Chapter Announces 2023 Virginia PR Awards Winners 

Photo credit: Lauren Kent Photography

RICHMOND, Va. – The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Richmond Chapter announced the winners of the 76th Virginia Public Relations Awards at a banquet on Wednesday, June 7 at the Dominion Energy Center. The awards recognize outstanding public relations professionals and exceptional public relations achievements for firms.

In a ceremony on center stage of the Dominion Energy Center, the chapter recognized Jeff Wilson, APR of Padilla as the first Black recipient of the Excellence in Public Relations award. The award recognizes the extraordinary achievements of seasoned professionals in the Richmond region. With nearly 30 years of communications experience, Jeff serves as vice president of workplace culture, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and chief of staff at Padilla, one of the country’s leading mid-size communications agencies.

Taylor Fuqua, a young professional from Virginia Museum of History & Culture was recognized as this year’s Rising Star award. The award is given to someone with five years experience or less who has done incredible work in the public relations field.

“It’s an incredible night for us to recognize Jeff and Taylor as individuals, along with all the companies represented, for their achievements,” said PRSA Richmond Chapter President Taya Jarman, APR. “These individuals deserve to be recognized for their outstanding contributions to the public relations profession.”

Each year, the PRSA Richmond chapter recognizes outstanding public relations professionals and their work at the Virginia Public Relations Awards banquet. Entries are taken for local, statewide, national, and global campaigns, from government entities, non-profit organizations, corporations, and PR agencies and independent practitioners. The chapter recognizes the most creative and effective communications strategies and tactics happening across Virginia. Over 100 individuals and organizations were recognized for outstanding public relations campaigns and tactics in various categories.

Roanoke County Public Schools received the Best-in-Show for its Load the Bus campaign. The Best-in-Show Commonwealth Award category recognizes exceptional public relations campaigns. The campaign raised more than $31,000 worth of school supplies for children in the Roanoke region.

Padilla won the Best-in-Show of the Capital Award category for their work with the US Highbush Blueberry Council. The Capital Awards category recognizes unique and exceptional public relations tactics. Padilla employed strategies that helped the council grow its newsletter list size and distribution.

“The PR professionals in Richmond are some of the best around. Seeing the work they accomplished last year is truly inspiring for our chapter and our industry,” said Jarman. “Richmond continues to lead as a city with a reputation for public relations excellence, and it’s easy to see why when you look at our award winners.”

Download the full list of winners (PDF).