On Thursday, November 14, 2002, News Generation and AARP completed a triple crown – for the third year in a row, the two companies were honored for their collaborative media relations efforts focused on radio, winning their third consecutive Phoenix Award from the Public Relations Society of America, Georgia Chapter. The Phoenix is Georgia PRSA’s highest honor recognizing projects and programs that demonstrate excellence the public relations field.
News Generation and AARP were honored for “Predatory Lending Awareness” in the Media Relations, Radio Category. News Generation, Inc. and AARP received the Phoenix award for their audio news release to raise awareness about dishonest lenders in Georgia targeting thousands of older homeowners with overpriced loans that drain away their equity, leading too often to foreclosure and financial ruin, and efforts across the state of Georgia to pass a law to prohibit the abusive and deceptive mortgage lending practices.
There was a 100% placement rate with 75 of 75 stations and networks accepting the story in fax or audio form and more than half (50.7%) of accepting stations and networks verified airing story. The total reach of project was 575,950 gross impressions with total of 209 airings on 119 stations and network affiliates across the state. The audio news release was part of extensive media coverage across the state leading to passage of the bill on the last day. The bill is considered by both consumer advocates and industry (banking/mortgage brokers) experts as the toughest bill in the nation.
Accepting the award were Bill Brown, director of communications for AARP Georgia, and Lynn Harris Medcalf, executive vice president of News Generation, Inc. Both AARP and News Generation hopes to make it four in a row at the Phoenix Awards this Fall.