Achieving excellence in public relations: NUS bags award for College of Humanities and Sciences campaign

One year since the official inauguration of the NUS College of Humanities and Sciences (CHS), the publicity campaign for the new College has gained recognition at the recent Public Relations in the Service of Mankind (PRISM) Awards.

The University bagged a Distinction Award in the category “Outstanding Campaign by a Non-Government Organisation or Not-For-Profit Organisation” for the launch and publicity of the interdisciplinary College.

The award recognises NUS’ effective communications regarding the necessity of an interdisciplinary education to faculty members, prospective students and their parents, alumni, employers, and members of the public.

The campaign also underscored what CHS offers students in a world plagued by complex challenges that require integrated interdisciplinary approaches. The campaign included the launch event, student profiles, social media, and CHS collaterals and media assets in the form of CHS-specific infographics, news and FAQs.

The campaign also included a video series on interdisciplinarity, a podcast series by the teaching team of the common curriculum Humanities module, and stakeholder endorsement in the form of testimonials from students and alumni of NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) and the NUS Faculty of Science (FoS) who have pursued interdisciplinary studies. A successful admissions publicity campaign was run, including the 2021 NUS Open House which drummed up interest in the College with student and employer panels, small group tours, and student chat rooms.

The accolade from PRISM, which coincides with the one-year anniversary of the official inauguration of CHS, bears testament to the concerted effort on multiple fronts of the campaign by various stakeholders, including the Communications teams from FASS and FoS, the NUS Office of University Communications and communications agency AKA Asia.

“The award comes as a truly wonderful one-year anniversary gift to all our colleagues involved in the CHS campaign,” said NUS Chief Communications Officer Ms Ovidia Lim-Rajaram.

“It is gratifying to know that our efforts to kickstart a meaningful, groundbreaking programme at the College are paying off, and that the journey to promoting an interdisciplinary, 21st-century educational experience at NUS is off to a great start.”

Communications at CHS is co-led by Mr Nisar Keshvani, Associate Director for Strategic Outreach and Communications at FASS, and Ms Janice Quah, Associate Director for Corporate Communications at FoS.

“The campaign award, a result of the synergy and collaboration across diverse University faculties and departments, epitomises the spirit of interdisciplinarity that CHS values, and the idea of capitalising on each other’s strengths to achieve the best outcomes,” Mr Keshvani said.

Ms Quah added, “It has been a challenging journey but seeing our communications ideas collectively come to fruition is truly fulfilling! The validation of the hard work motivates us to continue raising the bar, to sustain the impactful profiling of CHS to students and stakeholders.”

Recognising the best in public relations

Celebrating 44 winners across 27 categories, the PRISM awards ceremony was held on 15 Dec by the Institute of Public Relations Singapore (IPRS), the only accrediting body for public relations practitioners in Singapore. The Guest of Honour was Mr Tan Kiat How, Minister of State at the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI).

 Acknowledging the challenges of a shifting communications landscape, Mr Tan said, “MCI recognises the importance of excellence in public relations and communications across all sectors of the economy.”

“The campaigns up for awards today show how all of you have worked around these challenges and continued to achieve excellent levels of reach and impact.”

Held biennially since 1987, the PRISM Awards is one of the oldest and most prestigious awards in the industry, celebrating Singapore’s brightest stars in the communications and public relations industry. It is judged by a panel of established business leaders and senior practitioners, recognising and honouring organisations and individuals for excellence in public relations and communications.

Ms Koh Juat Muay, President of the IPRS Council 2021/2023 said, “The winning entries and the winners this year reveal a singular story – the resilience of our people, the ingenuity of the campaigns and strength of the organisations that continues to thrive in an evolving local and global communications landscape.”

“IPRS is privileged to hold PRISM Awards 2021 and share in the pride of profession demonstrated by our people and in the brilliance of their campaigns. Our winners truly embody the meaning of PRISM and that is Public Relations In the Service of Mankind,” she added.