More than 30 PR awards were announced last week at the Public Relations Society of America New Jersey’s 33rd Annual Pyramid Awards, honoring the most impactful and notable communications campaigns of the year. The event took place at the Basking Ridge Country Club and was hosted by Chapter President Deirdre Lopian, of DLPR, and Chapter President-Elect Michael Lauer, senior vice president of United Minds.
Violet PR, based in Montclair, was awarded Best in Show (Community Relations) for its efforts in developing a public relations campaign entitled “Revitalizing Newark Symphony Hall” to raise funds for its $40M capital improvement program, to attract and develop new programming, and stay afloat during COVID-19.
“For the first time in three years, I was proud to stand alongside many of our talented members who have worked harder than ever during the pandemic,” said Lauer. “I applaud the winners and thank the event sponsors and attendees for making last night a resounding success.”
Lopian said the 2022 Pyramid Award Ceremony would not be possible without the generous support of its sponsors, which include BML PR, Coyne PR, Johnson & Johnson, Monmouth University and MikeWorldWide.
Notable highlights include Coyne PR of Parsippany, which won five Pyramid Awards in the following categories: Influencer Campaign (CeraVe), Integrated Marketing Campaigns (Hilton and Claritin) and Media Relations Campaigns (Philips Hue and Peeps); and Violet PR which also won five Pyramid Awards for Community Relations (Newark Symphony Hall), Events (Lincoln Equities Group), Diversity and Inclusion (Newark Symphony Hall), Media Relations (Pittsburgh International Airport) and Public Affairs (Pittsburgh International Airport).
Other top winners include:
Toni-Anne Blake, communications director at the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission, was named PR Pro of the Year. Blake was recognized for her outstanding efforts in supporting the launch of the cannabis industry in New Jersey. Blake not only created a communications strategy for the commission from the ground up but also strongly supported education efforts and government communication around cannabis.
Jiaqi Liu, a senior at Seton Hall University, was named the 2022 PRSA NJ Future PR Pro of the Year. As part of her application, the South Orange resident submitted a piece of a PR campaign to highlight the utilization of cannabis in creating equity. Joan Bosisio, vice president of BML PR and professional advisor to SHU’s Public Relations Student Society of America nominated Liu for the award and describes her as having an “intense passion and talent for the field of communications.” “As her mentor, I see that Jiaqi will carry her curiosity and motivation for self-guided professional development throughout her career,” said Bosisio.
Christina Forrest, account director at Violet PR was named the 2022 Rising Star. Forrest was nominated by the firm’s President and Founder, April Mason, for exhibiting the highest levels of ethics, securing measurable and award-winning results and for her commitment to lifelong learning and continuing education.
Rutgers University Communications Director, Stephanie K. Reed, who has served as PRSA NJ board member and co-chair of the Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Committee, was recognized by her peers with the David Bressen Chapter Service Award for her unwavering dedication and commitment to the Chapter and its membership.
“This year’s Pyramid Awards were extra-special as it was our first in-person event since 2020,” said Lopian. “It was wonderful to see our chapter members again, and to celebrate the exceptional work of New Jersey’s top public relations and communications professionals.”
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