NORTH ANDOVER and CANTON — John Guilfoil Public Relations LLC (JGPR) is proud to announce that the company was the top award winner at this year’s 53rd Annual Bell Ringer Awards, taking home 15 awards in a variety of categories, including two Gold Bell Ringer Awards for the company’s work with municipal government and police departments.
Sponsored by The Public Relations Club of New England, the region’s leading networking and education organization for public relations and communications professionals, the Bell Ringer Awards honor superior work completed by PR and communications professionals across New England.
This is the first time in its eight-year history that JGPR has been New England’s top Bell winner.
“I am so proud of our team and what we’ve been able to accomplish over the past year-plus,” said company founder and principal John Guilfoil. “Like all companies, the Covid-19 pandemic brought forward many challenges and times of uncertainty. Through it all, I watched our staff consistently and professionally answer the call for our clients and produce some of the most amazing work I’ve seen in my career. We are a small firm, mainly dedicated to the needs of municipal government. We don’t have the budgets of the big corporate firms, so to be recognized among some of the largest and most successful PR firms in New England is truly an honor.”
In total, JGPR won two Gold Bells, three Silver Bells, six Bronze Bells and four Merit Awards.
One of the company’s Gold Bells was for work done on behalf of the Rhode Island Police Chief’s Association (RIPCA), where JGPR developed the Twenty for 2020 Campaign. The firm worked alongside RIPCA to create a list of 20 policy reforms and promises from every police department in Rhode Island following the death of George Floyd at the hands of members of the Minneapolis Police Department. The campaign was announced during a poignant event in June 2020 where nearly every police chief in Rhode Island attended to show their support and sign the program document. JGPR also won a Merit Award in the Local/Regional Television Placement category for its work with RIPCA addressing a rise in motor vehicle fatalities in the state.
The Twenty for 2020 campaign materials were authored by Guilfoil, with assistance from Director of Marketing & Special Projects Melina Gambino, Video Division Executive Producer Cynthia Johnson, Copywriter Matthew Reid, Junior Account Coordinator Alia Spring, Photographer/Videographer Aram Boghosian and Vice President Benjamin Paulin.
JGPR received a second Gold Bell for an awareness campaign on behalf of the Towns of Cohasset, Hingham, Scituate and Hull that helped inform community members about proposed public transportation service cutbacks on the South Shore. The “Save the Greenbush-Save the Boat” campaign was part of an effort that successfully saw the preservation of public transportation services for the four towns. The campaign received multiple accolades, as its “Ride the Ferry Day” also took home a Bronze Bell in the Media Events category.
The transit campaign was spearheaded by JGPR’s Matthew Reid and the campaign website was designed by WordPress Specialist Kristen Potter.
In addition to the many awards received for the company’s work in public relations, JGPR also won its highest award in company history for web design, taking home a Silver Bell for its innovative and well-followed COVID-19 News Portals, with its Brookline COVID-19 News Portal serving as an example that was replicated in more than a dozen other communities whose residents benefitted from a one-stop source for vital pandemic news and resources. Many of these sites were designed and launched in a matter of hours for clients at the height of the pandemic.
JGPR’s brand-new Video Division also won its first awards on Thursday, taking home a Bronze Bell for the City of Gloucester’s multi-lingual 2020 Census video campaign and two Merit Awards: A department profile video for the Bedford, NH. Police Department and an executive chef profile for the Revolution Tap Room and Grill in Rochester, N.H. Executive Producer Johnson, Account Executive/Video Division Coordinator Kelsey Bode and photographer/videographer Aram Boghosian shared the honors. The video division was launched at the beginning of 2020.
This is the sixth consecutive year that JGPR has been honored by the PR Club and the third and fourth times in the company’s history that it has received a Gold Bell award. It was previously honored with Gold Bells for its work with the Gloucester ANGEL Initiative in 2016 and in helping fire departments expose the dangers of a viral TikTok trend in 2020.
The Bell Ringer Awards were held on Thursday, June 10, featuring a hybrid award ceremony where the PR Club honored single-item winners throughout the day via social media, and the campaign and professional award winners during a video event hosted by Justin Joseph, a professor at Boston University.
JGPR staff, interns, freelancers, clients and friends celebrated in a company gathering at the Archer Hotel in Burlington. It was the first time the entire company gathered in 15 months and was the first time some of the staff from JGPR’s two offices had met face-to-face.
The Bell Ringer Awards drew from hundreds of entries in more than 40 categories, from single placements to year-long campaigns. The PR Club awarded 110 awards, and JGPR’s 15 awards won was the most for any company.
JGPR also swept or received the only awards in the Video – Single, Video – Series, Television Placement Regional/Local and Government/Public Affairs Campaign categories and nearly swept the Crisis Communications Campaign category, winning three of the four awards given.
“The strength of the New England PR community is evident in this year’s Bell Ringer Awards,” said Amanda Fountain, PR Club president and social media director of March Communications. “Seeing the exceptional work of so many companies, nonprofits, and agencies is a bright spot amid such challenging times. We applaud your resilience and contributions to both your organizations and the industry as a whole.”
In total, JGPR received the following awards:
Government or Public Affairs
Gold Bell: “Save the Greenbush-Save the Boat” Campaign Preserves Public Transportation on the South Shore
Bronze Bell: Use of Multimedia to Help ConVal Schools Budget Process
Gold Bell: Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association Twenty for 2020 Campaign Addresses Statewide Policing Standards and Practices
Bronze Bell: Town of Norwood Successfully Manages Early Covid-19 Crises
Merit Award: Fairfield Police Department Apologizes After Euthanizing Dog Mistaken as a Coyote
Bronze Bell: “Ride the Ferry Day” Highlights the Need for Preserving Public Transportation on the South Shore
Silver Bell: Town of Brookline Streamlines Communications in Real Time During Pandemic Emergency
Video – Single
Merit Award: Bedford, New Hampshire Police Department Shares Why They Chose to Serve
Video – Series
Bronze Bell: City of Gloucester Creates Multi-Lingual Video Campaign to Encourage Census Participation
Merit Award: 5 Diamond Chef Moves into the Kitchen at Revolution Taproom & Grill
Television – Regional/Local
Silver Bell: Off-Duty North Reading Police Sergeant Rescues Three People During Early Morning House Fire
Bronze Bell: Burlington Police Showcase the Department’s 21st Century Training
Merit Award: Rhode Island Police Chiefs Address Concerning Rise in Motor Vehicle Fatalities
Television – National
Bronze Bell: Somerset Officer Buying Holiday Dinner for Family After Shoplifting Sees Worldwide Acclaim
Response to Breaking News
Silver Bell: Braintree Police Respond Following Shooting at South Shore Plaza Mall
About the PR Club
Founded in 1948, PR Club strives to promote and encourage involvement in the communications industry and specifically the professions of public relations, promotions, and marketing. Get additional information about monthly New England-based PR Club programs, social and networking events, the “Bell Ringer” blog, and the Bell Ringer Awards Ceremony at prclub.org. Follow them on Twitter @PRClubofNE.
About the Bell Ringer Awards
The Bell Ringer Awards recognize public relations and communications work that demonstrates excellence in creative planning and professional education and exhibits a high degree of success in reaching predetermined objectives. Open to all New England practitioners, the program, now in its 53rd year, symbolizes one of the greatest tributes in any field of endeavor – the recognition of superior performance by one’s peers.
About John Guilfoil Public Relations LLC:
Content, strategy, standards. With the philosophy that every police and fire department and government agency deserves effective communications and public relations on the same scale as major corporations, John Guilfoil Public Relations produces clear, concise written materials, communications strategy, website development, and crisis management services for our clients and responds to breaking news incidents for more than 300 police and fire departments, public schools, and municipal governments, and non-profits throughout New England and beyond. The company is based in Georgetown, Mass. and was founded by John Guilfoil, a former Boston Globe staff reporter who served as deputy press secretary for the late Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino. JGPR.net.