On the 26 October 2015 the 39th Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) Golden Target Awards (GTAs) was held at the Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart, Tasmania, as part of PRIA’s 2015 National Conference, Huge Transformations. The packed house hosted consultancy and in-house senior Public Relations leaders at the industry’s night-of-nights – the pinnacle of the annual PR awards program.
The night was hosted by Dr Melanie Irons, UTas, who also spoke during the main PRIA annual conference earlier that day, who thanked GTA co-chairs Angela Coombes and Grant Smith, for their unending support and hard work in managing the program. Representatives from Isentia, Arthur J. Gallagher, Copyright Agency and PRIA’s own council and board volunteers, helped present the long list of awardees.
Big category campaign winners on the night included Rowland; Hardman Communications; PR Edge; Weber Shandwick; HBF; Red Agency; VIVA! Communications; Cannings Purple; Bayer Australia; Ogilvy Australia; Sydney Convicts Rugby Club; and icon.pr.
Ava Lawler, Managing Director, Australia at Weber Shandwick, said, “We are grateful to our client, Accor Hotel, who had the courage to support a truly innovative and integrated campaign. We are also fortunate to have an inspired, smart team that worked tirelessly to drive tangible, business-focused results.”
“Many of the players on our rugby team, myself included, have felt unwelcome in sporting environments because we are gay. Sport remains one of the last pockets of western society where homophobic behaviour is widely accepted.
“Winning this award is a deep honour and we hope it will continue to help elevate the issue of homophobia in sport and motivate continued change,” said, Erik Denison, Media and Public Relations Manager, Sydney Convicts Rugby Union Club.
There were big individual award winners in Dr Melanie James, University of Newcastle, winning Educator of the Year; Emma Kershaw, Dairy Australia, winning Top sPRinter of the Year; and Arthur Delbridge LFPRIA & Paul Rushton-Clarke MPRIA, sharing the National President’s Award, presented by PRIA Life Fellow and Tasmanian local, Greg Ray.
Group winners consisted Patrick Macdonald, Regatta Hotel, winning In-house Team of the Year; James Wright, Red Agency, winning Large Consultancy of the Year (for the second consecutive year); with the penultimate gong going to Fee Townshend, PR Edge, who took home the National Campaign of the Year with ‘Yellow Pages: RUOK? Covers Partnership’. Susan Redden Makatoa, Ogilvy PR, accepted two GTAs, including the International Campaign of the Year, for Ogilvy’s work with Al Jazeera English in freeing Peter Greste.
“For the team, especially Steve Reilly and Michael Hartmann who put in hundreds of hours, this was a once-in-a-lifetime event. It was our privilege and our honour to have played a part in bringing Peter home. Freedom of the press was absolutely core to this campaign, so we wholeheartedly supported it,” said Susan Redden Makatoa, Group Managing Director – Corporate, Ogilvy PR.
James Wright, Group COO, Havas Worldwide and Managing Director, Red Agency, said, “We are humbled and honoured to go back-to-back as consultancy of the year. It’s a testament to the dedication, passion and expertise we have across the consultancy that is delivered day in, day out, that has enabled us to pick up these consecutive wins. We have a vision to redefine the meaning and role of PR in today’s world and you can see that in the work we are doing. I want to thank all of my team for their supreme efforts in making this happen.”
“Winning a Golden Target Award is the pinnacle achievement for any PR consultancy and we feel very privileged to have been recognised by our peers. With six awards and one GTA trophy, last night was the biggest in Icon’s history – and proof that our integrated approach to PR can achieve big things for clients.
“As an agency committed to sustainability and positive behaviour change campaigns, winning a Golden Target Award for Love Food, Hate Waste was particularly thrilling,” said Joanne Painter, Managing Director, icon.pr.