PR firms take PRide in awards: Full list of winners and finalists

October 24, 2011

Bristol communications agency Brandon Hill has been named Outstanding Public Relations Consultancy of the Year at the West of England PRide Awards.

The agency, launched by former Strategy PR boss Ian Muir five years ago, beat a strong field to collect gold in the hotly-contested category. The award crowned a successful evening for Brandon Hill – it also won three silver awards.

Brandon Hill’s success echoed that of two years ago when it won the Outstanding Public Relations Consultancy accolade in the awards, staged by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations

Silver in the Outstanding Public Relations Consultancy category went to Montpelier-based PamLloyd Fresh Produce Marketing & PR, which also collected the top awards for Integrated Communications and External Newspaper or Magazine.

The Outstanding In-house PR Team award was won by Oldbury Power Station, which also notched up a second gold in the Crisis Communications category, while Brouha Marketing, based at Siston, near Bristol, collected the award for Outstanding Small Consultancy – the same award it won two years ago.

Dani Marlborough of Bristol-based Spirit won Outstanding Young Communicator.

Bristol Business News and its sister website Bath Business News and Swindon Business News were online media partners for the awards, the only ones of their kind to showcase the best PR work in the region.

The winners were announced at a sell-out black-tie dinner attended by 222 guests at the Bristol Hotel last Friday evening.

More than 1,000 entries from PR agencies and in-house PR teams from across the region went through the rigorous judging process involving a national panel of industry experts assessing the shortlisted entries and choosing the winners.

CIPR West of England Committee Sarah Pinch chair said: “It was great to see real examples of how communications and public relations can contribute to an organisation’s success. As we see budgets tighten and companies put under more pressure than ever to save costs, the CIPR West of England PRide Awards showed how our industry can support organisations through difficult times and produce great results. 

“The event was a huge success, attended by more than 220 of the region’s leading communications professionals from right across the West of England.  The variety of winners bears testament to the different ways in which communications can contribute to the overall success of organisations and businesses; it made me very proud to serve the region as chair.”

The event raised more than £550 for the Pancreatic Cancer charity.

Full list of winners and judges’ comments:

Corporate and Business Communications

Gold: Target Public Relations. The Magnetic Force of PR

Target PR was asked to reinforce ADEY's position as the number one manufacturer of magnetic filtration products in the UK central heating sector, as well as to help increase sales of the MagnaClean product range. This winning entry scored top marks across the board. The judges were particularly impressed with the succinct layout and the attention to detail on how it achieved measureable return on investment for the client. The client set some very tough objectives for this campaign but Target delivered and more on all fronts.

Silver: Brandon Hill Communications. Growing Business – the Big Conversation

This campaign for Business Link and Solutions for Business aimed at raising awareness for three important new programmes. Brandon Hill created a branded campaign "Growing Business – the Big Conversation" and used this to target the local business community by using different media communications channels. Each campaign objective had a clear strategy and underlying tactics and delivered excellent results in a highly cost effective way.


Brouha Marketing. Soaring Sales in a Declining Market

Coco PR. Wines of Lebanon

Grayling Media relations for Frazer-Nash Consultancy

JBP PR & Parliamentary Affairs. Sustaining a Healthy Bottom Line in Times of Austerity


Gold: Spirit Public Relations and The Grand Appeal.  Cots for Tots

The Cots for Tots campaign was created to raise £1 million to expand the neonatal intensive care unit at The Bristol Royal Hospital for Children. This campaign demonstrated how effective branding and a clear strategy can help achieve results in what is a highly sensitive and emotionally raw area for the people involved. Spirit PR used their talent to mobilise and gain support from the local community, including the Bristol Evening Post who subsequently delivered award-winning coverage.

Silver: Churton Inge Associates with Somerset Community Foundation. Surviving Winter Appeal

This campaign had two clear objectives: to raise the profile of Somerset Community Foundation as a charity and to raise £30,000 for its 'surviving winter' campaign. Churton Inge went back to basics and focused on the traditional media channels to engage the support of its target audience, the over 60s. The judges were particularly impressed with how the consultancy helped with communications at all levels, from engaging with editors to celebrities, MPs and the charity's existing supporters.


Camargue. Cut the Carbon

Renegade Media. Please ReTweet Me

Internal Communications

Gold: Synergy Creative. Magnificent Seven

Bracknell Forest Homes wanted to educate and motivate its employees about a new vision, business plan and set of values. Very clear objectives were set for this campaign, which were to develop a strong creative theme, to educate employees and to create excitement, interest and pride. What the judges particularly liked about this entry was how Synergy Creative carried out pre-project research amongst their client's employees to better understand which communication channels would be most effective. A strong creative theme was then developed – the Magnificent Seven, a simple but highly effective campaign based around the number seven. The campaign has not only achieved its objectives but it has proven to be a useful tool for recruiting new staff.

Crisis Communications

Gold: Oldbury Power Station, Magnox. Turning a nuclear crisis into an electric opportunity

A local activist group used the incident at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan in March 2011 to gain media coverage of their campaign. The communications team was asked to counter inaccurate or negative publicity, whilst maintaining the reputation of the site and the company. Using a series of tactics that involved experts from the nucler industry, they proactively worked at turning the 'crisis' into an opportunity for the site to engage directly with the activist group and the community over why Fukushima couldn't happen here. The judges were particularly impressed with the outcomes and the resulting positive publicity achieved.

Silver: Cornwall Council. Flooding in Cornwall

When heavy rain fell in Cornwall in November 2010, the council faced a major emergency management incident. As the flooding impacted on all areas of the community, the council used digital and social media to provide fast, accurate and helpful information and advice to those affected. This entry demonstrated good collaborative working between public sector partners and agencies to provide one central point for cohesive and up-to-date information.

Community Relations

Gold: 3G Communications and National Grid. Community Relations during major pipeline construction

This big budget community relations campaign was aimed at building trust with the local community and stakeholders for the construction of a 44 km gas pipeline in Gloucestershire. The campaign adopted a personal approach to communications and turned what could have been a large, negative, anti-group into a community that had increased its positive view of National Grid. This succinct entry was backed up by measureable data, pre-and-post campaign research, and supported with endorsements from a number of key stakeholders.

Silver: Flamingo. The Suit Amnesty

The Suit Amnesty was a brand new campaign devised by Flamingo Creative for the Living Room, a restaurant and bar group. The client wanted to position itself as socially responsible and to increase brand awareness amongst the business community. This simple, novel and brilliantly executed campaign presented the Living Room as a drop off point for the donation of any unwanted suits that could then be supplied to homeless and disadvantaged job seekers. The impressive results speak for themselves with good media coverage, 2,000 suits donated and 22 charities benefiting.

Finalist: Damselfly Communications: The Lakes by yoo Good Neighbours

Public Sector

Gold: Gloucestershire County Council. Meeting the Challenge

The Meeting the Challenge campaign was initiated by Gloucestershire County Council to consult and raise awareness of the financial challenges facing the council and to engage the public on what the council's priorities should be in the future.

Best Campaign £10,000 and Under

Gold: 10 Yetis PR Agency. Launch of the H2O Shower Powered Radio

The launch of the H20 shower power radio by 10 Yetis was designed to attract potential buyers and stockists and to help generate sales. This campaign was well planned and executed. There were clear KPIs on what was expected and the consultancy delivered excellent results from what was a simple, more traditional approach; utilizing one press release to secure media interviews with the radio's inventor, getting journalists to ask for trial samples and running competitions to win the radio.

Silver: KOR Communicationas. "Is this love?"

KOR Communications worked with AVDA, Devon's violence and domestic abuse partnership on a specific campaign to raise awareness of violence and abuse in teenage relationships. This well-executed project saw the agency working closely with Devon and Cornwall Police and a number of support organisations to develop and promote an animated film based on real life experiences. It delivered on all its objectives, secured a good level of media coverage to raise awareness of the problem and available support networks, and delivered a joined up campaign with the police, also producing posters to reinforce the core message.


MPAD. Greenbank Fal River Festival 2011

North Bristol NHS Trust. Hot Drinks Harm

The Vine Marketing & PR. Beyond the sea: The Vine's PR campaign for Open Studios Cornwall 2011

Consumer Relations

Gold: JBP PR. Best in Show 2011

The Bath & West Show cancelled their advertising spend in favour of PR and were tasked by JBP PR to bring a different dimension to the promotion of the Show. The aim was to maintain existing visitor numbers and reach out to a new audience, while not alienating the agricultural audience. The Bath & West Banger competition was a very creative publicity device – together with the Ladies Day promotion. Both were engaging with the public and created an online buzz. JBP PR developed good media partnerships, especially with the Daily Telegraph. A triumph for PR over advertising – this was a Consumer campaign which caught the imagination and worked extremely well.

Silver: The Splash Partnership. Cheese Couture Campaign for Pilgrim's Choice

Highly creative, fun and engaging, The Splash Partnership worked hard to deliver a consumer campaign which reached all audiences and brought home the message of Pilgrims Choice as being the main sponsor of the annual Royal Bath & West Show. Excellent execution of creative idea working with Bath Spa University to create Cheese Couture that delivered varied regional and national PR coverage, as well as online, demonstrating Pilgrims Choices' commitment to the Bath & West Show 2011.

Finalist: Polymedia. Four steps of the customer journey

Best Use of Media Relations

Gold: Geometry PR. Made in Cornwall

An exceptionally well implemented media relations campaign. The strategy was to introduce new, creative tactics, as well as develop a plan that would maximise media attention about the Protected Geographic Indication status approval for the Cornish Pasty. What stood out for the judges was the use of social media, combined with maintaining strong relationships with national and regional journalists.

Silver: Camargue. The Pledge

Carmargue's brief was to create a communications and positioning campaign that would raise awareness of The Pledge scheme in the construction industry. This encouraged organisations to sign up to fill the skills gap by associating John Rowan & Partners with the scheme, it positioned them as a good employer and an ethical business in the eyes of its peers and clients, via close alignment with the initiative. Carmargue was successful in creating trade press partners and extensive endorsements from industry bodies, newsletters and magazines in the construction sector, along with Ministerial backing and an effective social media campaign.


Inside Media. Kettler GB 'Witness the Fitness'

PamLloyd Fresh Produce Marketing & PR. British Asparagus for all!

The Vivid Consultancy. A paralympic dream – helping Mel to get wheels

Wild Card. Fifteen Cornwall turns five

Integrated Communications

Gold: PamLloyd Fresh Produce Marketing & PR. Pink Lady – 100% Sunshine in every bite

This was a highly intense integrated communications campaign which included a great deal of consumer and trade PR, advertising, online ads, a micro-site, sampling, social media and CRM. Increase of sales and awareness of the Pink Lady Apples was exceptional. This was a great example of an integrated communications campaign which delivered great results for its client.

Silver: Grayling. Bristol Style: Establishing Cabot Circus as the South West's Fashion Destination

Changing perception was key to this campaign as Cabot was seen as "expensive" and "not for me". Grayling did a turnaround integrated communications campaign which involved extensive research, PR, events, social media and advertising. What stood out for the judges was the 'Feel the Fashion Vibe' in the city – which drove home the messages needed to get more people in tune with the shopping centre. The results were impressive – footfall increased by 11% – target 6%, and sales went up to £19.6m against a target of £15m.


Brouha Marketing. Tradelink Triumphs

McCann Erickson. They're Amongst Us – LEGO Hero Factory Launch

NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly., TLC: always here

Synergy Creative, World's First Talking Freeview Digital Box, Smart Talk

Best Use of Social Media

Gold: Media Safari with BitDefender. BitDefending the Nation

The campaign theme 'BitDefending The Nation' evoked a sense of a nation under attack from cyber criminals, viruses & malware. The PR strategy included highly proactive social media relations to reach key influencers, IT security personnel and prospects. The judges thought this was a well executed, comprehensive social media campaign –structured on a technical level which secured exceptional coverage for their client and delivering a serious message.

Silver: Brandon Hill Communications. Growing Business – the Big Conversation

This campaign set out to encourage businesses in the region to engage with each other and discuss relevant and helpful topics which are integral to growth. Social media was used as the key channel to allow this conversation to happen in a real-time and in a meaningful way. The judges were impressed with the range of Campaign Outputs used – using an online Q & A Forum, as well as other social media platforms.

Finalist: McCann Erickson. BRUT – Race for Recovery

Best Use of Photography or Design

Gold: Barefoot Media. Polo on the Beach

This entry demonstrated excellent use of stunning photography – which depicted the meaning and essence of polo on the beach. Of the 53 pieces of local and national print media coverage (which included Metro, The Guardian and the Sunday Mirror), 79% of coverage (42 pieces) included photography. The event attracted a record 3,500 spectators. Judges were impressed with the campaign execution and it lived up to "a picture speaks a 1,000 words."

Silver: PamLloyd Fresh Produce Marketing & PR. Love Radish – Not just a bite on the side

With significant competition for share of voice on national, regional and online food pages, and with no new news, the Love Radish PR campaign set out to challenge the media and consumers' perceptions of what the humble radish brings to the table. It was a fresh and lively looking successful, PR campaign, which used food photography at its best with clear design.

External Newspaper or Magazine

Gold: PamLloyd Fresh Produce Marketing & PR. Pink Lady Apple News – It's all in the PLAN

Pink Lady Apple News (PLAN) was effective, eye catching and informative. It was used as a trade marketing tool aimed at stakeholders to promote the work being undertaken to develop the brand and to document its successes. The judges were impressed by the design element, use of photography and content.

Silver: Moose Partnership. Punchline Magazine

Punchline is a bi-monthly 40-48 page A5 format business-to-business magazine, written for businesses in Gloucestershire. The judges found it had an easy-to-read format, good use of photographs and a wide range of content.


Airbus in the UK Government Affairs Team. On the Radar, Airbus in the UK Parliamentary Newsletter

Brouha Marketing. The Edge

Magnox. PowerLines

Internal Newspaper or Magazine

Gold: Synergy Creative. Employee magazine Insite

Synergy Creative has been successful in creating a colourful, engaging and informative magazine. It's been very well received by the North Bristol NHS Trust's (NBT) which goes to 9,500 employees. Employee feedback includes. ""Insite looks fantastic", "I love the new magazine format, it's much", "easier to read" and "It's good to see Insite is back and it looks great". Client feedback was "We now have a magazine that helps us deliver key messages in an appealing, easy to understand way". Judges were impressed by readability of the magazine and its layout, which gave it a refreshing consumer feel.

Silver: Cornwall Council. People Matters

Judges found this to be a very thoughtful and a well put together e-zine. The content was meant for the reader, was easy to read and insightful. Reader feedback included. "Just wanted to say I loved the new People Matters, so much more enjoyable to read" and "I think this publication is very well set out and topical"


Bristol City Council. Making a Difference staff magazine

Plum Communications & PR with Merlin Housing Society. Bringing a new lease of life to internal communications with The Pulse

Best Website or Microsite

Gold: Barefoot Media. Barefoot Media website and press centre

Barefoot Media commissioned a new brand identity and website which would accurately reflect the range of services that they offer and provided tangible benefits to journalists and clients. The website is fresh and looks professional. The judges were particularly impressed with the Press Centre, and all the case studies and releases were topical, interesting and current.

Best Event

Gold: Airbus in the UK Communications Team. BAC 100 Service of Celebration

This event was a unique and poignant multi-faith service to celebrate the achievements of the aerospace industry in the West of England over the past 100 years. The judges were impressed with the engagement with the local community, key stakeholders and the media. A first class event, which was completed on time and £2k under budget.

Silver: Brandon Hill Communications. ExploreExport 2011, Bristol

Brandon Hill successfully persuaded over 200 local companies to attend the region's most important showcase for exporters – paying a significant fee. This was achieved through a highly targeted communications campaign with a good mix of media channels – a very professional event which attracted key players wishing to export.


Avon & Somerset Police Authority. The Community Policing Awards

Brouha Marketing. Edgetech German Manufacturing Facility Launch

Inside Media. Cider House Rules: Taking Cider to Westminster

Marick Communications, Magnox. Berkeley Nuclear Power Station Safestore Celebration Event

Outstanding Young Communicator

Gold: Dani Marlborough. Spirit Public Relations

The judges were not only impressed but all three felt inspired by Dani. Her attitude, understanding and passion shone through and her results, considering her time in the industry, are outstanding. She demonstrated a clear understanding, and has experience of, the full spectrum of PR, from crisis communications and partnership working to digital media and traditional media relations. Dani Marlborough is a rising star in the PR industry.


Lyanna Tsakiris MCIPR, McCann Erickson

Rachel Picken ACIPR, MPAD

Sam Lynas, Barefoot Media

Outstanding Small Consultancy

Gold: Brouha Marketing

This business delivered fantastic profits with a margin of over 50% last year. Their growth has been impressive in a tough economic climate. The judges admired the agency's determination to focus on a sector and to really specialise. The creative work has achieved great results for clients. This agency has done very well, given the impact of the recession on its client base made their performance even more special.

Silver: Inside Media

The judges were impressed by the concise entry outlining their philosophy and strong work ethic. Inside Media are a relatively new consultancy with big ambitions. Retaining national accounts has helped produce substantial growth over last three years with solid profit figure and work such as their 3minmax campaign make Inside Media a strong entry indeed.

Finalist: Flamingo

Outstanding In-House Public Relations Team

Gold: Oldbury Power Station, Magnox. Powering Communications Across Magnox

This campaign delivered great value for money. There is a very good use of new media, such as the vodcasts for employees. It is a solid piece of work which delivered its results in a creative way. The campaign was well measured and evaluated and clearly delivered great value to the organisation. Creativity was impressive and the team worked really hard with a fairly limited set of resources an core material.

Outstanding Public Relations Consultancy

Gold: Brandon Hill Communications

This great entry was full of character and gave the judges a strong impression of this dynamic and exciting business. The agency has developed a clear and strong positioning for itself, which is clearly a winning formula. The financial performance is excellent during difficult times and there is good evidence of excellent creative work which has clearly impressed clients and others. New business growth has been good too, along with creating a great place to work.

Silver: PamLloyd Fresh Produce Marketing & PR

This is a very impressive business, which has decided to focus on one area and do it very well. Client retention is absolutely outstanding and the judges were especially impressed by the quality of the campaign work. Clearly this agency is the first choice for these looking for PR work in this sector. Growth was impressive given the tough market conditions. New business wins have been strong and the growth of the business has been well managed.


JBP PR & Parliamentary Affairs

Wild Card

Best Freelance Practitioner

Gold: Suzie Smith. Media Consultancy

Suzie Smith has grown a great business and now offers training as well as writing, allowing her to expand the business very effectively. The entry showed clear passion and expertise. She obviously achieves great results for clients, who are very loyal. Suzie has grown the business during a tough period for the economy, so this performance is doubly impressive.

Best use of Measurement and Evaluation

Gold: Geometry PR. Made in Cornwall

Geometry PR delivered excellent use of Measurement & Evaluation for their entry for 'Made in Cornwall' for the Cornish Pasty Association. Their evaluation of outcomes was thorough and their measurement chart was detailed, colourful and made it easy for the judges to see exactly how much coverage and value was delivered to their client.

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