PRSA-NY: Knowledge & Networking for NY Communications Pros

The New York Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America is one of the oldest, largest, and most prominent public relations Chapters in the country. Located in the media capital of the world, it offers top-level professional development, networking, mentoring, and awards. PRSA-NY serves communications professionals in agencies, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and government, as well as independent practitioners. Read more




Edelman, Ketchum and other leading organizations received prestigious Big Apple.

33rd annual PR industry award program celebrating excellence in communications.

NEW YORK, NY  |  September 30, 2020 – Today, the Public Relations Society of America-New York Chapter (PRSA-NY) announces the winners for the 2020 Big Apple Awardsa prestigious, annual awards program honoring outstanding PR campaigns and projects developed or implemented in and around New York City. 

For the first time in our 33-year history, the Big Apple Awards were held as a virtual experience from Saturday, September 26 – Thursday, October 1, 2020. The four-day virtual summit recognized various PR awards including the “15 Under 35” and “Leadership in Diversity & Inclusion” and culminated in an evening focused on the PR industry’s resilience in “Crisis Communications: Responding to the Pandemic.”

“Each Big Apple Awards is a special experience for communicators and PR practitioners and this year was no exception,” said Kellie Jelencovich, PRSA-NY President. “The winning campaigns and programs addressed the societal issues impacting our lives and the way businesses operate before-and-after the COVID-19 pandemic. From LGBTQ+ advocacy to accelerating women’s empowerment and closing the gap on wealth inequality, we rewarded breakthrough submissions from the best in our industry.”


A diverse and dynamic group of speakers were selected for the Big Apple Awards to lead, host, present and participate in programs throughout the four-day virtual experience:


·       Marg Miranda-Abate, Head (Director), Communications & Patient Advocacy Group Latin America & Canada Company Novartis Oncology, Senior Director, Big Apple Awards, PRSA-NY Co-Chair of D&I

·       Miriam Brito, Assistant Vice President, Makovsky PR

·       Sabrina Browne, Account Director, BCW Global; Vice President of Marketing

·       Cessie Cerrato, Vice President of PR, Palace Resorts; Senior Director of Programming, PRSA-NY

·       Kristen Clonan, President, Airfluence

·       Angela Chitkara, Founder and CEO, US India Corridor LLC.

·       Kendis Gibson, MSNBC, Live Weekend Anchor

·       Carmella Glover, Executive Director, Diversity Action Alliance

·       Andrew Graham, Founding partner, Clear; President-elect, PRSA-NY

·       Noelle Gorbunoff, Senior Account Supervisor, Kaplow

·       Ron Guirguis - Co-Founder - The Convergence Collective LLC

·       Pattie Hallock, Senior Vice President, MSL

·       Julianna Hutson, Strategy and Communications Manager, Columbia University Irving Medical Center

·       Kellie Jelencovich, President, PRSA-NY; Vice President, Travel Leaders Group

·       Sarah Katz, Chief of Staff, Diffusion PR

·       Soon Mee Kim, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, Omnicom

·       Lorena Kuri, Head of Diversity Strategy, Bristol-Myers Squib

·       Grace Leong, CEO & Partner, HUNTER

·       Suzanne Lyons, Senior Director, APCO Worldwide

·       Rich Masters, EVP of Public Affairs for the biotechnology giant, Bio

·       David Perez, Vice President, MSL

·       Kathleen Ruiz, Founder and CEO, KRW Consulting

·       Steve Schnoberg, Director of Communications, Target ALS

·       Peter Shankman, Founder of HARO

·       Helen Shelton, Senior Partner, Finn Partners

·       Kate Ryan, Managing Director, US, Diffusion PR

·       Patrice Tanaka, Founder of Joyful Planet

·       Denise Vitola, Founder and CEO, Vitola Strategies


The Chapter recognizes the many people and companies that dedicated either time or money to the 2020 Big Apple Awards. The evening’s entertainment was provided by award-winning vocalist, Lauren Jelencovich, an accomplished singer who is currently touring with Yanni in the U.S. and abroad. The category winners and honorable mentions encompass entries from more than 100 PR agencies and in-house communications teams. This year, over 150 entries were evaluated by teams comprised of senior-level communications practitioners representing a broad range of disciplines and expertise. PRSA-NY selected more than 80 judges to review and score the entries using an online portal and then convened on Zoom for roundtable deliberations to ultimately determine the winners. 


Beyond the extensive list of recipients of the 2020 Big Apple Awards, the Chapter’s awards program for campaign work, PRSA-NY announced the winners of three other awards programs: its 15 Under 35 Awards, which recognizes younger practitioners; its Leadership in Diversity Awards, which identifies groundbreaking diversity and inclusion efforts; and its Individual Chapter Awards, which acknowledges prominent industry professionals for their achievements, mentoring, and service to the Chapter, respectively. Twenty-five professionals 35 years of age or younger were named to the 15 Under 35 listing as winners and honorable mentions. which this year had a record number of nominees.


The 2020 Big Apple Awards Leadership in Diversity Awards winners included: Sarah Kate Ellis – President & CEO, GLAAD; OTIS, led by Judy Marks; Mariela Dabbah, CEO – Red Shoe Movement; Gigi García Russo – Partner + Multicultural Practice Leader, HUNTER; Nathan Cummings Foundation led by Candace Wynter; HUNTER Anti-Racism Action Group; FORBES The Culture.


Jon Iwata, Fellow, Yale School of Management won the John W. Hill Award and Henry Feintuch, President of Feintuch Communications, Lynne Scott Jackson – Founder, President + CEO, Millynneum Incorporated received the 2020 PRSA-NY President’s Award.


The sponsors for the awards included leading agencies and organizations across the Greater New York City Area:

·       15 Under 35 Sponsor: Business Wire

·       Crystal Sponsor: GCI Health

·       Gold Sponsor: D S Simon Media, HUNTER

·       Blue Sponsor: Richard Dukas PR

·       Benefactor Sponsors: Butler Associates, Sharp Think, The Stevens Group

·       Leadership in Diversity & Inclusion Awards Sponsor: Ketchum

·       John W. Hill Award Sponsor: Hill + Knowlton Strategies

·       Big Apple Award Ambassadors: Airfluence, The Doescher Group

·       Friends of the Big Apple: Super Travel of Palm Beach

·       In-Kind Sponsors: Feintuch Communications, Davis & Gilbert LLC


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With so many professionals working from home during these challenging times, PRSA-NY was interested to learn how it is impacting productivity and time management, and whether families and fridges are distractors. According to this informal online survey of PRSA-NY membership, which was conducted between March 23rd and April 1st, more than half of respondents (54%), believe they are more productive working from home as compared to being in a traditional office. They are disciplined, as most (69%), only make one to three runs to the refrigerator each day. To learn more Work From Home trends of PR professionals, click here.  


For the first time in history, the Big Apple Awards will be a Virtual Experienceoccurring from Saturday, September 26 – Thursday, October 1, 2020. The four-day virtual summit will recognize various PR awards including the “15 Under 35” and “Leadership in Diversity & Inclusion”, and culminate in an evening focused on the PR industry’s resilience in “Crisis Communications: Responding to the Pandemic”.

Tickets are available in three options including $45 for one day’s experience; $75 for the Big Apple Campaign Awards; and a $99 Full-Access Package that includes all four days. Early bird pricing is in effect now through midnight on Friday, September 11, 2020.


PRSA-NY Events
Please be aware that the safety of our community is of the utmost importance, and we will not move ahead with any in-person programs until it is safe to do so. We are currently holding webinars to continue to deliver content and information to our members. If you have any questions, please reach out to us at, or (212) 228 - 7228

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