PRSA SE WI Announces 2022 Public Relations Paragon Awards

MILWAUKEE (May 27, 2022) — The best public relations programs and tactics implemented in 2021 were honored by the Public Relations Society of America’s Southeastern Wisconsin chapter at its annual Paragon Awards.

In all, 17 awards were presented for PR programs and tactics to local agencies, corporations and nonprofits that exhibit industry best standards in research, strategic planning and results-driven execution that made an impact. The Wisconsin Dental Association received the Best in Show distinction by securing the highest score and this year we have a tie:

  • Wisconsin Dental Association’s The Drill E-Newsletter
  • We’ve Got your Back. Always. Wisconsin Dental Association 2021 Membership Campaign

Jodie Tabak, assistant director of reputation management at Northwestern Mutual, was honored as the 2022 Communicator of the Year. This award is given to someone who effectively uses public relations and/or communications skills in the performance of their responsibilities. Jodie provides strategic communications counsel and assists with issues triage, contingency planning, company positioning and media relations. Prior to her role at Northwestern Mutual, she served as Mayor Barrett’s chief of staff where she led the 12-person Mayor’s Office and provided guidance and director to the Mayor’s Cabinet of 23 members. She was Milwaukee’s first female chief of staff.

Carl Mueller, founder and chairman of Mueller Communications, was honored with the 2022 Dorothy Thomas Black Award. The award recognizes sustained superior performance in public relations and is the PRSA chapter’s highest honor. Carl has worked for more than 30 years as a journalist, marketing, public relations, media and governmental affairs executive. In addition to managing client projects and the work of the firm’s talented professionals, Carl has served as a manager and advisor to a Wisconsin Governor, several university presidents, a Wisconsin Congressman and chief of staff to the Mayor of Milwaukee.

Public relations programs/tactics recognizing Awards of Excellence (receiving scores 45 or higher out of 50):

  • Fromm Petfest (integrated communications) – Punch Public Relations
  • Beyond Van Gogh (media relations) – Kane Communications Group
  • Wahl ‘Most Talented Beard in America’ Contest (integrated communications) – Hoffman York
  • Hot Dog! Vienna Beef Aids Pandemic Relief with Beefy Challenge (marketing consumer products/services) – Laughlin Constable
  • East-West BRT Groundbreaking (events and observances) – Milwaukee County Transit System
  • Kane Insights Report (integrated communications) – Kane Communications Group

Public relations programs/tactics recognizing Awards of Distinction (receiving scores 40-45 out of 50):

  • UScellular Celebrates the Return of Entertainment (events and observances) – Laughlin Constable
  • Maytag – Bill Rancic Webinar (online communications) – Nelson Schmidt Inc.
  • WDA’s 151st Anniversary Celebration Event (events and observances) – Wisconsin Dental Association
  • WAHL Influencer (influencer marketing to expand awareness) – Hoffman York
  • Panduit Data Center Campaign (content marketing) – Nelson Schmidt Inc.
  • TIKI Brand Media Relations Program (media relations) – Cramer-Krasselt
  • Maytag: The Replacement Brand (content marketing) – Nelson Schmidt Inc.

“We are elated to gather and celebrate the amazing work being done in our southeastern Wisconsin community,” said Christine Dunbeck, PRSA Paragon Awards chair. “Despite another challenging year for communicators, our entries were innovative and forward-thinking while delivering incredible results”

Entries were judged by members of the Central California PRSA chapter on a scale of zero to 50 points based on research to guide the program or tactic; clear objectives and target audiences; comprehensive planning and budgeting; creativity and execution; and evaluation against the stated objectives. Entries garnering scores of 40-44.5 points received an Award of Distinction. Those entries with scores of 45-50 received an Award of Excellence. The PR program with the highest score earned the Best of Show award, this year the score was tied with two Wisconsin Dental Association entries.

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