The campaign I created for the 60th Anniversary of Philadelphia Senior Center was honored by the Philadelphia Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) at the Pepperpot Awards dinner on December 3, 2009 at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. The annual event honors the extraordinary work of public relations professionals across the Greater Philadelphia region. The campaign “There’s No Place Like Home” received a first-place Pepperport Award in the category of special events lasting 15 days or more, with budgets of $15,000 or more.
“There’s No Place..” was a year-long campaign to commemorate 60 years of service to older adults in the Philadelphia region. It featured more than 19 events that attracted 2,500 clients, donors, volunteers and special guests. Innovative tactics included the production of a DVD off digital stories about clients, volunteers and donors. The digital story-telling project was complimented by the creation of original music by a local composer with assistance from the senior members of the center. The music was distributed on a compact disc with the DVD. The year-long campaign ended with a themed-gala that tied together the importance of seniors living in their homes with the popular movie the “Wizard of Oz.” The gala featured a modern-day Emerald City with a green Liberty Bell and “Love” statue, sixteen-foot tall ruby slippers, a haunted forest, and a twelve-foot tall tin man.
Other team members who contributed to the 60th Anniversary campaign included Volunteer Service Coordinator Helen Sunga, Development Assistant Matthew Connell and Public Relations Coordinator Stella Pressman. Volunteers who contributed to the execution of the campaign included Public Relations Chairperson Owen Murphy, Development Committee Chairs Barbara Rittenhouse and Jean Machiz, and special contributor Marc Machiz.
The 41st Philadelphia Pepperpot Awards program encouraged members to explore the endless avenues of social media impacting their professional and personal lives. All materials were sent by email or posted online at www.phillypepperpots.com, where a Pepperpots social community provided a new way to network and interact with others who participate in the awards program. More than 90 entries were judged in 34 categories ranging from feature stories to social media campaigns.