PRSA-LA Marks 50th Annual PRism Awards with Hollywood Gala Celebrating Half Century of Excellence in Public Relations

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Citizen Relations Earn Top PRism Awards; PR Icon Howard Bragman is Among Special Honorees at Sold-Out Show Hosted by Actor and TV Personality John O’Hurley

50th Annual PRism Awards emcee John O'Hurley (left) and PRSA-LA President Erik Deutsch present coveted President's Award for the most awards won during the 2014 PRism Awards Show to DeAnn Marshall, Senior Vice President, Chief Development and Marketing Officer, Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). It was the third consecutive year CHLA earned the President’s Award. (Photo: Business Wire)

LOS ANGELES--()--The Los Angeles Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA-LA) celebrated the 50th Anniversary of its venerable PRism Award program on November 19 with a sold out gala at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

Nearly 350 guests packed the historic Blossom Ballroom (site of the first Academy Awards ceremony) to mark the PRism Award’s golden anniversary. The evening was emceed by actor and television personality John O’Hurley (“Seinfeld,” “Family Feud” and “Dancing with the Stars”), who peppered the evening with anecdotes of his days working in PR (as a PRSA member) before starting his career in show business.

Awards were presented in a range of categories to honor the best campaigns and tactics by PR professionals across the L.A. region. A total of 54 PRism Awards were presented to agency, independent, and in-house corporate and nonprofit PR professionals.

PRSA-LA President Erik Deutsch, principal of ExcelPR Group, began the awards ceremony by welcoming guests and providing some context. “The PRism Award has hit 50, but I think we can all agree it’s more beautiful than ever. This year marks our golden anniversary, and it represents a huge milestone for PRSA-LA and the PR industry in Los Angeles.”

For the third year in a row, the coveted President’s Award for the most awards won during the evening went to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, which took home seven PRism trophies. The Best in Show Award went to Citizen Relations for its NYAD Swim for Relief campaign, which earned a perfect score in the Cause-Related Marketing category.

This year’s competition drew more than 200 entries, making it one of the largest and most competitive in the PRism Award’s 50-year history. The complete list of 2014 PRism Award winners and Award of Excellence recipients is available at

In addition to the awards for best PR campaigns and tactics, PRSA-LA presented seven PRism Special Awards to honorees who have made exceptional contributions to the field of public relations and related disciplines.

Public relations industry icon Howard Bragman, vice chairman of and founder of Fifteen Minutes PR, was honored as “PR Professional of the Year” for his accomplishments as a nationally respected crisis counselor, civil rights activist and PR industry ambassador. His award was presented by Michael Nyman, chairman and CEO of PMK*BNC, who co-founded Bragman Nyman Cafarelli in 1990.

SpaceX earned the “PR Team of the Year” award based on its efforts to restore the L.A. region’s image for aerospace innovation, as well as for building a campaign worthy of the company’s uniquely bold mission of enabling people to live on other planets.

Steve Nissen, senior vice president of legal and government affairs at NBCUniversal, took home the “Outstanding Achievement in Public Affairs” award for his efforts to find common ground on a range of initiatives – from the development of Universal City to promoting diversity in programming, protecting intellectual property and taking corporate social responsibility to the next level.

Disney was awarded “Corporate Citizen of the Year” for its extraordinary work to improve lives through community engagement, volunteerism and philanthropy. Disney Citizenship ensures that one of the most recognizable companies in the world is also one of the most socially responsible. The award was presented to David Jefferson, vice president of corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company, by Corbin Bleu, star of Disney’s “High School Musical” films and a contestant on last season’s “Dancing with the Stars.”

CicLAVia rode off with the “Outstanding Achievement in Publicity” award for doing what many thought was impossible – turning the Car Capital of America into a place where tens of thousands of people eagerly explore their city on foot, bike and other forms of non-motorized transportation. Launched in 2010, the ongoing series of CicLAVia events has been named “One of the Top 10 Must-Dos in the World” by National Geographic.

PRSA-LA Past President Denis Wolcott, APR, president of The Wolcott Company, received the Joseph Roos Community Service Award. This special award is bestowed each year to a PRSA-LA member who demonstrates exceptional commitment to community service. Wolcott possesses unrelenting passion and energy when it comes to serving PRSA, the PR profession and the community at large through efforts ranging from mentoring students and young professionals to donating his time and expertise to worthy nonprofits.

KTLA-TV Tech Reporter Rich De Muro was named “Outstanding News Professional,” an honor that recognizes L.A.-based journalists who have carved a unique space and made an impact with their coverage. De Muro, whose “Tech Report” stories are also syndicated to stations nationwide, was honored for his fresh approach to covering technology and his openness to new ideas when it comes to how tech-related innovations are communicated. DeMoro’s award was introduced in a video featuring KTLA Morning News anchors Megan Henderson, Chris Schauble, Henry DiCarlo and Mark Kriski.

The PRism Awards program was established in 1964 to recognize excellence in public relations campaigns and tactics by PR pros across Greater Los Angeles. The PR industry’s version of the Oscars, it is among the longest-running award programs hosted by any PRSA chapter.

Follow and join the 50th Annual PRism Awards discussion on Twitter and Instagram with hashtag #PRisms2014.


PRSA is the largest public relations organization in the world, with more than 21,000 members nationwide. The Los Angeles chapter (PRSA-LA) is the fifth largest in the country, with nearly 600 agency, in-house and independent PR professionals across the Greater L.A. region. Incorporated in 1948 as one of PRSA’s first five founding chapters, PRSA-LA provides members with a wide range of benefits including chapter events, educational and networking programs, advocacy and professional development resources. More information is available at


Dennis Kaiser, 310-989-4481

Release Summary

The Los Angeles Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA-LA) celebrated the 50th Anniversary of its PRism Award program on November 19 with a sold out gala at the Hollywood Roosevelt.


Dennis Kaiser, 310-989-4481