Communications, Marketing, Technology

Cunningham Collective and BlackBerry Win PRWeek’s 2018 “Best in Corporate Branding” Award Along With Honorable Mention for “Best Global Effort”

PRWeek Awards Blog Post

From Smart Phones to the Smart in the Phone

On March 15, 2018 Cunningham Collective and BlackBerry took home the PRWeek 2018 Award for “Best in Corporate Branding” along with an Honorable Mention in the “Best Global Effort” category. Emily Stine and Usher Lieberman attended the event to accept the awards on behalf of Cunningham Collective and BlackBerry respectively.

This year’s 2018 PRWeek Awards took place at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. As the Oscars of the communication industry, the PRWeek Awards celebrate industry leaders in corporate, agency, nonprofit and education teams for the work they have produced. The awards were judged by senior PR professionals and nominees included an all-star list of campaigns for brands suchas Chevrolet, Dell, Disney, Hewlett-Packard, Gatorade and McDonalds.

Given the highly competitive field, we were thrilled to win the award for “Best in Corporate Branding” ahead of campaigns from Nielsen/Weber Shandwick/MRM McCann, Honeywell Aerospace/WE Communications and Gatorade/Fleishman Hillard among others. In addition, we were also proud to earn an Honorable Mention in the “Best Global Effort” category that included McDonald’s/The Narrative Group, Guinness/Ogilvy and Disney Consumer Products/Interactive Media.

Cunningham Collective and BlackBerry earned recognition for a brand transformation program that told the story of BlackBerry’s strategic pivot to enterprise security software. Andy Cunningham, founder and CEO of Cunningham Collective, commented on the achievement: “We are excited and honored to be recognized for partnering with BlackBerry to position the company for future success in the enterprise security software market. It has been extremely rewarding working with CEO John Chen as he executes a turnaround story for the ages, and we look forward to continuing to help organizations like BlackBerry Get to Aha!”

At Cunningham Collective, helping clients “Get to Aha” is at the core of what we do. This DNA-based positioning framework is Cunningham Collective’s “secret sauce” and served as the key to helping BlackBerry redefine its role and relevance in a new marketplace. It begins with two fundamental questions based on corporate DNA: Who are you as a company? And why do you matter?

Andy Cunningham’s recently released book “Get to Aha!: Discover Your Positioning DNA and Dominate Your Competition,” lays out this framework. The “6 C’s” of positioning (Community, Competition, Context, Core, Category and Criteria)” help a company understand who it is at its core, what that company does, what its primary value proposition is to its customers, how it is positioned against its competitors and finally how to tell the company story in a compellingway that resounds with its customers and market. As Andy writes in the book, “Know what you’re made of, so you can make something of it.”

In our work with BlackBerry, Cunningham Collective helped position the company by completely rebuilding its communication strategy with enterprise security software at the center. The Cunningham team, led by Andy Cunningham and Rosabel Tao, worked with BlackBerry for over a year to shift the public conversation from smartphones to its new strategy around the “Enterprise of Things.” As a result of the successful program, BlackBerry’s stock skyrocketed up 50% overall and reached a four­-year high in June 2017. One judge went so far as to say the campaign should be credited with “bringing a brand back to life.”

Curious about our success in helping BlackBerry transform from a smartphone manufacturer to a leading enterprise security software company? Email us today to learn how we can help your company do the same.

If you are interested in learning more about the winners of the PRWeek 2018 Awards, please visit


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