Shannon Riggs, Lane PR
Before Shannon Riggs had graduated from college, she had acted as a national spokesperson for the American Legacy Foundation (ALF) and cofounded a social marketing consulting firm.
“Shannon showed tremendous promise back in high school,” noted one judge. “It has clearly carried through
to her PR career.”
Today, much of her work at Lane PR focuses on Integra Telecom. In the past year, Riggs led the company's communications during an acquisition that doubled its revenue to $700 million, which led to a forbearance petition being filed by Qwest.
Not only did she obtain 100 stories in out-lets like The Oregonian, TheDeal.com, and the Denver Post, Riggs initiated a letter-writing campaign and coordinated meetings with congressional members, which led to the FCC denial of the petition in July 2008.
A judge commended Riggs for her “great grasp of the value and power of PR.”
In the same year, Riggs worked with Umpqua Bank and created “Lemonaire,” a lemonade-stand campaign, to counter a lack of business deposits for the bank. The effort told the bank's story through lemonade stands and the development of how-to guides, branded cups, and Popsicle stick media mailers.
Results from the six-week effort included stories in The New York Times and the Associated Press, as well as 2,331 new accounts and $113 million worth of total new deposits for Umpqua.
“Shannon's innate passion will serve her well in PR for many years,” said one judge.
“To me, the art of effective PR is laced with delicate variables of personalities, business strategies, and an endless curiosity to learn how media and public perception work,” Riggs noted in her entry. “I strive to live with passion. That goal doesn't start or end at 5pm.”
Because of her work with the ALF as a youth, Riggs continues to act as an advocate. She is a member of the American Lung Association (ALA) and is a former member of the National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids and the National Conference on Tobacco or Health. As a recent presenter at the ALA's strategic conference, Riggs led seven hours of interactive media training with activists and CEOs.
“She has been standing out from a very young age,” noted one judge. “She's earned this award.”
Julia Zamorska, iolo technologies
In just three years in PR, Julia Zamorska has already ascended to the role of PR director for iolo technologies, a consumer software company with 21 million customers. At iolo, she has developed a strategic PR plan, established a media-monitoring program, booked press tours, and placed stories on CNET and in the Los Angeles Business Journal. “Julia understands how to sell,” said a judge. “She appears very focused on doing what she needs to accomplish her goals.” The Poland native and Oxford graduate became interested in PR while she was a visiting scholar at UC-Berkeley. She recalled being very excited about “a discipline that was foreign to a person who grew up in a former Communist country.” In her career, one of the campaigns she launched capitalized on breaking news. Another was a $100 million funding initiative. While one judge commended her “fearless confidence,” another said her work was “outstanding.”
• Janice Edman: Burson-Marsteller
• Jillian Froehlich: Carmichael Lynch Spong
• Allison Greco: Coyne Public Relations
• Shannon Riggs: LANE PR
• Julia Zamorska: Iolo technologies
Sponsor: Edelman is the world's largest independent public relations firm, with 3,200 employees in 54 offices worldwide. Edelman was named “Large Agency of the Year” in 2008 and 2006 by PRWeek and was the only PR firm in Advertising Age's “2007 Agency A-List.” CEO Richard Edelman was honored as “2007 Agency Executive of the Year” by Advertising Age. For more information, visit www.edelman.com.