NEW YORK (Nov. 8, 2011) — Michael V. Copeland, senior writer at Fortune, and Robert K. Ackerman, editor-in-chief of Signal, have won this year’s Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) 2011 Awards for Excellence in Technology Journalism. These annual awards recognize articles that are significant in disclosing, interpreting and reporting technological innovation. This year’s competition was sponsored by Microsoft Corporation, Airfoil PR and Padilla Speer Beardsley.
Copeland’s award-winning article, “Reed Hastings: Leader of the Pack,” was originally published in the Dec. 6, 2010, edition of Fortune, in which Hastings was recognized by the magazine as its choice for “Businessperson of the Year.” The story, based on intensive investigative reporting by the author, showed that by capitalizing on one movie industry distribution technology after another, Hastings stayed ahead of the curve. He repeatedly looked over his shoulder and moved his company’s efforts from one leading technology upward and into the next.
In the award competition’s trade/technical/professional publication category, Ackerman’s award-winning article, “Army Plans Swat Teams of Mechanical Bugs,” reports on the plans and prospects for innovative new work in the Army Research Laboratory to use piezo-electric materials to develop fully mechanical flying insects. “These manmade flies would follow the design architecture perfected over millions of years of evolution by well-known bugs,” said Ackerman. “One typical future application for the mechanical bugs might be to release a swarm of these tiny airborne sensors to seek out targets under doors, over walls or in other inaccessible places to subsequently alert mission planners of hazardous materials or dangerous situations.”
“This year’s winners emerged from a tough competitive field of entries for work published in 2010, and each winning entry appears to be the product of substantial investigative reporting and creative writing,” said Joel Strasser, APR, Fellow PRSA, chair of this year’s awards committee, Section co-founder, and head of an independent technology communications practice based in Brick, N.J. “Each of the two winning entries is a strong work that underscores great technology reportage and writing style. Each follows a tradition of previous award winners on the basis of their value to readers, clarity of communications, and significance in technical innovation and newsworthiness.”
The awards were judged by a distinguished panel of peer judges, all members of the national editorial community representing the types of journalism practiced by each of the winners.
About the PRSA Technology Section
The PRSA Technology Section
is an organization of communications professionals who develop, implement and counsel regarding public relations or marketing communications programs for technology companies, and practitioners who work at technology organizations or who use emerging technologies to conduct their routine business.