Tonight’s the night! The San Francisco Bay Area’s best and brightest communications professionals will gather to celebrate their achievements in media this year at the 46th SF Press Club awards.
As the SF Press Club’s president, I look forward to these awards because they’re a litmus test to see who prioritizes media relations. The SF Press Club is a local, homegrown organization and community of journalists, and this event champions the best in the industry. It’s imperative because we want to ensure journalists of all levels — from seasoned veterans to those just starting their careers — are recognized and supported.
Multiple organizations have joined us in this goal by putting their money where their mouth is and supporting the best Bay Area journalists. Together with Bospar, BOCA Communications, a leading B2B technology and MedTech marketing communications agency, and the San Francisco Examiner, a key source for breaking news, local coverage and investigative journalism, are sponsoring the SF Press Club awards, showing that they value local communications professionals.
Unfortunately, this sentiment isn’t shared by everyone in the media community.
A transactional reaction
Some press people view the awards as a transaction instead of an opportunity to get to know local journalists. Instead, they wonder how attending or sponsoring the awards would further their agency in any way.
I soon realized there were press people who viewed the awards as a transaction instead of an opportunity to get to know local journalists.
The SF Press Club awards facilitates an environment where communications professionals can gather, get to know one another and hang out as people — the way relationships are built and the foundation of media relations. Communications professionals who don’t understand the value of networking with local journalists and celebrating their best moments with them don’t have a long-term mindset. You never know where that person could end up.
In last year’s SF Press Club awards blog, I referenced the phrase “the proof is in the pudding” to underscore the importance of judging value based on direct experience. And I think the phrase applies here too. While some people don’t see the point in attending or sponsoring these awards, the PR professionals, journalists and reporters who understand their significance to the media community will reap the benefits of being there.
In other words, “the people who get it, get it,” and they’ll be the ones to actually further their agency’s reputation and business goals.
So, for the ones who “get it,” here are three reasons why this year’s SF Press Club awards will be our biggest yet:
We’re changing the narrative surrounding San Francisco
The SF Press Club awards will be held at the Elks Club #3 in San Francisco — the site of the original SF Press Club. This choice was intentional because San Francisco has been under much scrutiny recently due to the “doom loop,” label it’s received.
The media’s portrayal that San Francisco is in a cycle of self-perpetuating economic decline has been damaging to the community, leading to false perceptions from both Bay Area residents and America at large. The SF Press Club Awards will shift that narrative, highlighting all the great things San Francisco offers surrounding its journalism community.
To drive this point home, I invited The New York Times’ San Francisco bureau chief Heather Knight, CNBC’s Deirdre Bosa of TechCheck, who’s based out of its San Francisco bureau, and KPIX anchor and Oakland native Ryan Yamamoto to take part in the awards gala.
With Deirdre and Ryan emceeing the awards and Heather participating in a special Q&A about the biggest media issues, my hope is that we can change the narrative surrounding San Francisco from less doom to more diplomatic.
We’ve broken multiple records
Our goal with each SF Press Club awards is to outdo what we did the previous year, and we definitely outdid ourselves this year!
We received a whopping 544 award entries from media outlets, breaking our previous record for the third year in a row. These media outlets range from local print and TV stations, like San Francisco Chronicle and KBWB, to national media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal and BBC. As the SF Press Club awards grows in prominence, it attracts media from all markets, showing that it’s as big as big can get but also as local as local can get.
We’ve also completely sold out the event! This was especially important to me because it shows that there are people who realize why the awards are essential. You hear “right time, right place” — the SF Press Club awards are the “right time, right place” to build relationships. This is where media professionals can celebrate their achievements, meet and network with peers face-to-face, and learn about new opportunities at media outlets.
Similarly, I’m delighted that journalists from top-tier media publications are invested in the SF Press Club awards and its impact on the Bay Area media community. We welcomed VentureBeat’s Michael Nuñez, Politico’s Dustin Gardiner and Business Insider’s Rob Price to the board this year. With their collective visions to shape the future of our industry, bring the Bay Area’s immensely talented journalists together and build a stronger community for media professionals, the SF Press Club awards will only get bigger from here.
We’re giving Pam Moore her well-deserved flowers
If you’re from the Bay Area, you know the name Pam Moore. And you also know that Pam retired from KRON4 News’ evening anchor desk after over 30 years. So, presenting her with this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the awards was a no-brainer for me.
I worked with Pam at KRON4 News when I was an executive producer for the network, deeply respecting her impact on local news. Her level of grace, steeliness and propensity to get the truth out of people are critical skills for a news anchor — skills she easily demonstrated.
Throughout her legendary career, Pam conducted interviews with late Georgia Congressman John Lewis and then-Senator Kamala Harris, championed mental health awareness with her Emmy-nominated series “Don’t Call Me Crazy” and garnered acclaim for her five-part program, “About Race,” earning her a prestigious George Foster Peabody Award.
But most of all, Pam served as an inspiration to the Black community. There aren’t enough Black women in news in the Bay Area, and Pam made it easier for fellow Black women journalists to see her as a role model, showing them that getting to her position is possible. Pam is a consummate professional — one that SF Press Club award attendees can and should learn from.
The SF Press Club awards is tonight at 5:30 pm PT. For more information, please visit https://sfpressclub.org/journalism-awards/.