The Houston chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) honored Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR) President and CEO Bob Hale with the 2011 CEO Communicator of the Year Award during the organization’s annual Excalibur Awards Gala at the InterContinental Hotel on June 23.
The award is given to an organizational leader who demonstrates the ability to communicate effectively to general or specific publics; has public visibility as a communicator; is a respected member of the community; and invests his or her time and talent communicating a specific message or messages.
PRSA Houston recognized Hale for leading a successful integrated communications program that combines public relations, social media, a website (HAR.com) that draws more than 1.3 million unique visitors per month, and print and outdoor advertising campaigns to establish REALTORS® as the trusted resource for real estate consumers and HAR as the trusted resource for its membership.
“I am deeply honored to receive the 2011 CEO Communicator of the Year Award from PRSA Houston, but would be remiss not to share the credit with the HAR staff,” said Hale. “Association staff works hard every day to make sure consumers understand the value of a REALTOR® in real estate transactions and to communicate the benefits of the Association to our members. To have what we do recognized with this honor, and to know it comes from communications practitioners, makes it particularly meaningful.”
Hale has led HAR since 1988. Under his leadership, the organization has grown to become the largest trade association in Houston and the second largest local REALTOR® association in the country, with more than 24,000 members.
Thanks to Hale’s vision and drive, HAR.com is a household brand in the greater Houston area and the most frequently visited website in Houston real estate, with more than 1.6 billion hits each month.
HAR’s progressive communications include a Facebook page, which has more than twice as many fans as the next local REALTOR® association in the U.S., as well as extensive use of multiple social media platforms. The HAR YouTube Channel features nearly 600 videos that were all produced in HAR’s in-house studio and editing suite and have garnered more than 120,000 views. Among the videos are 61 that are part of HAR’s Consumer Knowledge Series, programming designed to educate consumers about real estate transactions and home ownership. The series has been so well received that the National Association of REALTORS® purchased 20 of them for use by associations across the country. HAR also produces The Edge, a weekly eNewsletter containing timely real estate industry information and data that is distributed to real estate brokerage managers to share with their agents.
During the awards presentation, HAR surprised Hale with a video containing personal congratulatory messages from former Houston Mayor Bill White, Houston Chronicle Publisher Jack Sweeney, legendary restaurateur Tony Vallone, Realogy Franchise Group President & CEO Alex Perriello, Great Day Houston host Deborah Duncan, Houston Business Journal Publisher John Beddow and U.S. Senator John Cornyn.
The CEO Communicator of the Year Award was created in 2006. Previous honorees include Mayor White, Harris County Judge Robert Eckels, Imperial Sugar President and CEO John Sheptor and Chevron Phillips Chemical CEO Greg Garland.
In 2010, Hale was honored by another prestigious communications group as he received the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)-Houston Communications Leadership Award.