Angela Coombes And Grant Smith To Chair PRIA Awards

Angela Coombes And Grant Smith To Chair PRIA Awards

The Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) has announced Angela Coombes, PR manager, NEC, and Grant Smith, former general manager, Edelman Melbourne, as its co-chairs for the industry’s Golden Target Awards (GTAs) in 2015.

The GTAs have run continuously since 1976, recognising and rewarding excellence in public relations and communication in Australia.

The evolution of the awards in 2015 sees 12 new categories added, totaling 29 awarding categories from various industry sectors; Top 20 sPRinters in 2015, professionals with less than five years’ experience, Best Content Marketing, Best Micro Consultancy, Best Digital and Social, Best Technology, Best Big Budget, Best Marketing and Communication Campaign Strategy, Best Start-Up launched in 2014, Best Experiential and Best International Campaign of the Year. Additional individual gongs complete this year’s bill: Industry Contributor of the Year, and Best Transformation in 2015 (for the best professional coming into the PR industry).

Angela Coombes, GTA co-chair said, “It’s an absolute honour to have been invited to take on this year’s awards. Previous chairs have included some of the industry’s most senior practitioners, namely Kieran Moore, and more recently, Allison Lee. So far, it has been full on, and we are currently finalising our list of judges from a highly experienced list of professionals, from a broad spectrum of public relations and communication practice: consultancy, academia, in-house and PRIA’s own College of Fellows and members. We’ve left no stone unturned with previous international awards winners, Cannes Lions judges and winners added to the list of judges.”

Angela Coombes B&W

Discussing what led to his inclusion to the GTAs in 2015, Grant Smith, said, “I’ve had a long-standing relationship with the Golden Target Awards, and along with Angela, I think this year’s campaign is one of the most exciting in recent years. While the purpose of the public relations discipline hasn’t changed, the way that we deliver on that purpose is evolving as rapidly as the technology we use. The addition of this year’s new categories recognises that the best PR isn’t necessarily done now by PR practitioners – as the leading awards program for public relations, the GTAs need to evolve at the leading edge of our industry.

“The 2015 GTAs will attract professionals working in a variety of marketing and engagement industries, including advertising, marketing, design, media, digital, creative and social.

Grant Smith B&W

“With more corporate journalists than ever before, and the diversification of agencies of all types to compete for digital marketing budgets, it’s clear that the PR industry has changed forever. How we continue to do PR into the future is really what the Golden Targets are about in 2015, and we expect a massive increase in participation for that exact reason. We’re opening the door for more entrants than ever before, helping deliver the vision of recognising the best work our industry, and our practitioners, have to offer.”

National President, Mike Watson, FPRIA,  said the coveted awards continue to grow in prestige, categorisation, judging, and entries.

“Hanging a peer endorsed Golden Target on your office wall for all to see is like an Oscar, a Walkley, a Banksia, an Archibald,” he said. “Typically, those who’ve won a GTA, or aim to, volunteer to join our judging panels and get addicted to this annual collegiality of more than 50 judges across 29 categories.

“The GTA categories keep changing, along with PR’s expanding operating environments. I’m impatiently waiting for October, when at our National Conference, this year in Hobart, members will reward communication excellence in all its manifestations.

“Once again, we will praise those PR practices that first forged these Awards in 1976, along with the remarkable contributions of specialists in other and emerging disciplines, who continue to shape and be shaped by public relations.

“My best wishes and regards to all 2015 entrants and judges”.