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Palm Beach Civic Association communications team wins Bernays Award

Our Town with William Kelly: Palm Beach Civic Association communications team wins Bernays Award

The Palm Beach Civic Association has been honored with a 2022 Bernays Award from the Gold Coast PR Council for consistent excellence in its communications outreach.

The Civic Association received the Judges Award at the Gold Coast PR Council’s 17th annual Bernays Awards luncheon on July 21 at the Delray Beach Golf Club. More than 70 communications and media professionals attended.

The Bernays Awards honor excellence in public relations and marketing from individuals and organizations, including non-profit organizations like the Palm Beach Civic Association.

Pilar Portela, a Gold Coast PR board member and U.S. media relations manager at Business Wire, said the Civic Association was a unanimous choice for the Judges Award “for their collective effort and the quality of their combined nominations … all of which were truly Bernays-worthy …”

The Civic Association’s nominations included Palm Beach TV newscasts and Our Town news articles focusing on topics that included climate change, the changing sea, flood risk, water quality, public safety and more.

The Palm Beach TV newscasts and Our Town articles are posted to the Civic Association’s website,, and emailed to more than 4,500 addresses through its Constant Contact media list. Within the last year, the Civic Association has added Studio 33480, featuring in-house interviews with local newsmakers, and The Civic monthly newsletter.

The communications team includes Wendy Rutledge, PBTV news anchor and news manager; videographer/producer Philip Baldwin; William Kelly, communications coordinator and writer of Our Town and Breaking News articles; and, as of Sept. 1, Sally Lewis, media consultant and on-camera talent.

Susan Wright and David Duffy, who are co-chairs of the Civic Association’s Communications Committee, expressed their congratulations.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the incredible Palm Beach Civic media team,” Susan Wright said. “The award is certainly well deserved. But the beauty of this award is that it went to the whole team. They work so well together!”

Duffy said the award is especially impressive considering that the Civic Association’s communications outreach is a young and still evolving enterprise that emerged from modest beginnings about five years ago.

“Super kudos to our communications team for a fantastic effort,” Duffy said. “We all know how good Palm Beach TV and its sister productions are. It is so wonderful to be recognized by the principal professionals in our business from West Palm to Miami. This is an incredible win for such a new product.”

Civic Association President Mary Robosson said being the recipient of a Bernays Award speaks volumes about the ongoing dedication and talent of the communications team.

“I’m honored to work with Wendy Rutledge, William Kelly and Philip Baldwin and applaud their accomplishments in serving our community and town,” Robosson said.

The Gold Coast PR Council is South Florida’s largest independent group of public relations, marketing, media and communications professionals from Palm Beach, Martin, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

Founded in 1944, the Palm Beach Civic Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the Palm Beach community and enhancing the quality of life on the island by engaging with residents, working with local government, and encouraging citizen involvement.