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09-30-2011 08:37 AM CET | Advertising, Media Consulting, Marketing Research

Press release from: French West Vaughan

RALEIGH, N.C. – French/West/Vaughan, one of the nation’s largest independent public relations, public affairs and brand communications agencies, won 13 Sir Walter Raleigh Awards, as part of the annual recognition program hosted by the Raleigh Public Relations Society (RPRS).The RPRS honored 11 campaigns and named two “Best in Division,” which made FWV the most decorated agency at the awards for the third consecutive year.

The Sir Walter Raleigh Awards recognize exemplary work by public relations and communications professionals throughout North Carolina. Judged by an independent panel of out-of-state PR practitioners, recipients were recognized for work conducted during the 2010 calendar year and honored at an awards banquet September 27.

Taking home two of the night’s highest recognitions, FWV won Gold and “Best in Division” for its work on the following programs:
Division One, Total Communications/Community Relations Campaign: With a combination of grassroots, guerilla marketing and PR efforts, FWV and Moe’s Southwest Grill devised a three-year partnership plan with the Durham Bulls to provide customers a unique one-on-one brand experience. The promo team attended over 60 events during the baseball season and the Moe’s e-mail database grew by 19 percent.

Division Four, Interactive Communications: As the PR agency of record for Wrangler for more than 15 years, FWV developed a Wrangler Western Facebook campaign due to the increasingly important role of social media in the PR field. One of the first brands in the western and equine industry to enter the social media channel, Wrangler Western was well-positioned to become the authority within the western lifestyle. FWV developed a comprehensive Facebook strategy to influence this role online and reach a target number of fans by the end of 2010. FWV surpassed the client’s annual fan count goal five months ahead of schedule and realized a 718 percent increase for the year.

In addition to the “Best in Division” winners, FWV took home five more Gold Awards for the following programs:
Total Communications/Community Relations Campaign for Moe Magic Premiere: Leading up to the highly anticipated release of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” thousands of fans flooded Triangle-area Moe’s Southwest Grills to win exclusive tickets to a red carpet IMAX premiere party. FWV created buzz through extensive media relations, in-store games and events, social media outreach and radio co-promotion with Mix 101.5. This program generated millions of local media impressions and increased sales during a traditionally soft pre-holiday period.

Publications – Media Kit for Changing the World for Horses and Humans: FWV was challenged to introduce Parelli, the #1 equine training program in the world, to a mainstream audience and re-establish the brand among equine and consumer audiences. The press kit helped garner positive coverage in several national outlets.

Public Relations Writing for Saft: As part of an overall campaign, FWV was tasked with obtaining a bylined feature article in a target trade magazine for Saft, a leading international designer and manufacturer of high-tech batteries. FWV wrote and secured placement of a two-page article in the March issue of Product Design & Development magazine.

Crisis Communications for Nick Schuyler: Not Without Hope: On Feb. 28, 2009, Nick Schuyler and three friends left for a fishing trip. On March 2, the Coast Guard discovered Schuyler, the lone survivor. FWV developed a crisis communications strategy to keep the media at bay and assembled a team of partners to help Nick write a book, “Not Without Hope.” FWV then helped organize the Nick Schuyler Foundation to be funded from book proceeds. Within one week of the book release, it was #4 on The New York Times best-seller list. FWV coordinated a successful media tour to allow Schuyler to share his story.

Interactive Communications – Website for FWV developed ideas to entice the CIAA fan base; increase the CIAA email database; drive traffic to; and increase ticket sales. The website would enable FWV to share all Tournament information, collect data, increase fan activity, and monitor exposure in order to provide current and potential sponsors with analytical data for future sponsorship opportunities. Fan engagement strategies and tactics allowed for the capturing of information for the CIAA database and generation of waves of traffic for

FWV was also awarded two Silver Awards for the following programs:
Publications – Media Kit for 2011 CIAA Publicity Playbook: Following media achievements during the 2010 Tournament, FWV advanced its strategic approach on educating the media about the history, culture and success of the Tournament. The 2011 CIAA Publicity Playbook design was fresh, clean, exciting, visually enticing and created a window into the CIAA and its Tournament.

Interactive Communications – Social Media for 2011 CIAA Journey to the Tourney Sweepstakes: FWV developed and executed a successful social media sweepstakes titled, “2011 CIAA Journey to the Tourney.” The sweepstakes generated a 32 percent increase in unique visitors for; assisted in the nine percent increase in total Tournament attendance; increased the CIAA Tournament’s Facebook fan count by 51 percent; and generated millions of impressions. The combined results ultimately helped the CIAA generate an economic impact of $44.3 million for the city of Charlotte, an eight percent increase from 2010.

Additionally, FWV received Honorable Mention Awards for the following programs:
Promotional Campaign for Creating a National Pundit: On behalf of the Free Enterprise Nation, FWV created a series of story pitches and a book tour designed to elevate the presence of Founder and CEO James MacDougald in the national media. FWV generated millions of media impressions; FEN experienced a 128.6 percent increase in 2010 daily website traffic; and FWV observed 94 percent positive tonality for FEN/MacDougald.

Political Issue for North Carolina Takes on Virginia in OLF Fight: The U.S. Navy considered Camden County, N.C. as a potential site for an Outlying Landing Field (OLF). A jet practice landing field would devastate the county’s tax base without economic benefit. Residents opposed the OLF because it would bring unwelcome noise to the rural area and condemn thousands of acres of farmland. FWV created a public affairs strategy and a grassroots awareness campaign to engage support from policy makers and citizens. The Counties claimed victory when on Jan. 28, 2011, the U.S. Navy officially announced it was suspending consideration of an OLF in North Carolina until 2014.

Including these recognitions, FWV has received 28 North Carolina public relations awards for its work in 2010. In May, FWV took home 15 InSpire Awards, including both, of only two, “Best in Show” awards for the Silver and Bronze divisions from the North Carolina Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. Only two Best in Show awards are given each year, representing the top-scoring entries in both divisions.

About French/West/Vaughan
French/West/Vaughan is the Southeast’s largest public relations, public affairs and brand communications agency, independent or otherwise. National and international clients represented by the agency include Melitta, Wrangler, Justin Boot Company, the International Gemological Institute, RBC Bank and Moe’s Southwest Grill restaurants. The agency also offers award-winning advertising, graphic design, media planning and placement, and digital and social media marketing and monitoring services for a wide range of clients. For more information, please visit

French West Vaughan
112 E. Hargett St.
Raleigh, NC 27601
Contact: Carrie Stewart
Contact phone: (919)277-1159

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