Little Rock marketing agency MHP Team SI and Keep Arkansas Beautiful, one of the firm’s clients, claimed a national Silver Anvil Award of Excellence on May 17 at the Edison Ballroom in New York, site of the Public Relations Society of America’s highest honors ceremony.
The agency was the only Arkansas company so honored.
The award, MHP/Team SI’s third Award of Excellence, came in the category of content marketing for associations/government/nonprofit organizations. The winning entry was its Otto the Otter Youth Education campaign, featuring Keep Arkansas Beautiful’s mascot, an otter who tells children “you Otto not litter!” The grinning, wide-eyed mascot has even been pictured with Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
KAB is a longtime client, and Vice President of Client Services Julie C. Robbins has been lead supervisor on the account for 19 years. To emphasize the danger of litter to the environment, the agency and Keep Arkansas Beautiful developed the education program and communications support that included paid social media placements, e-newsletters, news coverage and “earned media,” and a website landing page. A commissioned Arkansas-based illustrator wrote “Otto the Otter and the Great Arkansas Mystery,” a 40-page children’s book in print and digital versions. More than 5,000 of the books were distributed to third-grade teachers statewide at 519 schools, and more than 35,000 students received a workbook.
Colbie Jones, executive director of Keep Arkansas Beautiful, called the award a signal that its collaboration with MHP/Team SI is thriving. The Keep Arkansas Beautiful marketing contract is a $469,000 deal, renewable annually and running through the fiscal year. “The contract not only assists with the marketing of our Otto the Otter Youth Education Program, but it also assists with promoting our two cleanup seasons, the spring Great American Cleanup in Arkansas and the fall Great Arkansas Cleanup, and other initiatives throughout the year,” Jones told Arkansas Business.
“As the state’s largest entity working to encourage litter prevention, recycling and beautification efforts, we are thankful to have such a great partner,” Jones said in a statement that also praised Arkansans for their care in keeping the state “a beautiful place to work and visit.”
The 2022 PRSA Silver Anvil Award ceremony included more than 151 finalists in 20 categories and other additional subcategories. PRSA is the nation’s largest professional organization for the communication industry and has a membership of nearly 30,000 professionals across the United States.
Keep Arkansas Beautiful, with a professional staff of three and a nine-member advisory board, is a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism.