March 22, 2002
July Fourth History Survey captures five regional, international awards
Colonial Williamsburg has won five awards for the publicity and promotional campaign related to the foundation’s 2001 Fourth of July History Survey. The recognition includes three “Golden Bell” awards—a gold, silver and bronze—from the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI), one of the world tourism industry’s leading organizations. The other two awards came from U.S. chapters of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).
Colonial Williamsburg earned a first place HSMAI “Golden Bell” award in the Feature Placement/Video News Release/Television category for television news reports on the July Fourth initiative that appeared on CBS Evening News, CBS Early Show, CNN (live on July Fourth) and FOX News, and for a History Survey “video news release” distributed to broadcasters internationally.
The History Survey media campaign, executed by the foundation’s public relations department, also earned a silver “Golden Bell” for online editorial content in the Web category, based on news articles about the survey appearing on numerous web sites. A feature on the survey, with a link to Colonial Williamsburg’s web site, was the lead item on the ABC News web site on Independence Day. The survey earned a bronze, third place “Golden Bell” award for overall excellence in marketing communications in the Marketing Program/Consumer category. The HSMAI awards competition attracted more than 1,500 entries from 45 countries and travel destinations around the world.
In the International Association of Business Communicators 2001 Winners’ Circle Awards, the IABC’s Division III, which covers Washington, D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia, gave Colonial Williamsburg an “Award of Merit” in the Total Communications Program category as one of the year’s top marketing and public relations programs in the mid-Atlantic area. The IABC’s Richmond chapter gave Colonial Williamsburg an “Award of Merit” in the Media Relations category as one of the commonwealth’s best communications programs in 2001.
“It is a wonderful honor for Colonial Williamsburg to receive these awards, especially given the recognition comes from our own industry peers around the world,” said Tim Andrews, director of public relations for Colonial Williamsburg. “As encouraging as it is that the survey was successful in terms of public relations and media exposure, far more important is the fact that the initiative underscored the importance of learning and appreciating America’s history.”
In recent years, the foundation has done several nationwide surveys of Americans’ knowledge of history. The results have been released around July Fourth to remind people of the importance of history education, and of Colonial Williamsburg’s role in that process. In 2001, the foundation surveyed over 1,000 U.S. teenagers with fourth-grade level history questions. Media coverage of the survey reached an audience of 290 million people.