Brooks & Associates recognized for PR & writing campaigns

By Robyn Brown

From oil and gas to sports boosterism, Brooks & Associates had a winning season for industry awards recently.  Kudos to the Brooks/Microsoft team and our long-time associate Judy Levene for bringing home the trophies.

Taking oil and gas social

If you’ve followed our blog* and our work, you’re aware of our PR campaign with client Microsoft to kick-start and accelerate the conversation about social media in the oil and gas industry.

After working continuously on the project over the past year and a half doing research, calling on reporters and drumming up article after article, we realized we had a worthwhile beginning-to-end PR story to share. Earlier this year, we entered the AMA Houston Crystal Awards along with the Microsoft Oil & Gas industry team and Accenture and were recognized last month as a finalist in the Public Relations Campaign – Single Market category. Our entry – ‘Social Media Goes Mainstream in Oil & Gas’ – received a ‘Certificate of Excellence’ and was displayed at a Houston awards dinner alongside other finalists and the category winner including Parker: Hayden Advertising + Design, Texas Children’s Hospital & Meece Media, and Weatherford International Ltd.

Personally, it was a joy to be a part of the marketing and PR team behind this project alongside my colleagues at Brooks & Associates, Microsoft and Accenture. Within the two year time span of the campaign, we saw an 83% jump in awareness and uptake of social media in oil and gas from our original benchmark survey in 2009 to the following media blitz and second survey one year later. In our minds – and the minds of the judges — we definitely helped get the conversation humming!

Here’s a quick recap of the campaign:

Challenge. An increasingly complex industry must rely on collaboration more than ever, but is not taking advantage of available collaboration technologies.

Objective. Make the case for enterprise social media use in Oil & Gas for more effective collaboration, knowledge sharing and heightened productivity.

Strategy/Tactics. Document industry need for collaboration and perception of social media, sharing findings with business and trade media at Microsoft Global Energy Forum in 2009 and 2010. Use customer and end user examples whenever possible.

Message. People. The real energy in oil and gas. Social media is the next generation of collaboration where the focus is on people rather than solely information.

Results. Second industry survey sees 83% jump in those recognizing business value of social media. Coverage throughout 2009 and 2010 includes:  Houston Chronicle, Dow Jones Newswires, Oil & Gas Journal (editorial), E&P, Offshore Magazine, Digital Energy Journal and Next Generation Oil & Gas.

The punchy writer

And since I’ve already started bragging about our team’s work, I might as well keep going. In late 2009, Judy Levene, a B&A associate and punchy writer, took home a Clarion Award at the Association for Women in Communications (AWC) national conference in Seattle. (I’ve already apologized to Judy for not mentioning this sooner, but her great work should not go unnoticed… albeit delayed).

Judy and her project team were recognized in the “Best New Web site; Annual Budget Over $10,000″category. “It was definitely a collective effort and award,” she mentions.

“I just recognized that the project was worthy of entering in the award competition and crafted the award entry with plenty of enthusiastic support and assistance from MPD Ventures Company and our client, Texas Tech Athletics,” she adds.

Judy was tapped by MPD Ventures Company to write and edit a new standalone Web site for the booster club supporting Texas Tech University’s athletics program. The site needed to reintroduce the Red Raider Club to a mass audience, enhance fund raising, and clearly explain a complex system of giving options, levels and benefits. As the copywriter, she clarified and communicated a compelling case for giving while crafting and updating copy that would resonate with multiple constituencies. The results post-launch showed their efforts were successful: Huge jumps in site traffic; 200%-plus increases in the numbers of unique donors and donations, and in the total dollar value of donations.

Judy is a past president and board member of AWC’s Dallas chapter, so it was natural to enter the Clarion competition. The AWC national organization also celebrated its Centennial last year, which made winning the Clarion even more special, according to Judy.

The Red Raider Club entry was also recognized with a 2009 Quill Award by the Dallas chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).

*Please see ‘Microsoft Takes on Energy at CERAWeek 2010’, ‘Steve Ballmer: Cloud No. 1 in Oil & Gas’,  ‘Social Media for the Workplace Masses’, ‘The Workplace Gets Social.’

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