31st Koa Anvil Awards

HONOLULU – (July 28, 2014) The Public Relations Society of America Hawai‘i Chapter (PRSA Hawai‘i) recently recognized the state’s top communications professionals, campaigns and tactics at the 31st Koa Anvil Awards, held at the Sheraton Waikiki.

Awards were given in two main categories: Koa Anvil Awards for complete public relations programs and Koa Hammer Awards for outstanding public relations tactics that are part of a communications campaign.

Nearly 120 entries were submitted this year – with PacRim Marketing Group’s Kim Fujinaka, earning the “Best of Show” award – receiving the top score for her work marketing The Ziegfeld Collection by Tiffany & Co.

Castle Medical Center received an impressive 22 awards for its non-profit communications, ranging from internal video programs to health fairs. Local communications firm, Bennet Group Strategic Communications received the most agency awards at 15, followed by Stryker Weiner & Yokota Public Relations, Inc. with 11 awards, Anthology Marketing Group with eight awards, and Becker Communications, Inc. with seven awards.

Ralph Kam, APR, Fellow PRSA and David Wilson, retired principal, partner at McNeil Wilson Communications, received Hall of Honor awards – the highest award the Hawai‘i chapter can bestow – in recognition of their distinguished and exemplary careers in public relations.

Ralph Kam, APR, Fellow PRSA has decades of public relations experience in government, health care, financial services and education. He is one of few public relations professionals from Hawai‘i to be invited to the College of Fellows and National Board of Directors. An active PRSA member, Kam consistently works to support and enhance the public relations profession and standards for the professional, most recently revamping the PRSA Code of Ethics. In addition to his accomplishments in PRSA, Kam has taught public relations and communication courses to thousands of students at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, Hawai‘i Pacific University, Chaminade University and the University of Phoenix.

A 30-year veteran in the field of public relations, David Wilson led the public affairs group at McNeil Wilson Communications. Wilson, along with David McNeil, founded McNeil Wilson Communications in 1982 and led the firm to become one of the state’s top public relations agencies and Hawai‘i’s largest communication company as Anthology Marketing Group. Regarded as one of Hawai‘i’s most respected political consultants, Wilson has provided counsel to clients in numerous industries, including finance, security, litigation, and construction, as well as state and county government. His guidance in issues management has assisted Hawai‘i’s emerging bio fuel industry, the redevelopment of historic Ford Island, and the mooring of the Battleship Missouri in Pearl Harbor, among others.

Joan Bennet, president and CEO of Bennet Group Strategic Communications received the President’s Leadership Award for her significant contributions to the success of the chapter and the profession. Bennet has more than three decades of public relations experience, and specializes in strategic planning, corporate and executive positioning, crisis communications and grassroots advocacy campaigns. Prior to establishing her own firm, Joan was executive vice president for Hill & Knowlton Hawai‘i and public affairs director for Hill & Knowlton in Sydney, Australia.

Luly Unemori, APR and president of Pono Communications received the Gregg W. Perry Public Relations Professional of the Year award. Unemori co-founded and organized LifeFest Maui, a multi-day wellness event that was later acquired by Kapalua Resort and re-named LifeFest Kapalua.

Kira Chong Tim, account executive at Stryker Weiner & Yokota Public Relations, Inc. received the Hokupa‘a Award, recognizing a relative newcomer to public relations for demonstrating exceptional leadership potential and achievement in his/her initial years in the profession.

Established in 1983, the Koa Anvil Awards captures and celebrates the four rings of excellence for which the Koa Anvil competition is judged: research, planning, execution, and evaluation. It is a competition to develop better plans, use creativity to produce better results, increase professional skill to produce the best public relations programs and tools that keep the professional motivated and moving forward.

For more information and a complete list of winners, visit www.prsahawaii.org

About PRSA Hawai‘i

PRSA Hawai‘i, chartered in 1947, is one of six founding chapters of PRSA. Committed to advancing the standards of the public relations profession, the chapter’s mission is to build value, understanding, and the demand or public relations professionals in Hawai‘i. The society is the world’s largest organization of public relations professionals, with nearly 20,000 members representing business and industry, counseling firms, government, associations, hospitals, schools, professional services firms and not-for-profit organizations.


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