Howard Paster

It was very gratifying that joining me in judging the PR awards were two well-known and highly regarded PR professionals - Marilyn Laurie, long-time head of communications at AT&T, and Bill Nielsen, who held a similar position at Johnson & Johnson before his recent retirement. Both are former chairs of the Public Relations Seminar and leaders in the field.

The first decision that was made in the PR category was to make awards in four fields: Consumer Marketing, B2B, Corporate, and Digital. However, as we went about our work it was the view of the judges that digital work should be included in all categories and that it probably should not have its own category in the future. While we drew entries from several WPP agencies, the judges expressed the hope that if the programme continues that more WPP agencies will choose to participate. In any case, the work that was submitted quite literally circled the globe, and generally drew high praise from the judges.

The other judges and I looked for distinctive work, not merely good executions of classic assignments. we wanted to find an extra spark of imagination, creativity and thoughtfulness that would set the work apart from the merely excellent. What was gratifying was that we were able to do that in all four categories. In all cases the decisions were unanimous and enthusiastic.

The judges in Public relations unanimously selected Ogilvy Public Relations work for Amararaja Batteries in India as the grand prize winner. What began as a brand awareness campaign grew into a multidisciplined, multi-purpose campaign that brought enormous benefit not only to the client, but to many rural areas in india. Comments from the outside judges spoke of clarity of objectives, excellence of execution, brilliant use of research, and evident creativity. This work meets the highest standards in our profession.