WisCOMsin Awards: First-ever PRSA WisCOMsin Awards honors Wisconsin’s top communications professionals

MADISON, Wis. (April 30, 2021) – The Madison and Northeast Wisconsin chapters of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) celebrated the creative, innovative, responsive and expert talents and contributions of communications professionals in the state with the 2021 WisCOMsin Awards this week.

The inaugural PRSA state awards program for Wisconsin was held virtually April 27 and honored the top communications, public relations and marketing achievements by professionals in 2020. The event included project-based awards and prestigious practitioner honors bestowed on individuals and a group.

“Our two chapters in Madison and Northeast Wisconsin as well as PRSA Southeast Wisconsin partnered to create a Vistage-like program for board collaboration, along with providing more resources and high-quality programming to PR pros throughout the state. And this partnership has been largely successful,” said Meghan Leatherman, president of PRSA Madison.

“One of the first big initiatives of our new collaboration was the creation of the first-ever statewide PR awards program,” added Kara Leiterman, president of PRSA Northeast Wisconsin. “The excitement and interest for this year’s PR awards event in Wisconsin, reflected by a high number of impressive entries in all categories, has us already looking forward to making the WisCOMsin Awards an annual tradition with bigger and better things.”

A panel of PR professionals from the Madison and Northeast Wisconsin chapters reviewed written nominations submitted by peers for the practitioner awards and determined the winners for all-around communications excellence in the previous year.

Those awards were as follows:

  • Co-Communicators of the Year — Dr. Ashok Rai, president and CEO of Green Bay-based Prevea Health; and Rob Gard, director of public relations and communications for Destination Madison.
  • Communications Team of the Year – Prevea Health communications team.
  • Young Professional of the Year – Alison Wedig, marketing and public relations specialist with Culver’s, headquartered in Prairie du Sac.

“As a young professional, the ability to connect with people is so important,” Wedig said in accepting her award. “I value my relationship with PRSA Madison. The ability to meet and connect with people is all really valuable, especially in a year like 2020 when we had to do it all virtually.”

Judging by members of the PRSA Maryland Chapter of entries on a comprehensive scoring rubric determined the recipients of WisCOMsin Awards in the project award categories. PRSA members and non-members were invited to submit entries for work done in 2020.

The highest-scoring entry in each category, contingent on the submission reaching a predetermined overall scoring threshold, earned the Award of Excellence. The winners were as follows:

  • Content Creation – Marketing team from Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton for its entry “2019-20 Season at a Glance.”
  • Crisis Communications – Marketing team from Fox Cities Performing Arts Center for its entry “The Act 2 Fund.”
  • Digital Tactics – IT communications team from American Family Insurance in Madison for its entry “Inside IT.”
  • Integrated Marketing Campaigns – Destination Madison for its entry “Shop Madison.”
  • Multimedia – PR, social and content team from Hiebing in Madison for its entry “Slow TV.”
  • PR & Media Relations Tools – Prevea Health and University of Wisconsin-Green Bay for their entry “Press Conference: Governor Visits Prevea COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic at UW-Green Bay.”
  • Public Affairs and Community Education – Green Bay Area Public School District, Howard-Suamico School District and Leonard & Finco Public Relations from Green Bay for their entry “Brown County Press Conference.”
  • Social Media Campaign – Destination Madison for its entry “Explore Outdoor Madison.”
  • Special Events – PR and marketing team from WDS Construction in Beaver Dam for its entry “15-Year Anniversary.”