Contact: Virginia Nicols, Corporate & Community Relations, EcoMotion

(949) 450-7153,

Irvine, CA July 15, 2006

Energy Efficiency Message Scores at 2005 Helios Awards

The International Association of Business Communicators/Orange County Chapter announced 17 Helios awards on June 29, 2006 – and three of them were won by Virginia Nicols of EcoMotion. In keeping with its namesake — the Greek god of the sun — Helios singles out communications professionals in Southern California whose talent outshines the rest. The contest attracts entries from top advertising and public relations agencies and top corporations throughout southern California.

The Award of Excellence – top honors in Communications Management – was presented to the “Community Energy Partnership Demonstration Project,” developed by Nicols in collaboration with Sheryl Pearl of Pearl Communications Group for client The Energy Coalition. The project demonstrated the full range of PR planning and management skills – research, analysis, strategy, tactical implementation and evaluation.

“The challenge of the project, a home ‘makeover’ for energy efficiency, was to turn the message — typically not very sexy – into something tangible and interesting,” says Nicols. “We started by selecting a deserving recipient and making the story HER story.”

“Sheryl added twists to the campaign that brought out the media,” adds Nicols. “In particular, by offering an exclusive to the San Bernardino Sun, she greatly improved our chances for wide-spread coverage.” Ultimately, the ribbon-cutting ceremony resulted in feature-length articles and large photos in every local major print media outlet. In addition, key Los Angeles TV news media attended and covered the event, including KCBS, KCAL, and Telemundo (Spanish TV). Coverage of the event reached over 1.3 million viewers.

Pearl was recognized with a separate Award of Meritspecifically acknowledging her successful media relations strategy and media coverage results.

In the Communications Skills Division, Nicols brought home another Award of Merit for a printed booklet entitled “California’s Electricity Traffic Jam.Created to help San Diego Gas & Electric reduce peak demand during the summer of 2005, the booklet was designed to engage families and inspire them to take action.

“This was a classic direct response campaign,” says Nicols. “We opened our audience’s eyes to the situation facing the state’s power system, convinced them they could make a difference, and persuaded them to change their behavior.”

The Helios Awards follow on the heels of a 2006 bronze Telly for Nicols’ motivational video, “Community Energy Partnership,” produced in conjunction with Versatile Productions, Inc. The 27-year-old Telly competition attracts over 12,000 entries from the finest ad agencies, production companies, TV stations, cable companies and corporations in the world.

Since January, 2006, Nicols has been affiliated with Irvine-based EcoMotion. The organization draws upon her unique expertise and experience in its quest to motivate individuals and organizations, including cities and schools, to take responsible energy and environmental actions.


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