactively evolve their skill sets. This evolution has enabled NFS to remain the support team of choice.

We asked Mark what changes in technology he thought would most affect telecommunications customers in the future.

“I see the integration of services, applications, and content as one of the biggest changes coming down the pike,” Mark observed. “This will allow customers to take advantage of more flexible and personalized services and will make their lives simpler than ever before.”

Driving Continuous Improvement

Setting extremely high standards has enabled the National Field Support Department to answer 91% of customer calls within 20 seconds with an average speed of 15 seconds. All calls are directed to a live agent, and 99.6% of all proactively resolved orders meet the service level agreements, demonstrating the TELUS commitment to the customer. Any orders not meeting the level required are handled in real-time by an agent to maintain customer commitment.

As Mark puts it: “The high quality training, the 365-days/year availability, the stringent service level agreements, and the ‘no phone call goes to voice mail’ policy have made the NFS team into a premier support team.”

Enhancing the Customer Experience
Mark reports that his team continues to challenge the status quo and bring forward innovative ideas to help enhance the customer experience. Says Mark: “Despite the unremitting evolution of technologies and processes, the team continues to deliver high levels of success.”

Staying Organized
Mark’s favorite business app is Evernote. “It helps me stay organized using ‘notebooks’, which can include images, photos, and notes,” he told us. “I can seamlessly sync Evernote on my Windows, iOS, and Android devices. There are also several other useful apps that integrate easily into Evernote.”

Inspired By Change

Mark is excited about the future. “The constant pace of change and emergence of new technologies inspires me every day,” he told us. “With that change comes the challenge to constantly prepare and anticipate methods and processes to integrate new technologies with existing ones while making it seamless and transparent for our customers.”

About Mark Klotz:
Mark Klotz has led the National Field Support team through the optimization of office locations and the implementation and integration of the outsourced portion of the team. He is the department’s biggest advocate of change and has instilled within his leadership team a culture of constant evolution.  His thought-provoking challenges continue to raise the bar for the department. Mark brings to the team experience from Information Services, and from Consumer and Business Marketing, Marketing Communications, Channel Management, Strategic Planning, Sales Incentive Management, and Call Center Operations.

About TELUS:
TELUS is Canada’s fastest-growing national telecommunications company, with $11.4 billion of annual revenue and 13.3 million customer connections. In support of its philosophy to “give where we live,” TELUS, its team members, and its retirees have contributed more than $350 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered 5.4 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. TELUS was honored to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious international recognition.

Tags: customer service awards, communications awards, business awards, International business awards, stevie awards, TELUS, Mark Klotz

Cynthia Good of Little PINK Book on the Value of Business Awards

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Thu, Oct 17, 2013 @ 04:31 PM

Cynthia Good is the founder and CEO of Little PINK Book, and is chair of the final judging committee for the media awards categories in the 2013 Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the world's top honors for women entrepreneurs, executives, employees, and the organizations they run. We asked Cynthia about her experience as a Stevie Award winner, the value of awards programs for women in business, and what inspires her.

Here’s what Cynthia had to say about being a Final Judging Committee Chair, and her own experience of winning a Stevie Award:

Cynthia Good SAWIB Judging Chair“I personally value the invitation to chair one of this year's final judging committees.   At PINK, we have found that whenever we contacted our friends - all senior level women, at Walmart, HP, Accenture, Estee Lauder, Ahava, JPMorgan Chase, and UPS - they were thrilled to join the committee to judge the Stevie Awards.  It speaks volumes about the Stevie Awards organization that some of the most prominent women at many of the world's top companies are willing to take the time to be part of this.  It also shows the commitment their own organizations have to helping women succeed.

“The Stevie Awards have a great reputation and many longtime partners of PINK also participate. We have been excited to share the work PINK has done and to be recognized for the hard work the team at PINK has put in over the years to tell the story about women, career, and advancement.

“At PINK we were especially pleased to have received the Gold Stevie Award in the website awards category for two consecutive years (2011 and 2012) from the Stevie Awards for Women in Business. I’m so proud of the PINK team. It is their hard work that resulted in this recognition. And we all appreciate the support given by the Stevie Awards to organizations working to promote women in business.” 

We asked Cynthia for some advice on what Corporate America can do to expand the roles of women and minorities in the workplace.  Here’s what she told us:

“In our work with corporations to advance women and minorities we’ve found that most companies rely primarily on mentoring, networking, affinity groups, and sponsorship programs as the means of advancing diversity; but this isn’t enough to change the metrics.

“At most companies, diversity engagement becomes the responsibility of the HR and Diversity departments in order to make sure a company is compliant and that minority employees have a sounding board. But this does not drive real change and may even contribute to a continuation of the status quo.

“How to fix it?  What we at PINK have found is often lacking is full endorsement from the top. Once the CEO of a company decides to measure and then increase diversity participation in leadership roles, then we can bring about real change.

“At PINK, we will only work with companies to increase diversity leadership when there is full support and direction from the top. This makes it far easier for Diversity and HR to set--and then achieve--specific goals.

“Advancement within a company or organization requires not just the full participation of the individual diversity candidate: it means finding out what each candidate is most passionate about; what the obstacles to advancement are; and what it will take to overcome those obstacles.”

When asked for her sources of inspiration, Cynthia told us:

Eighty percent of those in PINK’s community say they advanced in their career because of Little PINK Book. It is those individual stories of inspiration that keep us motivated and excited to get up every morning.

“You can read one example in a recent feature story we ran on America’s Top 10 Female CFOs.  Another was the Facebook Contest we organized that gave one contestant a week at Canyon Ranch Spa for sharing how she had found the ‘courage to do what she loves.’ We also share the wisdom of women leaders every year at our signature events.  The next one, our 9th Annual Fall Empowerment Event, is November 12 in Atlanta, and we will be live-streaming it free for women around the world to watch, learn, and be as inspired as we are by these leaders’ stories of triumph.”

2013 Judging and Awards Dinner and Ceremonies:

The final judging committees of the Stevie Awards for Women in Business are currently determining the Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award placements from among the winners. In addition to the media categories, The Stevie Awards for Women in Business final judging committees will also confer marketing awards, new product awards, management awards, company awards, and PR awards. The awards will be announced and presented, and the recipients and judges will be celebrated, at the 2013 (10th annual) awards dinner and ceremonies. The dinner will be held on Friday, November 8 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square, New York City. Tickets are still available.

About Cynthia Good:
Cynthia Good is the founder and CEO of Little PINK Book, America's #1 digital platform for career women. PINK launched in 2005 as the only national women's business magazine, which under Cynthia’s leadership grew to a readership of 650,000. She then grew the digital version, LittlePINKBook.com, into America's top online resource for working women. Now she's bringing advancement directly to Fortune 500 companies with programs such as ITAP (Identify, Track, Advance, Promote), enabling corporate America to increase the diversity representation of women and minorities in leadership roles. "It's our legacy work," says AIG.

PINK has won numerous industry honors including the Ozzie Award for Best Feature, and the Gold Stevie for Best Website from the Stevie Awards for Women in Business for two consecutive years. Stories featuring top women in business on LittlePINKBook.com continue to inspire generations of ambitious women. Cynthia has written six books and appears regularly as a women's business expert on evening newscasts. She gives speeches to corporate and entrepreneurial groups alike, including The Coca-Cola Company, Ford Motor Company, McKesson, Andrews Kurth, Hilton Worldwide, Deloitte, and KPMG.

A self-described Famillionaire, Cynthia knows riches are in family. She lives in Atlanta, GA, USA with her husband of more than 20 years and their two sons, Alden and Julien; two miniature horses; four chickens; and Lucy their giant orange cat.

About Little PINK Book:
Little PINK Book describes itself as:  “Your daily dose of encouragement and inspiration to follow your dreams and have the beautiful career and beautiful life you deserve.”  For more information, go to www.littlepinkbook.com.

Tags: communications awards, business awards, women awards, women in business awards, creative awards, women executive awards, cynthia good, little pink book

PR Awards Judges for The 2011 International Business Awards

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Tue, Aug 02, 2011 @ 01:13 PM

Yesterday in this space we recognized the more than 100 professionals worldwide who participated in preliminary judging of The 2011 International Business Awards, the world's only all-encompassing, fully-international business awards program.  The average scores of those preliminary judges determined the entries that were eligible to be included in final judging.

Today we recognize the members of the final judging committee for the PR awards categories of this year's IBAs.  Our sincere thanks go to

Mary Frances Fagan, Director of Corporate Communcations, Europe and the Pacific, AmericanAirlines®, Hounslow, Middlesex, United Kingdom
Clare Gayner, Head of Corporate Communications, HP Asia Pacific & Japan, Singapore
Richard Hedges, Director-Communications, Civil Aerospace, Rolls-Royce PLC, Derby, United Kingdom
Miriam Henn, Head of Communications-Germany, Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland GmbH, Frankfurt, Germany
Poonam Kaul, Director, Communications, Nokia India Private Limited, Gurgaon, India
Jin Montesano, VP, Corporate & Government Affairs, Asia Pacific Region, Kraft Foods, Singapore
Anita Sharma, Assistant Vice President, Honda Siel Cars India Ltd, New Delhi, India
Ranjana Smetacek, Director, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Fortis Healthcare (India) Limited, New Delhi, India
Josie Taylor, Corporate Communications & Analyst Relations, Microsoft Asia, Singapore

Atul AhluwaliaThis outstanding judging panel was put together and led by Committee Chair Atul Ahluwalia, President - India, with Corporate Voice | Weber Shandwick, in New Delhi, India.

Their average scores determined the winners of Stevie Award trophies and Distinguished Honoree (honorable mention) medals in categories such as

  • Public Relations Agency of the Year
  • Communications Department of the Year
  • Communications Team of the Year
  • Communications Executive of the Year
  • and 13 Communications or PR Campaign/Program of the Year categories

This year's winners were announced last week and will be honored at ceremonies in Abu Dhabi, UAE on 11 October.

What do you think of the PR awards categories judging committee?

Tags: communications awards, PR awards, public relations awards

2 Reasons Why Weber Shandwick Is 2010 PR Agency of the Year

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Thu, Nov 04, 2010 @ 02:44 PM

Rose de la Paqua and Tanya BeckettNow that we're coming to the end of 2010 and we look back over the Stevie Award winners for the year, it's apparent that Weber Shandwick truly is the agency of the year for its haul of pr awards.

The agency won the Stevie for Public Relations Agency of the Year in The 8th annual American Business Awards back in June in New York.  You can read the full-text of their Stevie-winning nomination on the ABA web site.

Weber Shandwick Europe then won the International Stevie for Public Relations Agency of the Year in Europe in The 7th annual International Business Awards, which were presented in Istanbul, Turkey on September 27.  That award was accepted by Rose de la Pascua, Chair of Weber Shandwick Spain and Executive Vice President for Continental Europe.  Read the full-text of Weber Shandwick Europe's Stevie-winning entry on the IBA web site.

Members of the Weber Shandwick network around the world also won honors in Stevie Awards's public relations awards categories in 2010, including among others AC Sanafor in Finland, McCann PR in Romania, Corporate Weber Shandwick in India, and Weber Shandwick in Dallas, Texas among others.

In addition, the agency won a raft of other awards in 2010.

So who'll be the Stevies' agency of the year in 2011?

Tags: communications awards, PR awards, agency of the year, public relations awards, pr award, public relations award, awards pr, award pr, weber shandwick, communications award

PR Awards Categories in The 2011 American Business Awards

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Thu, Oct 28, 2010 @ 03:54 PM

In 2010 we introduced a lot of new public relations and communications awards categories in The American Business Awards, and we haven't added any new ones for 2011.  But I thought I'd take a moment here to outline the categories that I think are the best fit for public relations, corporate communications, public affairs, and investor relations professionals, because not all of them are plainly labelled.

First off, there are those categories that are plainly labelled, and they include the many Communications or PR Campaign/Program of the Year categories we introduced in 2010.  Here are the main communications categories (the letter/nomination combinations are our internal category codes):

Read the rest of this article here...

Tags: communications awards, PR awards, public relations awards, pr award, public relations award, investor relations awards, communications award, ir awards, ir award, investor relations award

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