Vermont Castings' Marketing Director Stephen Morris has won a New England wide award for masterminding the "Last of the Defiants" celebration last year in Randolph. Morris and the advertising agency LMS/Barrett of Providence, R.I. won the 1989 Bell Ringer Award, granted by the Publicity Club of Boston. More than 300 entries vied for the award, which recognizes the best public relations achievements in New England each year.
"The Last of the Defiants" was a gala event which attracted media moguls from the Washington Post, the New York Times, the White River Valley Herald, and others. It was staged to mark the end of production of the Defiant stove, Vermont Castings' flagship product, because of new federal smoke emissions guidelines.
The celebration featured Defiant inventor Duncan Syme personally assembling the last Defiant stove ever made.
"The campaign turned what on the surface appeared to be a non-news story into a national feature," the judges said. "The publicity engendered was a natural image builder. A public relations coup."
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