Public Relations Awards

PR Awards Opportunities in The 2017 American Business Awards

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Fri, Jan 06, 2017 @ 04:58 PM

The 15th annual American Business Awards, the premier business awards competition in the U.S.A. which attracts more than 3,000 nominations from organizations nationwide each year, is accepting nominations for the 2017 program. 

 ABA ladies 2016.jpg


The American Business Awards recognize achievement in every facet of the workplace. Full entry details are available at

There are 29 categories to recognize public relations professionals, agencies, departments, and campaigns.

All organizations operating in the U.S.A. are eligible to submit nominations -- public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small. The entry deadline is Thursday, February 16 but late entries will be accepted through Wednesday, March 15. 

Information to be submitted online for entries in these categories for the 2017 ABAs will include:

a. An essay of up to 650 words describing the nominee's achievements since January 1 2016.  In the communications campaign categories, this will be a description of the campaign: its genesis, development, execution, and results to date

b. In bullet-list form, a brief summary (up to 150 words) of up to ten (10) of the chief accomplishments of the nominee since January 1 2016.  In the communications campaign categories, this will be a list of the chief features and results of this nominated PR program

c. Optional (but highly recommended), a collection of supporting files, works samples, and web addresses that you may upload to our server to support your entry and provide more background information to the judges

The Public Relations Awards categories are

C01. Public Relations Agency of the Year

C02. Communications Department of the Year

C03. Communications Team of the Year

C05. Communications or PR Campaign/Program of the Year
         a. Arts & Entertainment: campaigns/programs undertaken to promote or raise awareness of an artistic or entertainment endeavor, event, or program.
         b. Communications Research: recognizing research conducted for the development of business / communication strategies.  (new category for 2017)
         c. Community Relations: campaigns/programs that aim to improve relations with communities in which the sponsoring organization has an interest, need or opportunity.
         d. Crisis Communications: campaigns/programs undertaken to deal with an unplanned event and requiring immediate response.
         e. Events & Observances: campaigns/programs that generate awareness of or document commemorations, observances, openings, celebrations, and other types of events.
         f. Global Issues: campaigns/programs that demonstrate effective global communications implemented in at least two countries.
         g. Healthcare: campaign/programs in the healthcare sector, including business-to-business and consumer campaigns.  (new category for 2017)
         h. Internal Communications: campaigns/programs undertaken to inform or educate an internal audience, such as employees or members. 
              - At organizations with up to 100 employees
              - At organizations with 100 or more employees
         i. 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. 
         j. Issues Management: campaigns/programs undertaken to deal with issues that could extraordinarily affect ongoing business strategy.
         k. Low Budget (under $10,000): campaigns/programs that cost no more than $10,000 to plan and implement.
         l. Marketing – Business to Business: campaigns/programs designed to introduce new products or promote existing products or services to a business audience.
         m. Marketing – Consumer Products: campaigns/programs designed to introduce new products or promote existing products to a consumer audience.
         n. Marketing – Consumer Services: campaigns/programs designed to introduce new services or promote existing services to a consumer audience.
         o. Media Relations: recognizing effective traditional media relations in a PR campaign. (new category for 2017)
         p. Multicultural: campaigns/programs specifically targeted to a cultural group.
         q. New Product Launch: campaigns/programs undertaken to introduce a new product or service to the marketplace.
         r. 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.
         s. Public Affairs: campaigns/programs specifically designed to influence public policy and/or affect legislation, regulations, political activities or candidacies.
         t. Public Service: campaigns/programs that advance public understanding of societal issues, problems or concerns.
         u. Social Media Focused: campaigns/programs designed to be implemented primarily through online social media.       
         v. Sponsorship: campaigns/programs that promote or create awareness of sponsorship of an event or activity. (new category for 2017)
         w Technology: campaign/programs in the technology sector, including business-to-business and consumer campaigns.  (new category for 2017)
         x. Travel & Tourism: campaigns/programs designed to advance the interests of clients in the transport, travel, hotel or tourism industries. (new category for 2017)

C06. PR Innovation of the Year: this category will recognize singular innovations in communications practice, research, technology, or management since the beginning of 2015.

C07. Communications, Investor Relations, or PR Executive of the Year

C08. Communications Professional of the Year: for non-executive communications, PR, and IR professionals.  There is no entry fee for this category.

There are a number of other ABA categories that should be of interest to communications professionals, including many of the corporate publications and annual report awards categories, web site awards categories, app awards categories, video awards categories, and live event awards categories.

Tags: PR awards, public relations awards, PR campaign of the year, best pr agency

IPRA World Congress -- Leadership in Communication

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Dec 10, 2014 @ 05:13 PM

                                            World Congress Johannesburg 2015
                                 Leadership in Communication – The Way to Trust
                                        South Africa, 27-29th of September 2015

The International Public Relations Association (IPRA) and their official partner, the Public IPRA logo3Relations Institute of South Africa (PRISA) are excited to share the date for the 2015 IPRA World Congress. They hope to welcome you on 27-29 September 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa, for an exciting three day conference in best practice for professional communications and public relations practitioners.

IPRA is the world's most relevant, resourceful and influential professional association for senior international public relations executives. IPRA also hosts the Golden World Awards for PR Excellence, organized by the Stevie Awards.

The IPRA World Congress is the highlight of both association’s annual activities. The theme for the 2015 conference will be Leadership in Communication – the way to Trust. 

IPRA is committed to delivering an inspirational experience and has prepared a programme that provides fitting content and advice to master the challenges we encounter daily within the communications industry. 

A list of highly respected speakers have been hand-picked to address and motivate delegates to new heights. There is something for every level and flavour of delegate – PR agencies, In-house PR managers, public affairs directors, the corporate sector, Government officials, NGOs and Academics. 

The esteemed speakers are:

  • Alan Vanderemolen, vice chairman, DJE Holdings
  • Rod Cartwright, global partner and director of the global public affairs practice, Ketchum
  • Heath Applebaum, Canadian Professor and reputation expert
  • Msindisi Fengu, Former journalist, winner of the CNN award of Best African Journalist, now communication director in a Telco company
  • Jose Filipe Torres, CEO Bloom Consulting, country branding specialist
  • Jeremy Galbraith, CEO, Europe, Middle-East and Africa, global chief strategy officer at Burson Marsteller
  • Robert Phillips, former CEO Edelman EMEA, author of the coming book 'Trust me, PR is dead'
  • Colin Byrne, CEO UK & EMEA Weber Shandwick

Over the years, the IPRA World Congress has become the largest gathering of the global Public Relations Industry. We would be honoured to count you amongst our 500+ participants – simply confirm your participation by visiting:

Tags: PR awards, public relations awards, IPRA, The International Public Relations Association

Revelations From a Stevie Awards Judge in Vietnam

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Mon, Dec 08, 2014 @ 12:52 PM

Dale E. Gerstenslager is General Manager, Public Relations & Communications for Doosan Heavy Industries Vietnam Co., Ltd.  He has been a judge for the Stevie Awards for Women in Business for the past two years, and plans to to assist with the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards judging early in the new year.

Entries are now being accepted for the 2015 edition of the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, which are open to all organizations operating in the 22 nations of the Asia-Pacific region.
APSA judge(

We talked with Dale about his company, working in Vietnam, and judging the Stevie® Awards. He told us he’d learned some useful things from his judging experience: “First and foremost I’d have to say that as a judge for the Stevie Awards for Women in Business I’ve learned a great deal. It has been an opportunity to see some amazing Public Relations and Communication campaigns.  The entries spanned the globe and covered a wide spectrum of categories.  Many times I found myself taking notes and thinking: What a great idea.”

A Virtual Think-Tank

Dale is now looking forward to reviewing the Corporate Communications Awards, Investor Relations Awards, and Public Relations Awards categories of the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards.
“The Stevie Awards create a virtual think-tank that provides fertile ground where creativity can blossom and grow,” commented Dale.  “Rarely in life do true ‘epiphanies’ occur; so anytime people share ideas, doors in the mind begin to open and possibilities expand, with one idea leading to the next.  That’s how programs like the Stevie Awards help business leaders find new opportunities to increase market share and expand their business.”

An Unbeatable Package

We asked Dale why The Doosan Group, an international company headquartered in South Korea, was operating in Vietnam.  “The Doosan Group chose Vietnam for its $330M investment because of a unique set of incentives and circumstances offered by the leaders of Vietnam,” Dale explained.  “It began with a set of critical criteria followed by a lengthy global search and an extensive due diligence of the many proposals put forth by countries from all over the world. Doosan ultimately selected Vietnam because of the outstanding support and stability of the local, regional, and national governments, an unbeatable package of financial incentives, an eager labour force, and a coastal location that allowed us to build a dedicated port that would give us ready access to major sea lanes.”

Be Flexible

Since Dale is a specialist in communications in the region, we asked him for some tips for companies thinking of doing business in Vietnam. “First, do your homework,” advises Dale. “And that should involve consulting with those that have ‘been there, done that,and have the T-Shirt to prove it.’ That will save a ton of time and money in the exer-cise and get you into production much faster than would happen otherwise.
“Second, Vietnam is evolving at such a rapid pace that you should be prepared to be flex-ible—like you’ve never been before or even imagined possible—then double that.”

Future Potential

We asked Dale what excited him most about his work. “Communications is foundational to all that we do in life,” he told us. “So finding a new, more effective way to reach someone—be it a customer, co-worker, or community—is both challenging and exciting. It keeps my wheels turning and my mind working.  Here in Vietnam, the communications industry is morphing on an almost daily basis. It is still developing, but to look back just a few years and compare it to today, I see tremendous improvement and even greater potential.”

About Dale E. Gerstenslager:

After a 25 year career in the media, living and working in six countries and 14 U.S. states as an award winning editor, journalist, and publisher, Dale Gerstenslager moved from mass communications to public relations and communications.  He accepted a position In Vietnam with Doosan in 2008 where he planned, launched, and now leads the Public Relations and Communications function for the Doosan Group’s $300 million investment in Vietnam.

About Doosan Vina:

Doosan Vina is a high-tech industrial complex in the Dung Quat Economic Zone of Central Vietnam’s Quang Ngai Province.  It covers 110 hectares, employs 3,000, and has shipped over $1 billion U.S. of product to global markets.  The company supplies the mega infrastructure products that make modern life a reality. Doosan Vina’s products include: boilers for thermal power plants; heat recovery steam generators that increase the efficiency of a typical power plant by over 30%; 4,500 ton desalination plants that are the size of a football pitch and turn 95 million liters of sea water into fresh per day; material-handling systems like the cranes that are the heart of logistics at ports around the world; and chemical processing equipment that turns the earth’s natural resources into the useful products we use every day.  

About The Doosan Group:
The Doosan Group is a global multinational focusing on power, water, and other infrastructure developments worldwide. The company is Korea’s oldest business operation, tracing its roots back to 1896 with the opening of the Park Seung-jik Store. The company is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea and has operations in 37 countries, over 35,000 employees, and $22 billion in annual revenue.

Tags: communications awards, business awards, PR awards, women awards, ir awards

Winners Selected for IPRA Public Relations Awards

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Jul 02, 2014 @ 12:29 PM

IPRA logoWinners have been selected in the 22nd annual IPRA Golden World Awards for PR Excellence. The International Public Relations Association's Golden World Awards for PR Excellence are the world's top international PR awards competition, featuring a wide variety of categories for agencies and communications departments. 

To see the full list of IPRA Golden World Award winners, click here.

All organizations and individuals worldwide were invited to submit entries for the 2014 program. The gala awards ceremony will take place on Friday, November 14 in Istanbul, Turkey.

The organization that was awarded the most GWAs this year was Weber Shandwick. They received 11 awards in categories such as Event management - Agency, Internal communications - Agency, and International PR campaign - Agency. MSLGROUP won nine GWAs in categories such as Digital Media Relations - Agency and Consumer PR for an Existing Service - Agency for their work with P&G. SPN Communications won four GWAs, while Hill + Knowlton Strategies Ltd, Kanyon Shopping Center, and navos - Public Dialogue Consultants GmbH won two awards each.

The Golden World Awards are managed by the Stevie Awards, organizer of the world's premier business awards, on behalf of IPRA.

If you have questions about the IPRA Golden World Awards please do no hesitate to contact us.
+1 703-547-8389

Tags: business awards, PR awards, stevie awards, public relations awards, IPRA

Update on the Schedule for the Top PR Awards

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, Jun 17, 2014 @ 11:57 AM

IPRA logo

Finalists have been selected for the 22nd annual IPRA Golden World Awards for PR Excellence, and we're getting ready for the second round of judging later this month.

The International Public Relations Association's Golden World Awards for PR Excellence are the world's top international PR awards competition, featuring a wide variety of categories for agencies and communications departments.  All organizations and individuals worldwide were invited to submit entries for the 2014 program.

The first round of judging has concluded and the final round of juding will take place on Friday, June 27, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Winners will be announced on Monday, June 30. While the judges are conferred in Amsterdam, the IPRA board will determine the place and date for the gala awards ceremony this coming autumn. 

If you have questions about the GWAs, managed by the Stevie® Awards, please don't hesitate to contact us.
+1 703-547-8389

Tags: PR awards, public relations awards, IPRA, Golden World Awards, PR Excellence

Top PR Awards' Entry Deadline Extended 1 Week

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, May 20, 2014 @ 08:51 AM

IPRA GWA LogoYesterday was the final entry deadline for the 22nd edition of the International Public Relations Association's Golden World Awards for PR Excellence, and we're pleased to announce that the competition has received a record number of entries.

We've received many requests for deadline extensions, though, and we've prevailed upon the IPRA secretariat to extend the deadline for a short time.  They've agreed to extend the final entry deadline through Tuesday, May 27, and it will not be extended further.

Get the entry kit for the awards here.

The GWAs are the world's top international PR awards competition, featuring a wide variety of categories for agencies and communications departments.  All organizations and individuals worldwide are invited to submit entries.

The Golden World Awards initiative, established in 1990 by the International Public Relations Association (IPRA) and now managed by the Stevie® Awards, recognizes excellence in public relations practice worldwide.  There is no more prestigious international public relations awards program.

Judging will take place: 1st Round in early June, 2nd Round on June 26.

The winners celebration will be held in fall 2014, date and setting to be determined.

If you have questions about how to prepare or submit entries after you've reviewed the entry kit, please don't hesitate to contact us.
+1 703-547-8389

Tags: business awards, PR awards, stevie awards, public relations awards, IPRA, GWA

How PR Awards Can Validate the Quality of Your Work

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Fri, Apr 25, 2014 @ 02:30 PM

Dr. Zehra Güngör is president of the International Public Relations Association (IPRA) and founder of STAGE Communications Consultancy (a member of the Worldcom Public Relations Group) in Istanbul, Turkey. IPRA's Golden World Awards for PR Excellence, now in their 22nd year, are managed by the Stevie Awards.  The GWAs are the world's top PR awards competition, and feature a variety of categories for both agencies and in-house departments.

The entry deadline for the 2014 IPRA Golden World Awards is May 5. Get your entry kit here. You'll avoid the £50/entry late fee if you enter through this deadline.

1404IPRAnewWe asked Zehra for her elevator pitch to communications professionals on why they should enter the IPRA Golden World Awards.

Zehra told us that she sees it as “a great motivation for the project staff and the project itself. Winning an IPRA Golden World Award provides a validation of the quality of an organization’s work. It’s marketing plus. IPRA is the pre-eminent international PR organization, so it is a great honor to receive an IPRA award from the global PR community. Furthermore, it’s a recognition of the talents and effort of the staff involved in a project.”

Or, for that really short elevator ride: These awards offer worldwide recognition for world-class public relations programs.

Successful Partnership

IPRA teamed up with the Stevie® Awards two years ago to manage the IPRA Golden World Awards for Excellence  Zehra told us that the partnership has contributed significantly to the perception of these awards.  As she put it: “Partnering with the Stevies has extended our reach and brought the Golden World Awards to a wider audience. Both the Stevies and the Golden World Awards have a worldwide reputation for consistency in rewarding success. This partnership helps to provide a more potent recognition for people in the PR industry.”

New Categories for 2014

The IPRA Golden World Awards categories cover a wide range of fields. We asked Zehra what new categories had been introduced for 2014. “This year, we talked to the European Commission department responsible for the digital agenda, and are pleased to announce a Special Award this year for ‘PR with an objective of progress in digital inclusion within the EU.’ Additionally, we already have a UN Award, which will be made for a campaign that best demonstrates PR with an objective of social progress. We are also in discussions with other international organizations for future special awards.”

The Future of the Communications Industry

Zehra has worked in the communications field most of her life, and is excited about the future. The dynamism of the communications profession is what inspires me,” she told us. “There are no borders for this industry: it is multi cultural. Tolerance and empathy are the key words I use to describe successful PR professionals.”

Zehra sees big changes ahead: “I know that there are going to be many changes in the future, so the business of communications will become more challenging. This is what stimulates me. I look forward to the test.”

About Zehra Güngör

Dr. Zehra Güngör has been a member of the International Public Relations Association (IPRA) for 10 years and has served on both the former Council and the Board for some eight years.  She has been Jury Chair for the IPRA Golden World Awards for the past two years and was appointed president of IPRA for 2014. She is also a member of TUHID (Turkish Public Relations Association) and a founding member and former board member of KAGIDER (Turkish Women’s Entrepreneurs Association) and the Propeller Club.

Zehra worked as an economics journalist for 20 years before founding a PR consultancy, STAGE Communications Consultancy, in 1999. During her journalism career, she was named “Best Journalist of the Year” three times by the Turkish Journalists Association. She was awarded a scholarship to the USA by the Turkish Government and worked as a journalist at McGraw-Hill Publications in New York for one year. Zehra has been running STAGE Communications Consultancy for the past 14 years.

Zehra is the holder of an MA and PhD in communications together with a BA in English Literature. She currently lectures in communications and publicity at both Okan and Yeditepe Universities in Istanbul. She is married and lives in Istanbul with her husband and her daughter, Melisa.

About IPRA

The International Public Relations Association (IPRA) was established in 1955 and is the premier international association for individual public relations practitioners with members in more than eighty countries. IPRA prides itself of its Code of Conduct governing public relations across the globe and is the patron of the World Public Relations Congress with recent events in Chicago, Istanbul, Beijing, and Lima.

IPRA is recognized by and enjoys a close relationship with major international bodies including the United Nations. For more information please visit

About the IPRA Golden World Awards for PR Excellence

The IPRA Golden World Awards for Excellence in Public Relations (GWA) were instituted in 1991. Each year a panel of international judges selects the GWA winners from hundreds of entries from across the globe in some thirty categories. The IPRA Golden World Awards offer worldwide recognition and acclaim to world-class public relations programs. The 2014 competition, conducted by the International Public Relations Association, is open to local, regional, national, or international public relations programs carried out or completed in 2013/2014. For more information, please visit

Tags: communications awards, business awards, PR awards, stevie awards, public relations awards, IPRA, public relations association

How to Win in the PR Game: Tips from Stevie Awards Winner Nikki Tanis

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Apr 23, 2014 @ 06:07 PM

Nikki Tanis, president of Tanis Communications in San Jose, California, USA will chair the final judging committee for the Public Relations Awards categories of The 2014 American Business Awards, the premier business awards program in the US. (There is still time to enter the 2014 competition. Learn more here.)

Tanis Communications won the Gold Stevie in the PR awards categories in The 2013 American Business Awards, and was named the 8th-ranked communications agency in the San Jose Metro area in the 2013 Inc. 5000. We asked Nikki what made Tanis Communications stand out in the fields of marketing and communications.

A New World Order

“The world of marketing, PR, and communications has dramatically changed,” Nikki told us. “No longer can companies manage their internal and external communications in silos. Today's forward-thinking companies recognize it's the content—strategically crafted and produced with high quality—that drives engagement, awareness, differentiation, action, and loyalty across target audiences. A single piece of content crosses traditional boundaries and can be repurposed for PR, for employee communications, for direct marketing, for social channels, and for the web.” 

Continued Nikki: “We created our agency with this new world order in mind, staffed with people from the corporate world who have walked in the shoes of our clients. As a result we become indispensable to them—that one-stop, go-to partner that understands their business, can relate to their internal challenges, and can quickly and effectively execute marketing and communications programs to generate exceptional results.”

Added to that, according to Nikki: “Culturally, our team has a huge desire to excel. You will not find an agency that cares more than we do about the outcome for our customers, and you will see that validated by the testimonials on our website.”


We asked Nikki what winning a Stevie Award last year had meant to Tanis Communications.  “Because the Stevie Awards are peer-reviewed, they have substantial credibility with our target clients,” she told us. “In addition, we have won a broad range of Stevies—from website development to media relations; from integrated marketing campaigns to financial communications. As a result, the Stevies validate that we have a comprehensive service offering that aligns with the vision and positioning of the agency.”

Paying It Forward

Nikki was appointed Chair of The 2014 American Business Awards Final Judging Committees for Communications, Investor Relations & Investor Relations earlier this year and has put together an impressive judging committee.  “I am extremely honored and excited to lead the judging for these categories,” she told us. “Because the Stevies are peer-reviewed, they have significant industry credibility. After winning several Stevie Awards ourselves, I am motivated to pay it forward, joining the smart and talented team of communicators and marketers who will determine the winners in 2014.”

Fast-paced Industry

PR professionals have a fast-paced existence, especially when working in Silicon Valley. “We are always on the go and have to provide our employees with substantial flexibility,” Nikki explained. “Our cloud-based applications keep our business running: From Google Docs to Microsoft Office 365 for collaboration and communications; Twitter to stay on top of breaking news; LinkedIn to stay connected with my peers and colleagues; and I can’t forget Replicon, which keeps us on track for time-keeping and budgeting. They're all important, and play a role in delivering great service to our clients while at the same time making Tanis a great place to work.”

Change is Good

“I love the fact that the marketing world is changing so dramatically. It makes my profession an exciting field to work in,” concluded Nikki. “Also, every morning, I look forward to working with my team of passionate, smart, and kind people who are always willing to work their hardest for our clients.”

Nikki points out that it takes hard work to keep on top. “We are all rabid readers and leverage social media to follow the great thinkers in our industry,” she explained. “So far this culture has served us very well.”

About Nikki Tanis

Nikki Tanis, president of Tanis Communications, has over 20 years experience creating and implementing a broad range of strategic communications, marketing, and PR programs. She has spent 12 of those years as the head of Tanis Communications, a respected and fast-growing Silicon Valley agency serving a diverse set of high technology companies with a breadth of marketing, communications, and PR services.

Previously Nikki was corporate vice president, corporate marketing and communications at Spansion, Inc., a global, NASDAQ-listed semiconductor company with $2.5 billion in revenue and over 9,000 employees at the time. Prior to that, Nikki was director of corporate communications at S3, Inc., a NASDAQ-listed leader in graphics chips for the PC industry. She was also advertising and PR manager for NEC Electronics, the U.S. semiconductor subsidiary of NEC Corporation, and has held communications positions at Precision Monolithics and Signetics.

Nikki holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in psychology from San Diego State University.

About Tanis Communications

Based in San Jose, California, Tanis Communications is a marketing and PR services agency offering brand strategy, public relations, corporate communications, social media, web development, and marketing communications services. As the central hub for clients’ internal and external marketing and communications efforts, Tanis delivers creative, award-winning programs that help technology companies bring their innovations to life and engage, inform, inspire, and connect with the constituents who matter most. A recent addition to the Inc. 5000 fastest growing companies list, and with an extensive line-up of awards, Tanis is a new kind of agency—at the intersection of owned, earned, shared, and paid content. For more information visit

Tags: communications awards, business awards, PR awards, stevie awards, public relations awards

Stevie Awards Winner Reveals What It Takes to Succeed in Asia-Pacific

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Thu, Apr 17, 2014 @ 02:45 PM

Weber Shandwick | Asia-Pacific won two Gold Stevie Awards in The 2013 International Business Awards.  Their Beijing office won in the app awards categories for an app created for McDonalds in China; and their Singapore office won for a community relations campaign in the PR awards categories.  (The 2014 International Business Awards is currently accepting entries. Get your entry kit here).

We asked Simon Dang, vice president, inline strategy, at Weber Shandwick Beijing, for his insight on what companies and organizations should be doing to better promote their goods or services in the Asia-Pacific region.

Engaging with the Consumer

Simon DangSimon told us: “Throughout Asia Pacific, and in the China market especially, social media and mobile access simply cannot be ignored.  Brands really need to start with a mobile strategy first, not as an afterthought.  Whether it is investing in a custom APP or creating content on social media mobile such as WeChat and Line or Weibo, branded customized communication experiences on mobile devices need to meet the demand for the on-the-go, always-on lifestyle of today. “

Simon added: “Just as many consumers today expect to be able to chat directly with a brand one-on-one via WeChat, WhatsApp, etc. It’s a huge opportunity for brands to further engage with personalized conversations and learn more about their consumers.”

Dedication to Clients

Weber Shandwick’s Stevie® Award-winning entry in the Apps categories, Olympic App Strikes Gold with Youth,” is a perfect example of how the agency helped their client McDonald’s reach the youth market through the use of social media.

Simon told us that he regards the Stevies as one of the major awards in the industry. “We are honored and delighted to have received this award.  It’s a testament to the exceptional dedication and skill of our entire team and the work we do for our clients.”

He added that the Weber Shandwick team had had a lot of fun creating the app for McDonald’s.  “It was used to truly engage and tap into the passion of the Olympic fans of China.  Winning this award has energized the team to really push the boundaries on what types of mobile apps to create for upcoming campaigns, and how we can make more apps that truly engage audiences and make a difference.”

Getting Around in Beijing

Being a part of the on-the-go, always-on lifestyle himself, Simon tells us: “It’s really hard to get taxis in Beijing so I like using 嘀嘀打车(Didi Dache)along with WeChat’s integrated payment system.”  Useful information if you are doing business in Beijing.

Historic Change

We asked Simon what excited him about the future.  He told us it was the limitless possibilities for the Asia-Pacific region.  “It’s often said that there’s not a lot of innovation coming out of the China,” Simon explained.  “But as many Stevie Award winners show, that’s completely false.  We are living in an historic period of change. We’re already seeing so much being led out of Asia Pacific—and there is much more to come.“

About Simon Dang

Simon Dang is vice president, inline strategy, at Weber Shandwick Beijing. He provides strategic direction across digital and traditional PR teams to oversee integrated marketing and media strategies that inspire clients and target audiences in both the online and offline worlds. His ten years of experience in digital includes paid search, social media, display media buying, above-the-line advertising, and creative content production that spans FMCG, finance, retail, travel, and technology verticals.  Simon’s current clients include McDonald’s, Unilever, Microsoft, California Walnuts, and Ocean Spray.

Prior to Weber Shandwick, Simon was the global search director at Mindshare NY overseeing the global account for SAP and the North America region for all Unilever brands.  For Unilever, his team created and executed social media, community management, influencer engagement and integrated marketing programs for Unilever, including a Facebook campaign that led to top fan page growth in 2010.  Simon was also invited to join Unilever’s North America Digital Innovation Board as an advisor on all brands for search and digital media strategy.

Simon has spoken at various international conferences, including BeaPon’s Annual Asia Social Media Summit, the Beijing Government Affairs Forum 2012, SES China, SES London, and OMS New York, and was a guest lecturer at the Zicklin School of Business in New York.  Simon is a volunteer at TED-X Beijing and holds an MBA from Columbia University.

About Weber Shandwick

Weber Shandwick is a leading global public relations firm with offices in 81 countries. The firm’s diverse team of thinkers, strategists, analysts, producers, designers, developers, and campaign activators has won the most prestigious awards in the world for innovative, creative approaches and impactful work. The firm deploys deep expertise across sectors and specialty areas, including consumer marketing, corporate reputation, healthcare, technology, public affairs, financial services, corporate social responsibility, financial communications, and crisis management, using proprietary social, digital, and analytics methodologies. Weber Shandwick is part of the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG). For more information, visit

Tags: communications awards, business awards, PR awards, stevie awards, public relations awards, weber shandwick, simon dang, IBAs

Tips on Successful PR Strategies From a Grand Stevie® Award Winner

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Apr 02, 2014 @ 01:38 PM

Strategic Public Relations Group (SPRG) of Hong Kong won a Grand Stevie Award for being among the top 10 overall winners, including three Gold Stevie® Awards, in The 2013 International Business Awards.  Among the agency's Gold Stevie wins was for Public Relations Agency of the Year (China, Japan, and Korea) in the PR awards categories.  The early-bird entry deadline for the The 2014 International Business Awards, the world’s premier business competition, is April 16. Get your entry kit here

1403SPRGtsangWe asked SPRG’s Chairman, Richard Tsang, what has made his agency so successful in the Hong Kong and Asia-Pacific markets.

Richard Tsang founded SPRG in 1995, at the age of 29, with just four employees. Within a relatively brief period, he successfully transformed the agency into one of the largest PR networks in Asia, with nine regional offices employing 300 professionals. SPRG is now the largest PR consultancy in Hong Kong (with a 150-strong workforce), and currently serves 300 retainer clients in Asia, including over 160 listed companies.

Retaining Staff and Clients

“One of the keys to operating a successful PR agency is a stable workforce,” Richard told us. “And such stability can only come through trust, which is why members of SPRG’s senior management are afforded full autonomy to run their business, while benefiting from the Group’s resources.”

The overall staff retention rate at SPRG was an impressive 80% in 2013, despite high turnover and aggressive headhunting in the Hong Kong communications industry. All 22 assistant director-grade or above staff have remained loyal to the Group–with each having served SPRG for over 12 years on average.

To convey SPRG’s philosophy, vision, and goals, Richard personally welcomes new staff members on board during bi-annual meetings. “A stable workforce helps us build long-term relationships with our clients,” Richard explained. “80% of the clients that we secured during the first three years of SPRG’s establishment are still with us today. These long-standing relationships really mean a lot. I sincerely believe that we not only help clients climb to the top of their fields, but that we also grow along with them.”

Some of SPRG’s retainer clients include adidas Golf-TaylorMade, Air China, Automobili Lamborghini Asia Pacific, CFA Institute, China Mengniu, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Eli Lilly (Taiwan), FOX International Channels, Google China, GSK, Hasbro Singapore, Hong Kong Deposit Protection Board, KFC, Lenovo, LG Electronics, Lindt, Logitech, P&G, Nestle China, Ronald McDonald House Charities Taiwan, and UC Rusal.

IPO Specialist

SPRG continues to be No. 1 in the IPO market in Hong Kong, having completed 26 new listings in 2013 alone. The Group has devised a number of pioneering campaigns for its clients, including the listing of the top fast-moving fashion group in Asia and of the largest housewares retail chain in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Macau.

An Independent with Worldwide Contacts

In addition to helping clients from Asia reach out to the world, SPRG also works closely with partners to provide their overseas clients with professional services, thus enabling them to be in touch with Asia.

“While mergers and acquisitions have become more prevalent among PR agencies, I like SPRG to remain independent,” commented Richard. “We are affiliated with some of the best independent PR agencies in the world, many of which are leaders in their respective countries.”

SPRG is a partner of PROI Worldwide, the world’s oldest and largest independent PR affiliation network. Together with its member companies and partners, it has coverage of more than 110 cities around the world. To promote experience-sharing and regional business cooperation, SPRG established a taskforce responsible for selecting the appropriate office or team to work with member companies and worldwide partners.

Awards and Accolades

As a PR veteran, SPRG is no stranger to industry recognition. The award-winning agency captured several accolades in 2013, including 10 Stevie® Awards, and was named Local Hero–Public Relations Agency of the Year (for the fourth consecutive year) and one of the Top Ten PR Agencies in Singapore by Marketing magazine, along with other international and regional awards for client-related campaigns.

Still other agency-specific awards that SPRG has won over the years include Asia Pacific Network of the Year (SPRG became the first independent agency in Asia to ever win the award), Greater China Independent Agency of the Year, Hong Kong Consultancy of the Year, and Best Financial PR Firm–Asia.

“We are truly grateful for receiving the Stevie Awards, among others,” Richard noted. “The Group has been increasing its participation in local, regional, and international industry awards, and the fruits of our efforts include over 30 accolades in 2013, with 2014 already proving to be another successful year. Through such strong showings, we trust that not only the Group, but also our client campaigns will gain the international recognition that they deserve.”

To extend award-winning success in the Asia-Pacific region, the Stevie Awards recently announced the 2014 Asia-Pacific Stevie® Awards, the first business awards program to recognize achievement in business throughout the entire Asia-Pacific region. Find out how to enter here.

About Richard Tsang

Richard Tsang, Founder and Chairman of SPRG, is an investor relations/PR veteran with over 25 years of experience. He founded SPRG in 1995 and it is now one of the largest PR networks in Asia and the largest PR consultancy in Hong Kong.

Richard holds over 40 board, committee, and advisory positions in business organisations, religious associations, NGOs, and academic institutions. He serves as Chairman of Global Development Group, APAC Region, of PROI Worldwide.

Accolades that Richard has earned include the 2003 “Young Entrepreneur Award” by DHL/SCMP Hong Kong Business Awards; “Excellence in Achievement of World Chinese Youth Entrepreneurs”, presented by Yazhou Zhoukan and World Federation of Chinese Entrepreneurs Organisation in 2009; and “Outstanding Individual Achievement” at the 2012 Asia-Pacific SABRE Awards.

About Strategic Public Relations Group

As one of the largest PR networks in Asia—and the largest PR consultancy in Hong Kong—SPRG is a specialist in public relations, investor relations, and financial communications, and a trusted corporate and marketing communications leader. For further information, go to

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