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October 13, 2012

PRServing America™ Winners Underscore Public Relations’ Contributions to Public Good

SAN FRANCISCO (Oct. 13, 2012)— “Hands for Life® Stamford 2012,” a pro-bono public relations campaign developed and executed by the Westchester-Fairfield Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), won first place in the inaugural “PRServing America™” awards competition, it was announced today at thePRSA 2012 International Conferencein San Francisco.
Co-sponsored by HGTV and the DIY Network on behalf of Rebuilding Together, an organization that brings together teams of volunteers to revitalize neighborhoods by repairing homes and renovating nonprofit facilities and schools, PRServing America™ is a program that recognizes and rewards PRSA members for their pro-bono efforts to strengthen and preserve the communities in which they live and work.
The program also shines a light on the important and measurably successful philanthropic work that is an under-appreciated part of the public relations profession, says PRSA chair and chief executive officer Gerard F. Corbett, APR, Fellow PRSA.
“Public relations serves immeasurable public good,” says Corbett. “It has changed attitudes and behaviors toward some of the world’s most pressing social issues, prevented consumer injury and illness, advanced worthwhile causes and provided pro-bono services for institutions that needed our help but could not afford it. We’re proud of the creative, impactful and positive contributions our members make to society, and we want to showcase their efforts.”
“Hands for Life® Stamford 2012” is a program that, in a single day, taught adults how to perform “hands-only” cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use automated electronic defibrillators (AEDs). Westchester-Fairfield Chapter members volunteered to create and execute a comprehensive, integrated communications plan to generate visibility for the event and  attract event registrations. Through the work of PRSA members, 5,141 adults participated in the event, setting a U.S. record for individuals trained in hands-only CPR, and a world record for individuals trained in the use of AEDs. 
Other PRServing America™awards announced at the PRSA International Conference include:
  • Second Place: PRSA Los Angeles Chapter for its “Quality Time with PR Minds” program.
  • Third Place: PRSA Greater Cleveland Chapter for its “Strengthening Nonprofit Public Relations in Greater Cleveland” initiative.
  • PRSSA Chapter Winner: PRSSA Syracuse University Chapter for its “Hill Communications for Operation Home Front” program.
  • PRSA Member with Agency Winner: PRSA Pikes Peak Chapter Member Amy Sufak and her firm Red Energy PR for its “Hometown Heroes Campaign, Patriots’ Festival & Ride for Heroes” initiative.

“PRSA members as a rule are incredibly generous in donating their time and expertise to individuals and organizations in need,” said HGTV Director of Partnership Development Gary McCormick, APR, Fellow PRSA. “We’re pleased to partner with PRSA on the PRServing America™ awards competition, because we believe that public relations has a valuable role to play in revitalizing America’s neighborhoods.”
Campaigns entered in the PRServing America™ awards competition were judged by PRSA members and evaluated on the basis of their research, planning, execution, results and originality, as well as the campaigns’ ability to impact the perception of the public relations profession in a positive way. Cash prizes of up to $2,500 were awarded to the winning programs.
About the Public Relations Society of America
PRSAis the largest professional organization serving the U.S. public relations community. With a mission to “advance the profession and the professional,” PRSA provides news and information, thought leadership, continuing education and networking opportunities; sets standards of professional excellence and ethical conduct; and advocates for the business value of public relationsand greater diversityamong public relations professionals. Based in New York, PRSA comprises 112 local Chapters; 14 Professional Interest Sectionsthat focus on specific industries and practice areas; and the Public Relations Student Society of America(PRSSA), which is active at more than 320 colleges and universities.
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