HOLLAND Collective Takes Best Of Show At PRSA Worthy Awards

FORT WORTH — In a tight competition amongst 23 Worthy award winners for strategic Public Relations programs and tactics, boutique agency HOLLAND collective took home the Best of Show honor for its Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival: A Campaign of Integrated Success at the Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA Worthy Awards competition.

More than 130 PRSA members and guests celebrated successes at the Fort Worth Zoo for their 10th Worthy Awards gala November 3.

“For a decade, the Worthy Awards have showcased the most strategic, creative and successful campaigns achieved for both local and global clients by world-class PR professionals who call Fort Worth home,” said Jessamy Brown, APR, president of the Fort Worth Chapter.

In addition to the competition, two community members were honored for their contributions to Fort Worth: Dr. Opal Lee, longtime activist and grandmother of Juneteenth, received the Communicator of the Year Award, and Matt Zavadsky, Chief Transformation Officer for Medstar Mobile Health, received the Douglas Ann Newsom PR Professional of the Year Award.

The Worthy Awards competition received a total of 63 entries in multiple categories ranging from websites and editorials to crisis communications and reputation management. Awards of Achievement, Excellence and the top-rated Worthys are bestowed based on a weighted point system assessing research, measurable objectives, execution and evaluation of results.

Judges were members of the Hoosier, Indiana Chapter of PRSA. Worthy Awards committee co-chairs were GFW Chapter board members Kim Brown, APR and Abigail Hoover, co-founders of Story and Strategy PR.

A complete list of Worthy award winners is on the GFW PRSA website here. A photo gallery is also here.

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About Greater Fort Worth Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America

The Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the profession of public relations by promoting the professionalism of its members, as well as the public perception of the value of our contribution to the betterment of the community.

The Public Relations Society of America, based in New York City, is the leading professional organization serving the communications community through a network of more than 400 professional and student chapters in the U.S., Argentina, Colombia, Peru and Puerto Rico.

Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA Announces the Recipients of the 2023 Communicator and Public Relations Professional of the Year Awards

Fort Worth, Texas (October 9, 2023) – The Greater Fort Worth Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is honored to announce Opal Lee, the ‘Grandmother of Juneteenth,’ as the 2023 Communicator of the Year and Matt Zavadsky, the chief transformation officer at MedStar, as the 2023 Douglas Ann Newsom PRSA Professional of the Year.

Opal Lee is a community leader and activist who has dedicated her life to fighting for justice and equality. She is best known for her tireless advocacy for Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. In 2016, at the age of 89, Lee embarked on a 1,400-mile walk from Fort Worth to Washington, D.C. to raise awareness of Juneteenth.

She made this walk annually, calling for Juneteenth to be recognized on a national scale. In 2021, Lee’s dream finally came true when Juneteenth was officially designated as a federal holiday. Her advocacy helped to educate millions of Americans about the importance of Juneteenth and to ensure that this historic event is never forgotten.

Matt Zavadsky serves as the spokesperson for MedStar Mobile Healthcare, an agency providing advanced life support ambulance services across 436 square miles of North Texas. As Public Information Officer at MedStar, Zavadsky is a key figure in coordinating with media and partners, providing crucial information about MedStar’s roles and activities in the community.

Often the first responder at tragic events, Zavadsky’s composed and sympathetic demeanor underlines his exceptional qualities as a spokesperson. With 42 years of experience in EMS, a master’s degree in Health Service Administration, and co-authorship of the book “Mobile Integrated Healthcare – Approach to Implementation,” Zavadsky embodies excellence in public relations and health care communication.

Opal Lee and Matt Zavadsky will be honored at the 10th annual Worthy Awards ceremony on Nov. 3, at the Fort Worth Zoo. The event begins at 6 p.m. and tickets are on sale now.

About the Communicator of the Year Award
The Communicator of the Year award is presented to a community member who has demonstrated significant leadership and communications ability in the greater Fort Worth region.

The recipient must be a role model for communicators and must have made a significant contribution to the community through their communications work.

About the Douglas Ann Newsom PRSA Professional of the Year Award
The Douglas Ann Newsom PRSA Professional of the Year Award is presented to a public relations professional in North Texas who has made significant contributions to the advancement of the public relations profession. The recipient must have demonstrated excellence in public relations practice, leadership, and service to the community.

About the Greater Fort Worth Chapter PRSA
The Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA is an organization dedicated to enhancing the profession of public relations by promoting the professionalism of its members, as well as the public perception of the value of our contribution to the betterment of the community.

PRSA creates a professional environment, serving the needs of its members by providing educational, networking, mentoring and social opportunities for professional growth and development. Learn more at fortworthprsa.org.

Media Contact
Jessamy Brown, APR President of GFW PRSA
817-675-5356
gfwprsapresident@gmail.com

2019 Worthy Award Winners

The city’s top communicators were recognized for their outstanding achievements last night at the GFW PRSA 2019 Worthy Awards dinner.

A total of 58 awards were handed out at the eighth annual celebration, including 32 Awards of Excellence, 16 Awards of Achievement, and ten Worthy Awards–the chapter’s highest honor. The awards recognize the best in strategic communications programs and tactics practiced by professionals and students in the greater Fort Worth area.

Check out the full list of winners, here.

Communicator of the Year
Each year, GFW PRSA recognizes a community member outside the public relations profession who demonstrates leadership and effective communication when involved in a major event or issue affecting the greater Fort Worth region. This year’s award went to Mary-Margaret Lemons, president of Fort Worth Housing Solutions.

As the leader of the city’s independent housing authority, Lemons has worked to build and maintain support for deconcentrating low-income housing in Fort Worth. She was recognized for leading the charge for affordable housing by cultivating relationships with Fort Worth City Council, senior city staff, officials at Housing and Urban Development, as well as social service agencies and private developers.

Previous honorees include Dr. Kent Scribner, Fort Worth ISD superintendent; Paul Paine, Near Northside, Inc. president; Robert Earley, JPS President and CEO; Patsy Thomas, former president Mental Health Connection; Walter Danby, former Fort Worth ISD Superintendent; Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price; and former Fort Worth Councilman Joel Burns.

PRSA Professional of the Year
Michelle Gutt, the communications and public engagement director for the City of Fort Worth, is the recipient of the inaugural Douglas Ann Newsom PRSA Professional of the Year Award. The newly introduced honor recognizes PRSA members who have made significant and outstanding achievement in the profession.

Gutt has more than 25 years of marketing and public relations experience in government, corporate and nonprofit work, and currently leads communications efforts for a diverse city-wide audience. Among many accomplishments, Gutt was recognized for her work developing a robust communications plan for the city’s Race and Culture Task Force, launching the MyFW customer service app for the city, and developing and launching an extensive internal communications plan surrounding the city’s pension vote earlier this year.

Worthy Award Sponsorships

Shoutout to our 2017 Worthy Awards presenting sponsor, Bell Helicopter​! Check out this link to learn more about this year’s sponsorship opportunities.

8 Tips to Writing a Winning Worthy Award Entry

BClaire Armstrong 2 (1)y Claire Bloxom Armstrong
Public Relations Director, PAVLOV

From the pride it brings to your team/agency, third-party credibility and validity it gives to your work and services, and recruitment opportunities it provides for both new business and star employees, it’s difficult to overstate the value of winning a Worthy Award.

Be sure to take some time before you start the entry process to maximize the quality of your submissions and ensure your entry stands out. Here are 8 tips to help you do this:

  1. Plan Ahead.
    Draft an outline of what you want to get across before you start writing. The entry system now takes place entirely online, and the allowed copy length for both Programs and Tactics is 1,500 words (1,600 if you include the optional 100-word synopsis).
  2. Tell A Story.
    Judges like a clear narrative, so borrow some techniques from PR Writing 101 and emphasize the 5 Ws: Who, What, Why, Where, and When – and throw in a little “How” if you have time and space.
  3. No Jargon!
    Did you “utilize and leverage existing resources to achieve your goals and exceed KPIs?” Well, cut it out. Jargon like that takes up precious space and words, and conveys nothing about what you actually did. How about this instead: “We transformed the streets of downtown Fort Worth into an outdoor art gallery and performing arts venue.” Much better! Skip the big, flowery words, and cut to the chase.
  4. Don’t Ignore The Fine Print.
    Check the category descriptions and entry guidelines to ensure you are covering all of the criteria for the categories you are entering. Keep to the maximum word count (300 per section) and upload only the maximum number of supporting materials (5 per section). Otherwise, you risk annoying the judges at best; at worst — being excluded from the category.
  5. Choose Supporting Materials Carefully.
    There is so much temptation to upload everything, but don’t do it. Choose the best and most impressionable media clips, videos, images, and testimonials to support your case.
  6. Explain Your Results.
    When you reach the last section of your entry, it’s tempting to make a series of bullets — ad equivalency values, impressions, followers, engagement rates, etc. But the storytelling shouldn’t stop here. Put those numbers in context. What do they mean for your client? How do they contribute to overall business goals? How did the organization and target audiences benefit? Share results beyond numbers — comments, stories, or changes in business practices, for example.
  7. Think Like A Judge.
    The judges might be reading/judging 10-20 submissions. Think about that and put yourself in their shoes before submitting a final draft and make it as easy as possible for them – they will appreciate it and look at your entry in a more favorable light. Make it an easy read with clear objectives. Consider having an internal judging panel assess the entries before they are submitted – if you can’t convince your own colleagues, you won’t convince the judges.
  8. Connect All The Dots.
    Most importantly, don’t expect the judges to draw conclusions for themselves. What seems obvious to you as an expert in your category and someone immersed in your client’s world for a year or more will not be obvious to the judges. Educate them about the challenges you faced, the uniqueness of your strategy, and the significance of your results. Because the truth is, great work and great results are just the first step. Great entries win Worthy Awards! 🙂