President’s Speech – PRISM Awards 2021

Speech by Koh Juat Muay, President, IPRS Council 2021/23

Speech by Koh Juat Muay, President, IPRS Council 2021/23

Good morning,

Mr Tan Kiat How, Minister of State, Ministry of Communications And Information,

IPRS Council Members, Past Presidents and Members of IPRS,

PRISM 2021 Award Winners and friends.

We are here this morning to celebrate the best of the best people and campaigns in the Public Relations & Communications industry

The IPRS is very happy to host PRISM Awards 2021 in-person here in this beautiful space and livestream the event to our guests joining us from wherever they are.  While there seem to be a separation between us in physical space, we are united in time and spirit.

As we begin our celebration, I am mindful that PRISM Awards 2021 would not have been possible without the help of so many in the industry.

To our Guest of Honour, Mr Tan, thank you for gracing our event and celebrating with the PR community this morning. We look forward to your address and hearing your thoughts. We are honoured that you are here to witness the awards and we are grateful for the many awards that you will be presenting later.

To our 21 Judges on the Panel, thank you for doing the heavy lifting of reviewing 86 submissions across 31 categories. We relied on your wisdom and insights. You have had to make some very tough calls.

To our Platinum sponsor, Jacob Puthenparambil, CEO of Redhill, Accredited Member of the IPRS, and the team in Redhill, thank you for being ever so ready to give back to our industry.

To our Gold Sponsor, Voal Voal, Managing Partner of IN.FOM and Corporate Member of the IPRS, and the team in IN.FOM, thank you for your unwavering support of the IPRS over the years.

To the IPRS Council Members, I cannot thank you enough for stepping up to serve. It has been an intense 2021, packed with members and partnership events, training programmes and our dynamic student chapter events.

We are happy indeed to end this year on a high with PRISM Awards 2021.

As we look forward to 2022 and beyond, I am pleased to announce that we have set up the IPRS President’s Circle, a fund dedicated to the digital transformation of the IPRS to drive our mission to grow the PR industry and support the professional ambitions of our members.

My heartfelt thanks to our Past Presidents and Council Members. You have been the pioneers of the IPRS’ first 50 years. You are now laying a new foundation for the next decades of the IPRS.

As we begin our awards presentation ceremony shortly, and we have many to go through – I am personally proud of every nomination and thank the teams behind each project submission.

It may seem clique to say that everyone is a winner but truly you are – for showing up, doing your work and sharing it with confidence and belief.

While there were clear winners in some instances, there were difficult decisions for the tightly contested categories such as Outstanding PR Consultancy of The Year with 5 entries, Outstanding Corporate Reputation Programme with 6 entries, Outstanding Campaign by a NGO/NPO with 5 entries, Outstanding Young PR Professional with 5 entries. And one of our new categories for the year, Best COVID-19 Campaign Pivot with 9 entries.

The IPRS is conscious that as the PR industry adapts to working (living) with COVID-19, it must continue to keep in sight, climate change, equity in society and business, and good governance.

In July this year, the IPRS conducted our inaugural IPRS Survey on ESG Communications to understand the impact of ESG on the PR practice. As such another new category this year is the Outstanding Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) Communications Programme to recognise ESG as a key specialisation for communicators to meet the growing influence of sustainability communications and reporting.

The final award tally yielded 44 winners: 15 Merit Awards, 9 Distinction Awards, 7 Excellence Awards, 1 Outstanding Campaign Award and 12 People Awards.

Of significance among the People Awards are the much-anticipated Outstanding Young PR Professional Award, Outstanding PR Champion, and the Lifetime PR Achievement Award as PRISM Awards continues to recognise the next generation of promising practitioners and the inspiring leaders of the industry.

The PRISM Award 2021 trophy is specially commissioned with sustainability in mind. Designed by Synergraphic – Singapore’s pioneering glass designers – it is handcrafted using layers of glass offcuts and fusing them in the kiln by glass artisans in Singapore. Spread like a bird’s wing this sculpture represents the soaring voices and resounding light that is befitting of only the best in the industry.

The winning entries and the winners reveal a singular story – the resilience of our people, the ingenuity of the campaigns, and strength of the organisations that continues to thrive in an evolving local and global communications landscape.

IPRS is privileged to hold PRISM Awards 2021 and share in the pride of profession demonstrated by our people and campaigns. Our winners truly embody the meaning of PRISM and that is Public Relations In the Service of Mankind.