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Weber Shandwick Wins Best Use of Social Media and PR Innovation of the Year at 2011 PRWeek Awards

NEW YORK, March 11, 2011 – Following on its leading digital agency status, being named a Digital Firm of the Year by PRNews and one of the Top 4 Employers for Social Media Professionals by Mashable, Weber Shandwick continued its award-winning streak in the social media space taking home PRWeek Awards, last night, for its work on behalf of its U.S. Army client and for its proprietary online crisis simulator, FireBell.

The firm received the 2011 “PR Innovation of the Year” award from PRWeek for its FireBell social crisis simulator. FireBell, launched in November 2010, is a software application that simulates public relations crisis situations across multiple social media platforms, including Facebook, YouTube, blogs, Digg, LinkedIn and Twitter. FireBell projects images that look exactly like an organization’s social media profiles, and a client can see the crisis unfold in those channels, evaluate it, and decide how to engage. This dynamic back-and forth simulates the unpredictability of a real online exchange as well as the impact social media decisions can have on traditional media’s portrayal of the story.

Weber Shandwick also won the “Best Use of Social Media/Digital” award for its work with the US Army for its Army Strong Stories campaign. Army Strong Stories, the first-ever unfiltered official military blog, has brought together soldiers, family members, and veterans over the past two years to share stories of Army life and careers through video, pictures, and blog posts. In 2010, Weber Shandwick expanded the campaign further into the social realm by recruiting more than 200 new soldier bloggers, engaging on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and reaching out to independent bloggers to generate discussion about the Army. The campaign generated more than 1 million Army Strong Stories site visits in 2010, a 250 percent increase over the past year, and helped drive Army recruitment to levels far exceeding expectations.

“Winning PR Innovation of the Year for our social crisis simulator and Best Use of Social/Digital Media for our work with the US Army, underscores our commitment to deliver best-in-class products and ideas that lead the industry and address client’s needs in a space that is rapidly evolving,” said Harris Diamond, CEO, Weber Shandwick. “This success would not be possible without the hard work, dedication and creativity of our employees and the trust clients place in our work.”

Jennifer Norton

Jennifer Norton

SVP, Global Marketing & Corporate Affairs

jnorton@webershandwick.com
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