Wisconsin Tourism Earns Four National PR Awards and "Best in Show" at Local PRSA Paragon Awards

Team brings home four national PRSA Bronze Anvils, eight Paragons and "Best in Show" second year in a row

MILWAUKEE, Wis.  – The Wisconsin Department of Tourism (WDT) along with its agency of record, Laughlin Constable (LC) has been awarded four national Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Bronze Anvil Awards for outstanding public relations programs, as well as "Best in Show" and eight local awards at the PRSA Paragon Awards of Southeastern Wisconsin. This is the second year in a row that WDT and LC have won "Best in Show" at the Paragon Awards.

The PRSA Bronze Anvil Award is a national competition that received 734 entries this year. Out of these entries, only 90 organizations were selected and winners include Coca‐Cola, Dell, General Mills and Microsoft. The "Best in Show" award at the 2014 Paragon Awards was won for the team’s successful 2013 year‐long integrated PR campaign.

"With ’fun’ being the number one driving force behind why visitors travel to Wisconsin, it is our goal to produce unique work that excites and entices people to come have fun in our great state year‐round," said Stephanie Klett, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. "We couldn’t be more thrilled to have our work recognized, on a national and regional level. And to have won ’Best in Show’ again is a huge honor for our team, and the tourism industry."

Laughlin Constable is a full‐service branding agency with offices in Milwaukee, Chicago, New York and New Jersey.

"We are proud to work together with a client that allows us to develop fun creative work that showcases what this state has to offer the more than 100 million visitors Wisconsin welcomed in 2013," said Mat Lignel, president of Laughlin Constable. "It is a true honor to be partnered with the Wisconsin Department of Tourism and to be recognized by the industry for our work."

The Department and Laughlin Constable received the following awards:

Paragon award "Best in Show" and Excellence for "2013 Wisconsin Department of Tourism PR Campaign"
In order to help drive traveler spending in Wisconsin, Laughlin Constable developed a year‐long campaign for the Wisconsin Department of Tourism which integrated PR with social media, creative, media and digital to help generate more than 1.5 billion impressions and $68.5 million in ad equivalency.

Bronze Anvil AND Paragon award of Excellence for "Travel Wisconsin Revamps ’Wisconsin Traveler’ E-newsletter"
In an effort to create a better email experience for subscribers and streamline the overall process for the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, Laughlin Constable redesigned the e‐newsletter program with combined expertise of digital, creative and PR teams. The email program revamp resulted in a 160 percent increase in mobile email visits to TravelWisconsin.com, and a more than 17 percent increase in total clicks overall. The redesigned Wisconsin Traveler email unique open rate was 22 percent, far exceeding industry standards of 13.6 percent.

Bronze Anvil of Commendation AND Paragon award of Excellence for "Promoting Fall for Travel Wisconsin with Jordy Nelson on Social Media"
Laughlin Constable promoted Travel Wisconsin’s fall TV commercial starring Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson through fun, informative, and engaging content on Facebook, Twitter, Blog, and Social Advertising.

Bronze Anvil of Commendation AND Paragon award of Merit for "Green Bay Packers Jordy Nelson Learns There’s No Place Like Wisconsin"
Laughlin Constable worked with the Wisconsin Department of Tourism to develop a unique and creative integrated campaign to promote the new fall 2013 TV spot for Travel Wisconsin. The spot featured Green Bay Packer Jordy Nelson and was directed by Wisconsin native and Hollywood director Jerry Zucker. The efforts resulted in $5.2 million in earned media value and more than 250,000 YouTube views of the spot.

Bronze Anvil of Commendation AND Paragon award of Merit for "Travel Wisconsin’s 2013 Press Kit"
The Wisconsin Department of Tourism charged Laughlin Constable public relations with producing a creative, easy‐to‐read press kit for deskside meetings with top daily newspapers, magazines and travel freelancers in Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul in 2013. The team met its goal by creating a press kit that was used in more than 14 meetings and led to placements in key outlets, including the Chicago Tribune, Make it Better Magazine and MidwestWeekends.com.

Paragon award of Excellence for "Travel Wisconsin Goes Hollywood"
When the producers of the movie "Airplane!," who happened to be from Wisconsin, were brought together to shoot and direct Travel Wisconsin’s TV spots starring Kareem Abdul‐Jabbar and Robert Hays, Laughlin Constable was charged with coordinating a press conference in Los Angeles to build excitement and buzz surrounding the new campaign. The press conference was attended by media resulting in placements in A‐list outlets, such as US Weekly, InTouch Magazine, People, ESPN and TIME Magazine.

Paragon award of Merit for Travel Wisconsin’s "Sweaterize Yourself" Facebook App
Laughlin Constable developed and promoted a custom Facebook application to support Travel Wisconsin’s 2013 winter campaign. Users were able to create and share their own personalized, virtual ugly Wisconsin sweaters. The application surpassed usage goals and nearly half of those who created a sweater shared it socially.

Paragon award of Merit for "Airplane! the Commercial Poster"
When Laughlin Constable was asked to coordinate a press conference with the cast and crew from the movie "Airplane!" in Los Angeles for the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, Shirley the team knew it needed a creative invite to get the media’s attention.

About PRSA Bronze Anvils
For more than 40 years, the Bronze Anvil Awards have celebrated the "best of the best" in public relations tactics, reflecting the growing scope, creativity and importance of strategic public relations. These tactics ‐ whether a media relations program, website, annual report, podcast, blog or use of social media or word‐of‐mouth ‐ are the hardworking parts of any public relations program. The Bronze Anvil Awards annually recognize the outstanding individual items or components that contribute to the success of an overall program or campaign.

About PRSA Southeastern Wisconsin Paragon Awards
Created in 1983, the Paragon Awards honor outstanding local companies for excellence in the communications field, recognize outstanding work in the area of public relations, honor creative and strategic superiority and encourage a higher level of performance among public relations professionals. The Public Relations Society of America Southeastern Wisconsin chapter was founded more than 50 years ago by pioneering public relations professionals. The organization today consists of more than 300 members serving to advance networking and educational opportunities for communications professionals in the community.

About Wisconsin Department of Tourism
The mission of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism is to market the state as the Midwest’s premier travel destination for fun by executing industry‐leading marketing programs and establishing strategic partnerships. The Department plays a significant role in generating greater economic impact and jobs for Wisconsin. The portal for traveler information can be found at www.travelwisconsin.com.

About Laughlin Constable
Laughlin Constable has been providing high‐quality marketing services to its clients for more than 35 years. With offices in Chicago, Milwaukee, New York and New Jersey, the agency provides Full Circle Branding™ solutions including brand strategy development, digital marketing, design, advertising, public relations, media research, planning and buying. Its annual billings are in excess of $165 million. The agency’s clients include: Bon‐Ton Stores, GE Healthcare, Lung Cancer Alliance, Master Lock, MillerCoors, McDonald’s Restaurants of Southeastern Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. For more information, please visit www.laughlin.com, www.facebook.com/LaughlinConstable, or follow on Twitter at @LaughlinOutLoud.