Public Relations Awards

PR Awards: 5 More Ways to Highlight PR Successes in the 2013 ABAs

Posted by Liz Dean on Thu, Dec 27, 2012 @ 03:08 PM

The 2013 American Business Awards, the premier business awards competition in the U.S.A., feature a wide selection of categories to recognize the achievements of PR professionals and we thought it would be helpful if we highlighted five additional awards categories that should be of interest to PR individuals. (March 27 is the entry deadline for the 2013 ABAs. If you haven't yet done so, you can request your entry kit here.) The Stevie Awards

In addition to submitting entries specifically labeled as PR awards, there are several communications awards categories including:

  1. Annual Report Awards Categories
    These categories recognize excellence in annual reports, brochures, marketing and sales kits, house organs (corporate magazines), and other publications issued since January 1, 2012.
  2. App Awards Categories
    These categories recognize excellence in apps for handheld and tablet devices, and for PCs, issued or updated since January 1, 2012.
  3. Live Event Awards Categories
    These categories recognize excellence in live events staged since January 1, 2012.
  4. Video Awards Categories
    These categories recognize excellence in videos produced for a business- or work-related purpose that were first released or otherwise made public since January 1, 2012.
  5. Website Awards Categories
    These categories recognize excellence in web sites and blogs. There is no eligibility timeframe for these categories - it doesn't matter when the site or blog was first published.

    Leave us a comment and let us know which categories your organization will be submiting entries to in the 2013 ABAs.

    Tags: communications awards, PR awards, American business awards, website awards, annual report awards, live event awards, video awards, app awards

    6 Tips for Winning Stevie® Awards, From a PR Awards Winner

    Posted by Liz Dean on Thu, Nov 29, 2012 @ 11:32 AM

    Marketing 24/7, Inc., of Birmingham, Alabama, USA, received the Gold Stevie® Award for Communications or PR Campaign of the Year in the PR awards categories of the 2012 Stevie Awards for Women in Business. (Entries for the 2013 Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the world's top honors for female entrepreneurs, executives and the organizations they run, will open in May. Request an entry kit for the 2013 awards and it will be emailed to you when entries open.) Here Marketing 24/7, Inc's CEO, Ruwena Healy, shares her tips for winning Stevie Awards.

    Ruwena Healy, Marketing 24/7, Inc.What are your top tips for winning business awards in the Stevie Awards?
    The opportunity to be recognized as a Stevie Awards-winner has me thinking about the importance of pursing these kinds of business awards and honors. What does it take to always push yourself to be an award winner in your business? Obviously, it takes a great deal more than just applying for them.

    For years, I have employed a variety of good business practices that have helped my company succeed:

    1. Keep focused on what’s to come in your business.
      Look forward at least 12 months and have a plan for each of those months and what you want to have accomplished two years from now.
    2. Always execute work with perfection.
    3. Deliver “creative” results for clients or customers.
      Don’t do only what is expected. Focus on the unexpected, what’s unique and how you can make that happen in a successful way.
    4. Give your work 110 percent always and then some.
      100 percent or less doesn’t make one an award winner.
    5. Discover the awards process from the inside out.
      Becoming a judge for a variety of awards opportunities helps you learn more about the process and exactly what is expected from winners.
    6. Benchmark your business against people who are winning awards.
      Get familiar with the winners’ circle and observe what they do. Why did they win? What are they doing differently? Use business award winners as the companies to benchmark your staff and customer processes.

    What item of news recently caught your eye and why?
    A recent article on FastCompany.com focused on why good writing is essential for business. In this age of social media driven communication, we all strive to deliver strong messages in 140 characters or less. But the true art of writing can get left behind. Good business requires good communication. I think it is crucial that we continue to stress the importance of proper pros to the young professionals coming up behind us.

    If you could choose another profession, what would it be?
    If I had to choose another profession, I would want to be a physician. As I’ve aged, I realized the importance of health and our family’s health.  If I were a doctor, I would know more about the basics of good medical care and be in a better position to help family and friends when important health issues arise.

    As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
    I have always been driven to achieve perfection. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t quite as driven. But I like being successful at whatever I set my sights on. This allows me to maintain my focus and hit the ground running every day.

    About Ruwena Healy:
    Ruwena Healy is the CEO of Marketing 24/7, Inc., a full-service marketing firm that specializes in developing marketing plans and executing the details of them. Founded seven years ago, Marketing 24/7, Inc. has become one of Birmingham’s Top 10 PR firms. Healy and Marketing 24/7 are the recipients of numerous national and international awards for excellence including most recently the Gold Stevie Award in the 2012 Stevie Awards for Women In Business.  Earlier in 2012, Healy was honored with the Bronze Stevie Award for Communications or PR Campaign of the Year - Low Budget in The American Business Awards and named 1st runner up in the Birmingham Business Journal’s Social Madness competition.

    Healy maintains a blog at www.mastermarketing247.com and has authored numerous published articles that have appeared in PR News’ 2011 Crisis Management Guidebook, Birmingham Business Journal, The Birmingham News, Alabama Business News and al.com.  Healy is a sought after speaker and trainer covering topics on marketing, branding, social media and public relations.

    About Marketing 24/7:
    Marketing 24/7, Inc. celebrated its 7th anniversary in 2012 of providing professionals with marketing and business development solutions. CEO Ruwena Healy founded the firm with the mission of providing high-level marketing and business development consulting; marketing plan development and execution; and strategic planning services to companies, entrepreneurs and professionals.  Marketing 24/7 offers unique expertise in personal branding and company branding as well as improving marketing and business development effectiveness for the purpose of increasing revenues. Marketing 24/7 has a diverse client base and is currently ranked as Birmingham’s 11th largest PR firm. For more information, visit www.marketing247.net.

    Tags: business awards, PR awards, American business awards, stevie awards for women in business, Marketing 24/7, Ruwena Healy

    21 PR Awards Categories in The 2013 American Business Awards

    Posted by Liz Dean on Tue, Nov 06, 2012 @ 11:47 AM

    There are 21 PR awards categories in The 2013 American Business Awards, the top business awards competition in the U.S.A., to help you highlight your PR successes. (Friday, November 16, is the first early-bird entry deadline for the 2013 ABAs, request your entry kit here  and you'll receive it right away.)

    The public relations awards categories for Communications or PR Campaign/Program of the Year include: The American Business Awards

    • Community Relations
      Campaigns/programs that aim to improve relations with communities in which the sponsoring organization has an interest, need or opportunity.
    • Crisis Communications
      Campaigns/programs undertaken to deal with an unplanned event and requiring immediate response.
    • Events & Observances
      Campaigns/programs that generate awareness of or document commemorations, observances, openings, celebrations, and other types of events.
    • Global Issues
      Campaigns/programs that demonstrate effective global communications implemented in at least two countries, one of which must be the United States.
    • Internal Communications
      Campaigns/programs undertaken to inform or educate an internal audience, such as employees or members.
    • Investor Relations
      Campaigns/programs undertaken to communicate information to a company's investors and the investment community and/or to manage the company's relationship with investors.
    • Issues Management
      Campaigns/programs undertaken to deal with issues that could extraordinarily affect ongoing business strategy.
    • Low Budget (under $10,000)
      Campaigns/programs that cost no more than $10,000 to plan and implement.
    • Marketing – Business to Business
      Campaigns/programs designed to introduce new products or promote existing products or services to a business audience.
    • Marketing – Consumer Products
      Campaigns/programs designed to introduce new products or promote existing products to a consumer audience.
    • Marketing – Consumer Services
      Campaigns/programs designed to introduce new services or promote existing services to a consumer audience.
    • Multicultural
      Campaigns/programs specifically targeted to a cultural group.
    • Reputation/Brand Management
      Campaigns/programs designed to enhance, promote or improve the reputation of an organization with its publics or key elements of its publics.
    • Public Affairs
      Campaigns/programs specifically designed to influence public policy and/or affect legislation, regulations, political activities or candidacies.
    • Public Service
      Campaigns/programs that advance public understanding of societal issues, problems or concerns.
    • Social Media Focused
      Campaigns/programs designed to be implemented primarily through online social media. 

    There are a number of other communications awards categories including:

    • Public Relations Agency of the Year
    • Communications Department of the Year
    • Communications Team of the Year
    • Communications, Investor Relations, or PR Executive of the Year
    • Communications Professional of the Year(for non-executive communications, PR, and IR professionals)

    Looking for more ways to showcase your organization's PR triumphs? There are a number of other ABA categories that should be of interest to communications professionals, including many of the corporate literature awards, annual report awards, website awards, video awards, and live event awards categories.

    Tags: PR awards, public relations awards, communications awards, business awards, communicator awards, American business awards, website awards, annual report awards, live event awards, video awards, corporate awards

    3 Tips for Succeeding in Corporate Communications, From a PR Awards Judge

    Posted by Liz Dean on Thu, May 03, 2012 @ 12:11 PM

    Alison Graves, Director, WW Influencer Relations, Printing at Hewlett-Packard Company, will chair the committee for final judging of the corporate communications awards, investor relation awards, and PR awards categories in The 2012 American Business Awards. Finalists for the 2012 ABAs, the premier business awards program in the U.S.A, will be announced on May 9. Here Alison shares tips for making your mark in global corporate communications.  

    What are your top 3 tips on how to make your mark in global corporate communications?

    1. Alison GravesSurround yourself with the right people. Whether they are on your direct staff or at your agency partner, you should work with people who are talented and smart—and willing to keep pushing when their opinions differ from yours. 
    2. Follow the Golden Rule. Build a career path where you can make deposits, build relationships, be a grown-up, be positive, be helpful, be considerate—behave!
    3. Know your strengths. Discover your best skills and embrace them.

    What item of news recently caught your eye and why?
    I was intrigued by the funding controversy between Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Planned Parenthood. I was constantly wondering what was happening behind the scenes and how events unfolded.  How was the media strategy developed? Were the PR teams consulted?  I ask those questions whenever any communications crisis arises. I’d like to be a fly on the wall to see how those companies are handling it and talking about it—what they’re saying, what they’re debating, and what factors play most heavily in the decision-making process …

    If you could choose another profession, what would it be?
    A Chief of Protocol, social secretary, etiquette expert—like Emily Post.

    What quality or qualities do you most value in your business associates?
    Intelligence and humility.

    As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
    I’m inspired by the amazing people on my staff.  They’re the best of the best, and getting to work with them is an honor and a privilege that keeps me going when the going gets tough.

    About Alison Graves:
    Alison leads the worldwide PR/AR organization for HP's $26 billion printing business, with staff and agencies across 170 countries.  With over 20 years in communications, Alison has experience spanning executive communications, employee communications, media relations, investor relations, and crisis communications, both agency- and client-side. She has expertise in customer segments (consumer and commercial); industries (IT, retail, healthcare, hospitality, government, and nonprofit); budgets (zero to tens of millions); and geographies (U.S. and international).

    About HP:
    HP is the world’s largest technology company with a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure to solve customer problems. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com.

    Tags: communications awards, business awards, American business awards, PR awards, corporate communications, investor relation awards, Alison Graves, HP

    4 Tips for Winning PR Awards in The 2012 American Business Awards

    Posted by Liz Dean on Wed, Apr 25, 2012 @ 02:35 PM

    Today is the final entry deadline for The 2012 (10th Annual) American Business Awards, the premier business awards program in the U.S.A. If you haven't yet done so, you can request an entry kit here and you will receive it right away. (All ABA entries are submitted directly online through your account and the web site will be open all night to accept your entries.)

    To make the most out of your PR awards entries, we suggest the following tips:

    1. Review the business awards categories.
    There are several PR award categories being celebrated at the 2012 ABAs including:

    • Public Relations Agency of the YearThe American Business Awards
    • Communications Department of the Year
    • Communications Team of the Year
    • Communications or PR Campaign/Program of the Year
    • Communications, Investor Relations, or PR Executive of the Year
    • Communications Professional of the Year

    We have many other communication awards categories that may be of interest to communications professionals including:

    2. Review the entry submission criteria.
    Make sure your entries include all required submission information.

    3.  Watch our video, How to Enter The 2012 American Business Awards.
    Get step-by-step instruction on how to submit your 2012 entries.

    4. Contact us!
    If you have any questions about the 2012 ABAs, email us at help@stevieawards.com or call us at + 1 703-547-8389.

    Looking for more ways to connect with the Stevies? Join us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn for the latest ABA updates.

    Tags: PR awards, public relations awards, communications awards, business awards, communicator awards, American business awards, website awards, annual report awards, live event awards, video awards, corporate awards

    3 Ways PR Awards Winner Contributed to $8 Billion in Revenue

    Posted by Liz Dean on Mon, Apr 02, 2012 @ 12:55 PM

    AECOM Technology Corporation of New York, NY, USA won a Stevie® Award for Communications Department of the Year in the PR awards categories of The 2011 American Business Awards, the premiere business awards program in the U.S.A. (Download your entry kit here for the 2012 ABAs and submit your entries by the April 25 final entry deadline.)

    AECOM LogoAECOM is a global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, water and government. Faced with dramatic worldwide global growth, the communications awards winning department contributed to the company's success by taking on new initiatives including:

    1. Rolling out a new, global rebranding effort – internally and externally.

    AECOM fully rolled out its new global brand across all of its business lines and geographies through a comprehensive strategic communications plan. This included introduction of:

    • Brand strategic workshops in Asia, Middle East, India, Europe and North America,
    • iPad-friendly One e-publication,
    • Inaugural online CSR report,
    • Diversity and Inclusion podcast series, tailored by global geographies,
    • Award-winning corporate video and best website, and
    • AECOM industry whitepaper campaign, which received “Top Tweet” status on Twitter.

    2. Coordinating the integration of seven new acquisitions.
    AECOM acquired seven firms representing a combined $2 billion in annual revenue and over 7,000 employees. For each, the public relations awards winner coordinated:

    • Global external and internal communications (translated welcome packets, welcome websites, etc.),
    • Client outreach,
    • Brand awareness education, and
    • Organizational integration.

    3. Developing crisis communications procedures related to the evacuation of staff from Libya.
    With the most U.S. expatriate employees in Libya, the PR award winner led the crisis communications efforts in support of an evacuation of staff. These efforts included all communications associated with:

    • The evacuation,
    • Call center for families,
    • Media relations,
    • U.S. State Department, and
    • U.K. Foreign Services office.

    AECOM's communications department's efforts allowed the company to experience an:

    • Increase in revenue by 10%,
    • Increase in net income from continuing operations by 27%, and
    • Increase in backlog of work by 55%.

    The department also helped the company gain a total revenue of $8.1 billion during the 12 month period ending on Dec. 31, 2011.

    About AECOM Technology Corporation
    AECOM is a global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, water and government. The company provides a blend of global reach, local knowledge, innovation, and technical excellence in delivering solutions that create, enhance, and sustain the world's built, natural, and social environments. With nearly 45,000 employees around the world, AECOM serves clients in 130 countries. To learn more information, visit www.aecom.com.

    Tags: public relations awards, communications awards, business awards, PR awards, American business awards, twitter, AECOM Technology Corporation, communications department of the year, corporate video, best website, pr award

    20 Ways to Win PR Awards in The 2012 ABAs

    Posted by Liz Dean on Mon, Mar 26, 2012 @ 02:07 PM

    The entry deadline for The 2012 American Business Awards is fast approaching on Wednesday, March 28 and we'd like to help you showcase your organization's outreach through our PR awards categories. (Request your entry kit here for the 2012 ABAs, the premier business awards program in the U.S.A., and you'll receive it right away.)

    Our public relations award categories include:

    • Public Relations Agency of the Year
    • Communications Department of the YearThe American Business Awards
    • Communications Team of the Year
    • Communications, Investor Relations, or PR Executive of the Year
    • Communications Professional of the Year(for non-executive communications, PR, and IR professionals)

    The PR award categories for Communications or PR Campaign/Program of the Year include:

    • Community Relations
      Campaigns/programs that aim to improve relations with communities in which the sponsoring organization has an interest, need or opportunity.
    • Crisis Communications
      Campaigns/programs undertaken to deal with an unplanned event and requiring immediate response.
    • Global Issues
      Campaigns/programs that demonstrate effective global communications implemented in at least two countries, one of which must be the United States.
    • Internal Communications
      Campaigns/programs undertaken to inform or educate an internal audience, such as employees or members.
    • Investor Relations
      Campaigns/programs undertaken to communicate information to a company's investors and the investment community and/or to manage the company's relationship with investors.
    • Issues Management
      Campaigns/programs undertaken to deal with issues that could extraordinarily affect ongoing business strategy.
    • Low Budget (under $10,000)
      Campaigns/programs that cost no more than $10,000 to plan and implement.
    • Marketing – Business to Business
      Campaigns/programs designed to introduce new products or promote existing products or services to a business audience.
    • Marketing – Consumer Products
      Campaigns/programs designed to introduce new products or promote existing products to a consumer audience.
    • Marketing – Consumer Services
      Campaigns/programs designed to introduce new services or promote existing services to a consumer audience.
    • Multicultural
      Campaigns/programs specifically targeted to a cultural group.
    • Reputation/Brand Management
      Campaigns/programs designed to enhance, promote or improve the reputation of an organization with its publics or key elements of its publics.
    • Public Affairs
      Campaigns/programs specifically designed to influence public policy and/or affect legislation, regulations, political activities or candidacies.
    • Public Service
      Campaigns/programs that advance public understanding of societal issues, problems or concerns.
    • Social Media Focused
      Campaigns/programs designed to be implemented primarily through online social media.       

    Your public relations awards entries should include the following information:

    • An essay of up to 500 words describing the nominee's achievements since January 1 2011
    • A biography of the nominee or the leader of the nominated company, department or team of up to 100 words
    • Optional (but highly recommended), a collection of supporting files and web addresses that you may upload to our server to support your entry and provide more background information to the judges

    There are a number of other communication awards categories that should be of interest to communications professionals, including many of the:

    Need help choosing the right categories? Contact us at help@stevieawards.com and we'll direct you to categories that will showcase your organization.

    Tags: PR awards, public relations awards, communications awards, pr award, public relations award, business awards, American business awards, website awards, annual report awards, corporate literature awards, live event awards, video awards, PR campaign of the year

    How PR Award Winner Used Video Contest to Control Costs and Increase Sales

    Posted by Liz Dean on Fri, Feb 17, 2012 @ 04:43 PM

    Farbman Group of Southfield, Michigan, won the Stevie® Award for Communications or PR Campaign of the Year - Low Budget (Under $10,000) in the PR awards categories of The 2011 American Business Awards, the premier business awards program in the U.S.A. (The 2012 ABAs are now accepting entries. Request your entry kit here and submit your entries by the March 28 deadline.) Here we look at how this real estate organization used a PR campaign to overcome the odds in a depressed property market.

    In 2009, the public relations awards winner had invested heavily in restoring a historic downtown Detroit building into what is now the luxury Garden Court Condominiums. Despite a downturn in the economy and a slowed demand for property—both of which had affected Detroit more than most U.S. cities—real estate organization Farbman Group was not about to slow down its marketing efforts. 

    Farbman GroupFarbman hired Carrie Cohen as director of sales for the property. Cohen had a background in multi-family real estate in up-and-coming hipster communities in Michigan such as Ann Arbor, Royal Oak, and Ferndale.  She immediately set to work on the daunting task of working to sell units and lease space in the Garden Court Condominiums, focusing on individuals who might be expected to move to downtown Detroit.
           
    Shoestring Budget
    With minimal funds remaining in the budget after the costly building restoration, Cohen had to think creatively and devise a strategic marketing campaign that would

    1. raise the visibility of the property;
    2. set it apart from other condo developments in the downtown Detroit area that were also vacant; and
    3. reach the desired buyers, who were the young, hip movers and shakers of Detroit.

    The campaign conceived was dubbed “I Love Detroit.”  The concept was to offer participants a chance to highlight why they loved Detroit, and to showcase how fabulous it was (or would be) to live in downtown Detroit, all for the opportunity to win a free one-year lease on a Garden Court Condominium unit. 

    The “I Love Detroit” contest called for participants to create a short video exploring why they loved the city and upload it to a website dedicated to the contest.  The two main elements of the campaign were to:

    1. Maximize the use of social media;
    2. Encourage the participation of local musicians.

    Best of all, the campaign would cost Garden Court Condos very little since it was based largely on word-of-mouth marketing and the leveraging of regional enthusiasm.
           
    Utilizing Social Media
    Cohen had a website built for next to nothing using a Ning platform. She utilized Twitter, Facebook, social media groups, and interested bloggers to spread the word, raise awareness, and generate excitement about the contest. The submission judged to be most innovative would win its creator the grand prize of the free one-year lease, while other submissions were to be shared online also. 

    Utilizing Local Musicians
    To further raise visibility of the property and engage prospective homeowners, Cohen and her sales associates booked local musical acts to perform during lazy Saturday afternoons.  A young up-and-coming artist, Katrina Carson, had her first music video shot on-site, as did national recording artist, K’Jon.  K’Jon was so pleased with the opportunity, that after filming, he agreed to do a complimentary CD signing at the property for his fans. Both video shoots were followed with celebratory parties and the video content was shared through online channels, vastly increasing visibility of the property.

    The marketing tactic of using local musicians resulted in hundreds of people touring Garden Court Condominiums—many of whom would not have done so otherwise—and in the sale of a $300,000 condo. Cohen’s marketing efforts were directly responsible for presenting the property to the new owner.

    Detroit State of Mind
    The communications awards winner's campaign benefited not just Garden Court Condominiums: it also reminded people why Detroit and its people are so special.  The campaign has evolved into a marketing campaign for Detroit because it has spread so much goodwill about the city itself. 

    Cohen said, "Our sales and marketing team welcomes the recognition given to us by The Stevie Awards.  Being recognized nationally as the best Low Budget Communications Campaign of the Year in 2011 provided affirmation that you don't have to spend huge sums to be successful, and that a small success in Detroit can have a big influence on the rest of this country."

    About Carrie Cohen:
    Carrie Cohen serves as sales director for Garden Court Condos in Detroit. She is a certified Michigan Realtor and attended the University of South Carolina. Prior to joining Farbman Group/Garden Court Condos, Cohen was employed as regional sales and marketing manager for various companies including the Morningside Group, Quicken Loans, and BKS Advisors. 

    About Farbman Group:
    Founded in 1976, Farbman Group is a leading full-service real estate organization handling all facets of real estate transactions, from property management and leasing to acquisition and disposition.

    Tags: public relations awards, communications awards, business awards, PR awards, pr award, American business awards, Farbman Group, Carrie Cohen, ABAs, stevie award, facebook, twitter, Garden Court Condominiums

    How PR Award Winner Strengthened Community Relations

    Posted by Liz Dean on Fri, Jan 20, 2012 @ 11:23 AM

    The Dow Chemical Company of Freeport, Texas, won the Stevie® Award for Best Communications or PR Campaign of the Year in Community Relations in The 2011 American Business Awards. (The 2012 American Business Awards are now open for entries. Request your entry kit.) Here we look at how the communications awards recipient, Dow Texas Operations, enhanced its reputation in the local community.

    The PR awards winner is not only the largest integrated chemical facility in the Western Hemisphere but is also Freeport's largest employer. In 2010, The Dow Chemical Company, sought opportunities to recognize Dow Texas Operations’ WWII veteran retirees in a way that would also benefit its community relations. With its more than 6,000 near neighbor retirees, including several veterans, the communicator awards receiver decided to join forces with Honor Flight, a nonprofit organization that transports veterans to memorials.
                                                                                     
    Dow Texas Operations established three community-relations goals:Dow Texas Industries

    1. to thank Dow retirees who are WWII veterans for their honorable service,
    2. to strengthen outreach to Dow retirees in Brazoria County and;
    3. to increase the positive reputation of Dow Texas Operations in the local community, especially among key influencers in local government.

    To meet these goals, Dow:

    1. Got their employees involved
      On September 27, 2010, 74 Dow WWII veterans—along with 43 Dow “Guardians”—flew from Lake Jackson, Texas, to Washington, D.C. 
    2. Used social media to spread the word
      By establishing a Facebook page, Dow was able to engage thousands more in the experience. More than 340 images were posted to the page throughout the day.  By week’s end, nearly 1,300 people “liked” the Facebook page (slightly more than the target of 500). Of those “likes,” more than 50% lived within 50 miles of Texas Dow Operations.  There were 8,761 photo views on September 27, and 18,540 page views during September and October. 
    3. Organized a Heroes’ Welcome to involve the community
      At the end of the Honor Flight day, Dow hosted a “Welcome Home” party. The veterans were escorted down a red carpet, and were honored by more than 700 local elected officials, other Dow retirees, Brazoria County veteran groups, and family members, all waving flags or holding patriotic signs. 
    4. Reminded local residents of Dow’s history in the community
      Dow Texas Operations posted service photos and personal war stories of the veterans to the Facebook page.  Dow also chronicled the company’s role in WWII by posting newspaper articles from the 1940s about its efforts to mine seawater for magnesium as part of the war effort.

    A Grand Success
    By any measure, the business in the community awards winner's event was a grand success.  Hundreds of positive comments were posted to the Facebook page. Dozens of expressions of gratitude were voiced in community forums, including the Dow Community Advisory Panel and local Rotary Clubs, and at Chamber of Commerce meetings. A survey of influential people in the community, conducted one month after the Honor Flight, indicated an 82.4% positive perception of Dow’s corporate
    citizenship. 

    The Brazosport Chamber of Commerce honored Dow Texas Operations with a special award in recognition of outstanding community support for honoring WWII veterans/Dow retirees.  The local newspaper, The Facts, carried extensive coverage of the trip, including an ad-free special section, a first for the newspaper.

    Gary Hockstra, who was at the time the Vice President and Site Director for Dow Texas Operations, was one of the driving forces behind the project. On learning that it had won a Stevie Award, he commented: 

    “Those of us who took part in the 2010 Dow Honor Flight know just how special it was and we are honored by this national recognition from the American Business Awards. It was an amazing initiative that brought our community together to provide some much-deserved appreciation to these heroes. It is wonderful to be receiving such a prestigious award for the project.”

    Hockstra has since been promoted to Vice President of Dow’s Advanced Materials Division and is now based in Philadelphia; however, before departing for his new job, he initiated and participated in a second Dow Texas Honor Flight, in 2011. “We cannot do enough for these men who were willing to sacrifice their lives for our freedom,” he said. “I am very proud that my company provides them with the opportunity to see the memorial that was built in their honor.”

    About Gary Hockstra

    Gary Hockstra is the Vice President of Dow’s Advanced Materials Division in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Until 2011, he was Vice President of Dow Texas Operations in Freeport, Texas. Before being named Vice President and Site Director for Dow Texas Operations in December 2007, Hockstra worked in various manufacturing roles for the company all over the world. Hockstra joined Dow in 1980 after earning a degree in Chemical Engineering from Michigan State University. He considers the Dow Texas Operations Honor Flight one of the greatest community projects he has had the opportunity to work on during his Dow career.

    About Dow Texas Operations
    Texas Operations is Dow's largest integrated site. The three major complexes—Plant A, Plant B, and Oyster Creek—operate as an integrated unit serving all eight of Dow's Global Business Groups. Texas Operations manufactures 44% of Dow's products sold in the United States and more than 21% of Dow's products sold globally.

    About Dow:
    Dow combines the power of science and technology with the “Human Element” to innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world's most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences, and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 160 countries and in high-growth sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings, and agriculture. In 2010, Dow had annual sales of $53.7 billion and employed approximately 50,000 people worldwide. The company's more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 188 sites in 35 countries across the globe. More information about Dow can be found at www.dow.com.

    Tags: communications awards, business awards, PR awards, pr award, communicator awards, business in the community awards, American business awards, stevie awards