Partying with the world's largest tunneling machine last summer brought with it a number of rewards, including sun, celebration and 5,000 new friends. Seven months later comes more official recognition that the party was a hit: a prestigious Totem Award from the Public Relations Society of America's Puget Sound Chapter.
EnviroIssues was honored last month in the "Special Events and Observances" category at PRSA's 2014 Totem Awards, for planning "Bertha's Pre-Bore Dedication Event." Held on July 20, 2013 in Seattle, the event celebrated the launch of the five-story-tall machine that is digging a tunnel to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct, a double-deck highway that has stood along the downtown waterfront for more than 60 years. The award was shared with PRR, a firm also working with Seattle Tunnel Partners on the program.
"This is a landmark project that will completely reshape Seattle's waterfront and the State Route 99 corridor," said EnviroIssues Associate KaDeena Yerkan, who manages communications for the Washington State Department of Transportation's $3.1 billion Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program. "The launch event had to match the enormity of the project and this amazing machine. It had to be memorable – and what could be more memorable than staring down the world's largest tunneling machine?"
More than 5,000 people descended on the tunnel launch site near Seattle's stadiums to take part in the event. In addition to viewing the machine and talking to staff about the project, attendees were given a chance to sign their name on the curved concrete segments that will make up the walls of the future tunnel.
PRSA's Totem Award is a symbol of creativity and accomplishment for the PR industry in the Puget Sound area. The program is designed to recognize projects and programs that demonstrate excellence in PR and rise above the competition.