Tag Archives: PRSA

PRSA Greater Cleveland Chapter Recognizes Northeast Ohio’s Best in Communications

CLEVELAND – December 5, 2018 – The Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Greater Cleveland Chapter recognized the area’s best in marketing and public relations at the 16th annual Cleveland Rocks Awards on Tuesday, December 4, at the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park.

This year, more than 65 Gold, Silver and Bronze awards were given to corporations, nonprofits and agencies and their clients in recognition of excellent communication programs and tactics.

The Cleveland Foundation’s community relations campaign, “Common Ground 2018” won the coveted Best in Show award.

Falls Communications, an integrated marketing and communications agency, won the Judge’s Choice Award for its press release entry titled, “Erie Insurance Reveals Surprising Driving Distraction.”

“We were excited to celebrate another year of the PRSA Cleveland Rocks Awards at Rocksino,” said Bob Rotatori, president of PRSA Greater Cleveland. “This year’s awards recognized the best work in public relations and communications being done right here in Cleveland.”

Annually, the PRSA Cleveland Rocks Awards acknowledge Northeast Ohio’s outstanding PR programs, which incorporate research, planning, execution and evaluation. Award winners demonstrate leadership in public relations and contribute to advancing the profession locally.

The San Diego chapter of PRSA judged this year’s award entries.

Falls Communications served as the platinum sponsor for the 2018 Cleveland Rocks Awards and the Hardrock Rocksino served as presenting sponsor and host for the awards banquet. The event’s Gold Rocker sponsor was First Energy and

Gold Rocks Award winners:
Campaigns: Community Relations
Common Ground 2018, Cleveland Foundation

Campaigns: Events
Amplifying the 2018 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Campaigns: Integrated Communications
My Body Matters Campaign on Behalf of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, Prosper for Purpose

Campaigns: Media Relations, Local/Regional
Bridgestone Invitational: Maximizing Local and Charitable Impact, Falls Communications

Campaigns: Media Relations, National
Vitamix Media Relations: Reaching new audiences, communicating a “better me”, Falls Communications

Tactics: Annual Reports
MAP to Growth: RPM International Inc.’s 2018 Annual Report, Roop & Company

Tactics: Best Paid B2C Social Media Campaign, >$500
Behr Color Clinic 2018, Marcus Thomas LLC

Tactics: Best Social Media Campaign for a Non-Profit and/or Governmental Agency
Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2018 Social Media Campaign: Listen. Believe. Support., Cleveland Rape Crisis Center

Tactics: Best Use of B2B Blog
Blogging the Way to Small-Business Growth, Roop & Company

Tactics: Best Use of Influencer Promotion
FrogTape® Paintover Challenge® Room Makeover Influencer Campaign, Falls Communications

Tactics: Best Use of Twitter Account
Cleveland State University Announces 7th President on Twitter, Cleveland State University

Tactics: Books, Guides or Resource Directory
Digger Dog Storybook: “Digger Dog Uses His Nose and Becomes A Safety Hero”, Fahlgren Mortine with Columbia Gas

Tactics: eNewsletter
Sherwin Williams Aerospace Coatings ‘E-Finish’ Electronic Newsletter, Falls Communications

Tactics: Op-Ed
Vocational Guidance Services Op/Ed, Falls Communications

Tactics: Press Release
Erie Insurance Reveals Surprising Driving Distraction Press Release, Falls Communications

Silver Rocks Award winners:
Campaigns: B2B Campaigns
Eriez Exceeds 90% Placements in Tier One Publications, Stevens Strategic Communications

Campaigns: Brand and Reputation Management
ADA Becomes Relevant Again, Stevens Strategic Communications

Campaigns: Community Relations
The Cleveland Museum of Art – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan, The Cleveland Museum of Art

Campaigns: Crisis Communications
Personally Responding to Employees When Their Identities are in Danger, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District

Campaigns: Events
2017 Open House is the Number One Event in the Number Two Business, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District

Campaigns: Integrated Communications
Helping Californians Beat the Beep – Kidde Educates Consumers on CO Safety, Fahlgren Mortine with Kidde

Campaigns: Internal Communications
Martin Senour 2017-2018 Internal Sales Promotions Guide, Falls Communications

Campaigns: Media Relations, Local/Regional
Vocational Guidance Services Local Media Relations Program, Falls Communications

Campaigns: Media Relations, National
The North American Menopause Society National Media Relations Program, Falls Communications

Campaigns: Pro Bono Program
15th Annual PRSA Cleveland Rocks Awards, Falls Communications

Tactics: Best Paid B2C Social Media Campaign, >$500
Improvements Catalogue Social Media Campaign, Falls Communications

Tactics: Best Social Media Campaign for a Non-Profit and/or Governmental Agency
“Let’s Ask” Video Series, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District

Tactics: Best Use of B2C Blog
Cleveland Plus Living Here Blog, Citrus Social

Tactics: Best Use of Influencer Promotion
Troy-Bilt Flip the Yard Challenge: 4 experts. 4 projects. 1 weekend., Marcus Thomas LLC

Tactics: Best Use of Instagram
The Ohio Lottery Instagram Challenge, Marcus Thomas LLC

Tactics: Best Use of Twitter Account
KeyBank Tweets Its Way to Fans’ Hearts with the Off-Season’s Greetings Tweetstakes, Marcus Thomas

Tactics: Best Use of YouTube Channel (or other video-sharing site)
Erie Insurance Sheds Light on Dangers of Daydreaming While Driving, Falls Communications

Tactics: Books, Guides or Resource Directory
CORDURA® Brand Takes Media on Global Journey, Sweeney

Tactics: Feature Article
Adapting to Automatic Payments: KeyBank takes accounts receivable processes digital, Roop & Company

Tactics: Multimedia Content Online Newsroom or Digital Media Kit
Cleveland Clinic Performs Its Third Face Transplant on Youngest Recipient in U.S.: Katie Stubblefield’s Story, Cleveland Clinic

Tactics: Multimedia Content, Podcasts/Audio
“Prescription for Hope”, The MetroHealth System

Tactics: Press Release
CORDURA® Brand Teams with Carhartt on Full Swing Steel Workwear Line, Sweeney

Tactics: Website/mobile application
Tech Air Launches Rebrand with Revamped Website, Sweeney

Tactics: Whitepaper
What the Top 1% of Small-Business Owners Do to Achieve Sustained Growth, Roop & Company

Bronze Rocks Award winners:
Campaigns: Brand and Reputation Management, Modernizing Service Assurance: Monolith Software and Product Rebrand, Roop & Company

Campaigns: Community Relations
Kidde Helps Educate Missouri Community About Fire Safety in Wake of Tragic Fire, Fahlgren Mortine with Kidde
GOAT with the Flo, Progressive Insurance
Shack Opens First Ohio Location on Cleveland’s East Side, Sweeney

Campaigns: Integrated Communications
Redefine Campaign on Behalf of the Ohio Department of Liquor Control, Prosper for Purpose
Team NEO Digital Lead Generation Program, Team NEO

Campaigns: Media Relations, Local/Regional
Dunkin’ Spotlights Youngstown Employee Through Anniversary Celebration, Fahlgren Mortine with Dunkin’
Paving the Way for a New Construction Leader in Northeast Ohio: Rudolph Libbe Group, Falls Communications
Duck Tape Festival – Local Media Relations, Falls Communications
The Making of a Big Ash Deal, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District
Book Launch Publicity for The Company of Demons, Roop & Company
Cantina Laredo Debuts in Cleveland, Stevens Strategic Communications
Shake Shack Opens First Ohio Location on Cleveland’s East Side, Sweeney

Campaigns: Media Relations, National
Media Relations Program Shines Light on North Dakota’s Legendary Travel Offerings, Fahlgren Mortine with North Dakota Tourism
Duck Brand Stuck at Prom National Media Relations, Falls Communications
U by Moen™ Shower with Voice Activation Launch Campaign, Falls Communications
Cleveland Plus: Bolstering National Coverage of Northeast Ohio to Benefit the Region, Team NEO – Dix & Eaton

Campaigns: Pro Bono Program
Media Relations Helps Increase Annual Event Attendance by More Than 50 Percent, Fahlgren Mortine with Cuyahoga County Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument

Tactics: Best Social Media Campaign for a Non-Profit and/or Governmental Agency
North Dakota Tourism Uses Social Media to Share State’s Legendary Sunflower Bloom, Fahlgren Mortine with North Dakota Tourism

Tactics: Best Use of B2C Blog
WOAH: Your goldfish become giant monsters if you release them into the wild, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District

Tactics: Best Use of Influencer Promotion
Dunkin’ Northeast Ohio Uses Influencers to Share the Brand’s New Dunkin’ Run Menu, Fahlgren Mortine with Dunkin’
Shake Shack Opens First Ohio Location on Cleveland’s East Side, Sweeney

Tactics: Best Use of YouTube Channel (or other video-sharing site)
Erie Insurance Shows Generational Differences, Falls Communications

Tactics: Feature Article
Viega “Go with the Flow: Best Practices for Maintaining Water Movement in Plumbing Systems” Feature Article, Sonnhalter
CORDURA® Brand Teams with Carhartt on Full Swing Steel Workwear Line, Sweeney

Tactics: Promotional Content, Media Kit
Union Bank & Trust Mingles with New Market, Sweeney

Tactics: Website/Mobile Application
Reinventing the Bernzomatic Digital Ecosystem, Fahlgren Mortine with Bernzomatic

About PRSA Greater Cleveland
The PRSA Greater Cleveland Chapter is the professional organization that brings together public relations, communications and marketing practitioners throughout Northeast Ohio. For more information, visit prsacleveland.org.

I Love My Special Sections


By Ed Stevens, APR

I have been a member of PRSA since 1992. While my roles on the boards of the Greater Cleveland and NW Pennsylvania Chapters were fulfilling, my membership in a number of special professional interest sections was just as rewarding and more closely allied with the clients and industries I serve. Besides frequent section events in conjunction with PRSA’s international conference, the sections also produce valuable standalone conferences, workshops and seminars.

Travel and Tourism. Since my firm represented so many organizations in the food/food service category, the travel and tourism section was a natural fit. We visited outstanding restaurants, culinary institutes and exchanged war stories from Chambers and entertainment centers across the United States. I found these people to be some of the most engaging personalities in PRSA.

Counselors Academy. If you want to push the needle in your firm or organization, this is the section for you. You learn from great speakers in fantastic locations and from each other. If you want to measure your mettle against others in the PR community, join the Counselors Academy.

Health Academy. I got very close to PRSA’s NYC headquarters staff and healthcare professionals with awesome credentials. Very impressive. Working as a co-chair for a health academy conference, I learned how exciting it is to be part of a PRSA section with professionals who really care about both the health of America and the PR environment.

Technology. This section seemed to have some challenges. However, the workshops our firm attended or webinars we chose were very valuable. I was least active with this section. Which leads me to say this about participation with any section – as well as PRSA itself – is that you get out what you put into your section.

PRSA itself is sometimes its own best-kept secret. Open the door to all PRSA offers. Hit the website.

PRSA Greater Cleveland Recognizes Winners of Hill Lighthouse Young Awards


CLEVELAND – April 12, 2018 – The Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Greater Cleveland Chapter recognized three area communications professionals with its prestigious Hill, Lighthouse and Young Awards at a luncheon ceremony yesterday, April 11.

L-R: David Gilbert, Barbara Paynter, Julie Miller

The John W. Hill Award is presented each year to the chief executive of a Greater Cleveland area organization who provides outstanding leadership and support for internal and external communications. The 2018 Hill Award was presented to David Gilbert, president and CEO of Destination Cleveland as well as president and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.

The Lighthouse Award is presented each year to recognize the career accomplishments, contributions to the profession and community service of a senor public relations professional who is a member of PRSA Greater Cleveland. The 2018 Lighthouse Awards was presented to Barbara Paynter, APR, Fellow PRSA who is president of Paynter Communications.

The Davis Young Award is presented each year to recognize a professional who excels in mentoring students and young professionals through hands-on instruction and support. The 2018 Young Award was presented to Julie Miller, APR, associate professor and director of public relations programs at Baldwin Wallace University.

“The caliber of the people we honored at this awards luncheon distinguishes the Greater Cleveland PRSA chapter as one of the finest in the nation,” said Bob Rotatori, PRSA Cleveland president. “It was a great honor to be part of it and witness the occasion with so many of our colleagues.”

More than 70 Cleveland-area communications professionals attended the awards presentation which took place at the Union Club. The event was sponsored by Vitamix Corporation, Eaton Corporation and Dominion East Ohio Gas.

Ethics and Our Society

By Chris Lynch, APR, Fellow PRSA

Falls Communications and PRSA Cleveland Programming Chair

According to the recent 2017 eKG Survey by PRSA of its 21,000 membership of public relations and communications professional practitioners, the most important value that PRSA provides is our Society’s Code of Ethics.

The Ethics Code also ranked number one in the survey’s competitive index, which in essence, said it was the most important feature our members tell other practitioners as the reason they joined or would recommend PRSA to other professionals.

Recently two articles by major U.S. media outlets lumped non-ethical PR practices onto the usual, all-encompassing reporting that eluded those in our profession are practically nothing more than “spin doctors or glorified snake oil salesmen” … yes, really still … by the same fourth estate scribes that turn around the next day begging us for story background and content.

Fortunately, PRSA National in New York keeps its finger on the pulse of these musings, and has – as usual – been right on top of these media misperceptions. You may have seen this in last week’s PRSA correspondence to members (I know, oftentimes there is so much email from the Mother Ship, we don’t see the important things), but to reiterate:

Our 2018 PRSA Chair, Anthony D’Angelo, APR, Fellow PRSA responded immediately through advocacy with two significant Letters to the Editor correcting the misperception of our industry and its practitioners.

One, when the Los Angeles Times’ February 2 Los Angeles Times op-ed by Virginia Heffernan was critical of White House Director of Communications, Hope Hicks, and her qualifications for the job, which is perhaps to be expected given that Hicks is a public figure who works for a controversial president. What was both unexpected and unacceptable was Heffernan’s broad criticism of public relations professionals, as she described PR’s “moral flexibility, callousness and charm,” and claimed “lying to the media is traditionally called PR.” Here is PRSA’s response.

The other came the following week when, the demise of the British agency Bell Pottinger (which described itself as a public relations firm), appeared in a story describing its actions on page one of Monday’s New York Times. In fairness, PRSA agrees writer David Segal did a masterful job detailing the firm’s unethical behavior, expulsion from the U.K. Public Relations and Communications Association, and its loss of all clients. However, per D’Angelo’s note to Society members, “I don’t fault The New York Times for covering the story — it’s important. But as chair of the Society that represents the ethical practice of public relations, I was compelled to write a letter to the editor stressing that what Bell Pottinger did is definitely #NotOurPR.”

I was fortunate enough to serve with Tony when I was on the National Board of Directors for PRSA.  It’s nice to see he’s still active, and still has our backs. As he said on the topic of Ethics: “By subscribing to and promoting our Code of Ethics in public relations, which is the right thing to do, is ultimately best for business as well as our industry and all the publics we serve.


It’s Time for Change and Time for Engagement

By Bob Rotatori, Rotatori Consulting and PRSA Cleveland President for 2018

President – Bob Rotatori, Rotatori Consulting

It’s Time for Change and Time for Engagement!

I have a love-hate relationship with “change.” But all in all, I think change is good especially when it helps people become reinvigorated and energized. And, PRSA Cleveland is no exception to the change energy I feel for 2018. 

The 2018 Greater Cleveland Chapter Board has new initiatives in programming, membership and communications to share. This year, one of our major goals is engagement at all levels of membership – from the New PRos to the masters, from agencies to sole practitioners, from corporations to non-profits. We want PRSA Cleveland to be an integral part of your professional life and growth. 

We know this cannot be done in a vacuum, and we encourage all members to be involved. In addition to participating in events and programs, we invite you to join one of the many committees and projects to help in the direction and process, build relationships, and make the most of your membership.

I am humbled and honored to represent PRSA Cle as president this year, and I look forward to engaging with all of you. Be engaged and keep in touch…


Bob Rotatori

New in Town? Tips for Cleveland Newbies

By Rachel Burns, Coordinator of Communications & Operations, University Hospitals

Moving to a new city can be exciting and challenging for many reasons. Here are a few professional tips that I learned after moving to Cleveland from Chicago a year ago.

Settle in and explore.

You just moved to Cleveland. Take a moment to settle into your new home, neighborhood and city. You’ve likely heard Cleveland has changed and grown over the years, use this time to explore all that it has to offer. I love to read Cleveland Scene for local news and events.

Become involved.

Once you’re settled in and have had a chance to see Cleveland, take the time to research professional or volunteer opportunities. A new city is a new chance to explore your interests and become involved with an organization and meet like-minded people. Reach out to members to learn more about the opportunity, it’s a great way to build your professional and personally network. Also, Engage! Cleveland is popular among Cleveland’s young professionals and is a resource for getting them connected and established in Cleveland.

Looking for a job?

If you’re new to Cleveland and looking for a position, there are a variety of resources at your fingertips. Be sure to check out the current jobs posted on PRSACleveland.org. Also, HunterComm is an e-newsletter you can subscribe to and receive the latest communications and marketing jobs in Northeast Ohio. In addition to online research, networking and attending professional events is a fantastic way to learn about opportunities or a new company that might not appear in your online searches.

Build a network.

Be sure to engage with others and build your network beyond the period of your job hunt. Take the time to schedule meetings with individuals that share similar interests or careers and try to stick to regular meetings with them. This is also a great opportunity to develop a mentor and/or mentee relationship. Looking for a place to meet? The West Side Market Cafe is in a popular Cleveland destination and has available parking, which is always a plus.

Lastly, PRSA always welcomes professionals that are new to the Cleveland area. Check out our events or reach out to any of the board members if you’re interested in learning more about the Cleveland chapter.