Public Relations, Digital Audience Labs Win Gold Awards in Three Competitions

Wednesday, Jan. 20


By Lisa Diethelm

The Cronkite Public Relations and Digital Audiences labs captured top awards at three different competitions for producing marketing campaigns and digital analytic strategies for a number of clients.

The Public Relations Lab took home three Gold awards at the 2020 NYX Marcom Awards while the Digital Audiences Lab secured three Gold awards at the Education Digital Marketing Awards and one award at the 2020 Marketing Communication (MarCom) Awards.

The Cronkite PR lab claimed Gold awards for “Big Brothers and Sisters – Mentors Needed,” a campaign aimed to help Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona recruit more male mentors, and “Fiesta Bowl Wishes for Teachers,” a festival that works to advocate and donate to teachers across the state. The lab’s campaign “ASU Athletics Coach and Student-Athlete Stories,” a collection of ASU Athletics student-athlete and coach profile stories, also won a Gold award.

This was the first time the PR Lab competed in the NYX Marcom Awards.

Lisa Schmidtke, director of the PR Lab, said the student teams who worked on the different strategies, pitches, and execution of campaigns reached their audiences and made opportunities for themselves despite challenges during COVID-19.

“Most students don’t get the opportunity to pitch something before they get out of school and they did it all. They pulled the media list, they wrote the pitch, they sent out the emails, they did follow-up calls. So, it was awesome work,” she said.

Schmidtke also said the awards help shine light on the students who are producing content and competing with other professionals in the public relations field.

“Almost all of the awards we enter for the Public Relations Lab are professional industry awards. We go for the professional awards because their work is aligned with professional work that people get paid full-time salaries for, and I felt super confident when I saw the work that the students did this past fall,” she said.

Like the PR Lab, Digital Audiences Lab Director and Professor of Practice Luis Bonilla said this is the first time the lab has participated in the MarCom Awards. Winning a Gold there and claiming three Golds at EDMA Awards, he said, reinforces that the two-year-old lab is building its legacy for students to come.

“It’s nice just to see what our university and our program are going up against from similar programs across the country. This shows all the hard work the students have put in throughout the semesters,” Bonilla said.

At the EDMA Awards, the Digital Audiences Lab received Gold awards for its strategic plans for Global Sports Matters, the media enterprise of the Global Sports Institute at ASU; Future Tense, a partnership of Slate, New America and ASU that examines emerging technologies; and Zócalo Public Square, an ASU Knowledge Enterprise. The lab’s work for Future Tense also won a Gold award at the 2020 MarCom Awards.

Colin Romaglia, a student worker in the Audiences Lab and a first semester senior, said that the awards will continue to bring recognition to the Digital Audiences Lab.

“The impact that the awards have really is just that they gain some recognition for the lab overall,” he said. “To have a program like that already be award-winning off the bat just speaks volumes to the work that our students do, and we’re also very thankful that our clients have been able to allow us to do that work.”

The NYX Marcom Awards celebrate the best in marketing communications ideas and honor the competent and efficient concepts produced by marketing teams and agencies across the world. The EDMA Awards measure the marketing execution and creativity of a message’s impact, technology application and innovative content. Similarly, the MarCom Awards recognizes the excellence and hard work of creative marketing industry professionals.

Below is a list of the awards both labs won.

Public Relations Lab

2020 NYX Marcom Awards

Gold – Media Relations/Publicity – Big Brothers Big Sisters – Mentors Needed

Gold – Media Relations/Publicity – Fiesta Bowl Wishes for Teachers

Gold – Content Marketing & Writing – ASU Athletics Coach and Student-Athlete Stories

Digital Audiences Lab

EDMA Awards

Gold – Annual or Community Report – Global Sport Matters: Fall 2020 Semester: Strategic Plan

Gold – Digital Publication: Campaign – Future Tense: Fictional Story Promotions

Gold – Social Equality – Zócalo Public Square: When Women Vote Series

2020 MarCom Awards

Gold – Strategic Communications for Marketing/Promotion Campaign and Digital Marketing – Future Tense Fictional Stories Campaign – Summer 2020