The Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans public relations staffs have been selected as the 2017 Pete Rozelle Award co-winners by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA).
The Ravens and Texans share the 28th Rozelle Award, as Baltimore earned the award for the third time (2011, 2013) and Houston was selected for a record fifth time (2004, 2007, 2010 and 2012).
Other 2017 nominees for the Rozelle Award were the Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Rozelle Award is given to the NFL club public relations staff that consistently strives for excellence in its dealings and relationships with the media. The award is named for Rozelle, NFL commissioner from 1960-89, who started his distinguished career in sports PR roles as a student at both Compton (Calif.) Junior College and the University of San Francisco. After two more years as USF's assistant athletic director after graduation, he broke into the NFL as the PR director of the Los Angeles Rams from 1952-55. Rozelle used his PR principles as commissioner to build relationships with the media during a period of unprecedented growth and challenge for the league.
During the 2016 season, Baltimore's PR department was led by Kevin Byrne (senior VP of public and community relations) and Chad Steele (VP of public relations), assisted by Patrick Gleason (director of public relations), Tom Valente (public relations manager) and Marisol Renner (publications and public relations specialist). The Ravens were also assisted by interns Jennifer Burroughs and David Wolf.
In 2016, Houston's PR department was led by Amy Palcic (senior director of communications), assisted by Brett Maikowski (communications manager), Omar Majzoub (communications coordinator) and Allie LeClair (corporate communications coordinator). The Texans were also assisted by interns Nathan Edwards and Katie Karsh.
"The Ravens have long been a gold standard for NFL media relations," said Bob Glauber, NFL national columnist for Newsday and PFWA second vice-president. "Whether it's facilitating interviews for large groups of reporters or arranging one-on-one interviews with star players or coaches, they handle every situation with professionalism and efficiency. Kevin Byrne has had a long and distinguished career in public relations, and the lessons he has imparted to Chad Steele and his staff have been invaluable, ultimately benefiting the people who cover the Ravens."
"Amy Palcic and her terrific staff do a splendid job of helping reporters do our jobs," said John McClain, NFL writer for the Houston Chronicle. They're organized, helpful and generous with their time. Amy has carried on a tradition of excellence in Texans' media relations that began under Tony Wyllie and continued under Kevin Cooper."