Greg Linnelli Wins Silver Stevie Award for Communications Professional of the Year

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The American Business Awards, the nation’s premier business awards program, announced its 2024 winners in late April, honoring Otter PR’s Greg Linelli as the year’s top communications professional. Linnelli, an account strategist at Otter PR, was given the Silver Stevie Award acknowledging him as Communications Professional of the Year.

“I’m extremely honored and humbled to have been selected for this award, especially considering all of the talented professionals who were competing and the amazing work they are doing in the PR space,” said Linnelli. “I’m also extremely thankful for the Otter PR team. We all play a role in the amazing success we’ve achieved for our clients. This award reflects the support they provide to me as I play out my role as an account strategist.”

Linnelli was one of over 3,700 applicants who were considered for awards during this year’s judging. The Communications Professional of the Year Award is presented to a non-executive level employee in the communications, public relations, and investor relations fields.

“While growth in much of the world economy has recovered slowly from the COVID-19 pandemic, the American economy continues to show remarkable resilience and growth,” said Stevie Awards president Maggie Miller. “Our 2024 Stevie winners have contributed to that successful recovery through their innovation, persistence, and hard work. We congratulate all our winners in the 2024 ABAs and look forward to celebrating their achievements during our June 11 awards banquet in New York.”

Driving client success with excellent strategic planning

Linnelli joined the Otter PR team in 2022 as a publicist where he quickly took on managing a diverse portfolio that included as many as 15 clients at a time, representing a wide variety of industries. His work in building relationships with media contacts and helping to craft communication strategies successfully secured many features for his clients in top-tier outlets including Forbes, Wall Street Journal, CNBC TV, Business Insider, Benzinga, Al Jazeera TV, and Morning Wire. His work dramatically boosted clients’ media exposure, firmly establishing many as experts in their respective fields.

After only eight months of working as a publicist, Linnelli was promoted by Otter PR to the role of account strategist where his new duties involved overseeing approximately 60 clients and leading a team of seven to eight Otter PR publicists. By leveraging his excellent communication and strategic planning skills, Linnelli quickly elevated the performance of his entire team by fine-tuning communication plans to increase the overall number of high-profile placements for his team’s clients.

“Greg’s achievements at Otter PR are particularly remarkable when you consider that many of his clients had previously worked with other PR firms and transitioned to Otter PR when their previous firms were unable to secure the success they wanted,” explains Otter PR co-founder and CMO Dr. Jay Feldman. “Greg goes above and beyond to secure consistent top-tier coverage for his clients. His experience in the media world has given him powerful insights that help him get through to journalists, delivering interesting angles that attract attention. The results are media features that are intentional and substantive, resulting in tangible results that clients note and appreciate.”

Linnelli secured an impressive number of high-profile wins for clients, including impactful appearances in Business Insider and Benzinga. His skill at developing communication strategies that capitalize on significant industry events to maximize client visibility led to standout wins during the SVB collapse, which included successful efforts to get multiple clients featured in Market Watch, Wall Street Journal, Bankrate, and similar top-tier publications. Linnelli’s capacity for helping clients achieve “industry thought leader” status was pivotal in helping his client Gabby Kusz be named one of the American Banker’s 20 Most Influential Women in Fintech for 2023.

Linnelli is also the Game Day Host for the Tampa Bay Lightning Radio Network, providing on-air commentary for the National Hockey League team. Serving in that position helps him to have an informed perspective on the optimal way to craft communication plans that attract media attention and make meaningful media connections.

“During my first meeting with a new client, I always ask them about their dream publications,” Linnelli shares. “I want to know what they consider to be the pinnacle of PR success so I can develop and deploy a strategy that has the potential to get them there. It doesn’t always happen, but it’s a great feeling when it does. To be honored in this way by American Business Awards for doing that kind of work is icing on the cake.”

American Business Awards: Honoring professional achievements for over 20 years

The ABA awards were created in 2002 to honor and acknowledge professionals in a wide range of fields who significantly contribute to the business landscape. The Stevie Award draws its name from the Greek word for “crown.” Being honored with one is considered a crowning achievement for any business professional.

Each year, more than 12,000 people are nominated for Stevie Awards. Applicants seek recognition in several categories, including international business, sales and customer service, and technology excellence. Awards are given for Startup of the Year, Executive of the Year, Best New Product of the Year, App of the Year, and more. All organizations operating in the US are eligible to nominate employees for the American Business Awards category, including public and private organizations, for-profit and nonprofit, and large and small.

“We are delighted to acknowledge the wide range of American organizations in The 2024 American Business Awards,” stated Michael Gallagher, founder and Executive Chairman of the Stevie Awards. “This year, we witnessed a surge in nominations in categories like Product Innovation, Innovation of the Year across diverse industries, and Technology Categories, mirroring the influence of new and emerging technologies shaping our nation.” 

Winners of the Stevie Awards are selected by a panel of judges who review nominations over three months. Nominations are evaluated based on categories such as innovation, integrity, effectiveness, creativity, growth, and others. There are 10 specialized committees of judges composed of more than 250 members.

Otter PR: Leading the way in a new era of public relations

Linnelli’s Stevie Award is part of a long list of accolades recently bestowed upon Otter PR and its team members for the outstanding work they are doing in the PR space. In February 2024, Inc. Magazine ranked Otter PR No. 33 on its list of fastest-growing private companies in the Southeast US. The Inc. Regional Award acknowledges Otter PR as one of the most successful companies in the southeast US. The Inc. 500 ranking also honors Otter PR for “innovative achievements” that have led to “sustainable growth and jobs.”

“Being named to the Inc. list was a huge win for Otter PR and our wider community,” Dr. Feldman says. “The significant and sustained growth we have worked hard to achieve over the past few years has empowered us to add dozens of well-paying jobs to the community, thereby contributing to the health of the local economy. Joining the list is an honor that has made us even more committed to growing our agency in a way that allows our team, clients, and community to thrive.”

In 2023, Otter PR was awarded the coveted 2023 People’s Choice Stevie® Award for Favorite Public Relations Company. People’s Choice award winners are determined by public vote, which illustrates the high level of prestige and appreciation Otter PR has achieved within the PR space. Otter PR was also awarded the UpCity Best of Florida Award in 2023, acknowledging its consistent delivery of remarkable results and exceptional service.

“It’s always a thrill for our company and our team members to be recognized for the excellent work we provide our clients,” says Otter PR co-founder and CEO Scott Bartnick. “Our ongoing focus on increasing PR impact through innovative practices has placed us at the top of our industry. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of Greg and our dozens of other Otters, we’ve been able to mark ourselves as a company that consistently delivers for our clients. When companies want to boost their brand and build their reputation, Otter PR provides the talent and expertise needed to achieve those goals.”

Otter PR’s innovative approach to public relations grew out of the belief that the shift to digital media occurring in the world would dramatically alter the PR landscape. Bartnick and Dr. Feldman developed a new approach to PR that would leverage the power of non-traditional outlets such as social media and podcasts in developing communication strategies. Their Web3 native agency gave clients streamlined access to brand-boosting media opportunities, which opened doors to the entire media industry.

“We each had a vision of bringing a fresh perspective and approach to the PR space,” Dr. Feldman recalls. “The status quo approach to PR failed to deliver the results companies wanted. We saw that PR methods needed to change to keep pace with the evolution of the media world, so we set our sights on emerging outlets and took a new approach to storytelling, engaging with audiences, and building meaningful media relations. Greg’s recent award and the many others that precede it prove that our approach to PR has the power to deliver results for our clients, outperforming conventional approaches in today’s modern media landscape.”

Tags: media relations, PR, Public relations
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