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23 June 2011

Head of Communications for University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust awarded PR Director of the Year by CIPR and IoD

The winner of the inaugural Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and Institute of Directors (IoD) Annual Prize: PR Director of the Year is Sarah Pinch, who is Head of Communications for University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust. 

The prize celebrates the achievements of senior PR practitioners and their board colleagues, focusing on the strategic importance of reputation management and the value that PR practitioners bring to their organisations. The prize was open to CIPR Members who advise a board, MD or Chairman (as a fellow board member, senior colleague or consultant), on reputational risk or other aspects of reputation management that have a significant impact on their organisation and its stakeholders. 

In addition to this recognition of excellence, Sarah was awarded a prize to the value of £3,000, to include a place on an IoD Director development programme and a selection of IoD books, at a prize giving event last night, 22 June, at the CIPR. 

Chair of Judges Ian Dormer from the IoD said:

"The entries for the award were all of an extremely high standard and the shortlisted five entries clearly demonstrated how those individuals have all the attributes that leaders in their field should have. However, Sarah Pinch of University Hospitals Bristol used PR to transform the governance of her Trust and added value to the senior council of the board, and this is why she was the deserving winner. 

"As a director, I am increasingly aware of the role that effective communications and public relations can play in underpinning the board's role. This is the reason the IoD and the CIPR have been working closely together recently, both in the publication of joint guidance on the board's role in reputational risk management, and through the launch of this award.

The Institute of Directors is proud to be supporting this award with the CIPR for PR Director of the Year." 

Jane Wilson, CIPR CEO said:

"This inaugural award for CIPR members offered up some really exciting examples of leadership in the PR profession and the importance attached to the value of reputation. I was extremely impressed with the high calibre of work being presented." 

Winner Sarah Pinch MCIPR, Head of Communications for University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, said:

"It is a real honour to receive the first ever IoD/CIPR prize. The professionalisation of communications is central to my work and I am especially pleased that the IoD has recognised the importance of board level communications. University Hospitals Bristol, as an NHS organisation, is accountable to patients and the wider public and I'm proud to have played a part in enabling the organisation to communicate in an open and honest way through a very difficult time".  

Robert Woolley, Chief Executive of University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "I am delighted for both Sarah and the Trust. NHS organisations are rightly accountable to patients and the public and communications support at all levels of an organisation helps us to achieve this in both good times and bad."