Gatesman, one of the fastest-growing, privately owned marketing communications agencies in the U.S., was awarded Best in Show in the PRSA East Central District Diamond Awards for its public service campaign, which defended the reputation of “pit bull” dogs on behalf of Animal Farm Foundation.

The PRSA East Central District represents 17 PRSA chapters across Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Gatesman’s “Calling 'Bull' on 'Pit Bull' Discrimination” campaign received the highest score of all entries in a year that saw a record-setting number of submissions.

“It’s an honor to be recognized amongst our peers in the region, and even more exciting that we helped an important cause through our efforts,” said Susan English, SVP, director of PR and social media, Gatesman. “Bringing home the Best in Show award is a true testament to the quality of work and passion the Gatesman team brings to each challenge.”

Gatesman’s award-winning campaign spanned eight months and involved local, trade and national media relations, a community event and a special newsjacking stunt that hijacked the social media conversation surrounding Pit Bull Awareness Month in October with a PSA video that called “bull” on the need for “pit bull” awareness.

By the campaign’s end, Gatesman’s media relations efforts garnered 159,715,783 impressions, worth nearly $1.5 million in advertising value equivalent. The newsjacking stunt also saw powerful results, with the PSA video collecting 84,000 views, 1,375 shares, 1,586 positive interactions and an additional 141 comments. Multiple influencers targeted by Gatesman also shared the post on Instagram, amplifying the PSA video’s reach to important audience members.

“I was really happy to see the results of this campaign exceeding our objectives, especially since it utilized our Hacking Human Behavior™ approach so well,” added English. “We did a deep dive into audience research that revealed the emotional motivations behind misperceptions about pit bulls and crafted our messages, visuals and storylines to generate a very different emotional response. The campaign’s success hinged on these insights, as well as impactful messages, engaging visuals and highly shareable content. It probably didn’t hurt that we’re all dog lovers here, too.”

About Gatesman:

Gatesman is one of the fastest-growing, mid-size, privately owned agencies in the U.S., with offices in Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Springfield, Mo. Gatesman tackles communications challenges with its proprietary Hacking Human Behavior™ approach and offers expertise in strategy/branding, advertising, public relations, social media, digital and analytics. Gatesman is a partner in AMIN Worldwide, an alliance of over 50 independent marketing agencies, and IPREX, a global communications network. Gatesman acquired Quest Fore in 2014 and Noble Communications in 2017.