West PR firms strike gold in South of England PRide Awards

Some of the West of England’s leading PR agencies, in-house teams and individual practitioners were among the winners at the CIPR South of England and Channel Islands PRide Awards.

Staged in Bristol by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) but covering a region that reaches from Cornwall to Kent, the annual awards celebrate the best in-house, agency and public-sector communications teams from across the South and the most successful and effective campaigns over the past year. 

Bath-based public relations and social media agency Highlight PR, which specialises with kids’ and parenting brands, food and drink companies and pioneering creative businesses, won Gold in the ‘Best Use of Social Media’ category for the third year in a row, this time for its series of monthly interactive games and large community growth for global craft brand Aquabeads.

It also landed Gold for ‘Best Integrated Campaign’ for its work for popular children’s toy brand Sylvanian Families, and Silver for ‘Consumer Relations’ in recognition of its campaign to launch HD ancestry test Living DNA. 

The agency, pictured right, was also shortlisted for three other awards, including in the highly sought-after ‘Outstanding Small PR Consultancy’ category for the second year running.

Bristol-based communication agency Inside Media landed Gold and Silver among seven finalist placings. Its Gold came in the ‘Reputation Management’ (public affairs) category for its support for cidermaker Aston Manor.

Its work includes drafting submissions on government consultations and engaging with various stakeholders on issues like alcohol policy, duty and misuse.

Its Silver was for the ‘STEM Campaign’ for its work for long-standing client Continental Tyres and its Vision Zero campaign, a global commitment to reduce accidents around the globe through automotive technology. 

Inside Media, pictured right, has won 10 Golds, 10 Silvers and been a finalist 37 times in the CIPR PRide awards since 2010 and is also the only agency to be shortlisted for ‘Outstanding PR Consultancy’ and ‘Outstanding Small Consultancy’ on four separate occasions.

Other winners included:

  • Bristol-based AMBITIOUS, for ‘Best Event’. Its campaign succeeded in bringing Social Media Week to Bristol, attracting high-profile participants from Facebook, Buzzfeed, Twitter, Glassdoor, General Assembly, Visit Britain and Yahoo. More than 50 events took place over the week-long event, securing attendance by more than 1,100 local businesses.
  • Joe Ball of Bristol City Council won the ‘Outstanding Young Communicator’ award. Judges described Joe as “an exceptional communicator, working with challenging subject matter”. They said, in a very short space of time, he had been entrusted with working on challenging and highly sensitive issues, dealing with vulnerable people.
  • Bristol City Council won the Outstanding In-House Public Relations Team award for its “highly creative approach to campaigns and confident approach to tackling sensitive issues e.g. child exploitation”.
  • McCann Bristol secured the Best Use of Media Relations title for its work with Haynes, the Somerset publisher best known for its car manuals. McCann’s proactive campaign sought to raise awareness of ‘Haynes Explains’ – four pocket-size titles focusing on Babies, Teenagers, Marriage and Pensioners.
  • ADPR, based in South Petherton, near Taunton, won Best Consumer Relations Campaign’ for its work with sailing gear firm Helly Hanson.
  • Shooting Star PR, which has an office in Bristol, scooped the Arts, Culture or Sport Campaign’ award for a campaign that raised the profile of sidecar racing by telling the story of Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood’s second British F1 Sidecar Racing championship bid via earned and social media.
  • Barefoot Media, based in Bodmin, gained the Regional Campaign of the Year’ title for its six-month Christmas Festival 2016 campaign, which had more than 60 high-profile chefs and 100 producers at its heart.
  • Cheltenham’s Target won Best Publication’ for Leading magazine, a shop window for small and medium enterprise (SME) sized leadership development and strategy specialist QuoLux.
  • University of Bath won the Public Sector Team of the Year’ with judges saying it had “clear business objectives with metrics to demonstrate performance against each objective. The campaigns and successes they highlighted clearly delivered on their objectives; this team has shown some great examples of delivering excellent national and regional media results on a very small budget”.
  • Exeter-based Astley Media won Outstanding Small Public Relations Consultancy’ for its impressive business growth, a clear positioning and a clear alignment toward business goals



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