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Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards Honors Top PR Achievements of 2011

Friday, March 30, 2012   (0 Comments)
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The Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) celebrated the best public relations campaigns of 2011 during the 34th annual Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards, held last night at Windows on Minnesota in downtown Minneapolis. The awards banquet, emceed by KARE 11 reporter Jana Shortal and Joel Swanson, president of Risdall Public Relations, was attended by more than 250 public relations and communications professionals from area agencies, corporations and nonprofit organizations, as well as independent practitioners.

“The Minnesota PRSA Classics Awards recognize the best of the best in the field of public relations here in Minnesota,” said Brant Skogrand, APR, president of Minnesota PRSA. “We have an extremely talented community of local professionals who exemplify the quality of the profession. This year our winners stand out for their creative strategic planning and professionalism.”

The Classics Awards are divided into two categories: Elements and Programs. Elements Awards honor the best program tactics, while Programs Awards honor the best overall public relations campaigns. The highest scoring entries in the Programs Awards category were eligible for the top honor of the evening – Best of Show.

This year’s Best of Show award was presented to Caribou Coffee and Exponent PR for “Caribou Coffee Plants Hope with Amy’s Garden.” Caribou Coffee, the nation’s second-largest premium coffeehouse, has a very personal connection to breast cancer. Amy Erickson, one of Caribou’s original roastmasters, lost her battle with breast cancer in 1995. In her honor, Caribou created Amy’s Blend and brings it back every October to help raise money for a cure. To offset “pinkwashing,” Exponent PR leveraged Caribou’s personal connection to breast cancer and executed a comprehensive, events-led, cause-related program to help find a cure. In 2011, Caribou presented Susan G. Komen with the single largest company donation in Caribou Coffee’s history.

Donald G. Padilla Distinguished Practitioner Award

At the awards ceremony, the organization also honored David Kostik, APR, president of Kostik Associates Inc., with the Donald G. Padilla Distinguished Practitioner Award.

Kostik founded Kostik Associates Inc. in 2007, and provides public relations, fundraising and strategic planning counsel to a variety of corporate and nonprofit organizations. Much of Kostik’s work supports organizations committed to ending homelessness in the Twin Cities by increasing the availability of affordable housing and providing people who are experiencing homelessness with pathways to self-sufficiency.

Prior to launching his firm, Kostik held key public relations positions in a number of organizations including service with the Crosier Fathers and Brothers, Minnegasco (now CenterPoint Energy), Northern States Power Company (now Xcel Energy), Hennepin Parks (now Three Rivers Park District), and Padilla Speer Public Relations (now Padilla Speer Beardsley). Kostik began his career in public relations during his service with the U.S. Army from 1970 to 1972.

Kostik has been a member of of PRSA (and the Minnesota Chapter of PRSA) since 1975, and he earned his Accreditation in Public Relations in 1986. He just completed a three-year term of service as Board Ethics Officer for Minnesota PRSA. He also served on the board of the Minnesota Chapter from 1988-1992, including his role as chapter president in 1991. He is a co-coordinator of a network of past presidents of Minnesota PRSA.

Young Professional Award

In addition to honoring the top public relations campaigns and seasoned industry professionals, Marnie Anderson of Padilla Speer Beardsley was honored with the Minnesota PRSA Young Professional Award. In her work as an account executive at the firm, she serves as a core team member on two large agricultural accounts. Also, Anderson’s work organizing and staging the inaugural Minnesota PRSA John Beardsley Lecture in 2011 showcased her ability to lead a cohesive community of talented professionals. Anderson is the first winner of this new award, which will be given annually to a young professional from the chapter who has made an extraordinary contribution to their organization and also to the public relations community and profession as a whole through their work and service.


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

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