The Holmes Report has announced its top honors for the 2017 In2 SABRE Awards, naming Astellas Americas and Gagen MacDonald winners. The In2 SABRE Awards honor insight and innovation in communications, marketing, social media and content creation. The awards were created to celebrate the public relations industry’s ability to navigate and thrive in an increasingly complex and fast-moving world. This year, the competition was especially intense, with a record-breaking number of entries.

Employee Engagement

Astellas Americas, the U.S. affiliate of Tokyo-based Astellas Pharma Inc. and headquarters of the Americas region, won the Employee Engagement category for its “Astellas Way” culture initiative. Recognizing that a strong corporate culture is a key competitive advantage in attracting and retaining top talent, Astellas created a culture campaign to energize and align 3,000 employees across multiple locations. Through a comprehensive culture diagnostic and Quick Start culture planning sessions, Astellas Americas and Gagen MacDonald articulated “The Astellas Way”—behaviors and beliefs designed to inspire patient-focused action and aligned with the new global culture.

Best Agency Blog, Editorial, Communications Platform

Gagen MacDonald was also recognized with top honors for its original blog series Let Go & Lead. Using the Let Go & Lead leadership framework as a guide, the series brings together a diverse community to share perspectives on what it means to lead in today’s ever-changing world—a world in which leaders feel less and less in control.

Let Go & Lead features interviews with such thought leaders as Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks; Anne C. Toulouse, VP of Advertising & Global Brand Management at The Boeing Company; best-selling author Dan Pink; and Bernard Tyson, President & COO of Kaiser Permanente about what it means to “let go” and lead people to create meaningful, sustainable change.

Finalists for the In2 SABRE Awards were chosen by an esteemed jury including senior executives from Andreessen Horowitz, Levi Strauss, Accel Partners, Bloomberg and many others. The winners were announced on February 16 at the In2 SABRE Awards gala at the W Hotel in downtown Chicago.