By USACE Galveston District Public Affairs Office
HOUSTON – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District received the Public Relations Society of America Houston Chapter’s top honor, the 2015 Grand Excalibur Award, for its public service campaign to communicate its Dam Safety Program during the 30th Annual Excalibur Awards Gala in Houston June 18, 2015.
The public announcement of the district’s Dam Safety Program’s reclassification of the Addicks and Barker dams to “Extremely High Risk,” presented staff with the challenge of communicating the findings to inform 1.2 million residents in the nation’s fourth largest city of risks associated with living downstream of the dams, the $6.8 million short-term interim risk reduction measures in store and the $75-$100 million long-term construction plan to reinforce the nearly 70-year-old structures while maintaining the Corps’ reputation and relevancy as an organization that makes public safety a top priority.
“We are incredibly humbled to be honored by PRSA Houston for our aggressive communications efforts implemented throughout this campaign,” said Isidro Reyna, deputy chief of public affairs for the USACE Galveston District. “Staff worked diligently and proactively to keep Houstonians apprised of the status of the aging infrastructure, while facilitating a two-way dialogue with a diverse group of residents and key constituencies in the communities we serve.”
This is the second year in a row the district has received this prestigious recognition. In 2014, the USACE Galveston District earned the Grand Excalibur Award for its Community Relations Program, Communicating Corps responsibilities along the Texas coast: A comprehensive community relations program to increase understanding of the Corps’ mission of providing vital public engineering services in peace and war to strengthen the nation’s security, energize the economy and reduce risks from disasters.
The Excalibur Awards are open to any communications department within the Greater Houston Area and honor outstanding public relations professionals, programs and tactics. Approximately 100 entries competed for bronze, silver and gold awards.
The Dam Safety Program was also recognized with a Silver Anvil Award and Award of Excellence from the Public Relations Society of America in New York City earlier this month.