GBC’s computer services tax repeal campaign wins PRSA’s Best in Maryland Award

The Greater Baltimore Committee won Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) ‘Best in Maryland Award’ in the “crisis communication” category for its computer services tax repeal campaign.

The GBC media campaign played a central role in statewide business advocates’ lobbying efforts that resulted in the tax’s repeal during the 2008 Maryland General Assembly session.

Sponsored by the Maryland Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the Best in Maryland Awards are presented each year to public relations practitioners who, in the judgment of their peers, have successfully addressed a communications challenge with exemplary professional skill, creativity and resourcefulness.

GBC president and CEO Donald C. Fry urged Maryland lawmakers during the 2008 General Assembly session to repeal legislation passed during a 2007 special session that extended Maryland’s sales tax to a wide range of computer services. The GBC campaign included Web ads, print, radio, Web site, and e-mail communication. The campaign raised public awareness about the proposed 6 percent sales tax, which lawmakers ultimately repealed.

 The GBC used the “Repeal the Computer Services Tax – Save Our Jobs” message in an online Web campaign that included a flash animated advertisement produced by Carton Donofrio Partners, Inc. The ad’s message was “If we create a 6 percent computer service tax in Maryland, which jobs will be lost? Health Care. Information Technology. Defense. Financial Services. Who loses? Maryland’s Economy. Repeal the Computer Services Tax. Save our Jobs. Take action to repeal this tax.” A logo was also designed for the Web ads and was included on all campaign materials.

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Other PRSA Best in Maryland Award Winners 

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