|Calvin Allen (left) and Phil Cooper (right) with the Pyramid Awards.|
LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. — BedBug Central and Calvin Allen, Director of Strategic Communications, Cooper Pest Solutions & BedBug Central, were recognized with three Pyramid Awards — including “Best in Class” — by the New Jersey chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.
The Pyramid Awards, which were presented at a recent ceremony attended by Allen and Cooper Pest Solutions President Phil Cooper, are the top honors given by the New Jersey chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. The annual awards include 12 different categories covering the world of public relations. The companies in attendance at the ceremony are the premier advertising and PR agencies in New Jersey.
In addition to the “Best in Class” award, BedBug Central took top honors in the categories “PR on a Shoestring Budget” and “Special Events.” The awards revolved around the company’s Stink Bug Campaign, the branding of Jeff White, general PR for BedBug Central and last year’s BedBug Summit.
PCT interviewed Allen to learn more about these awards and their significance.
PCT: What was your reaction to winning the “Best in Class” award?
Calvin Allen: My initial reaction was complete disbelief. After we won our first two awards for “PR on a Shoestring Budget” and “Special Events,” Phil and I pretty much figured our night was over. After all, we were competing against multi-million dollar communication firms. So when the announcer began the introduction for the “Best in Class” award with, “Cooper Pest Solutions…” my jaw hit the ground. I was stunned and elated.
PCT: What has been the reaction of your colleagues at Cooper Pest Solutions/BedBug Central?
CA: When my colleagues at Cooper Pest Solutions and BedBug Central discovered we won this prestigious award, we were filled with a sense of excitement, company pride and accomplishment. These awards not only represented the efforts of the public relations department, but also the hard work put in by the entire Cooper/BBC Team.
PCT: How did folks in the PR community react to your win, particularly given the fact you were competing against some very accomplished agencies?
CA: The public relations industry comprises some of the most gracious people you will ever meet. When their industry leaders announced that we had won their most coveted award, the PR community was actually energized to see a new company and from a completely different industry take the prize. They rushed over to shake hands, wish us congratulations and discuss strategy.
PCT: What factors did the judges cite in selecting you for the award?
CA: The Pyramid Awards are judged on four categories:
(1) Research and Analysis - The problem or opportunity, the process used to identify problems or opportunities and trends within an industry or market and how they can be leveraged in a successful outreach plan.
(2) Planning - Objectives used in budgeting, program strategy and measurement. Assessment of appropriate benchmarks, deadlines, market or vertical assessment, outreach strategies and so forth.
(3) Execution - Techniques used and any difficulties encountered in achieving the program’s objectives.
(4) Results/measurements - A statement as to whether objectives were met and how effectiveness was measured.
We were especially acknowledged for the results and measurements criteria. Our campaign results and measurements were phenomenal, the scope and impact to which we were able to generate news coverage from both national and local media placements was far beyond what they were expecting—some 2,500 media placements for the year. For the research and analysis category it was noted how we identified and tapped promising or neglected market segments. We were also commended for the methodical execution of our outreach objectives.
PCT: What has been the most gratifying aspect of this experience?
CA: Individuals employed by small pest management firms know just how hard we work for everything we achieve. This award represents a celebration and recognition for all of that hard work. Perhaps one of the most gratifying aspects for me personally is the acknowledgement from my peers in the public relations industry on the great work that we were able to perform in spite of not being a large PR agency.
As we begin to branch out and help other small pest management firms with their strategic communications plans, these award represent a strong testament to the quality of our work.