Leadership Awards

The James Irvine Foundation

Opportunity

For three consecutive years, The James Irvine Foundation has invited Williams Group to support the success of its annual Leadership Awards promotion and event. The award recognizes Californians who are effectively addressing some of the state’s most critical challenges, for example, medical care for vulnerable populations, productive reentry after incarceration and improving the odds for at-risk youth. Each recipient receives $200,000 to support their work. The Foundation also assists recipients in sharing their promising approaches with policymakers and practitioners in their respective fields.

Approach

To help Irvine achieve its aims, Wg participates in award recipient interviews and develops brief profiles for each recipient to define his or her contribution and convey opportunities to replicate or expand innovative practices across the state. Profiles are featured in a program booklet, online and in other event collateral designed and produced by Wg. We also manage and implement design of the following year’s call for nominations.

In close collaboration with our Irvine clients, Wg led a sweeping redesign of Leadership Awards program communications in our second year of involvement. This included a new graphic approach, as well as a succinct, journalistic copy style to help make award stories more accessible to audiences.

Wg has also provided editorial assistance for op-ed columns that are pitched to and placed in high-readership California publications. We have generated presenter remarks for the public figures who introduced Leadership Award recipients at the Irvine luncheon, and edited recognition remarks made on the floor of the California State Legislature.

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Results

Nominations are robust, Leadership Awards events are well-attended by California public leaders and social channels are buzzing around each year's recipients. Best of all, award recipients say the program has created a platform that makes their work more visible and effective.