The winners: 2021 PRINZ Awards

Two emotionally uplifting campaigns demonstrating how public relations can engage communities were awarded Supreme winners at Friday night’s 2021 PRINZ Awards gala dinner in Auckland.

The Awards, recognising excellence in public relations and communications, attracted a record 136 entries across 18 categories, with more than 80 judges.

When COVID-19 caused the cancellation of traditional Anzac Day dawn services, the New Zealand Defence Force, alongside Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association, had to innovate. The resulting campaign ‘#StandAtDawn – Apart, but together as one’, brought communities across the country together and established a new approach to commemorating sacrifice in the digital age. As well as Supreme, the campaign was awarded Gold in the Experiential and Activation category. 

Convergence Communications received Supreme for ‘The campaign to end silence’, a “standout” government relations and public affairs campaign. The campaign was also awarded Gold in the Government Relations and Public Affairs category. 

PRINZ Awards Chief Judge, Kate Woodruffe, FPRINZ, says that while presenting two winners is not commonplace, it was impossible to separate the two. 

“Capturing people’s attention during 2020 was no mean feat. Both the Supreme campaigns expertly steered through the challenging COVID-19 environment and demonstrated how public relations can be used to engage communities and decision makers to achieve a very successful outcome.”

Auckland-based agency Wright Communications was named ‘BusinessDesk PR Consultancy of the Year’ in the medium to large category for the second consecutive year. 

Wright Communications team

Lauding the resilience of staff and the support of clients, Managing Director Nikki Wright says it was humbling to receive the PR industry award after a year dogged by COVID-19’s challenges.

“We’ve always focused on Corporate Social Responsibility, actively seeking campaigns that strengthen the fabric of our society, and never was telling these stories more crucial to Kiwis’ wellbeing than in 2020.

“We’re proud to work with organisations that support New Zealanders, champion diversity and safeguard the environment.”

The winner of the ‘BusinessDesk PR Consultancy of the Year’ in the small to medium category was Hamilton-based consultancy, HMC. HMC also took home the award in 2018. 

Countdown was awarded ‘PR In-house Team of the Year’. 

A new PRINZ Life Member, two new Fellows and graduates of the professional Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) programme were also recognised.

Wright adds: “We’re all moving forward together, the standard is higher and the competition’s stiffer every year—and that’s great for our industry.”

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