Annual Distinguished Lecture & Awards Dinner

 November 28, 2018

 45 East 45th Street, New York, NY 10017

Cocktail Reception Sponsored by The University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communication The Institute for Public Relations hosts the Distinguished Lecture & Awards Dinner annually, a tradition and an honor that dates back to 1961 to help raise money for research that matters to the profession. Past speakers have included Sir Martin Sorrell (chairman of WPP), Harold Burson (founder of Burson-Marsteller), Dana Perino (former White House Press Secretary, now Fox News), Neal Shapiro (President of WNET, former President of NBC News), and Beth Comstock (General Electric). For information on becoming a sponsor: IPR Distinguished Lecture and Awards Dinner Sponsorship Benefits


2017 Distinguished Lecture | Lee Rainie, Director of Internet, Science and Technology at Pew Research Lee Rainie, director of internet, science and technology research at Pew Research Center, has been selected as the 2017 Annual Distinguished Lecturer for the Institute for Public Relations Annual Distinguished Lecture & Awards Dinner on November 29 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. His lecture is titled, “Truth, Politics and Culture in a Hyper-Connected World.” Under Rainie's leadership, the Center has issued more than 500 reports based on its surveys that examine people’s online activities and the internet’s role in their lives. He also directs the Center’s new initiative on the intersection of science and society. The American Sociological Association gave Rainie its award for “excellence in the reporting on social issues” in 2014 and described his work as the “most authoritative source of reliable data on the use and impact of the internet and mobile connectivity.” Rainie is a co-author of Networked: The New Social Operating System and five books about the future of the internet that are drawn from the Center’s research. He gives several dozen speeches a year to government officials, media leaders, scholars and students, technology executives, librarians, and nonprofit groups about the changing media ecosystem. He is also regularly interviewed by major news organizations about technology trends. Prior to launching Pew Research Center’s technology research, Rainie was managing editor of U.S. News & World Report. He is a graduate of Harvard University and has a master’s degree in political science from Long Island University.

2017 Alexander Hamilton Medal for Lifetime Achievement | Wendi Strong, Retired EVP of Corporate Comm., USAA

Wendi Strong, retired executive vice president of corporate communications at USAA, will receive the Institute for Public Relations Alexander Hamilton Medal for Lifetime Achievement. Each year the Institute for Public Relations presents its highest award to someone who has made major lifetime contributions to the practice of public relations, including effective use of research. Strong recently retired from USAA, a Fortune 200 financial services company serving more than 12 million current and former members of the military and their families. From 2000 to 2016, Strong served as executive vice president for enterprise affairs, chief communications officer and a member of the senior leadership team directing the strategy and operations of the company.

2017 Pathfinder Award Winner | Dr. Jim Macnamara

Jim Macnamara, Ph.D., Professor of Public Communication at the University of Technology Sydney and a Visiting Professor at London School of Economics and Political Science, will accept the Institute for Public Relations Pathfinder Award at the 2017 Annual Distinguished Lecture & Awards Dinner. Dr. Macnamara is internationally recognized for his cutting-edge research into measurement and evaluation as well as organizational listening through social and market research, consultation, stakeholder engagement, digital technologies and other methods.

2017 Jack Felton Medal for Lifetime Achievement | Dr. Don Stacks

Don StacksDon W. Stacks, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Strategic Communication at the University of Miami. Dr. Stacks has authored and coauthored numerous books on communication topics, to include the Primer of Public Relations Research, and he has received the National Communication Association’s PRIDE award. He edited and co-edited three editions of the IPR Dictionary of Public Relations Research and Measurement. His awards include the IPR Pathfinder Award, the University of Miami Provost’s Award for Outstanding Research and Theory, the PRSA Outstanding Educator of the Year Award, the University of Miami Outstanding Professor Award, and the PRSA Jackson, Jackson & Wagner Behavioral Science Prize.

Tickets and Registration

Tickets for the Distinguished Lecture & Awards Dinner, which sells out every year, are available for individual purchase at $500. Tables of 10 can be purchased for $5,000 and premium tables of 10 are available for purchase at $10,000. The price includes a networking cocktail reception, sponsored by the UF College of Journalism and Communications, the awards ceremony and dinner, and the lecture. For more information, contact Jenn Moyer at or 352-392-0280.


6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.


45 East 45th Street, New York, NY 10017