Six 1st-place awards go to Baltimore firm Trahan, Burden & Charles wins best of show for Harrah's campaign


Trahan, Burden & Charles Inc., a Baltimore advertising and public relations business, won best of show and five other first-place awards last night in the annual Best in Maryland Awards presented by the Public Relations Society of America's Maryland Chapter.

TBC took the top prize at the evening ceremony at the Belvedere for a campaign for Harrah's Entertainment Inc., called Harrah's Dazzling Diamonds.

The show, which featured a six-month, 10-city tour of $30 million in diamonds, was a celebration of Harrah's 60th anniversary in 1997.

"I had always been intrigued by the notion of doing the equivalent of a traveling museum show at a casino," said Sandra S. Hillman, TBC executive vice president. "I'm really excited about getting this award. To know that a jury of my peers recognized the merit of this promotion really does mean a good deal to me."

The campaign -- believed to be the first diamond show since the 1933 World's Fair -- was visited by more than 100,000 people and received millions of dollars worth of media coverage, Hillman said.

TBC has won best in show three times and tied one other time since 1991, Hillman said. The state recently awarded it a $35 million contract to promote tourism and economic development in Maryland. In all, TBC won nine first- , second- and third-place awards last night.

Other multiple first-place award winners were Shandwick, with nine; and the University of Maryland Medical System, Gray, Kirk VanSant and Imre & Associates, with two each.

This year, local nonprofit groups, businesses and public relations firms submitted 144 entries, the most in chapter history. Awards were given in 30 program and single-piece categories, and for personal achievement.

Founded in 1961, PRSA's Maryland chapter has more than 200 members. It offers accreditation, continuing education and professional development programs.

The Maryland chapter also provides annual scholarships to area undergraduate and graduate college students majoring in public relations.

List of PRSA winners

Community relations: Weinberg Harris & Associates.

Institutional programs: Shandwick Baltimore with Injured Workers Insurance Fund.

Special events: Trahan, Burden & Charles.

Public service: Trahan, Burden & Charles.

Public affairs: Shandwick Baltimore with Maryland Hospital Coalition.

Marketing communications: Trahan, Burden & Charles.

Crisis communications: Shandwick Baltimore with Dimensions Health Care System.

Internal communications: Maryland Teachers & State Employees Supplemental Retirement Plans.

Development of fund raising: Gray, Kirk VanSant.

Pro bono program: Lawrence Howard & Associates Inc.

Newsletters (up to 2 colors): (tie) Shandwick Baltimore; Family & Children's Services of Central Maryland.

Newsletters (3 colors or more): Johns Hopkins Medical Services Corporation.

Magazines: Loyola College in Maryland.

Brochures (company capabilities): Shandwick Baltimore with OMI.

Brochures (product specifications): Shandwick Baltimore with ORBCOMM.

Annual reports (publicly traded or privately held companies): McCormick & Company.

Annual reports (not-for-profit organizations): University of Maryland Medical Systems.

Special purpose publications: Gray, Kirk VanSant.

Media/press kits: Trahan, Burden & Charles.

Direct mail/direct response: Trahan, Burden & Charles.

Audio-visual programs: University of Maryland Medical System.

Television or radio PSAs: National Aquarium in Baltimore.

Speeches: Shandwick Baltimore with Baltimore Life Insurance.

Feature stories: Imre & Associates, LLC.

Editorial/Op-Ed columns: Shandwick Baltimore with Maryland Hospital Coalition.

Unconventional tactics: Imre & Associates, LLC.

Web site: Callahan & Company.

CD-ROM: National Smithsonian with Carton Donofrio Interactive.

New applications of technology: Shandwick Baltimore with Instituform Technologies.

Lifetime achievement: Gilbert Sandler.

New professional of the year: Caryn Sagal.

Scholarship winners: Undergraduate: Meggan Finisecy; Graduate: Robin Maurice Wedewer, APR.

Pub Date: 6/12/98

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