A Taylor University student-led public relations campaign was recently awarded a platinum-level honor at the 2021 MarCom Awards.
The MarCom Awards is an international competition that recognizes exceptional achievement through creative entries from corporate marketing and communication departments, advertising agencies, public relations firms, design shops, production companies and freelancers. MarCom is considered to be one of the largest, most respected competitions for the communications industry in the world, according to its website.
Entering in the public relations educational campaign category, the team from Associate Professor of Communication Donna Downs’ cases and campaigns class presented an “Educational Campaign on Opioid Awareness” for Grant County.
This campaign was inspired from the statistics of the opioid crisis that claimed nearly 900,000 lives throughout the U.S. since 1999. In an effort to prevent this number from growing larger, the team attempted a county-wide day to remove unused prescription drugs from the community and educate schools and churches on the dangers of this crisis.
“This is very exciting news, and I am grateful for each of the students, partners, Dr. Downs and the Lord for this opportunity to showcase our hard work,” Claire Nieshalla, a junior multimedia journalism major, said in a university press release. “I am humbled to have worked alongside each of these incredible men and women in an effort to clear out unused prescription drugs from Grant County community's homes.”
In the 2021 MarCom Awards competition, over 6,000 entries from 41 countries were presented to judges; a panel made up of industry professionals. Awards are given at three levels; platinum, gold and honorable mentions.
Of all the entries, 10% were honorable mentions, 24% were awarded gold and 17% were awarded a platinum level, the highest honor that MarCom gives.
Excellence in the platinum category recognizes winners for quality, creativity and resourcefulness of a campaign.
“I’m proud of my students,” Downs said. “They seek excellence in their work, and in this situation, their dedication and hard work has been recognized. For this particular campaign, our client (CORE) appreciated what we offered them, and we were honored to team up with Marion General Hospital to both educate the county about opioid abuse and help remove vulnerable drugs from medicine cabinets in Grant County.”
In addition to receiving the title, platinum winners are given a detailed MarCom statuette trophy to symbolize this achievement.
This is not the first time Taylor has received such an honor. In 2017, four campaigns were awarded at the MarCom Awards, with two winning platinum and two winning gold.
Overall, receiving this award shows that students are highly capable of creating an excellent and effective public relations campaign. Students involved in this honor have an advantage to show the world outside of Taylor that they seek excellence and can perform at a high level.
All winners of both platinum and gold levels for the 2021 competition can be found on the MarCom Awards website (www.marcomawards.com/winners).