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November 5 2010 Stevie(r) Awards Homepage Back Issues Email the Editors
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How to Throw a Christmas Party for 9,000 People
  Ocean Conservation Update From Oceana
  Two Reasons Why Weber Shandwick Is PR Agency of the Year
  IN BRIEF: Stevie Awards Blog; Stevies Sponsorship Opportunities; Volunteer to Judge the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service
  Upcoming Stevie Awards Calendar
How to Throw a Christmas Party for 9,000 People

Portugal Telecom won a Stevie Award for Best Internal Recognition/Motivational Event in the Live Event awards categories of The 7th Annual International Business Awards. Read the full-text of their winning entry.

Portugal Telecom Christmas PartyPortugal Telecom (PT) held a hugely successful Christmas party for all their employees on December 18, 2009—for the second consecutive year—which was an auspicious way both to end the year and to start the new cycle for 2010. Here we look at how they organized this mega-event.

PT’s main objectives for organizing such a massive party—it was held in FIL, Lisbon’s futuristic International Fair halls in the Parque das Nações, and attended by just under 9,000 people­—were to bring as many of their employees together as possible, to make them all feel a part of the PT team, to celebrate the year’s successes, and, of course, to celebrate the spirit of the holidays.

The logistics of organizing such an event were awe-inspiring.  Following the success of the 2008 Christmas party, it was likely that even more of the 8,500 PT employees would want to attend the 2009 event; and PT had a formidable task to meet and surpass the high expectations raised by the 2008 party.

Christmas for People with Fiber
The theme for the event was Christmas for People with Fiber (as in fiber-optic technology) and the space was to be decorated to reflect this theme.  PT first had to find a space large enough to hold up to 9,000 people; that would allow for them all to sit down to eat; and that would provide space for the entertainment afterwards, a post-dinner show with a medley of Portuguese music. 

The PT Christmas party opened with welcome cocktails and a performance by the Botswana Marimbas band.  This reflected one of PTs social missions, as the company sponsors this group of youngsters, who use traditional instruments from Botswana to create their music.  Their performance also provided a neat segue to a presentation of the many other social projects sponsored by PT both in Portugal and in other countries where it operates, including the recycling of computers undertaken by PT volunteers.  This particular project has been a great example of how much can be attained when PT employees set themselves a goal.

PT’s Chief Executive Officer, Zeinal Bava, spoke after dinner. The guests were then invited to go to Hall 2 for a concert of Portuguese music performed by well-known Portuguese artists and musicians. This was the main attraction for the 2009 Christmas party, with a selection of songs tracing the history of modern Portuguese music.  PT created this repertoire especially to reflect modernity and innovation.  They put together a Super Band of top Portuguese musicians who performed popular Portuguese music from the eighties to the present day.  Everyone was encouraged to sing along, and for those who didn’t already know the words, the lyrics were projected on to a big screen so that everyone could join in.

Following this show, there was a lively disco that lasted until late at night. The evening’s diverse program included lots of surprises like the circus acts and celebrity interviews that started during the opening and continued until late.

From the beginning to the end of their Christmas party, PT arranged for communication and entertainment events to keep the guests engaged. During the reception there were music and circus acts in the FIL entrance hall to entertain early arrivals.  PT set up a continuous internal TV broadcast displaying on screens around the hall everything that was going on during the course of the event, including the arrival of guests, guest interviews, and coverage of guest reactions. PT also arranged for Sapo[LINK:] photographers to snap images during the event, which were later posted on an internal portal for all PT employees to view and download.
The party was organized from start to finish by PT’s Corporate Communications and Image Department. All event communications were handled entirely online. PTs Chief Executive Officer sent out the invitation as an email to all PT employees. This invitation linked to an Intranet area dedicated to the event.  Everything—from registrations, confirmations, event information and logistics, and news—was available on this site.

PT arranged transportation for employees based outside Lisbon, either by plane, train, or bus, depending on the departure point and the number of people traveling.  The company also provided accommodations for those who had to travel from remote locations like the Azores and Madeira Islands. All arrangements for transportation and accommodation were made via the Christmas Party Intranet.

Survey Results
A survey carried out by the PT communications department after the event showed that of the over 8,700 people that attended, 91% gave the event a Good/Very Good evaluation, and a whopping 96% said it had met/exceeded their expectations.

Their next challenge?  What to do for 2010!

About Zeinal Bava
Zeinal Bava is Chief Executive Officer of Portugal Telecom, the largest Portuguese telecommunications company, with over seventy five million customers in Portugal, Brazil, Africa, and Asia as at the end of the first half of 2010. He was appointed CEO of PT in April 2008 and was re-elected in March 2009 for the 2009-2011 term. Bava began his career at PT as CFO of the Pay-TV division (PT Multimédia) in 1999 and was Group CFO of PT from 2000 to 2006. During his ten years at PT, before becoming CEO of the company, Bava held key management roles in the main business units of PT: he was CEO of the Pay-TV division from 2003 until the company’s spin-off in 2007; Vice-President and Head of the residential unit of the fixed-line business (PT Comunicações) in Portugal; CEO of the domestic mobile division (TMN); a member of the Board of Directors of Brasilcel; Chairman of the Board of the shared-services unit (PT Pro); and a member of the Board of PT Internacional.

Prior to joining PT, Bava served as Executive Director and Relationship Manager for Portugal of Merrill Lynch International from 1998 until 1999, of Deutsche Morgan Grenfell from 1996 until 1998, and of Warburg Dillon Read from 1989 until 1996.

In 2010, Bava was elected “Best CEO” in the telecommunications sector in Europe by Institutional Investor, and “Best CEO” in Portugal by Extel. In 2009, Bava was named “Best CEO in Investor Relations” in Deloitte’s Investor Relations & Governance Awards. As Group CFO he was named “Best CFO” three times in the European telecommunications sector by Institutional Investor.
Zeinal Bava is 44 years old and holds a degree in electrical and electronic engineering from University College London.

About Portugal Telecom
Portugal Telecom is a global telecommunications operator and the leading telecommunications services provider in Portugal. The company operates in the areas of fixed, mobile, and multimedia communications; information systems; research and development; satellite communications; and international investments. Portugal Telecom has a presence on the European, American, Asian, and African continents, and has over 300,000 employees worldwide. For more information go to

Ocean Conservation Update From Oceana

copyright Carlos SuaurezEarly this year the Stevie Awards announced that Oceana, the largest international organization focused solely on ocean conservation, would be the sole non-profit benefits of its four awards banquets in 2010. Once a month in this space we publish an update from Oceana on their activities.

Oceana brings 2010 to a close with a long list of concrete victories for our oceans, a reminder that conservation is not a threat to economic recovery. With your help Oceana, the largest international nonprofit organization focused solely on marine conservation, mounted campaigns to cut pollution, end overfishing and protect habitat.  In 2010, Oceana:

Increased protections for marine habitat, including: 

Oceana won a trawling and dredging ban throughout a 23,000 square mile deep sea coral formation stretching from North Carolina to Florida.  These world class corals -- and the commercial fisheries that rely upon them -- are now protected permanently from the devastating effects of bottom trawling.

Oceana worked with National Geographic to protect a 58,000 square mile stretch of ocean around Sala y Gómez Island, an area the size of Illinois off of Chile’s coast.  One of the last undisturbed ocean ecosystems on earth, this new ‘no take’ marine park is home to the world’s largest population of Galapagos sharks.

Clamped Down on Overfishing:

Oceana pressured Morocco and Turkey to stop using driftnets in the Mediterranean.  These ‘walls of death’ each year catch thousands of whales, sharks, sea turtles and other unintended marine creatures.  Oceana’s port surveillance and video documentation of the driftnetters prompted France and Italy to abandon driftnets last year, steadily expanding compliance with the 2002 driftnet ban.

Oceana won a nearly 50 percent reduction in quota in 2011 for Chile’s jack mackerel -- a prey fish constituting the country’s largest commercial fishery.  Excessive catches, driven in part to supply feed to the booming salmon farming industry -- were driving stocks toward collapse. 

Oceana won a 70,000 square-mile protected zone in the Pacific to aid the recovery of endangered Leatherback sea turtles, the gentle giants caught on the hooks of the commercial swordfish industry.

Oceana won tougher standards for Chile’s farmed salmon industry, requiring limits on antibiotics use and tough fines and sanctions on the escape of farmed salmon into the wild. 

Forged a Path to Clean Energy:

Oceana in Chile won a stunning defeat of a coal-fired power plant slated for Punta de Choros, a biodiversity hotspot home to blue whales, bottlenose dolphins, seabirds, and 80 percent of the world’s Humboldt penguins. 

Oceana put boots on the ground - and a boat on the water - following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, to combine grassroots organizing and scientific exploration of the Gulf during and following the oil spill disaster.  Both efforts helped get us closer to our goal of building an anti-drilling majority to protect the oceans from oil and gas pollution over the long run.

We look forward to your continued support and partnership in 2011.  For more information, please visit

Two Reasons Why Weber Shandwick Is PR Agency of the Year

Now that we're coming to the end of 2010 and we look back over the Stevie Award winners for the year, it's apparent that Weber Shandwick is the Stevie Awards' PR agency of the year for its haul of pr awards.

The agency won the Stevie for Public Relations Agency of the Year in The 8th annual American Business Awards back in June in New York.  You can read the full-text of their Stevie-winning nomination on the ABA web site.

Rose de la Pascua and Tanya BeckettWeber Shandwick Europe then won the International Stevie for Public Relations Agency of the Year in Europe in The 7th annual International Business Awards, which were presented in Istanbul, Turkey on September 27.  That award was accepted by Rose de la Pascua, Chair of Weber Shandwick Spain and Executive Vice President for Continental Europe.  Read the full-text of Weber Shandwick Europe's Stevie-winning entry on the IBA web site.

Members of the Weber Shandwick network around the world also won honors in Stevie Awards's public relations awards categories in 2010, including among others AC Sanafor in Finland, McCann PR in Romania, Corporate Weber Shandwick in India, and Weber Shandwick in Dallas, Texas among others.

In addition, the agency won a raft of other awards in 2010.

So who'll be the Stevies' agency of the year in 2011?

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IN BRIEF: Stevie Awards Blog; Stevies Sponsorship Opportunities; Volunteer to Judge the Stevie Awards

The Stevie Awards have a new blog, at We hope you decide to follow us as we comment on things we think might be of interest to you.

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Upcoming Stevie Awards Calendar

November 12: Entry deadline for 5th Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service

November 12: Awards dinner for 7th Stevie Awards for Women in Business, Marriott Marquis Hotel, New York

November 17: First early-bird entry deadline for 9th American Business Awards

December 15 : Second early-bird entry deadline for 9th American Business Awards

December 31 : Last day for submission of late entries to 5th Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service