The West Virginia Department of Commerce's Marketing and Communications Office won the state Public Relations Society of America's “Best in West Virginia” PR award for its crisis communications work during the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster in 2010.
During the Crystal Award Gala, held on June 15, 2011 at the Charleston Civic Center, the state chapter of PRSA also awarded Commerce nine first place (crystal) awards and one honorable mention in the following categories:
1. Crisis Communication: Upper Big Branch – MHS&T Crisis Communications Support
2. External Communication campaign: 2010 Genuine West Virginia Reunions
3. Social Media Campaign: The WV Commerce Social Network (Tourism, State Parks, Commerce, Film – Facebook/Twitter)
4. Annual Report: 2010 Governor’s Guaranteed Work Force Annual Report
5. External Communication magazine: Genuinely Home for the Holidays – special issue Wonderful WV
6. Writing 1000+ Words: Being West Virginian by Kim Harbour
7. Writing 1000+ Words: The Eureka Factor by Catherine Zacchi (honorable mention)
8. Collateral piece/Invitation: Boy Scout Jamboree Trading Cards
9. Social Marketing project: ExploreWV/Geocaching on Facebook
10. Research: Real Time Research and Search Engine Optimization (Tourism & WVDO)
Commerce's mission is to promote West Virginia as a world-class tourism, business and relocation destination.