15 Nov 2010

2010 Skyline Award Winners

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Best of Skyline: “What Would You Do for a Klondike Bar…Now?” by Unilever and GolinHarris

Already one of America’s favorite ice cream treats, Klondike bars became more irresistible during summer 2009 after debuting a thicker chocolatey shell. The brand even reinvigorated its iconic tagline by asking consumers, “What Would You Do for a Klondike Bar Now?” Klondike challenged its PR, interactive and creative agencies to develop a program to keep its target consumer males, 25 – 44, talking about the stickless ice cream bars. The agencies collaborated on series of online-based “Micro Bytes,” or highly-engaging experiences, to showcase the thicker shell and tagline. GolinHarris’ (GH) objectives included generating traditional and social media coverage about the Micro Bytes and driving interaction with the experiences on www.KlondikeManCave.com. GH conducted extensive blog pitching and executed an Internet Media Tour with campaign celebrity Michael Ian Black. GH managed Klondike’s sponsorship of “Diggnation” and engaged consumers with distribution of more than 3,000 Klondike bars at two live events. GH also issued daily Facebook updates and Tweets about the campaign on Klondike-branded pages. GH blew past its 50 million media impressions goal by generating more than 274.5 million impressions. Online discussion about Klondike increased by 518 percent. Most importantly, Klondike sales surged, requiring a temporary packaging modification to keep up with demand.

Individual Awards

Irene Rosenfeld, Chairman and CEO, Kraft Foods is the Chicago Executive of the Year, an award that recognizes an individual outside of the public relations profession who uses PR effectively to further their organization’s goals. Since rejoining Kraft as CEO in 2006, Rosenfeld has empowered an award-winning public relations team to support a comprehensive corporate rebranding, product introductions and Kraft’s recent acquisition of Cadbury.

Joel Curran, senior vice president and managing director of the Midwest Region, MS&L is named the Chicago Public Relations Professional of the Year. For more than 20 years, Curran committed his career to advancing the industry in traditional and digital communications and sharing his knowledge with the next generation of public relations professionals. Under his leadership, the MS&L Chicago office revenue grew by almost 40 percent in 2009, the highest growth among the MS&L North America offices.

Jamie Plaxco, senior account executive, MWW will receive the sixth annual PRSA Chicago Young Professional award. Plaxco is recognized by her clients and colleagues for her unwavering commitment to delivering client service and delivering media results for ALDI, Pycnogenol and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Additionally, Jamie takes part in the Step Up Women’s Network which is actively geared towards connecting professional women with young teen girls to serve as mentors.

Program Awards

B-to-B Communications

Skyline: “Building Thought-Leadership for a Leading Design Firm” by Perkins+Will and Weber Shandwick

Despite being one of the world’s premier interdisciplinary design firms, Perkins+Will was not leveraging its expertise to generate headlines within influential media, including national news and business publications, local media in critical markets and key industry trade media. Communications efforts across the firm’s six industry sectors and 23 global offices were not coordinated, resulting in inconsistent corporate messaging and many missed media opportunities. Additionally, the architecture industry was bracing for one of its most difficult years on record in 2009, leaving many firms to scale back on proactive public relations programs.

Realizing the opportunity to seize an authoritative voice on issues impacting its diverse client base, Perkins+Will engaged Weber Shandwick to create a robust thought-leadership platform. The Weber Shandwick team designed a communications program to credential the firm within:

  • the field of sustainable design
  • each of the firm’s six industry sectors – Aviation and Transportation, Corporate, Commercial and Civic, Healthcare, Higher Education, K-12 and Science and Technolog
  • each of the firm’s 23 global market

At the end of 2009, the Weber Shandwick team refreshed the initial media analysis to measure our success and found that our efforts increased media coverage for Perkins+Will by more than 219 percent. Perkins+Will dominated coverage quantity and quality, securing more than their fair share of headlines.

Merit: “A Trusted Resource for Small and Medium Businesses” by Verio and Edelman

Merit: “Elevating Intelligence, Earning Credit” by TransUnion and GolinHarris

Crisis Communications/Issues Management

Skyline:” Protecting Pork Sales During the “Swine Flu” Pandemic” by National Pork Board and Weber Shandwick

The National Pork Board and Weber Shandwick mobilized an integrated crisis management campaign to reassure consumers that pork was safe to eat using traditional and social media. The team tracked consumer beliefs via consumer polling and activated a mainstream and digital media rapid response team that monitored and corrected misinformation. To proactively communicate our message, we conducted satellite and radio media tours with English and Spanish-speaking third-party experts and issued several press releases and b-roll packages, which were also posted online. To reach consumers via the Internet, we established a microsite FactsAboutPork.com and a Twitter handle “@FactsAboutPork” in addition to reaching out to influential bloggers. Online banner ads directed consumers to our microsite.


  • WHO and U.S. agencies began using the term H1N1 flu instead of “swine flu”.
  • Generated nearly 600 million consumer impressions stating pork and pork products are safe to eat and handle.
  • Decreased the number of pork consumers who said they were less likely to eat pork by 11 percentage points or 58% over a 6-week period.
    Following an initial dip in sales when the “swine flu” outbreak was first announced, fresh pork sales increased 6.3% over the same period the prior year.

Event and Observances (One to Seven Days)

Skyline: “Tork Elevates Industry with New Brand Initiatives” by SCA Tissue North America and Cramer-Krasselt Public Relations

When SCA, a $17 billion global away-from-home paper supplier, brought C-K PR on board to launch a new product at the cleaning industry’s leading trade show, we knew we had to bring pizzazz to the washroom. At ISSA/INTERCLEAN Chicago 2009, C-K guided SCA to give their competitors a run for their money by creating a show-stopping spectacle to unveil the new Tork® Elevation™ global dispenser line. C-K also launched an industry first thought leadership campaign to cut through the industry’s green and hygiene clutter to introduce — the Tork® Green Hygiene Council™ (TGHC), comprised of third-party hygiene and environmental experts.

Merit: “Sparkle of a New Beginning” by Waterford and Current

Merit: “World’s First Whopper Bar” by Burger King and Edelman

Event and Observances (More Than Seven Days)

Skyline: “Turn Up the Music, Fire Up the Grill Keith Urban Escape Together World Tour” by The Clorox Company: KC Masterpiece and Kingsford Charcoal and Current Lifestyle Marketing

Two of the Clorox Company’s premier brands – KC Masterpiece® Barbecue Sauce and Kingsford® Charcoal – put American barbecue on tour as headline sponsors of the Keith Urban Escape Together World Tour, which hit 49 markets across the United States in 2009. In sponsoring the eight month tour, the barbecue brands encouraged consumers to “Turn Up the Music and Fire Up the Grill” beyond the traditional grilling season. The partnership was especially organic since Urban and his band often relax by grilling together during their hectic tour schedule – using recipes from Official Tour Pitmaster Chris Lilly, of course.

Merit: “From Hunger to Hope, World Hunger Relief” by Yum! Brands, Inc. and Weber Shandwick

Merit: “The Burnham Plan Centennial, Chicago Metropolis 2020” by The Burnham Plan Centennial

Integrated Communications

Skyline: “Oceanarium Reopening” by John G. Shedd Aquarium and Public Communications, Inc.

To create excitement and anticipation surrounding the re-opening of Shedd Aquarium’s most popular permanent exhibit, the Oceanarium, after its nine month closure, the communications team created a strategic plan along with a detailed timeline and messaging to share with the media and public. The planning centered on a three-day reopening celebration for the public debut. The team started work on the project with three specific goals in mind:

  • To secure 30,000 guests during the three-day reopening celebration
  • To achieve 1.7 million visitors in 2009 and
  • To secure a minimum of 100 media placements with impressions totaling at least 10 million

Internal Communications

Skyline: “Tell a Gal P.A.L. 2009 Campaign” by The Allstate Foundation and Zeno Group

Domestic violence touches millions, but few talk about it. Even fewer talk about economic abuse, a tactic often used by abusers to control their victims by blocking access to financial resources. The Allstate Foundation and Zeno Group set out to change that with the Tell a Gal P.A.L. ® campaign. For the second consecutive year, the Tell a Gal P.A.L. campaign encouraged Americans to Pass it On, Act and Learn (P.A.L.) about domestic violence and economic abuse for Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. The campaign also encouraged the public and Allstate employees to donate suits to provide professional attire to survivors entering or re-entering the workforce on their path financial security. By generating significant media coverage, raising awareness of resources available to help financially empower survivors, and engaging the public and Allstaters nationwide, the campaign touched even more lives – and directly benefitted more than 11,500 survivors at nearly 250 domestic violence shelters – in 2009.

Marketing Consumer Products – Health Care

Skyline: “Don’t Blow It – The Nasal Allergy Game” by Merck/Schering-Plough and Edelman

To generate consumer and media interest, and educate consumers about a disease state that typically only receives attention during spring allergy season, Edelman and Schering-Plough, now part of Merck, developed “Don’t Blow It” – an online educational game, starring Ronnie Nose, with an environmental cause component and built-in social media tools. The campaign, S-P’s first Rx social media program, engaged key audiences, delivered branded coverage and reached thousands through Facebook and Twitter. More than 11,000 unique visitors have played the game and there have been 14,000+ visits to NASONEX.com, helping to increase NASONEX sales by 3% in Q2 and Q3 2009.

Merit: Metamucil “Beautify Your Heart” by P&G and MS&L Group

Marketing Consumer Products –Food/Beverage/Restaurant

Skyline: “McCafe Redefines Affordable Luxury at McDonald’s” by McDonald’s and GolinHarris

In May of 2009, GolinHarris Chicago helped launch the most significant product line introduction in 30 years under the McDonald’s Golden Arches: McCafé Coffees, a line of premium and espresso-based beverages including Lattes, Mochas and Hot Chocolate. In launching the McCafé brand, McDonald’s challenged GH to establish McDonald’s as the new coffee destination in town offering quality, taste, convenience and value that rivals all other brands.

Utilizing key marketing windows – including the national launch in May, Mocha Monday Sampling Days in July and Fashion Week sponsorships in February and September – GH helped McDonald’s build personal relationships with customers and fashionable influencers while giving them the opportunity to “McCafé their day” through a consumer contest and ongoing engagement online.

McDonald’s and GH garnered nearly 650 million media impressions in top tier media outlets, contributing to the successful and significant McCafé brand launch.

Merit: “The Official Wine of Award Season” by Little Black Dress Wines and Henson Consulting, Inc.

Merit: “Hebrew National Shares Quality Time with Moms” by ConAgra Foods and Ketchum

Marketing Consumer Products –Packaged goods

Skyline: “Friskies’ First Feline Focus Group” by Friskies and Ketchum

As the number one cat food in America, Friskies® builds passion by offering unique sensory experiences for cats. To engage consumers in a deeper understanding of the brand, Friskies created the “Feed the Senses” campaign. Ketchum was challenged to bring this idea to life by convincing cat owners that not only does Friskies feed their cats’ senses but also can unlock the “magic of their world.”

Our program was born by asking a simple question—“What do cats do when you’re not at home?” Fifty cats were selected as Friskies’ first-ever “repurrters.” To capture their cat’s unique perspectives, cats wore a cat cam for one week. The pictures were analyzed by an animal behaviorist and released in the “Scratchington Post”. Our program helped Friskies deliver on its promise by actually giving cat owners the ability to see through their cat’s eyes and drove media coverage that beat expectations with more than 327 million impressions, hundreds of thousands of online brand touch points, and grateful cat owners nationwide.

Merit: “Breyers Smooth & Dreamy Webisodes” by Unilever and GolinHarris

Marketing Consumer Products Non-packaged goods

Skyline: “Go Green for Better Health” Campaign Launch by Western Pistachio Association and Henson Consulting, Inc.

The Western Pistachio Association (WPA), the largest voluntary group representing the U.S. pistachio industry, retained Henson Consulting, Inc. (HC) in September 2009 to create a national consumer nutrition education and awareness campaign surrounding the health benefits of snacking on and cooking with U.S. grown pistachios. The result was the creation of “The Green Nut”, a rebranding initiative for the pistachio industry that featured a variety of public relations and marketing components including the development of a new consumer-focused Web site, TheGreenNut.org, interactive social media campaign and the establishment of several partnerships with nationally recognized health and nutrition experts and publications. The media took note with HC securing more than 180 million media impressions to date in outlets such as “The Today Show,” Prevention, “Dr. Oz,” “The Doctors,” US Weekly and OK! Magazine.3

Marketing Consumer Products – Other

Skyline: “AirTran Airways Rolls Out Wi-Fi” by AirTran Airways and Cramer-Krasselt PR

By the end of 2008, airline after airline announced that they were equipping their planes with in-flight Wi-Fi access. Although low-cost carrier AirTran Airways was also planning to offer in-flight Wi-Fi, the airline needed to find a way to build excitement and cut through the clutter of the other airlines’ announcements to elevate its Wi-Fi offering in the minds of consumers. C-K came back with a fully integrated marketing and PR campaign that not only maximized media opportunities and consumers’ ability to engage with the brand but also increased AirTran’s online presence, a space where they had minimum exposure previously.

Marketing Consumer Services – Health Care

Skyline: “Arming America for Seasonal Flu” by Walgreen and Ketchum

As the 2009/2010 flu season kicked off this past fall, widespread concern regarding the H1N1 flu pandemic dominated the news. The heavy media focus on H1N1 threatened to undermine awareness about the importance of seasonal flu prevention – a separate, but serious virus that causes an average of 36,000 deaths annually. Walgreens enlisted Ketchum to help support the largest seasonal flu prevention campaign in the company’s history. The goal: educate the public, especially moms, about the importance of getting vaccinated for the seasonal flu with one key message: “Arm Yourself for the Ones You Love.” Walgreens set a goal to administer 5 million seasonal flu shots, starting Sept. 1.

Marketing Consumer Services – Other

Skyline: “Underwriters Laboratories Gives the Gift of Safety” by Underwriters Laboratories and GolinHarris

Last holiday season, research showed consumers were saving money on their holiday gift purchases by shopping at supercenters and dollar stores, which often carry products that can potentially pose safety hazards. As such, GolinHarris and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) worked together to position UL as the holiday safety expert and encourage the safety-devoted mom to purchase products bearing the UL Mark.

“UL Gives the Gift of Safety” captured the attention of holiday consumers – namely moms – through a multi-faceted, high-impact media campaign using creative holiday story angles and multi-media content for time-starved reporters. The campaign generated 277.1 million impressions through 1,084 placements, including broadcast segments, radio interviews, print and online articles, and blog placements.

UL achieved its highest share of media coverage the week of Nov. 23, 2009, with a syndicated AP story placement and SMT/RMT featuring John Drengenberg. During this timeframe, traffic to www.UL.com/consumers peaked, showing that PR activities were driving consumers to UL for safety information. And, most importantly, in pre- and post-holiday surveys of 1,300 moms, UL determined brand awareness increased 6 percent.

Public Affairs

Skyline: “DePaul University MAP Campaign” by DePaul University

For more than a century, DePaul University’s mission has been to provide a high-quality education to promising students regardless of their backgrounds or economic means. In October 2009, DePaul’s ability to achieve this mission was in peril. Facing a budget deficit, the Illinois General Assembly planned to cut in half funding for the Monetary Award Program, the state’s college scholarship program for low-income students. About 4,600 DePaul students—25 percent of undergraduates—would lose $10 million in MAP scholarships if the decision were not reversed. Statewide, 138,000 students were destined to lose $200 million in grants. Steadfast to its mission, DePaul took action. Working with a coalition representing public, private and community college students, DePaul launched an integrated communication and advocacy campaign that helped persuade the General Assembly to pass the bill that restored MAP funding for the full year. The campaign galvanized the DePaul community, supported the efforts of higher education associations working to save MAP and attracted significant media coverage that positioned DePaul as an advocate for students. The effort culminated in an Oct. 18 press conference where Ill. Gov. Patrick Quinn signed the bill that restored MAP funding surrounded by DePaul’s president, students and mascot.

Reputation Management – Businesses

Skyline: “Yellow Buses Go Green: The Search for America’s Greenest School” by IC Bus and Ketchum

Research shows that while students and parents want to find ways to be more environmentally responsible, many times they did not consider the school setting as a place where they can be green. The “America’s Greenest School” campaign from IC Bus educated students, parents and teachers about the benefits of riding the school bus – one of the easiest ways to be environmentally friendly. It also provided key information for others ways students can be more eco-friendly at school. Nearly 2,000 students entered the contest, with one winner winning a scholarship and a hybrid school bus for the school.

Reputation Management – Government, Associations and Non-profits

Skyline: “Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertisement Review” by Kellogg School of Management and MS&L Group

In 2004, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management began working with the MS&LGroup to increase its visibility as one of the country’s top-tier business schools among alumni, potential students, donors and the media. In 2005, MS&LGroup and the Kellogg School of Management developed an innovative approach: the Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review — the first academic analysis of Super Bowl ads. The challenge in 2009 was to refresh the Review to maintain its relevance and resonance in a vastly changed media environment. The result? Super! In just 30 days, the Review generated the most media coverage in the history of the program: over 600 earned media placements in international, national and local top-tier media outlets and more than 795 million impressions — more than double 2008’s results. As a result of the program, Professor Tim Calkins was one of the most-quoted Kellogg School professors and the most quoted marketing professor in top-tier media outlets in 2009. In addition, the Review contributed significantly to the Kellogg School retaining the number three position in overall earned media presence among top-tier business schools.

Social/New Media – Businesses

Skyline & Best of Skyline: “What Would You Do for a Klondike Bar…Now?” by Unilever and GolinHarris

Merit: “Now You’re Tweeting: Pizza Hut’s Search for a Twintern” by Pizza Hut and Zeno Group

Merit: “KILZ Cleans Up the Social Media Space” by MasterChem Industries, Inc. and Cramer-Krasselt PR

Social/New Media – Government, Associations and Non-profits

Skyline: “Your Choice to Empoyer” by the Allstate Foundation and Fleishman-Hillard

Domestic violence affects millions of Americans. One in four women have experienced domestic violence directly, and more than half of all Americans (56 percent) have at least one friend, relative or co-worker whom they know has been involved in domestic violence. The Allstate Foundation (TAF) helps domestic violence survivors pursue long-term financial security and achieve educational and professional goals. To raise awareness for this initiative, “Your Choice to Empower,” was created and allowed four organizations to compete for a portion of a $130,000 grant from TAF.

To raise awareness for TAF’s “Your Choice to Empower Campaign” and its role in supporting domestic violence survivors, Fleishman-Hillard helped launch a campaign to educate target audiences and consumers about TAF’s dedication to empowering survivors, as well as each partnership charities’ commitment to financial empowerment. The campaign encouraged the online community to support their favorite charity by voting daily for Charity Cars, Family Justice Center Alliance, Safe Horizon or the YWCA USA on ClicktoEmpower.org or Facebook. In two short months the campaign garnered more than 300,000 votes and generated six million impressions using only word of mouth and social media outreach.

CSR/Cause-Related Communications

Skyline: “Save Lives, It’s in Your Blood: Twilight New Moon Blood Drive” by LifeSource and Henson Consulting, Inc.

Maintaining an adequate and consistent blood supply is one of the largest challenges for any blood bank, including LifeSource-Chicagoland’s Blood Center.

LifeSource engaged Henson Consulting (HC) in August 2009 to help create and execute a unique campaign to increase blood donations and build awareness about the importance of donating blood. The primary focus of the campaign was to specifically increase LifeSource donations in the months when the blood bank experiences a decline in donations (October, January, June and July).

HC completed a detailed analysis of the media coverage and potential media coverage of various pop culture events happening in those timeframes that could be naturally leveraged for the campaign and began to explore partnership and creative campaign possibilities.

This exercise resulted in the recommendation to focus efforts on capitalizing on the hot vampire trend and one of the most anticipated pop culture events of Fall 2009 – the release of the movie “Twilight: New Moon.”

HC planned and promoted the “Twilight: New Moon” blood drive which in addition to being the largest blood drive ever completed by LifeSource in the organizations history, received rave reviews in qualitative survey responses from virtually all donors and was covered by all major local media.


Media Materials

Skyline: “Electrolux Reinvents the Magic Wand” by Electrolux and L.C. Williams & Associates

Using a “teaser” mailing to generate buzz, LCWA strategically released Electrolux Versatility information in waves to maximize media interest and generate placements. The strategic focus on the “Quick-Release Handle,” a single, unique and hard- working feature of Versatility resulted in year-long interest in this innovative and useful product. The “teaser” campaign worked well – as evidenced by several editors, calling to inquire about the newest Electrolux product before final materials were distributed. PR played an integral role in communicating the benefits and value of Versatility, ultimately leading to an expansion at retail and positive feedback from Electrolux.

Merit: “New Challenges, New Solutions Illinois Annual Report 2009” by the Nature Conservancy in Illinois and Marketing Resource Center – Central


Skyline: “Oy! Chicago” by Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago

Oy!Chicago is a stand-alone website targeted to unaffiliated young Jewish adults. With blog posts, personal lifestyle essays, an events calendar, profiles of notable younger Jews, and other features, Oy!Chicago seeks to recruit new donors from the target group and bring them into the JUF fold with a soft landing by engaging them in conversation. Oy!Chicago was launched in 2008 and promoted exclusively through viral marketing, and yielded 19,500 unique visitors in its first nine months.

To build on this success and spark more conversation, in 2009 JUF re-tooled and re-designed the site to be more interactive. JUF engaged a dozen additional bloggers and committed to a new posting every weekday—along with more videos, “fun” polls and other features. The bloggers alsobegan tweeting in earnest. In its first 15 months, more than 32,000 unique visitors visited the re-invented Oy!Chicago. This is significant not only because it’s a 50% increase over the previous year, but because there are only 261,000 Jews of all ages in the Chicago area. Oy!Chicago traffic currently tops 4,000 per month. Nearly 800 individuals have joined the Oy!Chicago Facebook group, nearly 500 follow Oy!Chicago on Twitter and approximately 200 subscribe to weekly e-updates.


Skyline: “Inside Navistar Employee Newsletter” by Navistar

At a time when many companies are re-evaluating print publications, delivering Inside Navistar to readers’ homes on a bi-monthly basis allows Navistar to reach a diverse employee population, a third of which does not have access to a computer while on the job.

Inside Navistar not only informs more than 15,000 Navistar employees on four continents, but also raises each reader’s level of engagement. To accomplish this, the publication strives to achieve four goals—grab and hold reader attention, educate and connect with employees.

One Response to 2010 Skyline Award Winners
  1. How long did it require you to publish “2010 Skyline Award Winners | PRSA Chicago”?
    It provides quite a bit of great info. Thank you -Pete

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