Classy kiwifruit crisis management takes top honour at 2011 PRINZ awards

Melanie Palmer

The comms response to the outbreak of bacterial vine disease Psa in New Zealand kiwifruit has won Melanie Palmer from ZESPRI International Limited and Andrea Brady from Catalyst Communication Consulting Limited the supreme award at the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand’s PRINZ Awards.

The entry won the supreme award and the corporate public relations category award for rapid and clear communication during the outbreak. When Psa was identified on two ZESPRI kiwifruit gold orchards in Te Puke the immediate response, led by ZESPRI and MAF Biosecurity NZ, focused on minimising risk to the New Zealand kiwifruit industry, ensuring information was easily accessible and that there were no adverse reactions from offshore trading partners.

Chief judge Gordon Chesterman says the project impressed the judges with its clear and timely messages. “It was about uniting people in a difficult and challenging time. It was about protecting the business and its reputation.”

The supreme award was chosen as the best entry from the nine category award winners.

“The winning campaigns demonstrated the value public relations brings to the business table by using strategic planning and creative thinking to achieve results in challenging situations,” says PRINZ president Jane Dodd, who’s company Network PR took home four ‘highly commended’ awards for work undertaken in 2010.

There were 53 entries submitted to this year’s awards, which have been running since 1974, were held on the back of the two-day PRINZ Conference in Rotorua and were hosted by former MediaWorks director of marketing and communications Roger Beaumont.


Supreme Award and Corporate Public Relations: Melanie Palmer – ZESPRI International Limited and Andrea Brady – Catalyst Communication Consulting Limited for Psa Outbreak in the Kiwifruit Industry.

Government or Quasi Government Public Relations: Angela Spain – DraftFCB New Zealand and Michele Camilleri for The Journal Launch 2010.

Internal Communications: Cindy Wong, Ann Clifford, Jennifer Andrewes and Tamara Mapp-Borren – New Zealand Trade and Enterprise for NZTE Intranet Launch – TED Hunt Campaign.

Marketing Public Relations: Sneha Paul Gray – KPMG and Strahan Wallis – KPMG (formerly) for KPMG Agribusiness: The Leading Business Advisor to New Zealand Agribusiness.

Limited Budget Public Relations: Mary-Louise Dare, Melanie Pohl and Catherine Slogrove – Professional Public Relations NZ for Taylors Wines Aussies vs. Kiwis Survey.

Not for Profit Public Relations: Valerie Cross, Julien Leys and Kimberley Sullivan – JML Communications for Crohn’s and Colitis New Zealand.

Pro-Bono Public Relations: Eloise Hay, Angela Spain and Gemma Doughty – DraftFCB New Zealand for UNICEF “Say No to Naff”.

Special Event or Project: Gez Johns, New Zealand Transport Agency for Southbound Switch (How to close the busiest stretch of motorway in the country for 36 hours and get away with it).

Sustained Public Relations: Ally Koehler – Blacksheepdesign for Ruahine Kindergartens – Operation Communication.

Tertiary Student Project: Isaac Banks, James Roberts, Angela Campbell and Safia van der Zwan – Outside The Square, AUT University for No8: That’s How We Roll.

Sally Logan-Milne Young Practitioner of the Year: Mary-Louise Dare, Professional Public Relations NZ.

Highly Commended

Corporate Public Relations: Jeanette Colman, John MacDonald, Stacey Doornenbal – University of Canterbury for University of Canterbury 2010 Quake Response; Clare England – Network PR for The Hyperfactory – Strategic Sale Announcement of Business to USA

Government or Quasi Government Public Relations: Rosalind Brown – NZTA Auckland Motorways for NZTA Auckland Motorways Bridge Strike Reduction Campaign

Marketing Public Relations: Clare England, Megan Green – Network PR for Spinning a Yarn – Promoting ChildFund New Zealand’s ‘Gifts that Grow’ Range; Valerie Cross, Julien Leys, Georgina Stent – JML Communications for TomTom: Be The Voice of New Zealand.

Pro-Bono Public Relations: Amanda Weatherley – Independent Consultant, Sarah van der Boom – Cheeky Rooster Communications for Whakatane Kiwi Trust 100th Kiwi Release and Website www.whakatanekiwi.org.nz.

Not for Profit Public Relations: Emma Davidson, Donnell Alexander – Network PR for HeartSAFE – Reducing New Zealanders’ Sodium Footprint.

Special Event/Project:

Claudia Macdonald – Mango Communications for Cadbury Billboard to Bags; Jessica Williams and Daniel Paul – Four Winds Communications Ltd.

Sustained Public Relations: Megan Green – Network PR, Paul Hayes – New Zealand Blood Service for Celebrating World Blood Donor Day in New Zealand, 2007 to 2010

Tertiary Student Project: Jess Miller, Duchesne Markham, Courtney Bennett, Kate Allinson – Outisde The Square AUT University for Get Together For Gynae; Pavel Zivnustka, Tereza Burgess, Jordan Schuler, Naomi Ball – Outside The Square AUT University for Sophie Elliott Foundation.

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