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Minnesota PRSA Celebrates Breakthrough Creativity and Innovation at 2014 Classics Awards

Friday, April 10, 2015   (0 Comments)
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The 37th annual Minnesota Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Classics Awards, held last night at the Nicolette Island Pavilion in Minneapolis, celebrated breakthrough creativity and innovative thinking in the public relations industry throughout 2014. Top campaigns featured unprecedented ingenuity by driving engagement among diverse audiences through digital, content marketing, influencer outreach, experiential events and much more.


The annual Classics Awards Banquet brings together public relations practitioners across Minnesota for a night of celebration to honor award-winning work. More than 30 awards were presented to agencies, corporations, nonprofit organizations, and associations for exemplary work over the past year. Receiving 2014 Classics Best of Show award was Exponent PR and Land O’Lakes for its Pinterest campaign called, “Pin a Meal. Give a Meal.” Among the six industry campaign of the year awards were programs in consumer technology, retail, nonprofit, tourism and agriculture. 


“One of our missions as Minnesota PRSA members is to enhance professional knowledge, standards and ethics in the public relations industry,” said Joel Swanson, APR, president of Minnesota PRSA. “ The annual Classics Awards are an opportunity to come together to share remarkable public relations work and programs with our peers. The programs we honored tonight demonstrate best-in-class work in our industry and exemplify the high standard of service that we strive for each and every day.”


“Each of the programs and work honored at last night’s event has made significant impact in their own right – from programs that sought to fight hunger or drive change, to programs that generated outstanding business results and top-of-mind awareness, to work that inspired healthy lifestyles or education,” Swanson added.


Donald G. Padilla Distinguished Practitioner Award

In addition to celebrating the best public relations campaigns, Minnesota PRSA honored Sara Gavin, president of Weber Shandwick North America, with the Donald G. Padilla Distinguished Practitioner Award. The award is presented to an outstanding individual who has made selfless contributions to the public relations industry and demonstrated exceptional professional achievement. Gavin received the award for her dedication to public relations during her 30-year career and her volunteer work with local community boards, such as Securian Corporation and Teach for America.


Young Professional Award

Maggie LaMaack, account executive at Bellmont Partners, received the Minnesota PRSA 2014 Young Professional of the Year Award. The award recognizes a Minnesota PRSA rising star who has contributed to the organization, industry and community. LaMaack demonstrates her innovative communications with a hybrid career in public relations, freelance writing, editing and social media.


Student Classics Awards

Minnesota PRSA also honored two Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) students for their exceptional work. Stephanie Mann from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities won the Student Classics Award for digital and social media, and Ashley Elizabeth Perron from St. Cloud State University won the award for public relations planning.


2014 Best in Show Award

Land O’Lakes and Exponent PR received the Best in Show award for the cause-marketing campaign, “Pin a Meal. Give a Meal. Land O’Lakes Inspires Virtual Giving Movement.” From March to May 2014, Land O’Lakes donated $1 to Feeding America for every recipe pinned or repined from the Land O’Lakes Pinterest board or from a board of the user’s choosing. Each dollar donated to Feeding America secured 10 meals for low-income individuals and families. The organizations engaged a younger generation of consumers by leveraging the power of Pinterest to help Land O’Lakes reach its goal of 2.7 million meals donated.


About Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards

Since 1978, the Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards have recognized hundreds of organizations for excellence in public relations. The Classics are presented annually to public relations practitioners who, in the judgment of their peers, have successfully addressed a communications challenge with exemplary professional skill, creativity and resourcefulness. The Classics Awards are divided into two categories: Elements and Programs. Elements Awards recognize outstanding individual components or tactics while Programs awards honor the best overall public relations campaigns. The highest scoring entries in the Programs Awards category are eligible for the top honor of the evening – Best in Show.


Link to a complete listing of the 37th Classics Awards winners.


Minnesota PRSA 1660 Highway 100 South, Suite 500-309 Minneapolis MN 55416 Phone: 952-237-9258 Email:

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