Each year, the annual PACE Awards features a “Gallery of Entries.” This gallery features all of the awardees being recognized as a part of the award ceremony. Guests of the event have the chance to select their favorite campaign and their favorite tactic for the prestigious “People’s Choice” awards.

This year, the PACE Awards ceremony and Gallery of Entries will be entirely virtual. To view each winning entry, please select from the list below. Once you’ve had a chance to review all entries, cast your vote!

Voting closes on May 13 at 12 p.m.


Each slide below represents one entry. The synopsis for each is displayed as the image caption.

  • "Know It Before You Throw It" Campaign

    Community Relations, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, Güd Marketing

    In 2015, Michigan’s 15% residential recycling rate was one of the lowest in the nation (U.S. average is 34%). To address this issue, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy launched a statewide recycling education and engagement initiative to increase both the quantity and quality of material that is recycled in Michigan. Enter, the Recycling Raccoon Squad, a six-member team of recycling ambassadors who teach residents how to recycle properly. Today, Güd Marketing has helped EGLE deliver significant advances in knowledge about recycling and improved Michiganders’ recycling behaviors based on statewide survey data, far exceeding client campaign goals.

  • Seasonal weight restrictions app, updated website and communication plan

    Community Relations, County Road Association of Michigan

    County road agencies are required to post “seasonal weight restrictions” (SWR) every spring as frost leaves the ground making roads vulnerable to cracking. One option for road agencies to post SWR is “on the website of a statewide road association of which it is a member.”
    In need of modernization, CRA sought to upgrade and relaunch its SWR page as well as introduce an app. A communications plan was created for the release.
    The launch of the app and updated website proved successful, with the app being downloaded 2,000 times in the first week and the website receiving 55,000 pageviews.

  • RELAUNCH Greater Lansing: Economic Rehabilitation Task Force

    Crisis Communications, Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce

    The RELAUNCH Greater Lansing: Economic Rehabilitation Task Force was formed in early spring 2020, in conjunction with Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s MI Safe Start Plan that focused on re-engaging Michigan’s economy by a regional, phased-in approach. The initiative has brought together trusted and prominent leaders in business, government, healthcare, and education and is guided by the Ingham County Health Officer. The task force’s overall goal has been to develop a comprehensive strategy for industries within the Greater Lansing region to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, provide necessary and timely information and regulatory updates and help reopen business safely and successfully.

  • Holiday booze in jeopardy

    Crisis Communication, Republic National Distributing Company, Martin Waymire

    The holiday season of 2019 was on its way, the biggest selling period for alcohol distributors across the country. Republic National Distributing Company found itself in crisis following a series of events, some the company’s doing, some outside the control of the company, in its transition to a state-of-the-art automated liquor distribution warehouse in the fall of 2019. Martin Waymire quickly stepped in to guide Republic through a tumultuous period, including strategy to handle thousands of customer calls, multiple state agency hearings and internal communications. Ultimately, transparency won the day and the holiday season was a success.

  • Michigan 2020 Census "Be Counted" Campaign

    Integrated Communications, State of Michigan, Güd Marketing

    A complete and accurate count of residents in the census is critical to the State of Michigan. An accurate census count determines how many seats Michigan has in Congress, and the amount of funding for critical programs such as education, health care, roads and infrastructure, and more. The 2020 census posed many unique challenges, including the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Despite these hurdles, Michigan’s 2020 Census “Be Counted” campaign delivered successful results unprecedented in state history for any previous census awareness push leading to 3.6% more Michigan households self-responding in 2020 than in 2010 (71.3% vs. 67.7%).

  • Then. Now. Always.: Cultivating Unprecedented Community Support in an Unprecedented Year

    Integrated Communications, Ronald McDonald House of Mid-Michigan, Piper & Gold Public Relations

    For the 2020 year-end annual appeal campaign, the Ronald McDonald House of Mid-Michigan’s goal was to build on the 20-year legacy that the organization has built in the community and celebrate all the families they have served — Then. Now. Always. Through innovative design, social media and email marketing techniques, the campaign raised $20,044.50 for the Ronald McDonald House of Mid-Michigan, well surpassing their $12,000 goal.

  • SET SEG Family Healthcare Center

    Integrated Communications, SET SEG

    SET SEG is a non-profit providing employee benefits and insurance services to Michigan public schools. In 2018, SET SEG opened the SET SEG Family Healthcare Center, a dedicated primary care facility that exclusively serves midMichigan public school employees and their families. By 2019, the healthcare center was only treating 505 patients
    out of a potential 3,209. In January 2020, a nine-month integrated communications plan launched, utilizing targeted email marketing, social media, print collateral, direct mail, and in-person doctor visits. This campaign resulted in an increase in utilization by 10% at all five school districts and a total ROI of 1.25.

  • "Thrive from Home" Campaign

    Marketing Consumer Products & Services, Build Up Michigan, Güd Marketing

    In the wake of day care and preschool closings amid the COVID-19 pandemic, parents and caregivers were left juggling competing priorities as they cared for their young children without the training, tools and time to nurture learning and growth. Recognizing the devastating impact on Michigan’s youngest learners, the “Thrive from Home” campaign was aimed at helping parents and their children ages 3 through 5 by creating at-home learning tools and encouraging them to continue early education activities during the pandemic – and to recognize any developmental delays. As a result of this effort, 1,600 parents were connected with additional support to continue their early childhood learning efforts, and countless more parents connected to valuable online resources to use at home.

  • Storytelling to support Downtown East Lansing’s businesses

    Marketing Consumer Products & Services, Storytelling to support Downtown East Lansing’s businessesDowntown East Lansing, Piper & Gold Public Relations

    Piper & Gold Public Relations supported Downtown East Lansing in the launch of a COVID-19 Business
    Support campaign targeted to East Lansing and Greater Lansing media, students at Michigan State
    University, and residents and patrons in the East Lansing community. Piper & Gold Public Relations
    executed a social media awareness and media relations campaign to promote safety in the Downtown East Lansing community with mask-wearing and social distancing, while encouraging increased business in retail stores and restaurants/bars. The campaign consisted of branded social media content in partnership with Michigan State University and specific to East Lansing, and media relations efforts/partnerships.

  • COVID Care Heroes

    Organizational Relations, The Michigan Health and Hospital Association, Martin Waymire

    COVID Care Heroes was a campaign to support the Michigan Health and Hospital Association’s member
    hospital and health system staff by keeping spirits high and recognizing the tireless 24/7 work being done by member staff to save lives across the state by sharing stories of the heroic Michigan health and
    hospital staff and encourage residents to support the healthcare workers in their communities. We
    reached nearly 7 million Michiganders and were able to share the stories of more than 250 healthcare heroes from across the state through digital and social media.

  • Return to Work

    Organizational Relations, Michigan State University Infrastructure Planning and Facilities

    To prepare more than 600 front-line staff to return to work safely when the governor’s emergency order was scheduled to be lifted in mid-May, the Communications and Learning & Development Office at Michigan State University Infrastructure Planning and Facilities worked develop a safety training campaign for all staff members and then to reinforce the training via multiple communications channels that effectively reached front-line staff, a group that’s usually particularly hard to connect with.

  • Gas Safety Management

    Organizational Relations, Consumers Energy

    After several catastrophic natural gas explosions, the pipeline industry issued a recommendation that all pipeline companies implement an extensive framework to reduce risk and safety incidents.
    A new concept to the organization, the framework deals with many areas: risk modeling, communications, organizational culture, incident investigations, etc. In 2020, we created an internal awareness campaign with three objectives: create shared meaning, spur adoption of the framework, and change how employees talk about risk. In the end, 94% said they understand the framework, 94% said they believe we need it, and 92% said the campaign was effective.

  • Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission

    Public Affairs, Michigan Department of State, Güd Marketing

    In 2018, voters approved a constitutional amendment to establish the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (ICRC) that now has exclusive authority to adopt new legislative district boundaries based on the census. In late 2019 and through 2020, a public relations and marketing campaign was executed to achieve a high return of applications from those randomly mailed the application, build a diverse pool of applicants and create awareness and interest in applying to be on the commission. As a result of the campaign, for the first time ever a group of 13 citizens with balanced political affiliations have come together in 2021 to begin their work to make our state’s elections more fair and every Michigander’s vote more powerful.

  • Greenhouses Safe Reopening Plan

    Public Affairs, Michigan Greenhouse Growers Council, Resch Strategies

    Michigan greenhouses developed a safe, reopening plan showing how they could operate safely, requesting to reopen before the spring season was completely lost. Resch Strategies executed a public affairs campaign putting statewide pressure on state officials resulting in an announcement that greenhouses could open less than one week later and just in time for their critical spring sales season. Our efforts resulted in statewide media coverage that reached more than 100 million people. We are confident that our statewide public affairs campaign played a role in the decision to allow operation by Michigan’s greenhouse owners.

  • "Futures for Frontliners"

    Public Service, Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, Güd Marketing

    As COVID-19 cases skyrocketed in the pandemic’s early weeks, hundreds of thousands of front-line workers risked their lives and remained at their jobs in health care and nursing home facilities, supermarkets, transportation or public safety to keep the rest of Michigan safe. In gratitude, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in April 2020 announced, “Futures for Frontliners,” a free college tuition program for essential workers to further their education. Futures for Frontliners was the first program of its kind in the nation. The campaign promoting the new program campaign garnered 60,000 applicants in the first two weeks and in just 18 weeks had more than 120,000 applicants – nearly 10 times the original goal.

  • Defeat the Breach Coalition 2020 Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign

    Public Service, Defeat the Breach Coalition, Truscott Rossman

    The Defeat the Breach Coalition reshaped its 2020 Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign strategy in direct response to rising cybersecurity threats locally and across the globe during the pandemic. The speed with which cybercriminals adapted to take advantage of the vulnerabilities of the hundreds of thousands of employees suddenly working remotely and prey upon rising unemployment fears and overwhelmed state unemployment systems was sobering. The audience was primarily mid-Michigan businesses and their employees. A multi-dimensional research-based strategy was deployed to attain goals of increased cybersecurity awareness as well as to gain additional followers and spur engagement across DBC social channels.

  • I Vaccinate Campaign

    Public Service, Franny Strong Foundation and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Martin Waymire

    I Vaccinate is a public health campaign to help Michigan parents protect their kids from vaccine preventable diseases. In recent years, Michigan’s childhood immunization rates ranked among the nation’s worst – 44th for toddlers aged 19 to 35 months. The campaign includes a parent-focused website and resources, social media communities, and television, radio, outdoor and digital advertising. When COVID-19 hit Michigan in March 2020, we pivoted quickly and early on as parents began delaying vaccinations due to stay home orders, launching a “catch up, stay current” campaign through our social and earned media channels and with social influencers, along with a comprehensive partner toolkit with campaign assets.

  • GRNoir Opens Jazz Club & Wine Bar in Midst of Pandemic

    Shoestring Budget, GRNoir, Martin Waymire

    Opening a new food and entertainment venue is always a challenge, but doing so in the middle of pandemic with its attendant restrictions is even more daunting. GRNoir owners Shatawn and Nadia Brigham were working with a marketing agency on their jazz club and wine bar’s website and social media accounts but wanted media relations assistance from Martin Waymire for the club’s opening. Working on a shoestring budget, Martin Waymire drafted and sent press releases and worked with reporters to obtain 14 articles and TV stories through the club’s soft
    and grand openings.

  • Shape the Future. START HERE. Campaign : Michigan State University’s PRSSA 2020 Bateman Case Study Submission

    Student Campaign, MSUPublic Relations Student Society of America

    The Shape the Future. START HERE. Campaign completed by MSU’s 2020 Bateman Case Study Competition team successfully delivered valuable information to the nearby community and to those who are historically underrepresented by the census. Through partnerships with the East Lansing Complete Count Committee, City of East Lansing, East Lansing Public Library, the Associated Students of Michigan State University and university administration, the team educated MSU college students and East Lansing parents of children 0 to 4 years on the importance of completing the census.

  • Stay Well: Supporting mental health for Michiganders

    Social Marketing, Michigan Public Health Institute, Piper & Gold Public Relations

    Piper & Gold Public Relations supported the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in partnership with Michigan Public Health Institute in the launch of the Stay Well Counseling Services to the Detroit Metro Area, specifically Wayne County and the City of Detroit. The program was designed to help people suffering from mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Piper & Gold Public Relations executed a social media advertising campaign to raise awareness and promote usage of the counseling services. The campaign consisted of a mixture of boosted posts and ads, organic content, a social media toolkit and a unique hashtag.

  • Calling for for College Completion Coaches

    Social Marketing, Michigan College Access Network, Piper & Gold Public Relations

    MCAN’s College Completion Corps places 23 AmeriCorps members on community college campuses across Michigan to help students navigate the college-going experience. Michigan College Access Network partnered with Piper & Gold to devise a communications strategy to increase awareness of the program and generate qualified candidates to fill their 2020-21 coaching positions.

  • Michigan Wildlife Council Microcampaigns

    Social Marketing, Michigan Wildlife Council, Güd Marketing

    The Michigan Wildlife Council was created to educate the public about the benefits of hunting and fishing and the essential role that sportsmen and sportswomen play in wildlife conservation. A 2019 statewide survey uncovered opportunity to focus on a variety of hunting and fishing benefits for non-hunters and non-anglers such as the activities’ economic. While the campaign’s broad awareness message focused on how hunting and fishing are the primary funders of wildlife conservation, four distinct “microcampaigns” (activated through social and digital advertising) showcased additional benefit messages in order to reach audiences who were less likely to interact with our broad awareness campaign.


Each slide below represents one entry. The synopsis for each is displayed as the image caption.

  • Todd Martin Youth Leadership Annual Report

    Annual Reports, Todd Martin Youth Leadership, Resch Strategies

    In 2020, Resch Strategies worked with Todd Martin Youth Leadership to create and distribute its 2019 annual report. TMYL is a nonprofit focused on providing fitness activity to underprivileged young people in Lansing, and its report targeted donors and sponsors to grow TMYL’s impact in the area.

  • Strength in Community: 2020 Annual Report

    Annual Reports, Capital Area Michigan Works!, Piper & Gold Public Relations

    To close out a tumultuous year of change, Capital Area Michigan Works! partnered with Piper & Gold to create an annual report — in both PDF and web page versions — showcasing the innovation and
    connection CAMW! has always placed at the forefront of their work and positioning CAMW! as a leader in workforce development.

  • Grayling are poised for a comeback

    Feature Stories, Michigan Wildlife Council, Güd Marketing

    The Michigan Wildlife Council was created in 2013 to educate the general public about the benefits of hunting and fishing and the essential role that sportsmen and sportswomen play in wildlife conservation. Feature stories that detail examples of wildlife conservation success in Michigan are a key tactic. In 2020, an article that resonated greatly with readers told the story of how the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is using modern conservation techniques to return the Arctic grayling to Michigan waters.

  • 10-10-10 Birthday Tour

    Innovative Tactics, Michigan College Access Network, Piper & Gold Public Relations

    To celebrate its 10th year, Michigan College Access Network awarded 10 grants of $10,000 over 10 days to organizations across Michigan supporting college access. Piper & Gold implemented an innovative media relations strategy to increase awareness of the 10-10-10 Birthday Tour and MCAN’s dedication to postsecondary education in Michigan.

  • #Your20forOur20: Finding space for celebration and support amidst the pandemic

    Innovative Tactics, Ronald McDonald House of Mid-Michigan, Piper & Gold Public Relations

    Like many, the Ronald McDonald House of Mid-Michigan faced financial hardships in 2020. Enter #Your20forOur20, a Facebook fundraiser effort in which 23 champions raised $16,089 total, a 328% increase in individuation donations during the same time period in 2019. 367 total #Your20forOur20 donors, 81% of whom were new donors, helped recognize the House’s 20th anniversary with financial support.

  • The Michigan Veterinarian

    Magazines, Michigan Veterinary Medical Association

    The Michigan Veterinarian is MVMA’s premiere publication—keeping members in the loop and informed on important veterinary issues. The 36-page magazine is published quarterly and sent to more than 2,000 veterinarians throughout the state. It includes timely topics, advocacy and regulatory news, promotions for upcoming events and much more.

  • MESSA DiscoverYou

    Newsletters, MESSA

    MESSA DiscoverYou is a print and digital newsletter sent to over 88,000 members six times a year. In 2020, careful planning and nimble execution ensured that MESSA delivered essential information to members, ensuring they had up-to-date information about their health benefits and easy access to the care they need.

  • ‘Spread Hope, Not COVID’ Coalition Newsletter

    Newsletters, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Martin Waymire

    Recognizing the need to amplify accurate, timely information through non-government and health
    partners, the State launched a multi-industry coalition and a newsletter with up-to-date and easily shareable content to combat COVID-19 misinformation. The newsletter reaches an audience of 500+ and has consistently beat industry standards for its open rate.

  • Being a CEO does not make me immune to racism

    Editorials/OP-ED Columns, Capital Area Michigan Works!, Piper & Gold Public Relations

    With retirement drawing near, Capital Area Michigan Works! CEO Edythe Copeland partnered with Piper & Gold to craft a local farewell op-ed focused on race and diversity (or the lack thereof) in the region’s leadership community. Circulation and impressions surpassed 100,000, with hundreds of social media shares amidst local and national protests and calls for action and justice.

  • No white saviors in social work

    Editorials/OP-ED Columns, National Association of Social Workers – Michigan, Piper & Gold Public Relations

    Algeria Wilson, the director of policy for National Association of Social Work-Michigan, addresses the Black Lives Matter movement and its impact on the field of social work as demands of defunding the police and replacing them with trained social workers ensued. Algeria read her op-ed as a spoken word piece for NPR station Michigan Radio, and was placed seven times and reached over 13 million viewers. The op-ed resulted in a collaborative op-ed with Michigan Rep. Stephanie Chang, D-Detroit.

  • "Know It Before You Throw It" Campaign Research

    Research, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, Güd Marketing

    The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) engaged Güd Marketing to develop a statewide recycling education and engagement initiative that launched in June 2019 to increase both the quantity and quality of material that is recycled in Michigan. A statewide pre-campaign survey of 1,500 Michigan residents was fielded in 2018 to inform the development of the campaign and set a baseline of current knowledge, attitudes and access to recycling. A second statewide survey was conducted in December 2020, which showed phenomenal increases in recycling knowledge, confidence and campaign recall.

  • MSU Broad Museum: Seeking Understanding

    Research, MSU Broad Art Museum, Piper & Gold Public Relations

    The striking MSU Broad Art Museum sits at the intersection of MSU’s campus and downtown
    East Lansing, yet it felt disconnected from the community. As the museum searched
    internationally for a new director, it needed to understand the landscape, its community
    engagement, and its potential to fulfill its mission.

  • "It’s Christmas. Keep it Real." Social Media Campaign

    Social Mediums, Michigan Christmas Tree Association, Güd Marketing

    Supplying 2 million trees to the national market annually, Michigan is the nation’s third-largest producer of Christmas trees. As of 2017, in the nearly 80% of American households that displayed a Christmas tree during the holiday season, around 82% of those were artificial trees. With the intent of raising awareness and sales, the Michigan Christmas Tree Association (MCTA) opted to launch a multifaceted campaign intending to persuade fake tree buyers to “Keep It Real” by engaging with them on social media, stimulate social traffic to MCTA’s website, educate consumers on the benefits of purchasing real trees and establish trust with consumers by promoting tree farm safety precautions.

  • I Vaccinate: Sharing Real Family Stories Through Social Media

    Social Mediums, Franny Strong Foundation and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Martin Waymire

    I Vaccinate is a public health campaign to help Michigan parents protect their kids from vaccine preventable diseases. Sharing real family stories has been the centerpiece of our social media strategy. I Vaccinate social channel content received more than 5.2 million impressions, 229,000 engagements (likes, shares, comments or clicks), and 45,000 visits to IVaccinate.org. Followers grew by 30% across all channels from the previous year (more than 50,000 followers combined).

  • 2020 Güd Marketing Holiday Card

    Special Purpose Publications, Güd Marketing

    Each year, Güd Marketing creates its New Year’s greeting. In 2020, it was an ideal way to showcase the exceptional, talented people who work for Güd Marketing and their professional and personal sides by highlighting their hobbies and special qualities in a fun and interactive way.

  • Michigan Census TV PSA Featuring Claressa Shields

    Television PSA, State of Michigan, Güd Marketing

    A complete and accurate count of Michigan’s residents in the 2020 census was critical to the state of Michigan for the next decade. The U.S. Census Bureau and Michigan census campaign leaders faced a set of challenges unique to any previous census campaign in our state’s history. Of particular concern was reaching people within the city of Flint. In order to best encourage Flint residents to be counted, recognizable, respected local leaders and influencers were utilized to carry out that message. Notably, Olympic gold medal-winning boxer and Flint native Claressa Shields was featured in a television PSA.

  • "Know It Before You Throw It" Community Videos

    Video Programs, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, Güd Marketing

    The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) engaged Güd Marketing to develop a statewide recycling education initiative to increase both the quantity and quality of material that is recycled in Michigan. In 2020, mini-campaigns were introduced in targeted areas across the state to educate on rules specific to local recycling providers. For each area, videos were developed to support the effort in various placements including social media, digital video and television.

  • DTMB Employee Touchpoints

    Video Programs, Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget

    In March 2020, with 95% of employees immediately assigned to work remotely, the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget developed a biweekly, live video series to stay connected with staff and provide valuable information regarding remote work and the pandemic. The first of 19 employee touchpoints aired March 31.

  • Coronavirus Resource Page Shares Practical Information to Businesses at a Nimble Pace

    Websites, Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC

    In response to numerous clients reaching out and to keep businesses, municipalities and other organizations informed of the resources available, Foster Swift created a coronavirus resource page to feature articles, videos and webinars related to the pandemic. The page has been continually updated with new material since March 2020.

  • Big Changes Ahead Auto No-Fault Changes Website

    Websites, Michigan Health & Hospital Association, Martin Waymire

    Due to a change in Michigan’s Auto No-Fault law, on July 1, 2020, 7,000,000+ drivers for the first time could choose how much medical coverage comes with their auto insurance. The Michigan Health & Hospital Association launched an easy-to-use website with answers to complicated insurance information to help protect drivers.

  • Using PR to Connect Undocumented Students to Education

    Media/Press Kits, Michigan College Access Network, Piper & Gold Public Relations

    MCAN partnered with Piper & Gold to amplify receiving a $30,000 grant to support undocumented students wishing to pursue higher education. P&G executed by developing a press release and targeted media outreach. AP News and 19 other national and regional outlets covered the story, accumulating 89.1 million in online readership.

This year’s Gallery of Entries is brought to you by Premiere Sponsor Capital Area Transportation Authority.

Capital Area Transportation Authority