New Zealand PR – ‘the best of the best’

Global Alliance COMM PRIX award winners Andrew Park and Paul Carle from ANZ and Anthony Frith from New Zealand Transport Agency

Global Alliance COMM PRIX award winners Andrew Park and Paul Carle from ANZ and Anthony Frith from New Zealand Transport Agency

It’s been a great year on the world stage for New Zealand public relations and communication management with two of our organisations – ANZ New Zealand and the New Zealand Transport Agency – winning Global Alliance COMM PRIX awards.

The COMM PRIX awards recognise the highest professional standards, celebrating outstanding national and international programmes – the ‘best of the best’.

The awards are run by the Global Alliance which is the confederation of the world’s public relations and communication management organisations, with PRINZ one of the GA’s founding members. This means that you, as PRINZ members, are part of a global community working to enhance the role, understanding and value of public relations and communication management.

Through leadership and service the GA works to define universal principles that unite our members, raise professional standards and embrace and encourage the diversity of practice and cultures throughout our global network.

ANZ New Zealand scooped the honours in the Reputation/Brand Management category with NZ Transport Agency taking the prize for Issues Management.  Both organisations were eligible for entry based on their success in the 2013 PRINZ Awards – and winners of next year’s 40th PRINZ Awards will have the same opportunity to participate in 2014.

The COMM PRIX judges – professional leaders drawn from every continent – have described the winners as demonstrating absolute excellence in professional practice. They are indeed, the best of the best.

In the Issues Management category, NZ Transport Agency won with its work dealing with the slip at the Manawatu Gorge. NZTA’s approach recognised the audience were not just bystanders; they had a personal stake in what was happening. By giving the public a front row seat to the restoration effort, they were able to help the whole region understand and come to terms with an unprecedented natural disaster.

The judges commented: “The work of the Agency embraced the correction of misinformation and other public concerns in a timely manner through an up-to-date, sustained and consistent information flow. It demonstrated both a clear and creative approach to the issue and, therefore, could be used as a model for other PR practitioners faced with similar issues”.

ANZ New Zealand’s ‘New ANZ’ programme was also the PRINZ Supreme Award winner this year. It dealt with the move from two brands – ANZ and the National Bank – to one ‘new’ ANZ.

The COMM PRIX judges commented: “It was a highly detailed and complex project that required buy-in, support and assistance from the entire team of staff from both organisations. It is a superb example of the team’s communications knowledge and expertise. The strategy was very well thought out and planned and the attention to detail in the planning and execution left no stones unturned. Stakeholders were defined and reached out to in ways that ensured maximum understanding”.

As Secretary of the Global Alliance I had the pleasure and privilege of presenting the awards with PRINZ CE Simone Bell to Paul Carle and Andrew Park from ANZ and Anthony Frith from NZTA during the Northern Christmas celebrations at the Q Theatre in Auckland. The winners will also be invited to present their work as a case study at the World Public Relations Forum which will be held in Madrid in September 2014.

Kiwi practitioners have long set the highest standards of excellence in public relations and communication and it was fantastic to see this recognised at a global level and know that the approaches taken will be used as an example for others around the world facing similar challenges.

Participation in the COMM PRIX awards is open to those who have been recognised at national level, so if you are able to take a break over Christmas and the New Year it might be worthwhile spending a little time reflecting on your achievements in 2013 – and bringing them to the PRINZ Awards as a 2014 entry. Next year, it could be you.

So congratulations to the winners and best wishes for Christmas and the New Year to all our hard-working and dedicated public relations and communication professionals.

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