A wonderful annual dinner last week got me thinking about the nature of awards and how fleeting that recognition can be. Each April this dinner gathers together both past honorees of Washington Women in Public Relations’ PR Woman of the Year Award and past presidents of the organization, maintaining and nurturing long-term, mutually beneficial relationships between its leaders and its award recipients.
Award events are most often designed to gain publicity for organizations. The awardee is selected to highlight a mission and frequently to raise funds. The award event’s benefits are immediate. Then it’s time to search for the next awardee who will bring the desired attention and access to funders.
Most award recipients have little if any contact again with the organizations that bestowed the award, which is a lost opportunity for both. But WWPR bestows its award to recognize achievement. And thanks to Kendra Kojcsich, a two-time president of WWPR, receiving the PR Woman of the Year award means becoming a valued mentor, advisor, collaborator and inspiration for members. She was the first to put together an informal dinner at which past winners gathered with the Board and past presidents to know each other better, share ideas and form friendships.
Eventually PRofessional Solutions took up Kendra’s lead. We’re proud to provide the sponsorship that makes the event a regular part of the organization’s calendar and planning. We can’t wait to see who will be named the 2018 PR Woman of the Year in November and to welcome her to the dinner in April 2019!