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Minnesota PRSA Honors 2020 Achievements in Communication and Public Relations

Published on 4/30/2021

Media Contact: Ayme Zemke



Minnesota PRSA Honors 2020 Achievements in Communication and Public Relations

Carmichael Lynch Relate takes home Best of Show at annual Classics Awards;

32 other award winners formally recognized 


MINNEAPOLIS (April 30, 2021) – The Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (Minnesota PRSA) celebrated the 43rd Annual Classics Awards virtually on April 29. The Classics Awards are presented to public relations professionals who have successfully addressed a communication challenge with exemplary skill and creativity as determined by their peers.   


“Although we missed seeing our colleagues in person, I’m so happy to celebrate the many achievements of our members during an especially challenging year,” said Jennifer Bagdade, APR, president, Minnesota PRSA. “I’m incredibly proud of the exceptional work from our professional community and am delighted to recognize and honor those accomplishments and successes.”


The virtual ceremony was hosted by Brandi Powell, news anchor and reporter at KSTP-TV and Duchesne Drew, president of Minnesota Public Radio. A total of 32 awards were handed out, honoring professional achievements from 2020, including 28 awards recognizing outstanding communication programs and tactical elements, two recognizing outstanding community and industry contributions, and two student scholarships.


Best of Show Award

Carmichael Lynch Relate took home this year’s Best of Show for Formica Corporation Inspires the Next Generation of Designers with the highest overall score. Carmichael Lynch Relate is a full-service marketing communications firm based in Minneapolis. The agency focuses on engaging communities and building powerful relationships that produce business results for their clients.


Donald G. Padilla Community Excellence Award

Minnesota PRSA recognized Eva Keiser, APR, principal at The Plural I, with the Donald G. Padilla Award. This award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the profession of public relations, has contributed to the mission of PRSA and has volunteered their time and talents toward making our community better. Keiser, a former Minnesota PRSA chapter president, was nominated for her leadership, tireless community contributions and enduring commitment to continually improving the industry. Along with the award, Minnesota PRSA and Padilla each contribute $500 to a charitable organization of the recipient’s choice. Keiser selected Women's Prison Book Project to receive this contribution.

Rising Star Award

Tori Norris, of NetSPI, received this year’s Rising Star Award. This award recognizes the passion of the next generation of PR leaders by honoring a young professional with three to seven years of post-undergrad experience. Norris was nominated for her commitment to client service, professional contributions and constant support of her colleagues.


Dr. Willard Thompson Scholarship

Grace Douglas, a student at Augustana University, received a $2,000 scholarship through the Dr. Willard Thompson Scholarship program. Morgan Prokosch, a student at Saint Mary’s, was granted a $1,000 scholarship.


Following is a complete list of Minnesota PRSA Classics Award winners for 2020.


Program Awards (honors the best overall PR campaigns)

Community Relations: Statewide Volunteer Mask-Making Initiative: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota


Virtual Events – Budget Greater Than $5,000: St. Paul to Djibouti; Serving Our Troops Virtual Steak Dinner: SnowGlobe Public Relations


Virtual Events – Budget Less Than $5,000: The Great Minnesota Outdoor Get Together (Virtual State Fair): Minnesota Department of Natural Resources


Public Services: COVID-19 isn’t taking a holiday: Carmichael Lynch Relate


Marketing Products – B2B: Sounds Like Magic, Works Like Science – Launching SOURCE: Padilla


Marketing Products – Consumer: America Runs on Post Dunkin’ Cereals: Carmichael Lynch Relate


Reputation/Brand Management and Institutional Programs: Formica Corporation Inspires the Next Generation of Designers: Carmichael Lynch Relate


Internal Communications: The American Academy of Neurology: a brainy internal comms program: American Academy of Neurology


Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Shedding Light on Health Disparities in Minnesota: Padilla


Integrated Programs – B2B Products: The Mosaic Company connects Crop Nutrition to the human side of farming: broadhead


Integrated Programs – Consumer Products & Services: SOS! Moms Need a Break…Fast: Carmichael Lynch Relate


Integrated Programs – Government/Non-Profit: Meth. We’re On It: Uniting South Dakota Communities Against Meth Use: broadhead 


Elements Awards (recognizes outstanding individual tactics)

Special Purpose Publications: Success Through Partnership; MDVA Annual Report: SnowGlobe Public Relations


Social Content Series: Minneapolis: We Need Us!: Carmichael Lynch Relate


Social Media Promotion: Introducing Modern Formica to Homeowners with Yellow Brick Home: Carmichael Lynch Relate


Creative PR Tactics: PEBBLES™ Cereal Inspires Creativity with “Daily Yabba Dabba DOO!” Video: Carmichael Lynch Relate


Content Marketing: Shining a Spotlight on Industrial Cybersecurity: Rockwell Automation with Padilla: Padilla


Multimedia: Spreading Hope and Butter With The Help of Farmers: Exponent PR


Influencer Engagement to Expand Awareness: America Runs on Post Dunkin’ Cereals: Carmichael Lynch Relate


Newsletters: Working Together with Purpose: Exponent PR


Media Relations – Budget Greater Than $20,000: America Runs on Post Dunkin’ Cereals: Carmichael Lynch Relate


Media Relations – Budget Less Than $20,000: COVID-19 isn’t taking a holiday: Carmichael Lynch Relate


Feature, Speech and Public Relations Writing: A Healthy Exchange of Ideas About Pet Nutrition: Exponent PR


Digital Execution: Arms the Cattle Industry in its Fight to Eradicate a Growing Threat: broadhead


Brand Research and Insights: Understanding Recycling and Composting in the City of Northfield: Neuger


Student Classics Winners

News/Feature Writing: GEER Grant Offers Support and Opportunities for Students: McKenna Fury at Mankato State University


PR Campaigns: Branching Out With Our Growth Project: Anna Rose at Augustana University


Personal Branding/Portfolio: Professional Portfolio: Amber Chrischilles at Minnesota State University


Digital Projects: SDWearsMasks: Arden Koenecke at Augustana University


About Minnesota PRSA


Minnesota PRSA is a thriving professional organization whose mission is to build relationships and opportunities among a diverse community of professionals committed to effective, ethical and strategic outcomes. Minnesota PRSA has been an active part of Minnesota’s communication scene since 1953 and its membership comprises 250 corporate, agency, independent, non-profit and government public relations professionals from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Western Wisconsin.