Harold Burson
Harold Burson

BCW and the New York chapter of the Public Relations Society of America announced the creation of The Harold Burson Award. The first-ever winner of the award will be recognized during the 2021 Big Apple Awards on Sept. 28. The award will be given to a non-agency practitioner for outstanding communications achievement. The recipient will demonstrate a best-in-class approach to communicating with precision, conviction and transparency. A committee of PRSA-NY members will collaborate with BCW to select the recipient. The recognition is PRSA-NY’s first and only individual award dedicated to a non-agency practitioner for excellence in communications. “PR teams don’t shine without the collaboration and support of the clients and colleagues who are in a position to turn our ideas into actions,” said PRSA-NY president Andrew Graham. “This recognition of a non-agency practitioner is important because the recipient will represent the ideal partner for our industry’s best and brightest professionals.”

Jack Lesile
Jack Leslie

Weber Shandwick chairman Jack Leslie is one of 80 global leaders and more than 25 organizations across corporate, philanthropic, civil society, advocacy, academic and health sectors to sign a statement calling on world leaders attending the United Nations General Assembly this month to convene a global summit and align on an urgent global action plan to end the pandemic. The letter was sent to President Biden, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, and the G20 leaders. Brunswick Group chairman Alan Parker and senior advisor Kate Fall also signed the statement, which proposes that seven billion doses of high-quality vaccines be made available before the end of 2021. It also urges that every country be prepared to implement equitable vaccination programs at scale by the end of the year and that 70 percent of the world’s population be vaccinated by mid-2022.

Viral Nation

Viral Nation, a social and influencer marketing agency, launches Viral Nation Sports, a division geared toward helping collegiate athletes cultivate long-term and relevant brand partnerships. The launch follows the June resolution by the National Collegiate Athletic Association to let college athletes use their name, image and likeness to seek brand partnership and endorsement deals. Mike Lecce, who has represented such athletes as David Ortiz and Jose Bautista, will serve as VN Sports vice president, leading recruiting and brand partnerships. “Our mission is to build one of the most inclusive, collaborative sports management divisions in the industry," said Viral Nation CEO and co-founder Joe Gagliese. "Our new team of agents are the best in the business: dynamic and creative, their success speaks for itself. They understand that brand partnerships speak louder than ads and have raised the bar regarding client successes.”