The Harbinger Group Awarded Coveted Gold Stevie Award in 2021 American Business Awards

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The Harbinger Group has won the highly prestigious American Business Awards® Gold Stevie Award® PR Campaign of the Year – Non-Profit / Charity for the agency’s marketing communications work promoting the recipients of the Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching & Leadership.

The Stevie® Awards have been hailed as the world’s premier business awards program. The Harbinger Group faced stiff competition from a record-breaking number of nominations in 2021. More than 3,800 entrants in multiple categories were judged by a panel of 250 professionals who selected this year’s Stevie Award winners.

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As part of the strategic communications work on behalf of the Golden Apple Foundation, The Harbinger Group was tasked with driving awareness of the Foundation’s mission to elevate the teaching profession and meaningfully address the teacher shortage in Illinois, through promotion of the annual Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching & Leadership.

The Harbinger Group’s team promoted Golden Apple Awards finalists and recipients through surprise visits at their schools in 2019 and virtually in 2020. By leveraging public-facing announcements and finalist stories, The Harbinger Group’s team of media relations professionals created record-breaking media coverage to drive awareness of Golden Apple’s work to elevate the importance of the teaching profession in Illinois. This strategy included extensive regional media relations outreach to print/online and broadcast outlets throughout Illinois, targeted social media promotion, paid social media advertising and email marketing.

“Our work in marketing and advocacy on behalf of the Golden Apple Foundation is near and dear to our hearts, having supported the Foundation’s meaningful work throughout the past 12 years,” said Tony Bosma, VP of Digital Marketing at The Harbinger Group and the leader of the Golden Apple team. “Teachers, school leaders and students were tested in extraordinary ways in 2020. Our strategic approach to promoting these awards shifted to meet the new circumstances and environment of education during a global pandemic. Our team and Golden Apple together pivoted to meet each surprise notification’s unique dynamics and the results were outstanding on every communications platform. Images of educators being celebrated and thanked dominated media in every award recipient market while social media stories engaged and grew Golden Apple’s following to new heights. The results from this awards were the best in the history of the program. It was an overwhelming success and we’re very proud of our work.”

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“The true importance of this work lies not only in the highly visible celebration of the award recipients, but in the resulting elevation of teaching as the critically important profession that it is in our world,” said Eileen Rochford, CEO and Founder of The Harbinger Group. “I remain in awe of these amazing teachers and school leaders who give their very best to their students every single day, especially in 2020. They are the heroes in this story.”

Nicknamed the Stevies for the Greek word meaning “crowned,” the 19th Annual American Business Awards® will be virtually presented to winners during a live event on Wednesday, June 30.

The judges scored The Harbinger Group’s entry highly, resulting in the top category award. Judges’ comments included, “The Golden Apple Awards have a well-established brand name in Illinois. The execution of the surprise award presentation creates excitement…drawing attention to teachers’ efforts and the distribution of awards across the state keep the stories fresh and provide on-going content creation.” Additionally, “a great initiative with great results,” and “a very well-presented program. Clear strategy, planning, execution and results. Nice work. Fantastic coverage!”

“The American economy continues to show its resilience, and as we’re poised on the beginning of what should be a phenomenal period of growth, we celebrate the remarkable achievements of a wide range of organizations and people over the past 18 months,” said Stevie Awards president Maggie Gallagher. “This year’s Stevie-winning nominations in The American Business Awards are testament to the ingenuity, the commitment, the passion, the adaptability, and the creativity of the American people. We look forward to celebrating this year’s winners during our virtual ceremony on June 30.”

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