Sandia LabNews

Sandia claims top public relations award


Labs’ 70th Anniversary Campaign wins Best of Show

Meagan Brace displays Sandia’s Best of Show award
PINNACLE OF PR — Meagan Brace displays Sandia’s Best of Show from the New Mexico Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America’s 2020 Cumbre Awards.

In researching “70 Ways Sandia Has Changed the Nation,” Meagan Brace sometimes came across a fact she couldn’t wait to share.

“I remember calling my husband and saying, ‘Did you know Sandia did this?’” Meagan said, recounting the day she learned the Labs had developed an advanced bomb squad tool used to disable Richard Reid’s shoe bomb and a device found in the cabin of Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski.

Meagan, a corporate communications specialist, led Sandia Labs’ 70th Anniversary Campaign, a six-month blitz during 2019 that capitalized on traditional, digital and social media channels to spotlight Sandia’s historical accomplishments.

On a mission to showcase the Labs’ once low-profile history, the team transformed the information into more than a hundred posts unique to four social media platforms, a 36-page print publication, an accompanying 71-page external website, and seven news articles that provided in-depth accounts of Sandia’s inception, infrastructure and historic contributions.

The New Mexico Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America recognized the campaign with its highest honor, Best of Show, at the annual Cumbre Awards, announced virtually on Nov. 19, 2020. 

Sandia claimed eight Cumbre Awards for seven different projects:

  • Sandia National Laboratories’ 2019 Economic Impact; and New Labs Director News Conference (Gold Awards for Tactic)
  • Vignettes: Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should (Gold Award for Tactic)
  • Solar Tower Virtual Event (Silver Award for Tactic)
  • 2019 High Performance Computing Report (Silver Award for Tactic)
  • Union Negotiation Communications (Gold Award for Campaign)
  • Sandia’s Labs’ 70th Anniversary (Gold Award for Campaign; Best of Show)
  • Eubank Gate Security Improvement Project (Bronze Award for Campaign)

NMPRSA Board Chair Hilma Chynoweth said, “Sandia’s impressive take at the 2020 Cumbre Awards reflects top-notch communications campaigns and tactics.”

The work of a large team of writers and designers, the 70th Anniversary Campaign benefitted from contributions by Valerie Alba, Randy Bill, Meagan, Jim Danneskiold, Tim Deshler, Darrick Hurst, Jonathan Marney, Karli Massey, Randy Montoya, Doug Prout, Thomas Poyer, Jennifer Sawayda, Noela Teague, Rebecca Ullrich and Michael Vittitow.

“Sandia has incredibly dedicated and talented communication professionals working every day to spread word of the amazing work being done by our brilliant workforce,” said Director of Communications Frederick Bermudez. “It’s an honor to be recognized by our peers from throughout the state.”