NewYork-Presbyterian’s Marketing and Communications Team Wins Public Relations Society of America Award

The team won best “Video for Broadcast” for its success sharing the story of an altruistic kidney donor who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise awareness for living organ donation — and received an honorable mention for another patient story.

On November 15, NewYork-Presbyterian’s Marketing and Communications team was honored twice by the New York Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) at the 2023 Big Apple Awards.

NewYork-Presbyterian won the Big Apple Award in the category of “Spotlight: Video for Broadcast” for its story “You Don’t Need Two Kidneys to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro.” The team also received honorable mention in the same category for “Using Art to Help Heal.”

You Don’t Need Two Kidneys to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro” tells the story of Steve Wilson, who donated his kidney at NewYork-Presbyterian and went on to climb the highest mountain in Africa. He and a group of fellow kidney donors made the trek to raise awareness for living organ donation and show how living donors go on to lead active, healthy lives. The NewYork-Presbyterian team gathered footage from Wilson’s climb and created its own written story and video, which was pitched to media. The inspiring story resulted in earned media placements on local and national news outlets — including CBS News and Fox News — with a combined reach of 98.8 million unique visitors a month. The story also garnered more than 53,000 views on social channels.

Using Art to Help Heal” features Brooklyn artist Julia Kito Kirtley, a breast cancer survivor who found new purpose in her art when she started teaching painting classes to fellow cancer patients from NewYork-Presbyterian. The video and story were shared on NewYork-Presbyterian’s content channels and the media team used the footage to pitch earned media stories, receiving coverage on WNBC, Weekend TODAY, PIX11News 12, and BK Reader.

The New York Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America established the Big Apple Awards program in 1987 to encourage excellence in public relations, and it is now recognized as one of the highest honors in public relations.

“I’m so proud of our team for earning this recognition from the Public Relations Society of America,” says Devika Mathrani, senior vice president and chief marketing and communications officer of NewYork-Presbyterian. “These wins showcase how cross-functional our work is — from identifying the story to capturing the content to creating our editorial assets and securing media to build our brand. This award is a testament to our team’s collaboration, talent, passion, and proactive approach to sharing stories about inspiring patients and exceptional care across NewYork-Presbyterian’s healthcare system.”

“It’s an honor to be recognized by the Public Relations Society of America,” says Angela Karafazli, NewYork-Presbyterian’s senior director of media and public relations. “Our team takes great pride in highlighting the remarkable resilience of our patients and the expertise and compassion of our care teams. These awards truly demonstrate our teamwork and the power of authentic storytelling.”

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