Celebrate PR History in the Making

Preparation is in the home stretch for the Publicity Club of New England’s 46th Annual Bell Ringer Awards that salute the ‘best of the best’ communicators from across the region.

It is a night of making history, and recognizing those that make change. This year, the Club received the most submissions ever by the most organizations.  Those whose impact rose to the top again prove public relations is essential to our modern-day economy. More than making headlines for an obscure brand, or smoothing out the wrinkles in a difficult story, we are the trendsetters, leadership makers and connectors who bring ideas into action.

Consider 65 years ago, when the Publicity Club of New England established, the scope of history making that would forever influence how organizations reach out to earn our attention:

  • Hometown pioneer Edward L. Bernays was paving the way for our profession as the dean of PR counselors
  • Milton Berle ushered in the era of televised fundraisers, bringing an early generation of Cause Marketing into our homes that continues today.
  • The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences launched a PR initiative called The Emmy Awards, to call attention to contributions in its industry. That event forever shaped future awards programs.

The Bell Ringer Awards began 46-years ago to recognize public relations excellence.  Our awards arrived as:

  • Boston University submitted its charter to become the Edward L. Bernays Chapter of PRSSA, the first to be approved at a leading New England educational organization. Today PRSSA is preparing 11,000 student members at 342 colleges and universities.
  • CBS Network launched 60 Minutes, a news program that called attention to the importance of a dedicated public relations management function for any public-facing official or enterprise.
  • In the wake of the assassination of civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King, Boston Mayor Kevin White led a groundbreaking lesson in crisis response, cementing the interdependency of public action and media.  It is widely held that when he enlisted WGBH to broadcast the local James Brown concert, he diffused civil unrest and helped public safety.

These headlines from decades past were our healthcare.gov launch, delivery drones, Twitter IPO and national day of recovery of their time.  From 1949 to the present, it is the presence of public relations in how groundbreaking stories play out and are communicated that shape our economy and our life.  Our members are influencers and we are communicating in tweets and Meetups  to do it.

The 46th Annual Bell Ringer Awards on June 9 is our signature event that revisits the range of professional expertise that shaped the year’s headlines and action. It is thee place where leading communicators converge for an evening of networking and reunions. Thank you to our sponsors, judges, entrants and Board for making our night happen.

I encourage you to add to history, purchase a ticket and introduce yourself to me next week. Tickets are available now at Eventbrite.


-Maryanne Keeney, MKPR LLC, www.mkpr.net, @Mayne

President, Publicity Club of New England

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