New Britain, Conn., August 2, 2011 – Gaffney Bennett Public Relations (GBPR) was recently honored during the 2011 Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Mercury Awards.  Since 1997, the Mercury Awards recognize outstanding work in the public relations, communications and marketing professions.  Sponsored by the Connecticut Valley, Southern Connecticut and Westchester/Fairfield PRSA chapters, this year’s ceremony was held at Fantasia in North Haven, CT.

GBPR received a Gold Award in the Community Relations category for its work on behalf of Costco Wholesale, an international chain membership warehouse club offering a wide variety of goods and services, with hundreds of locations worldwide.  GBPR developed a comprehensive community relations campaign that focused on community members, leaders and local organizations, ensuring they had an accurate understanding of the company’s proposal to open a location in Guilford, Connecticut. 

“We are proud of the comprehensive, integrated communications campaign we executed for Costco Wholesale, and are honored that our firm has been recognized by our peers in the public relations industry,” said Patrick Kinney, a principal at GBPR. 

GBPR created a targeted communications plan which included a voter survey, direct mail, advertisements, community meetings and media outreach.  Additionally, GBPR launched and maintained Facebook and Twitter pages for the project, which served as a forum for residents to voice their support and gain timely updates on the progress.  As a result, over 600 residents signed up as supporters of the project, 300 people became fans of the Facebook page and meetings with community groups were highly attended. 

GBPR also received a Silver Award in the Reputation/Brand Management category on behalf of NBCUniversal’s Stamford Media Center (SMC).  GBPR’s mission was to support the company’s transition into the Stamford, Connecticut market and enhance SMC’s overall profile in the community by acquainting them with local business leaders, elected officials and non-profit organizations.  SMC is the headquarters for three of NBCUniversal’s highly-rated day time talk shows, “The Jerry Springer Show,” “Maury,” and “The Steve Wilkos Show.”  GBPR successfully facilitated partnerships between SMC and community groups and non-profit organizations to position itself as a good corporate citizen, both locally and throughout the state.

“We have worked with NBCUniversal to help them establish their presence as a welcome neighbor and good corporate citizen in the City of Stamford,” said Hank Spring, a principal at GBPR.  “They have clearly demonstrated their commitment to the community, and we are thrilled to have worked with them in achieving this goal.”

About GBPR:

Gaffney Bennett Public Relations (GBPR) is a full-service public relations and strategic communications firm based in New Britain, Connecticut.  GBPR specializes in media relations, crisis management and issue advocacy campaigns.  The firm’s in-house expertise includes public opinion research and grassroots campaign management as well as referenda management, social media and online communications capabilities.  GBPR services a number of industries including healthcare, financial services, energy/utilities, real estate/property development, technology, manufacturing, non-profit and trade associations.