2019 MN PRSA Classics Awards

Takeaways from the 2019 MN PRSA Classics Awards

Beth Wellman, Assistant Account Executive at Brandpoint, attended this year’s MN PRSA Classics Awards along with other members of the Brandpoint team. She is a member of Minnesota PRSA, and she volunteers as part of the chapter’s Communications committee.


The Classics Awards is undoubtedly the biggest event of the year for the Minnesota chapter of the PRSA. Picture the Grammys, but for PR professionals. The event was held at the beautiful International Market Square, just outside of downtown Minneapolis. This year’s theme was art deco, which fit the venue perfectly due to its history and artful, industrial-style architecture.

I felt lucky to be part of this extravagant event, and was involved from a few different angles:

One, I’m currently a member of Minnesota PRSA. I had the honor of participating on the chapter’s Communications committee for a little over a year, and most recently, volunteered to be the liaison between the Communications committee and the Classics and Awards committee.

Two, the event was led by Minnesota PRSA President Greg Zimprich, who was a professor of mine at Metropolitan State University.

And lastly, the company I have the pleasure of working for, Brandpoint, was involved by sponsoring the event and MN PRSA.


Brandpoint at the MN PRSA Classics

Brandpoint at the 2019 MN PRSA Classics Awards


The 2019 MN PRSA Classics Awards

Throughout the evening, 38 awards in total were presented to PR companies such as:

  • Carmichael Lynch Relate, winning several awards for their work on projects such as Red Baron Solves Summer Mealtime Chaos
  • Padilla, winning for their work on campaigns like Hennepin Healthcare’s We’re Here for Life
  • Strother Communications Group, who was awarded for their work on The Minneapolis Club’s Spreading the Word About Minneapolis’ Hidden Culinary Gem
  • Weber Shandwick, for their work on the American College of Surgeons’ Operation Newsletter
  • Exponent PR, walking away with a few awards for campaigns like Land O’Lakes’ The Food Effect: Sparking a Cultural Conversation
  • Lola Red, for their work on Rosedale Center’s Rosedale Center Social Revamp
  • Pineapple RM, winning for their campaign Small Helps All 2018 for Calhoun Companies
  • Student-run CLAgency, who was recognized for The BrandLab’s The Battle for a More Diverse Ad/PR Industry
  • Kohnstamm Communications, winning for their Beech-Nut Moms: Building Brand Reputation Through Real Food, Real Lives & Real Experiences campaign

Award categories included Community Relations, Content Marketing, Influencer Outreach and Social Media Promotion.


Individual Achievement Awards at the MN PRSA Classics

In addition to the group awards, there were other highly important awards presented to individuals in the PR field.

The first of these awards was the Rising Star Award, which went to Katie Huggins of Best Buy. The Minnesota PRSA website refers to this award recognition as celebrating “accomplishments of exceptional members of the chapter who have served three to seven years in the industry, post-graduation.”

The next award was the Donald G. Padilla Distinguished Practitioner Award, which was presented to Tom Jollie of Padilla. This award recognizes Jollie’s “outstanding leadership and contributions to the profession of public relations,” as well as the amount of time he has “volunteered toward making our community better.”

There were also two PR professionals recognized for earning their APR (Accreditation in Public Relations), which is one thing I hope to earn one day. The individuals recognized were Michelle Uher of the American Academy of Neurology, as well as Emily Finley of Marvin Windows and Doors. The APR is a special abbreviated acknowledgement following one’s name, like how accountants have CPA and doctors have M.D. This distinguishes one PR professional from another by adding an extra layer of credibility.


MN PRSA Classics Scholarship Awards

Another great thing about Minnesota PRSA is that they take the time to recognize up-and-coming students in the PR industry. The Dr. Willard Thompson Student Scholarship Award was given to Leah Blom from Augustana University and Jack Nachtigal from the University of Minnesota.

The scholarship is intended to recognize students who excel during their public relations and communications education. This award was given to the students along with a complimentary PRSA membership. There were also a few PR campaign awards presented to students from the University of Minnesota and Augustana University.


Brandpoint and the MN PRSA

Brandpoint had the honor of attending the 2019 Classics Awards ceremony put on by the Minnesota Public Relations Society of America. We felt very lucky to help celebrate the many local public relations organizations, a few of whom happen to be clients of Brandpoint. We were also excited for the opportunity to connect in-person with people we talk to on a regular basis.


Beth and Scott at the Classics

Beth Wellman and Brandpoint President Scott Severson


Brandpoint President Scott Severson had the honor of presenting the final award of the night, which was for Best of Show. As he read through the nominees, Severson asked for a drumroll as he announced Kohnstamm Communications as the winner, recognizing their work on the Reputation/Brand Management and Institutional Program Beech-Nut Moms: Building Brand Reputation Through Real Food, Real Lives & Real Experiences.

This top recognition is open to all who were high-scoring entries within the programs and awards categories. The campaign was nominated based on its ability “to help Beech-Nut increase sales and brand awareness for its natural and organic baby food.”


The Grammys of the PR World

The night wrapped up with several groups of people gathering together with their companies and taking pictures to commemorate the evening. It is safe to say that a fun time was had by all. I hope to attend again next year and for several more years to come. It was truly an honor to be a part of it from all the different angles of my personal and professional life, and I thoroughly enjoyed collaborating with the Classics committee and assisting them in reaching their goal of a successful event.

For more information on the Minnesota chapter of the PRSA, please visit their website.

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