Roger Bolton
Roger Bolton

The Institute for Public Relations hosted its 57th Annual Distinguished Lecture & Awards Dinner Nov. 28 in New York City with more than 300 people in attendance.

Page president Roger Bolton was presented with the Alexander Hamilton Medal, given for major contributions to the practice of public relations including the use of research. In accepting his award, he noted some of the lessons that today’s PR professional can learn from Hamilton.

"All of us in this noble profession have a responsibility to advocate for justice, to support reason and compromise, and to oppose tribalism, bias, racism and violence,” he told the crowd. “We can do better. We must do better and we can lead to better.”

Cision chief insights officer Mark Weiner was awarded the Jack Felton Medal for Lifetime Achievement for Advancement of Research, Measurement & Evaluation. He gave some pointers on how to get started in public relations measurement.

First, he said, "I suggest that you, simply begin. It's much better to be approximately right than totally

Mark Weiner
Mark Weiner

in the dark.” Among the other things he stressed were the importance of keeping track of the story your data is supposed to tell and of not being afraid of failure.

Dr. Bey-Ling Sha, Ph.D., APR, professor of public relations and acting associate dean of the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts at San Diego State University, received the IPR Pathfinder Award.

She encouraged attendees to “speak your truth. Give voice to your true values of ethics, transparency and authenticity.”

Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the immediate past president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science and president and CEO of CBI Enterprises, Inc., was the 2018 Distinguished Lecturer. She was interviewed by Leslie Gaines-Ross of Weber Shandwick.

In speaking of what makes a great leader, she said it was important to “set goals so you can measure yourself.”

She also talked about the diversity problems that arose during the “Oscars So White” controversy. “I felt that too many members of the press, especially in the entertainment press, were trying to label me and pull me in. To be the person that is leading the diversity efforts of all of Hollywood.”

Two graduate student awards were presented by Dr. Marcia DiStaso, University of Florida. The Don Bartholomew Award for Excellence in Public Relations Research, sponsored by Ketchum, was given to Jeyoung Oh, University of Alabama. The 2018 Makovsky Best Master’s Thesis of the Year Award was given to Yuan Qin, Univ. of Florida.