The Gong Blog

The glamour, the glitz…it’s the P-R-S-A awards!


It’s been three weeks and I finally feel ready to look back and express how it felt to both coordinate and celebrate the 2015 Virginia Public Relations Awards.

Any good event comes with at least one “oh no!” moment. For me it was when I thought we had lost 12 awards.

I kept calm.

I took deep breaths.

And then I rejoiced when a lone box was located amongst the rubble of awards packaged. Found!

As PRSA Richmond’s 2nd vice president of awards, I had the pleasure of coordinating the 2015 Virginia Public Relations Awards. Hodges has been a huge supporter of PRSA Richmond, and I was very grateful the agency allowed me to orchestrate the ceremony.

I had visions of creating an opening number like the Oscars or Grammy’s. I had a jingle in my head: “The glamour, the glitz, the media relations hits … it’s the P-R-S-A Awards!” All I needed was good lighting and tap shoes.

Then I remembered that I have a full-time job. My dreams of opening numbers, were soon replaced by meetings, phone calls, writing, pitches, the kind of work that gets you…well, a PRSA award!

But we didn’t have to abandon all the ideas. Hodges was generous enough to donate selfie sticks for each table’s entertainment during the ceremony. (Weren’t they fun?!)

After any event, it always amazes me how much planning and preparation goes into such a short time frame. It’s a lot like Christmas. Shop, shop, shop and it’s over in 15 minutes. I wish I had the awards committee around for my Christmas shopping. It would go a lot smoother. I enjoyed watching my colleagues and peers receive awards for their good work. Many times, I think we move on so quickly to new projects and campaigns that we don’t get to celebrate our successes. The Virginia Public Relations Awards is not only a time to celebrate, but an opportunity for reflection.

A highlight of the evening was watching the legendary Suzanne Hall receive the 2015 Thomas Jefferson Award. She has served as a mentor to so many (including me!) during her 30 years at the VMFA. It was a thrill to see her accept this well-deserved honor.

Countless people helped with the planning of the awards: from writing and editing the script to volunteers that helped assembly 40 selfie sticks right before the show. A special hat tip to the talented Pryor Green, communications specialist at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, who flawlessly assisted me with executing the event.

Thanks to everyone who submitted awards, sponsored and attended the ceremony. I hope to see you again next year when I’ll be (happily) cheering you on from my seat in the audience. 

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POSTED IN: Public Relations, The Hodges Partnership

Cameron McPherson

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1 Comment

  1. Suzanne Hall

    I need to request a correction. It was YOU who mentored me, Cameron. Both you and Jon have been important resources to me in my career.

    And a long overdue congratulations for an apparently flawless PRSA Awards event. And thanks. It it such an honor to work together.


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