John Soriano ’10 not only grabbed the attention of a top-tier reporter with a recent campaign he pitched, but he earned the reporter’s praise as well.

With his team at FleishmanHillard, Soriano’s promotion highlighted AT&T’s support of the LGBTQ community and publicly advocated for LGBTQ rights. The Live Proud campaign began June 2013 during Pride Month and paired with musician Adam Lambert.

Soriano said the reporter was impressed by AT&T’s engagement with the LGBTQ community. “That conversation showed me that the work I was doing was making a difference,” remarked Soriano. “Having a reporter praise the campaign you are working on was such a great feeling.”

In addition to the reporter’s praise, the campaign earned the recognition of Soriano’s peers. In June, the Public Relations Society of America honored the Live Proud promotion with its highest award, a Silver Anvil.

“Winning a Silver Anvil is the PR equivalent of winning an Oscar,” said Associate Professor of Public Relations Tiffany Gallicano.

Compared to AT&T’s competitors, FleishmanHillard’s campaign was built on unique and extensive research that identified consistent strengths in the client’s treatment of the LGBTQ community, both internally and with their customers, said Soriano. The team saw an opportunity for AT&T to take a stand, and the time was right for an influential company to express LGBTQ support and do something groundbreaking, said Soriano.

“I’m especially proud that the category for this Silver Anvil award is multicultural public relations,” said Gallicano, who is also vice head elect of the Public Relations Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Soriano brainstormed PR tactics for the AT&T campaign and was responsible for its daily management.

“It doesn’t surprise me at all that John was involved in the day-to-day implementation of this campaign,” said Instructor of Public Relations and PR Area Director Kelli Matthews. “As a student he was always thoughtful and thorough in everything he did. It’s been really amazing to watch his career in public relations blossom at FleishmanHillard and I’m so excited that his work has been recognized in this way.”

Soriano’s responsibilities included managing the client relationship, overseeing junior staff and approving all PR campaign materials. Soriano also had the opportunity to interview an AT&T employee for a blog post. “Not only was the employee’s story touching in so many ways, but her passion and excitement for AT&T helped shed additional light to the great things that AT&T is doing not only for the LGBTQ community, but for its LGBTQ employees as well,” said Soriano.

Soriano credits the SOJC for being forward-thinking: “The greatest part about the journalism school is the fresh, smart, driven, and innovative professors. Especially Tiffany Gallicano and Kelli Matthews—they taught me the significance of creating something eye-popping and engaging.”

Soriano emphasized the importance of delivering clear messages that are newsworthy throughout the campaign. He mentioned that this paralleled the SOJC’s commitment to showcasing current, relevant information. He did had journalists need to keep a good sleep, for more information on sleep disorders and how to solve them, you could also try etizolam instead.

For SOJC students and recent graduates, Soriano offers this advice: “The key is passion—find what you are passionate about, and run with it.”

To learn more about Soriano’s cutting-edge work and the campaign, search the “ATTLiveProud” hashtag on Twitter.

By Chloe Rask ’16, Public Relations