The PRSA Foundation Honors a Leading Voice in Applying Social Sciences to Public Relations Practice and Measurement
NEW YORK (Nov. 10, 2009) — Louis C. Williams, ABC, APR, a leader in applying social sciences research to the practice of public relations, was awarded the Jackson Jackson & Wagner Behavioral Science Prize by the PRSA Foundation at the Public Relations Society of America ( PRSA) 2009 International Conference.
“The Jackson Jackson & Wagner Behavioral Science Prize is one of the most prestigious honors in public relations research, and the PRSA Foundation is indebted to the firm for endowing and continuing to support this award,” said Kathleen L. Lewton, APR, Fellow PRSA, president of the PRSA Foundation Board of Trustees, and principal of Lewton, Seekins & Trester LLC. “Support of research is one of the three major endeavors of the PRSA Foundation, and Pat Jackson and his colleagues have made significant contributions to promoting the value and use of research as the core of effective public relations practice.”
Williams is chairman of L.C. Williams & Associates (LCWA) of Chicago, a public relations and research counseling firm he founded in 1985. The firm’s work reflects Williams’ research-based approach to public relations programs, a focus that helped the firm become ranked as one of Chicago’s “Top Public Relations Firms” by Crain’s Chicago Business and O’Dwyer’s Newsletter.
“Jackson Jackson & Wagner is delighted that Lou Williams is this year's prize winner,” said Isobel Parke, APR, Fellow PRSA, Senior Counsel at Jackson Jackson & Wagner. “Not only were Lou and Pat Jackson good friends, but Lou also understands that practitioners and their clients need research that is tied to behavioral outcomes. That’s why Pat used to label some research as ‘statisical calisthenics.’ Lou uses research to solve social problems and to analyze the major issues in our profession, to which he has been most generous in his support of his co-workers."
Williams provides his clients with a full range of research activities, including internal and external communications audits, public opinion studies, market research, readership surveys, and member and employee satisfaction research. Clients served include the Institute for Public Relations, IBM, Anheuser-Busch, United Airlines, Hallmark Cards, Underwriters Laboratories Inc., American Academy of Pediatrics, American Society of Interior Designers and the National Parent Teachers Association.
Previously, Williams was senior vice president of Hill & Knowlton, Inc. (H&K), where he served on the firm’s national operations group as national division resource in employee communications and communications audits and research. Prior to joining H&K, Williams was president of the Midwest region for Harshe Rotman & Druck and was a consultant for the management consulting firm of Towers Perrin. On the corporate side, he has worked for Jewel Companies, Inc., Rochester Gas & Electric Co., and Heublein, Inc.
“I am extremely honored to receive the award that carries the magnitude and significance of the contributions of Pat Jackson, along with his name,” said Williams. “To be counted among the winners of such a fitting tribute to a pioneer and giant in the field, whom I knew and admired, is both humbling and gratifying.”
Active Researcher and Speaker
Williams was instrumental in the creation and funding of “Excellence in Public Relations and Communication Management,” the largest research project ever conducted on the value of public relations to organizations. Accredited by PRSA and the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), he also served as chairman of the research committee for the Institute for Public Relations and the IABC Research Foundation. He is a frequent contributor of research papers to academic groups and public relations publications, and serves as an advisory board member of the International Public Relations Research Conference.
A frequent public speaker, he spent 10 years as principal of Lou Williams Seminars, through which he reached thousands of practitioners in seminars on how to use research to prove the value of public relations. He also conducted research-related seminars throughout the world for PRSA and IABC. He is the author of the best-selling book “Communication Research, Measurement and Evaluation: A Practical Guide for Communicators,” covering the use of research in public relations and communication.
Throughout his career, Williams has been an active supporter of the public relations profession. He served for many years as a trustee of the Institute for Public Relations and currently is a member of its Commission on Public Relations Measurement and Evaluation. In 2008, he was elected to the first class of the fellows of the Institute. Williams is past chairman of IABC and also served as interim president and CEO, managing the association’s business affairs and staff. In 1995, he was named one of the 25 most influential forces in the history of IABC.
About the PRSA Foundation
Founded in 1990, the PRSA Foundation is a philanthropic arm of the public relations profession, committed to the development of programs to advance public relations research, education and scholarships, while encouraging contributions from those who stand to benefit from its advancement.
About the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
The Public Relations Society of America (www.prsa.org), headquartered in New York City, is the world's largest organization for public relations professionals with nearly 32,000 professional and student members. PRSA is organized into 110 Chapters and 10 Districts nationwide, and 20 Professional Interest Sections and Affinity Groups, which represent business and industry, counseling firms, independent practitioners, military, government, associations, hospitals, schools, professional services firms and nonprofit organizations. The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) has more than 300 Chapters at colleges and universities throughout the United States, including one Chapter in Argentina.