Talk, Thoth and what we won

Seems like it takes more time, energy, money and focus than ever to get our work done these days. At the same time, the stakes are higher- clients demand more, companies are promoting and rewarding less, teams need to be motivated daily and competition has never been more pronounced. So it’s like a breath of fresh air when, in front of clients, teams, peers and those pesky competitors, we are honored for sticking with it and creating great work!

Last Thursday, PRSA’s National Capital Chapter (the world’s largest), ( did just that by presenting 43 awards at its 43rd Annual Thoth Awards, held at the National Press Club here in DC. As a Board member of the NCC, I had the privilege of attending and observing.

(For a complete list of winners and the event press release, visit here:

The rest of us can learn a lot from those who earned awards. Here are a few of my observations:

  • Most winning programs  included some social or digital media component. The whole profession has changed, folks! Most PR awards now have multiple categories to reflect the new media necessity.
  • Measurement is key – the award winners had clear facts and figures to back up their claims of effectiveness
  • Social responsibility is central. This being DC, many of the winning clients were federal agencies, associations and non-profits and as such, their programs were social causes and issues. Even the evening’s Best of Show award, given to The Walmart Foundation for its campaign with agency Brand Resources Group, was earned for one of Walmart’s hunger-fighting campaigns. (;
  • Related to the above, I am also pleased to say that last night’s event included a fundraising component for the local children’s organization, Kidsave (, which works to help children in foster care make lifelong connections.
  • We owe a lot to those who have pioneered our profession and have created landmark companies that truly have changed the world. A special guest presenter last night was Bill Novelli, founder of the eponymous agency Porter-Novelli, philanthropist and social activist. Gracious and unassuming, this powerhouse visionary has paved the way for all of us who want to express ourselves and our companies in meaningful ways. (

Thanks, everyone, for participating in the awards. A special thank you to the Thoth Awards Committee of volunteers who made the event special My heartfelt congratulations to everyone who earned an award – you set a high standard for all of us, and you inspire us!

Thoth is the Egyptian God of Communication


About Jaya Koilpillai Bohlmann
Global corporate communication, business, and organization behavior executive; author. My blog, DesigningCommunication, offers inspiration, insight, and tips for all professionals who want to express themselves effectively, and lead with integrity.

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