Public Relations and Community Relations Projects

Judges Reports

37 Entries

Gold Award

The University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom) - "Deep Time": How One of the UK's Most Historic Landmarks Became a Public Artwork on an Epic Scale

Edinburgh Castle

  • This was the premise of the "Deep Time" project. The University of Edinburgh partnered with the world-famous Edinburgh International Festival to use the expertise of its own academics to tell the story of one of Edinburgh's most fascinating figures from the past - James Hutton, the father of modern geology. Hutton's theory of "deep time" shattered conventional thinking that the Earth was thousands, rather than millions of years old.
  • But the story wasn't told in a lecture theatre - it was told against the backdrop of an ancient castle which was turned into a giant rugged canvas for a series of multimedia, digitally animated sounds and projections, charting 350 million years of history in 17 minutes to an awestruck audience of 27,000. 

Silver Award 

Berea College (Kentucky) - CBS Broadcast of "LISTEN: A Musical Celebration of Christmas at Berea College"

  • Arrangements were made to have the College's annual Christmas Concert broadcast nationally, pro-bono, on Christmas Eve 2016 by the CBS Television Network in order to expand Berea's exposure to current and potential constituents. To do so required collaborative efforts by personnel from many departments on campus and coordination with outside vendors to ensure a high-quality video production suitable for a nationwide broadcast that would introduce millions of viewers to the distinctive mission of Berea College, demonstrate the caliber of student performers; and convey the Christmas message of love that is central to Berea's Great Commitments.


University of California, Davis - UC Davis Sexual Violence Awareness and Education Campaign

No Blurred Lines

  • Sexual violence is one of the most pressing issues on college campuses. UC Davis decided to launch its first-ever integrated marketing campaign addressing awareness and prevention of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.
  • To create a campaign that would serve not only the UC Davis community but also as a model for other universities, the Sexual Violence Awareness and Education campaign team consulted with faculty, staff, and student leaders, as well as subject matter experts from across the campus. The collaboration ensured impactful messaging and maximum reach.

Bronze Awards

The University of Sheffield (United Kingdom) - Supporting Refugees and Asylum Seekers


  • When the refugee crisis exploded into popular consciousness, the University of Sheffield's unashamed internationalism and civic identity immediately galvanised our students and staff to join together and drive our response.
  • The University of Sheffield already had a strong history of helping those seeking refuge. Our Nobel prize winner Sir Hans Krebs came to Sheffield after being expelled from his university post by the Nuremberg laws in 1933. And in 2011, we committed to becoming the first University of Sanctuary in the UK - mirroring Sheffield's decision to be the UK's first City of Sanctuary.
  • We began a community and public relations campaign to demonstrate our support for refugees, developed in partnership with Sheffield-based organisations. This project focuses around three key areas:
    • How the University can support locally-based refugees and asylum seekers to access education, training, work and space
    • How we can use our student, staff academic experience to contribute to the public discourse on refugees and migration
    • What more the University can do to support at-risk students and academics through scholarships and work placements

University of Oregon - The Introduction of President Michael H. Schill: Year One at the University of Oregon

  • The selection of Michael Schill as the University of Oregon's 18th president would not be a typical leadership transition. The UO had churned through five presidents in seven years, suffered numerous reputational crises and lost standing among its peers. UO Communications launched a comprehensive plan to introduce the new president in a way that would reestablish trust, reset public opinion and create buy-in for the new president's vision. By tapping into Schill's engaging style and compelling backstory, creating unique tactics and storytelling, and connecting activities to his priorities, the team successfully established President Schill as a strong, transparent, and visionary leader to support the UO's mission and institutional priorities. The campaign garnered positive media attention, renewed campus enthusiasm, restored community connections and increased donor generosity.

Oregon President