While the entire evening was beautifully orchestrated and dozens of awards were efficiently distributed, the best part of the annual PRWeek Awards Dinner on Thursday night was the recognition given to the Young PR Professional of the Year and Student of the Year.
Lane PR Senior Account Executive Shannon Riggs was named Young PR Professional of the Year 2009 at the black-tie dinner at Tavern on the Green in New York’s Central Park. Runner-up was Julia Zamorska from iolo technologies. Finalists were Janice Edeman, Burson-Marsteller; Julian Froehlich, Carmichael Lynch and Spong, and Allison Greco, Coyne PR.
PR Student of the Year honors went to Natasha Ratliff from the University of Southern California. Natasha was cited for her research-based PR plan to make adidas top of mind with consumers attending the NBA All-Star Weekend. Honorable mention went to Meagan Wheeler of Oklahoma State University, while finalists were Hannah Higerd, California State University, Fullerton; Emily Motley, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and Douglas Rusinek, SUNY-Oswego.
Students: Besides the PRWeek award, Natasha Ratliff also receives $5,000 and an internship. All PR students are eligible to apply for this career-launching award, so check out eligibility requirements and study what past recipients have done in order to build your own case for 2010.
I also applaud PRWeek for recognizing some of the outstanding PR education programs of the past year. PR Education Program of the Year went to New York University’s MS Degree in PR and Corporate Communications. Honorable Mention honors were shared by the University of Alabama’s PR Program and James Madison University’s PR Program. Finalists also included Georgetown University Masters in PR and Corporate Communications and USC’s Annenberg School for Communications, Public Relations Studies.
Finally, congratulations to PR veteran Marcia Silverman, CEO of Ogilvy PR Worldwide, who was named PR Professional of the Year, and Edelman’s U.S. President and CEO, Matthew Harrington, runner up. Finalists were Keith Lindenburg, Deloitte LLP, and Doug Spong of Carmichael Lynch and Spong.