img_1967 Monday, November 14, 2016 marked the 40th annual Public Relations Institute of Australia’s (PRIA) National Golden Target Awards (GTAs) – an evening honouring the crème-de-la-crème of the nation’s PR industry.

PR gurus Australia-wide flocked to the Sheraton Four Seasons, Sydney to learn the fate of their hard-earned PR and communication campaign submissions this week.

VIVA! Communications was showered in awards – coming in among the most awarded PR agencies on the night. We clinched four awards – Winner of the highly competitive ‘Consumer Marketing’ category; two Highly Commended awards in the ‘Health Organisations’ category; and Commended in the ‘Community Relations’ category.

How the night unfolded

VIVA! Communications’ Principal, Kirsten Bruce, and Managing Director, Paul Jans attended the event while the agency’s consultants attached themselves to social media in anticipation of good news.

VIVA! entered four separate submissions in three different categories this year. We kicked off the night by clinching a Commended certificate in the ‘Community Relations’ category for our Blooms the Chemist PR Campaign, ‘Waughs Championing Cause Close to Heart, Stroke Prevention’.

Next, we were awarded two Highly Commended certificates in the ‘Health Organisations’ category for our Bone Alliance campaign, ‘Don’t be Bone Idle – ‘Know Your Bones’ to Help Curb Bone Fractures,’ and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, ‘Understanding Genes Key to Eliminating Deaths from Anorexia Nervosa’ campaign.

fullsizerenderWe couldn’t believe our luck – clinching three awards in three categories.

Then our final submission was up for grabs – our quirky NSW GTA winning entry, DARA’s ‘Driving World’s Biggest Gamblers and Ecstasy Users to Thailand for Offshore Rehab’ – which featured as a finalist in the national ‘Consumer Marketing’ category.

The final run

Plagued by nerves, both Kirsten and Paul listened intently as the finalists of the Consumer Marketing category were announced. Commended…. Highly Commended… and then Winner of the category – VIVA! Communications for ‘Driving World’s Biggest Gamblers and Ecstasy Users to Thailand for Offshore Rehab’.

We had clinched the top gong, defeating some fantastic, diverse and genuinely deserving competitors.

Paul was barely able to contain his excitement, citing “To win a prestigious national GTA award beyond our traditional Health Organisations category was invaluable recognition of the outstanding and highly innovative strategic communications campaign that we orchestrated.

“This is truly a team result. I’m exceptionally proud of all of our practitioners who contributed to this winning entry.”

Kirsten further extended her sincere congratulations to all GTA 2016 finalists.

“We are extremely privileged to be positioned among the nation’s most credentialed PR agencies and grateful to those who continuously inspire us to reach new PR heights.

“We are also grateful to PRIA and the many judges who work tirelessly behind the scenes each year, to assess, recognise and celebrate the nation’s best-in-class PR campaigns,” said Kirsten.

Read the full list of winners from the PRIA National GTA’s 2016 here.