Otter PR Wins Public Relations Award for PR Tactics

PR Daily Award

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Otter PR, the innovative PR agency that creates the thought leaders of tomorrow, has raked in yet another award. Ragan Communications’s PR Daily Awards praised Otter PR’s public relations tactics and selected the agency to receive an honorable mention in its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) category.

Ragan Communications’ PR Daily Awards shine a spotlight on top performers in the media relations industry. As the program’s website explains, “The PR Daily Awards reflect the incredible talent and leadership in the field of communications and point to the increasing influence of communications in all sectors of the marketplace… This prestigious awards program recognizes the top PR, marketing, and social media campaigns and content worldwide.”

“This award means a lot to us,” says Otter PR CEO Scott Bartnick. “Winning a PR Daily Award has always been one of my lifelong dreams, and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion is one of our core values here at Otter PR.”

Otter PR received Ragan Communications’s PR Daily Award for DEI for its cutting-edge work, securing media coverage on behalf of transgender thought leader Wynne Nowland.

Otter PR’s award-winning public relations

About Wynne Nowland, transgender advocate

Wynne Nowland spent years living two separate lives. At home and with her friends, she could be her true self, but at her workplace — medium-sized insurance and financial services company Bradley & Parker — she still labored under her outdated name and pronouns.

Having worked at the Melville, New York business since 1986 and served in multiple senior positions, Nowland became CEO in January 2017. Just a few months later, she decided to stop keeping up false appearances and come out as transgender to her company. She was 56 years old at the time. 

Toward that end, Nowland emailed her entire company, announcing she would arrive at work as Wynne. That same day, she came to work as her true self, wearing makeup, Tiffany earrings, and a woman’s pantsuit. She also sent emails to Bradley & Parker’s board and corporate clients, reassuring them that her steady and reliable leadership would not change.

Anyone would have worried about the reception such news would receive. Happily, most of Wynne’s colleagues and coworkers responded with support. She has also become even more effective as a leader. Not only has she been able to focus more of her time and energy on leading her company, but also, many of her employees find it easier to open up to her.

Finally, Nowland has emerged as an essential and effective spokesperson for the transgender community. By sharing her story with the world, she helps raise awareness of the transgender experience and advocates for transgender people, especially in the realm of business.

Otter PR’s award-winning PR tactics

The making of Nowland’s public relations campaign 

Otter PR’s talented PR team started working with Nowland in October 2021. One of the advantages of working with Otter PR is its lightning-fast onboarding process. Within only a couple of days of being assigned to Nowland’s account, her PR team held their first strategy session with her. As part of this meeting, they asked about Nowland’s PR objectives and started brainstorming how best to reach out to media channels to meet her priorities.

Crafting a truly advantageous PR plan involves much more than writing press releases — it identifies not only one target audience but a broad range of media outlets that could take an interest in the client for numerous different reasons. The best PR strategy involves creative PR approaches that shape public perception and create and maintain positive public sentiment or brand awareness. It is a critical component of any business or high-profile individual’s overall marketing strategy.

While other agencies routinely take a month or two to develop a PR strategy for a product or service, Otter PR sent Nowland a full Initial Strategy Plan only a few days after their initial strategy session, which outlined numerous angles for reaching out to members of the media. In short order, Nowland approved the plan, which freed the public relations team to start pitching. They proceeded with this PR activity without delay, and the result was quick success.

Otter PR’s tactics show public relations are important

With Nowland’s Initial Strategy Plan outlined and ready to go, Otter PR knew that the timing was right for Miami PRIDE, allowing the team to craft and send pitches related to the event immediately following Nowland’s onboarding with the agency. Topics related to transgender athletes were also trending in the news, so Nowland’s team pitched angles that enabled Nowland to weigh in on these controversies and promote an understanding of transgender perspectives.

Nowland also raised her voice to protest the wave of anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation that Republicans advanced in 2022. Otter PR’s team was also able to help her speak out against Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s disparaging remarks about transgender athletes.

In addition, Nowland’s team at Otter PR prepared angles that empowered her to tell her story.

PR strategies for the best PR

“People are fascinated by all aspects of this transition, so I knew we could focus on every element and go deep,” explains Danielle Gober, Nowland’s Account Strategist at Otter PR. Toward that end, she brainstormed angles related to developing one’s own new fashion style, how best to approach friendship and dating post-transition, and learning how to break free of the past and redefine one’s belief system. Other examples include things Nowland wished she had known before starting her transition and the challenges she has overcome.

“Of course, the timelines in PR plan templates often don’t survive first contact with reporters,” Gober admits with a laugh. “But they show the wide range of work we can do over time.”

Walker and Gober prioritized targeted pitches to journalists over press releases, using these strategies to get a more authentic and effective public relations campaign.

Wynne Nowland’s award-winning PR campaign with Otter PR

Effective PR tools and PR goals create massive success

Due to Otter PR’s dedication and hard work, Nowland has captured the world’s attention. Otter PR’s pitches successfully earned Nowland feature articles in the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo, Business Insider, and other top-tier business outlets. Forbes and CNBC have also featured her prominently in articles on transgender issues and entrepreneurship. 

In addition, Otter PR’s strategy and tactics, along with Nowland’s unique appeal, have also landed her opportunities to influence politics. During the 2022 midterm elections, she was able to explain how states’ voter ID laws can disenfranchise transgender voters in a USA Today article that received 108,000 unique visits. In PopSugar, she supported the Respect for Marriage Act, which would protect same-sex marriage in federal law and prevent the US Supreme Court from potentially overturning Obergefell v. Hodges. That article received more than 16 million unique visits.

Using PR tactics to change the world

“Wynne is a true thought leader,” Nowland’s publicist, Court Walker explains. “By sharing her story, she makes talking about transitioning normal and challenges the social stigma. She opens people’s minds and changes their outlook. In the process, she ignites a deeper conversation about diversity and inclusion in the workplace.”

“Wynne’s story not only inspires people who are struggling to transition themselves, but also anyone who is confronting adversity and social pressure in their own lives,” says Gober. “That’s pretty much everyone. She’s really inspiring to work with.”

As a client of Otter PR, Nowland has amassed 118 pieces of coverage that have received more than 8 million estimated views. The audiences of the outlets featuring her coverage reached a combined total of 5.26 billion people. 

While these readers and listeners include members of the LGBTQ community and other groups, Walker and Gober have also successfully gained Nowland access to massive mainstream audiences. In this way, Otter PR has helped her message reach millions of people who would never have encountered it otherwise.

Ragan Communications’s PR Daily Awards recognizes Otter PR for excellence in DE&I

Expert public relations strategy

Ragan Communications’s PR Daily Awards recognized Otter PR’s extraordinary work on behalf of Nowland at a gala at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, on December 15, 2023. Hundreds of leading PR professionals and public relations managers attended the event. Awards were given to only the most successful public relations outfits for truly exemplary work and the most effective PR tactics.

“It’s impossible to express how thrilled we are to be recognized for our commitment to diversity and inclusion,” says Jay Feldman, Otter PR’s CMO and co-founder. “This validation makes us even more determined to continue this work and promote equity in our industry.”

Ragan Communications recognizes effective PR campaigns

Ragan Communications is one of the most prestigious and influential organizations in the public relations industry. Founded more than 50 years ago, it provides news, information, analysis, and training to public relations professionals in the communications, human resources, and marketing fields. Its conferences and workshops are popular vehicles for professional development and networking.

Ragan offers a wide range of awards each year. Some focus on general types of PR campaigns, such as business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-customer (B2C) campaigns, product launches, and crisis strategy. Others focus on specific industries, such as technology and information services, finance and banking, and hospitality and tourism. More focus is on the method used, saluting the press releases, events, pitches, videos, or social media posts. 

If that wasn’t already enough, some categories recognize the contributions of podcasts and publications. As this partial list demonstrates, the impact of PR is impressive for its scope.

“It feels great to have our PR efforts singled out for acknowledgment among so many other amazing PR professionals,” Walker says.

In particular, the PR Daily Award for DE&I celebrates excellence in PR campaigns that support diversity, equity, and inclusion. Applicants need to explain their initiative’s goals as well as how the PR team used their “communications platform to combat discrimination against the marginalized group(s) [they] were supporting,” as the awards program’s website explains.

Otter PR is a leader in great public relations, successful PR

DE&I is a core value for Otter PR

Otter PR’s top leadership reacted to the news of this award with gratitude. “Jay and I are incredibly proud of the work our time has done for Wynne,” Bartnick adds. “Their cutting-edge work proves Otter PR is the PR agency of tomorrow.”

“Both Scott and I thank our team for all their hard work,” Feldman says. “We feel honored to have such talented PR experts on our team.”

More than public relations tactics

As for Nowland’s PR team, while they greatly appreciate winning this award, they appreciate the chance to continue working with Nowland even more. “We love Wynne and helping her tell her story,” Gober says. “Getting this award is the proverbial cherry on top.”

“I’m proud of our work with Wynne because it makes a real difference in the world,” Walker adds. “When Wynne speaks, people listen. What she says moves people in ways other voices can’t.”

As Otter PR’s public relations efforts on behalf of Nowland show, a solid PR strategy helps build and maintain a positive public image. It can also help you establish advantageous community relations and change the world for the better. Turn to Otter for your own strategic public relations and start experiencing the rewards of positive PR for yourself!

Tags: business success, media relations, PR, Public relations
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Otter PR Staff

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About Otter PR

Rated the #1 PR Firm in the US by Clutch and International Business Times, Otter PR adds a modern spin to traditional PR. As the only Tier-1 PR firm the guarantees coverage every month, and offers month-to-month service, it no wonder that companies like Alibaba, Boomers, and Bitcoin of America trust Otter PR.

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