Matter Recognized at PMDA Awards Dinner

By Matter

We interrupt Matter Chatter’s typical discussion of timely and relevant topics around the PR industry to momentarily toot our own horn ….

This weekend, a group from Matter and a few select friends and clients participated in the annual Photoimaging Manufacturers and Distributors Association’s (PMDA) International Awards Dinner, just prior to the opening of the PMA 2010 tradeshow.The event was sponsored and attended by some of the most significant brands in the imaging industry, including Nikon, FujiFilm, and many others.Just attending the dinner represented an excellent networking opportunity for our agency and allowed us to mingle with the upper echelon of industry executives.But in addition to its annual awards ceremony (which included a phenomenal presentation from Sports Illustrated veteran photographer Walter Ioois) this year’s dinner included an update on the PMDA’s Portraits of Love project – an initiative in which Matter is thrilled to be actively involved.

Some background on Portraits of Love can be found here.In short, the project’s goal was to gather professional photographers from across the country to volunteer their time to conduct portrait shoots with military families whose loved ones are currently deployed.In 2009, nearly 400 photographers opened their studios and traveled to military bases, capturing images that mean more to soldiers and their families than one can ever know.

Matter became involved with the project on a pro bono basis in the early fall of 2009, prior to a series of Portraits of Love events on-site at military bases.Our goal was to raise local and nationwide awareness of the project, while also balancing the interests of the PMDA’s sponsoring organizations.Working in tandem with representatives of multiple photo companies and a stable of pro photographer volunteers, Matter first secured media at the local level, sending reporters to on-base sessions in Washington and Georgia.National interest soon followed, including a segment on PBS News Hour with Jim Lehrer.

But the coup de grace from a PR perspective came just prior to Christmas 2009, when Brain Williams and the NBC Nightly News team dedicated its weekly “Making a Difference” segment to Portraits of Love – a story which came about only after a dedicated, coordinated effort led by Matter Communications Providence’s Zachary Heath.The result speaks for itself, as not only did the PMDA receive recognition, but sponsoring companies also received product placement that fully justified their participation in the program.

At Saturday’s dinner, the PMDA’s Executive Director, Jerry Grossman, was kind enough to recognize Matter’s effort in leading the Portraits of Love communications initiative and give our agency a moment in the spotlight (literally).I was personally thrilled to represent our agency at the time and believe it was one of the proudest moments in Matter’s history.A tremendous thank you goes to Zach Heath for his tireless efforts on this project, which required him to use his entire, extensive set of PR skills.Additional thanks goes to Matter’s Bill Trifiro, who created a 5-minute video segment for the ceremony that showcased Matter’s PR results and was a major highlight of the evening.

Opportunities to work on projects like Portraits of Love do not come along often for any agency, and when Matter had the chance to show what it could do with this unique effort, we came through exactly the way we strive to for every client we service – with amazing results.