Reaching the audience: Highlighting winners from PR Daily’s Media Relations Awards

The best of the best in media relations.

The best PR practitioners are aces at ensuring the media knows about their clients’ pursuits. No matter how a story manifests, it’s critical to get into the hands of media professionals who can spread it far and wide.

This week, we’re sharing some of the success stories of the winners of last year’s PR Daily Media Relations Awards. To apply to this year’s class of honors, be sure to apply by the August 16 deadline.

Brand Messaging or Positioning: Club Wyndham, Club Wyndham x Take a Chef Partnership

The background: When you think of Wyndham, you probably think of relaxing hotel experiences. But the hotel chain wanted to take things to another level for its timeshare brand, Club Wyndham, by working with Take a Chef to give guests private chef experiences and redefine what a timeshare is really like.

The Take a Chef initiative allowed guests at participating Wyndham properties to enjoy a home-cooked meal by a professional chef within their accommodations. The collaborative program also sought to align chefs and experiences with their local surroundings for a more immersive experience.

The campaign earned over a dozen hits, including in major publications like FOOD & WINE, Good Housekeeping and Reader’s Digest. The campaign also made waves on social media and exceeded target audience goals as well, with over 3 billion impressions.

The takeaway: Strategic partnerships can help boost the profiles of all partners involved. 

Crisis or Reputation Management: Tampa Electric, Hurricane Ian Response

The background: When Hurricane Ian blew through Florida in 2022, it left a path of destruction and devastation in its wake, including cutting power to 36% of Tampa Electric customers. The frequency of big storms in Florida ahead of Ian allowed Tampa Electric to consider its messaging strategy around weather events and a new plan that emphasizes preparation and proper reactions when storms do happen.

Tampa Electric’s comms plan focused on messaging that promoted actions before, during and after storm events. These included sharing potential outage maps, direct outreach via customer emails, and more. For Ian, the utility’s comms efforts spanned ten days, both before the storm came ashore and after, including power restoration updates.

The campaign was a success in reaching its target audiences, with 44% of customers reporting that they saw social media posts as part of the campaign and 60% of customers reporting that they saw media coverage of Tampa Electric’s campaign. You may not be able to stop the weather, but like Tampa Electric, you can prepare for it.

The takeaway: Pre-emptive communication and planning can keep you ahead of the storm.

Purpose-Driven: US Postal Service, Election Mail, Delivering the Vote

The background: The Post Office might not always generate the most exciting headlines, but it undoubtedly has a crucial role to play in keeping our society going, particularly in election years with lots of mail-in votes to deliver and tabulate. But how the USPS communicated with election officials and rolled out “Kit 600,” an informative packet for election workers about dealing with mailed-in votes, is worthy of commendation.

Kit 600 is the official election mail kit, focused on design, clear explanations and anything else voters and election workers need to know about voting via mail. But that’s not all the Post Office does during election years —it works to get all hands on deck to support the right of Americans to have their voice heard via the power of post. The USPS makes information and employee help available at every postal location during election years, regardless of size or location. The USPS also rolled out a media site online, with video and still shots of postal workers helping the election efforts.

In 2022, the USPS delivered 54 million ballots to and from voters, with 99.3% delivered within seven days. That’s pretty remarkable, but when it’s your job to help facilitate democracy, it’s part of the gig.

The takeaway: A great media relations campaign can help change long-held perceptions.

Sean Devlin is an editor at Ragan Communications. In his spare time, he enjoys Philly sports and hosting trivia.

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