This week, PR News magazine recognized its PR People of the Year. One of the leading communications publications in the nation, PR News seeks to honor the best of the best in the field, everything from community relations to media relations, social media to agency leader, top agency to top PR team.
It also recognizes the top 30 communications professionals under the age of 30, naming them as the “ones to watch” in the field. (And, gulp, it was 13 years ago now that Eduflack was named to that list, back when his professional focus was on defending not-for-profit hospitals from corporate takeovers.)
As part of its PR People Awards, PR News also names the Public Affairs Professional of the Year, a recognition given annually to “a leader in political and public affairs who has successfully spearheaded advocacy initiatives and influenced policy and public opinion.” I am honored and humbled that I am the recipient of the 2013 award.
The judges awarded me the honor, noting that “In one year as CEO of the education reform group ConnCAN, Patrick Riccards propelled the organization further than its previous seven years put together, became the voice of education reform in Connecticut and was instrumental in the passage of the most comprehensive education reform package in the state’s history.”
While I don’t know who to thank for putting me up for the award in the first place, this is definitely a shared recognition with all of those who have helped advocate for school improvement in Connecticut and all of those individuals and organizations who helped us pass such a significant reform bill in 2012. I’m deeply proud of my work at ConnCAN, the eight years of progress the group has made since its founding, and the terrific team of which I was but a part (and equally proud of my team at Collaborative Communications Group, where we are having real impact, every day, improving learning opportunities in communities across the nation). I also remain hopeful for the impact those reforms can and should have on students across the state.
Thank you, PR News, and thank you to all of those committed to improving public education. We are fortunate to have so many well-meaning and committed individuals and organizations focused on influencing public affairs and public opinion in the education space. Whether one is a “reformer” or a “status quoer,” there is much good work happening, and much one can learn from colleagues, partners, and opponents.