2009 Koa Anvil Awards Announced for Best in Public Relations

Media Release:

The Hawaii chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA Hawaii) honored the best in public relations at its 26th annual PRSA Hawaii Koa Anvil Awards reception and dinner last night at the Sheraton Waikiki. From nearly 120 entries, a record 61 Koa Anvil and Hammer awards were presented to recognize excellence in both public relations programs and tactics, respectively.

“The Koa Anvil awards stand for the work of many savvy professionals in the public relations industry who often work behind the scenes on behalf of their clients and employers” said Kristen Bonilla, APR, PRSA Hawaii president. “This annual awards ceremony allows these deserving professionals to emerge from the shadows and take a bow. We congratulate all of our winners and thank them for inspiring their colleagues to continue to raise the bar in strategic thinking, creativity and resourcefulness.”

Pang Communications took home the organization’s top award, winning the Best in Show for its “Graham Builders/Multi-Generational Home and Aging-in Place Specialists” campaign executed on behalf of Graham Builders. The coveted “Best of Show” award is given to the highest scoring Koa Anvil entry. Pang Communications received a total of three awards and this was the company’s first “Best of Show” award.

McNeil Wilson Communications topped last night’s awards ceremony winning 13 accolades in total, while Bennet Group Strategic Communications received 10 awards. Other multiple award winners were: Becker Communications, Inc. (four awards); Castle Medical Center, Current Events, Maui Communicators Public Relations, Stryker, Weiner, & Yokota Public Relations, and The Limtiaco Company (three awards each); and Communications Pacific, Olomana Marketing, and Schweitzer Consulting, who each won two awards.

Four individuals were also honored by the chapter in celebration of their contributions to the industry and PRSA Hawaii.

Nancy Daniels, APR, Director of Public Relations for Hawaii-based Outrigger Enterprises Group, received the Gregg W. Perry Public Relations Professional of the Year award. The award honors an exemplary practitioner, who during a distinguished career, has made a major contribution to the profession and has applied public relations techniques in a professional manner to achieve meaningful objectives. An active member in the hospitality industry and the community, Daniels is a long-time member of the Public Relations Society of America, serving as a board member of the Hawaii chapter for the past eight years, Hawaii chapter president in 2006, and PRSA Western District representative for the past two years.

Michael Ni, Account Executive at McNeil Wilson Communications, was honored with the 2009 Hokupa‘a Award, also known as the Young PR Professional of the Year award, which is presented to an outstanding practitioner with less than five years of experience. Ni currently serves as the chapter’s Treasurer and also headed the Koa Anvil Awards committee for two years.

Ruth Ann Becker, President of Becker Communications, Inc., received the distinguished President’s Leadership Award in recognition of her significant contributions to the success of the chapter and the profession. In addition to her many outstanding professional accomplishments, Becker is being honored for her generous support of her staff’s involvement in PRSA and her mentorship of Hawaii’s talented local PRSSA students.

Lou Torraca, APR, was bestowed with PRSA Hawaii’s highest recognition – the Hall of Honor Award. This award recognizes those with distinguished and exemplary careers in public relations who have used the profession to help create understanding between the community and organizations or companies they represented. A retired Air Force Colonel, Torraca’s distinguished 40+-year career in public relations included positions with the U.S. Pacific Command, Bishop Museum and the Department of Education. He has also held adjunct faculty positions at Chaminade University, Hawaii Pacific University and the University of Hawaii. Torraca served on the chapter’s Board of Directors for many years, most notably as president in 1995.

The PRSA Hawaii/Roy Leffingwell Scholarship was awarded to Callie Fisher of Honolulu, a junior at Boston University, and Amber Marques of Kapaau, Big Island, a junior at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Each will receive $1,000 to put toward their public relations studies. PRSA Hawaii was responsible for raising all scholarship monies.

2009 Koa Anvil Winners:

Entry: Graham Builders/Multi-Generation Home and Aging-in Place Specialists
Company: Pang Communications
Category: Marketing Consumer Services
Subcategory: Other

Entry: Ala Moana Center Celebrates Shop a Le‘a and Grand Opening of New Nordstrom Wing
Company: Bennet Group Strategic Communications
Category: Community Relations
Subcategory: Business – Products

Entry: Ala Moana Center Celebrates Shop a Le‘a and Grand Opening of New Nordstrom Wing
Company: Bennet Group Strategic Communications
Category: Events and Observances (Seven Days or Fewer)
Subcategory: Business – Products

Entry: Hawaii Superferry 125,000th Passenger Promotion
Company: McNeil Wilson Communications
Category: Events and Observances (Seven Days or Fewer)
Subcategory: Business – Services

Entry: 10th Annual Lantern Floating Hawai‘i Ceremony
Company: Stryker Weiner & Yokota Public Relations, Inc.
Category: Events and Observances (Seven Days or Fewer)
Subcategory: Associations/Non-profit Organizations

Entry: Mauna Kea Beach Hotel Reopening
Company: McNeil Wilson Communications
Category: Events and Observances (More than 7 days)
Subcategory: Travel and Tourism/Hospitality

Entry: Ignition Interlock Becomes Law in Hawaii
Company: Bennet Group Strategic Communications
Category: Public Service
Subcategory: Associations/Non-profit Organizations

Entry: Ignition Interlock Becomes Law in Hawaii
Company: Bennet Group Strategic Communications
Category: Public Affairs
Subcategory: Associations/Non-profit Organizations

Entry: Mabuhay Manila! – Hawaiian Airlines Launches Honolulu – Manila Flights
Company: McNeil Wilson Communications
Category: Marketing Consumer Services
Subcategory: Travel and Tourism/Hospitality

Entry: Hawai‘i’s Return on Vacation Campaign
Company: McNeil Wilson Communications
Category: Crisis Communications
Subcategory: Travel and Tourism/Hospitality

Koa Anvil Awards of Excellence

Entry: Rebranding Royal Hawaiian Center
Company: McNeil Wilson Communications
Category: Reputation/Brand Management
Subcategory: Travel and Tourism/Hospitality

Entry: Aloha Medical Mission 25th Silver Anniversary Gala
Company: Olomana Marketing LLC
Category: Events and Observances (Seven Days or Fewer)
Subcategory: Associations/Non-profit Organizations

Entry: Aloha Festivals – Preserving An Island Tradition
Company: Communications Pacific
Category: Events and Observances (More than 7 days)
Subcategory: Associations/Non-profit Organizations

Entry: UH Bone Marrow Drive
Company: University of Hawaii PRSSA
Category: Public Service
Subcategory: Associations/Non-profit Organizations

Entry: “The Power of Effective Public Relations: Winning the Fight for a West Maui Hospital”
Company: Maui Communicators Public Relations
Category: Public Affairs
Subcategory: Business

Entry: Kraft Foods in Hawaii – Shop & Score 2008
Company: Becker Communications
Category: Marketing Consumer Products
Subcategory: Packaged Goods

Entry: Kona Village “Green for Decades” Campaign
Company: Current Events (?)
Category: Marketing Consumer Services
Subcategory: Travel and Tourism/Hospitality

Entry: King Lunalilo Home
Company: The Limtiaco Company
Category: Marketing Consumer Services
Subcategory: Healthcare

Entry: Introduction of Better Place Hawaii
Company: Communications Pacific
Category: Marketing Consumer Services
Subcategory: Other

Entry: Navigating a Voluntary Recall
Company: Schweitzer Consulting, LLC
Category: Crisis Communications
Subcategory: Business

Koa Hammer Winners

Entry: Hawaiian Host Christmas Medley with Raiatea Helm
Company: Bright Light Marketing
Category: Media Relations – Consumer Products
Subcategory: Packaged Goods

Entry: bebe Loves Hawaii at Royal Hawaiian Center
Company: McNeil Wilson Communications
Category: Media Relations – Consumer Products
Subcategory: Other

Entry: ‘Iolani Palace Awareness Campaign
Company: The Limtiaco Company
Category: Media Relations – Associations/Non-profit Organizations

Entry: “Affordable Kaua‘i” News Release
Company: McNeil Wilson Communications
Category: Media Relations – Travel and Tourism/Hospitality

Entry: “Culinary Rehab”
Company: University of Hawaii
Category: Feature Stories

Entry: Opinion Editorial: “Evolving Waikiki Stays Popular and Competitive”
Company: McNeil Wilson Communications
Category: Editorials/Op-Ed Columns

Entry: Huaka‘i ‘Aina Ho‘oilina: Exploring the Lands that Sustain Us
Company: Kamehameha Schools
Category: External Video Programs

Entry: Hawaii Theatre 2008-2009: A Season for All to Enjoy
Company: Mele Pochereva Public Relations
Category: Brochures
Subcategory: 10 Pages or More

Entry: “Fit to Fight: Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard 1908-2008 The Story of “the Yard” and the Men and Women Who Made Her Great”
Company: Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard
Category: Publications
Subcategory: Books

Entry: Olelo Community Television Report to the Community
Company: Olomana Marketing LLC
Category: Annual Reports
Subcategory: Non-profit Organizations

Entry: Kona Village Repeat Guest Postcard Campaign
Company: Current Events (?)
Category: Direct Mail/Direct Response

Koa Hammer Awards of Excellence

Entry: Club Monaco’s Hawai‘i Debut
Company: Bennet Group Strategic Communications
Category: Media Relations – Consumer Products
Subcategory: Non-Packaged Goods

Entry: Whole Foods Market Offers Sneak Peek of First Hawai‘i Store
Company: Bennet Group Strategic Communications
Category: Media Relations – Consumer Products
Subcategory: Non-Packaged Goods

Entry: Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park New Year’s Eve
Company: Harris Agency
Category: Media Relations – Consumer Products
Subcategory: Other

Entry: Ala Moana Center’s 17th Annual Fourth of July Fireworks
Company: Stryker Weiner & Yokota Public Relations, Inc.
Category: Media Relations – Consumer Products
Subcategory: Other

Entry: Puna Geothermal Venture 15th Anniversary Celebration
Company: Hastings & Pleadwell: A Communication Company
Category: Media Relations – Consumer Services
Subcategory: Technology

Entry: Philip K White & Associates 40 S. School St. Offices Demonstrate Commitment to Building and Living Green
Company: Bennet Group Strategic Communications
Category: Media Relations – Consumer Services
Subcategory: Other

Entry: Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties 10-Day Sales Event
Company: Pang Communications
Category: Media Relations – Consumer Services
Subcategory: Other

Entry: The Power of Effective Media Relations: Winning the Fight for West Maui Hospital
Company: Maui Communicators Public Relations
Category: Media Relations – Associations/Non-profit Organizations

Entry: Polynesian Cultural Center’s Iosepa: Voyage of Discovery
Company: McNeil Wilson Communications
Category: Media Relations – Associations/Non-profit Organizations

Entry: Tornado Grand Opening
Company: Becker Communications
Category: Media Relations – Travel and Tourism/Hospitality

Entry: News Releases Regarding ATA & Aloha Airlines Shutdowns
Company: McNeil Wilson Communications
Category: Media Relations – Travel and Tourism/Hospitality

Entry: Op-Ed: Health research a sure way to better Isle lives, economy
Company: Becker Communications
Category: Editorials/Op-Ed Columns

Entry: New $70 million plan will deliver more than a hospital to West Maui
Company: Maui Communicators Public Relations
Category: Editorials/Op-Ed Columns

Entry: OutriggerHawaii.com (External Website)
Company: Outrigger Enterprises Group
Category: Websites
Subcategory: External

Entry: Promoting Loyalty – One Photo at a Time
Company: Schweitzer Consulting, LLC
Category: Word-of-Mouth
Subcategory: General Word-of-Mouth Marketing Program

Entry: Maryknoll School – Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation Press Conference
Company: Becker Communications
Category: Press Conferences

Entry: Hilton Grand Vacations’ Grand Waikikian Soft Opening
Company: Stryker Weiner & Yokota Public Relations, Inc.
Category: Press Conferences

Entry: Club Monaco’s Hawai‘i Debut
Company: Bennet Group Strategic Communications
Category: Press Kits/Media Kits
Subcategory: Products

Entry: Project DVD of the Honolulu High-Capacity Transit Corridor Project’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Section 4(f) Evaluation
Company: Rapid Transit Division City and County of Honolulu
Category: External Video Programs

Entry: Verizon Wireless’ Commitment to the Community
Company: Bennet Group Strategic Communications
Category: External Video Programs

Entry: “Reflections: The Ritz-Carlton at Kauai Lagoons” Newsletter
Company: McNeil Wilson Communications
Category: Newsletters
Subcategory: External Audiences Primarily

Entry: Ha‘i ‘Olelo Ma Ka‘upulehu – Storytelling at Ka‘upulehu
Company: Current Events (?)
Category: Brochures
Subcategory: Fewer Than 10 Pages

Entry: Battleship Missouri Special Events Brochure
Company: McNeil Wilson Communications
Category: Brochures
Subcategory: Fewer Than 10 Pages

Entry: Ku I ka Mahalo
Company: Castle Medical Center
Category: Publications
Subcategory: Other

Entry: Annual Quality Report
Company: Castle Medical Center
Category: Annual Report
Subcategory: Non-profit Organizations

Entry: Chip In for Castle Golf Tournament
Company: Castle Medical Center
Category: Direct Mail/Direct Response

Entry: Distinguished Citizen Award Dinner invitation and program
Company: Pang Communications
Category: Direct Mail/Direct Response

Entry: Hawaii Superferry Serves Building Trade Industry
Company: McNeil Wilson Communications
Category: Advertorials

Entry: Hawai‘i Convention Center Advertorial
Company: The Limtiaco Company
Category: Advertorials