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VOL. 127 | NO. 75 | Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Vox Awards Honor City’s Best Storytellers

By Sarah Baker

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When Holden Potter, president of the Memphis Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, was tasked with coming up with this year’s Vox Awards theme, he challenged the planning team to dwell on the realm of public relations and what professionals in the industry truly do for a living.

“We talked about a lot of things, but I think the thing that we ended up with is the fact that you all as public relations professionals are the storytellers for your companies, your nonprofits, your corporations,” Potter said Friday, April 13, at the University Club of Memphis. “And that’s very, very important.”

Potter said all of a sudden, it seems that “storytelling” has become the big buzzword out there. But PR professionals were talking about it long before that.

“If you will stop and think for a moment, you are both the storyteller for your company that is part of a larger story of Memphis and the Mid-South,” Potter said. “So combined, the professionals in PRSA will tell the story of our community. And I think that’s something that we need to remember always in the back of your mind as you struggle with a deadline or struggle with a piece of copy or whatever it is you’re doing. We are a part of the larger fabric of the Mid-South and you are the storyteller for your portion of that fabric.”

The theme of storytelling was spread throughout the event, from crafted book centerpieces to the pair of emcee “storytellers” – Ned Canty, general director of Opera Memphis, and Kontji Anthony, reporter and weekend anchor for WMC-TV 5.

This year’s judges were from the New Orleans Chapter of the PRSA of Louisiana.

Awards were presented in five big categories and related sub-categories. Canty and Anthony recognized all winners of the Vox Award and Gold Certificate for their work on campaigns, electronic and online tactics, print tactics, special events and writing.

The highest honor of the night, the 2012 Vox Grandis, was awarded to Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp. for its “Play it Down” public service campaign.

Other finalists for the Vox Grandis were Obsidian Public Relation for Humane Society Media Campaign, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital for Conjoined Twins Media Campaign, Running Pony Productions for the Greater Memphis Chamber Annual Chairman’s Luncheon Script, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital for “Delivering a Promise,” U.S. Navy Office of Community Outreach for “Bringing America’s Navy Home,” Harrison Edwards PR and Marketing for Clarion Security Media, and Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital for “Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital Patient Move.”

For the campaigns category, in Community Relations, the Vox went to the Navy Office of Community Outreach for “Bringing America’s Navy Home.”

In Public Service, the Vox went to Baptist Memorial Health Care for “Play it Down.”

In Marketing/Communications/Promotions-Services, a Vox was presented to Jessica Hord, Crystel Hardin and Lauren Hannaford from Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis for Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

In Integrated Communications, Baptist Memorial Health Care scored a Vox for “Heart Transplant Campaign,” and Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital picked up a Vox for “Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital Patient Move.”

In Media Relations-single project, the Vox was awarded to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital for “Spates Twin Move.”

For Media Relations-Ongoing Project, the Vox went to Obsidian Public Relations for Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County.

In the Electronic and Online Tactics category in Internal Video Presentation, Running Pony Productions and Youth Villages picked up a Vox for Youth Villages Our Family Campaign. In the Viral Video category, a Vox went to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital for “Le Bonheur State of Mind.”

Meanwhile, Crosby-Volmer International Communications was awarded a Vox for Home2Suite “News from the Oasis.” And in both Special Events and in Video Script, Running Pony Productions and the Greater Memphis Chamber picked up a Vox for the Greater Memphis Chamber’s Annual Chairman’s Luncheon.

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