KISSIMMEE, Fla., April 18, 2016 – Kissimmee Utility Authority won nine awards at the 2016 Image Awards, an annual competition sponsored by the Orlando Area Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association. The winners were announced at a ceremony held April 14 at the Crayola Experience Orlando.
The Image Awards competition recognizes companies and organizations that exhibit and employ comprehensive public relations projects that meet the highest standards of excellence in four components of public relations programming: research, planning, execution and evaluation.
KUA earned one of the competition’s biggest honors – a Grand Image Award – as well as three Image Awards, three Awards of Distinction and two Judges’ Award. Only three Grand Image Awards are handed out each year.
An Image Award is presented to the top-scoring entry in each category. An Award of Distinction is presented to an entry that meets the standard of excellence set by a panel of judges. A Judges’ Award is presented to an entry that achieves maximum results while using a minimum amount of money. Image Award winners in each division are automatically considered for a Grand Image Award, representing the finest examples of public relations programming in Central Florida.
In the community relations category, KUA received an Image Award for its Putting the Pieces Together campaign. To promote autism awareness and acceptance, the utility developed an innovative campaign to sell commemorative t-shirts to raise funds for the Autism Society of Greater Orlando. The shirts were sold by utility linemen and the effort raised $3,570 for the organization.
In the public service category, the utility received an Image Award for its Teddy Bears for Trauma Victims campaign. To celebrate the bear theme of its October “Paddington” Movie in the Park event, KUA asked children to bring their favorite stuffed animal to the event for a group photograph. For each child who participated, the utility agreed to donate a new teddy bear in the name of the child to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office. The donated bears are used by deputies to provide psychological comfort to children at crime scenes, accidents and fires.
In the printed brochure category, KUA received an Award of Distinction for its 2015 Osceola Hurricane Handbook. The utility developed a comprehensive storm preparation guide to better prepare its customers for hurricane and summer storm season. The 69,000 guides were distributed to utility customers as a newspaper insert and distributed at a community storm preparedness expo — all at a cost of just 44 cents per utility customer.
In the poster and calendar category, the utility received an Award of Distinction for its 2016 Calendar of Energy Conservation. In 2015, KUA invited students to use the power of art to promote energy conservation in a countywide calendar art contest. A total of 1,844 entries were received and the winning artwork was featured in a 2016 full-color wall calendar, available free of charge to students, teachers and utility customers.
In the video promotional/marketing category, KUA received an Award of Distinction and a Judges’ Award for its Movie in the Park video. To raise awareness and generate excitement for its free monthly Movie in the Park series, the utility produced a short recap video highlighting the various activities available at the event. Produced for just $1,200, the video garnered 22,397 views in the first 48 hours and enjoyed a total audience reach of 56,657.
In the audio/visual/online tools category, the utility received a Grand Image Award, an Image Award and a Judges’ Award for its I Survived Florida Winter meme. KUA created a humorous winter-themed meme in December that took Facebook by storm, reaching an audience of 3.8 million in four days, 740 new page likes in 24 hours and a larger regional brand presence for the utility.
KUA has earned 293 local, state, national and international communication awards for public relations programs, special events, community relations and publications since 1995.
Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility powering 69,000 customers in Osceola County, Fla.