by Holley Stein
Whether it’s counseling a client in preparation for a turbulent media interview or handling crisis communications, public relations professionals are known for their calm-and-cool demeanor and grace under pressure.
But what happens when you get a plaza full of professionals together to celebrate the work done on behalf of their clients? Cheers, camaraderie and immense pride–to the point of tears–for our clients.
KVBPR’s work was recently honored at the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Silver Anvil Awards ceremony, held on June 4 in New York City. Our firm received the Silver Anvil Award for excellence in internal communications for work done on behalf of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee (BCBST) and the Silver Anvil Award of Excellence in integrated communications for introducing Nashville Symphony’s new conductor, Giancarlo Guerrero. I had the pleasure of working with the Symphony and Locomotion Creative on the multi-channel communications campaign and was thrilled to hear we were a finalist for the award. Finding out I was going to New York wasn’t bad either!
The atmosphere of the ceremony was elegant, as expected. What I did not count on was what would happen to us once we were inside the auditorium and the award-presentation began. There was no polite applause, plastic smiles or stiff photos. There were whistles, cat calls, cheering and loud applause, not only for ourselves, but for each other. I actually screamed when my colleague, Heather Schablik, went onstage to accept the Silver Anvil on behalf of BCBST. (All-in-all, the internal communications program for BCBST won three national awards this year.)
However, the best part of the award ceremony was when master-of-ceremonies, Terry Stewart, president and CEO for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, announced the award for the Nashville Symphony. He mentioned a recent visit to the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. He not only praised the building to a group of practitioners from around the U.S., he spoke directly to Ronda Helton, senior director of marketing for the Nashville Symphony, and acknowledged the caliber of its musicians and programming. It was the only proverbial “shout-out” that was given that night.
Upon later reflection, I admit, I teared up. Something had really hit home. Sure we were cheering for ourselves that night. We work hard on behalf of our clients. But more than anything, I believe we were really cheering for our clients. After working in the trenches with each other for so long, you feel like a member of your client’s team. In many ways, these awards act as a double honor.