Confessions of a Bell Ringer Award Winner

By Sue Booth, Communications, Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems

What did winning this award mean to Raytheon?

I can’t express it better than Pam Wickham, vice president of Corporate Affairs and Communication at Raytheon when she said, “Standing out amongst New England’s most creative communicators is a tall order. Winning six Bell Ringer awards –including the Platinum Super Bell – was such an important validation for our team’s work to support Raytheon’s most critical programs and employee-based initiatives. It was truly a magical night.” 

Why was this campaign so meaningful to Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems?

As one of four Raytheon businesses, Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) designs, builds and supports air and missile defense systems worldwide. Our business has 14,000 employees around the globe and is headquartered in Tewksbury, Massachusetts.

The goal of this employee communications campaign was to improve employees’ understanding of the “business of the business” to ensure their ongoing alignment with our business strategy during a time of intense change that was meant to evolve our business to meet challenging market realities. Our “call to action” went beyond keeping our employees informed. To make an impact, we needed to bolster their confidence in our new leadership and draw on the pride our employees have in our noble mission — to create trusted, innovative solutions that make the world a safer place.

Results from several sources demonstrated strong strategy understanding and alignment, and just as important, confidence in leadership that topped the norm for both peer companies and high-performing companies as defined in best-in-class surveys. Our employees were re-engaged, confident in our direction and what they needed to do to execute the strategy.

What tips would you give to anyone submitting for a Bell Ringer?

Begin with the end in mind. Effective strategic plans include the elements of a winning submission before you even begin execution. This includes a strong business case, goals and objectives, audience identification, strategy, execution plan, benchmarks, and the means to measure success.

Draw on the data that supports your business case. When planning a campaign, you must be able to map your metrics back to your original objectives. These same measurable results underpin successful award submission. When you compile your submission, focus on three important elements: the story (business case: why we need to accomplish this), the strategy (how we’re going to accomplish this) and the results (what we accomplished. Note, this is not “what we did.”).

Consider a submission part of your campaign plan, not a “nice to do if you get to it.” This keeps you focused on executing all the elements of a winning submission (see tip #1) throughout the campaign and ensures you have everything you need for an award-worthy submission when you’re done.

How did you decide it was Bell Ringer worthy?

Our team looked at each element of the campaign, from research to results, to determine if we had an award-worthy success story to tell. (This is the meeting where we ask the hard questions, like, “What do we have to show for all the hard work we did?”)

In the end, we believed we had what we needed: a compelling business case (why we need to do this), a sound strategy (how we’re going to do it), and impressive results (the impact we made.)

What are you most excited about for the 2017 Bell Ringer Awards? 

Hands down, the 2016 Bell Ringer Awards night was the highlight of the year for our team.

It was the celebration we needed after a challenging year breaking new ground for our organization and our business partners. When the night was over, we came away with the Platinum Super Bell Award – and a whole new appreciation for the work the PubClub of New England does to support our profession and the people who make it their life’s work.

This year, we are gratified to be among the Bell Ringer finalists and we’re looking forward to another amazing evening with friends, colleagues and peers to recognize and celebrate the depth and breadth of talent, creativity and vision we have in our professional community.



Founded in 1949, The Publicity Club of New England is the region’s oldest not-for-profit public relations trade organization. The Publicity Club strives to promote and encourage involvement in the communications industry and specifically the professions of public relations, promotions and marketing.

Additional information about monthly Publicity Club programs, social and networking events, the “Bell Ringer” blog, up-to-date Job Bank and the 2016 Bell Ringer Awards Ceremony, including a complete list of last year’s winners, can be found on the Club’s Web site at Follow us on Twitter @PubClubofNE (#pcne) and at