Howard Paster

Public Relations Jury Chairman

Howard Paster | Public Relations & Public Affairs: WPP

The third year of WPPED Cream awards brought a number of excellent Public Relations & Public Affairs entries from seven different agencies. As we did last year, we accepted entries in three categories: business-to-business, consumer marketing, and corporate and public affairs. For the third year, Marilyn Laurie, retired head of communications for AT&T, and Bill Nielsen, retired head of communications for Johnson & Johnson, served as our outside judges. Marilyn and Bill have now spent many hours in this volunteer role, giving careful attention and thought to their decisions. We are lucky to have their help.

Ogilvy PR won the top prize this year for work done in Australia for the client BlueScope Steel. BlueScope sought a program that would help Australia deal with prolonged drought, and respond to changing attitudes about the use of water.

On Ogilvy's recommendation, BlueScope decided to give 27,000 litre rainwater tanks to primary schools to collect and to reuse rainwater in a 'Tank A Day Challenge'. Students were asked to compete in a quiz about water conservation, and a tank was awarded to the winning school each day during the school year; a total of 200 tanks. More than a third of eligible schools in Australia participated in the competition, the students learned a great deal about water conservation, the media gave the story elaborate coverage, government ministers were briefed and supportive, and BlueScope had, by objective measurement, substantial reputational benefit.

While admiring many other entries, the judges enthusiastically awarded Ogilvy PR Australia the top prize.