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PRSA College of Fellows Award Highest Honor to Bob Frause, APR, Fellow PRSA

Oct. 11, 2021

Outstanding Leadership Award Presented for Only the Second Time Since 2009

NEW YORK, October 11, 2021 – PRSA College of Fellows today announced that Bob Frause, APR, Fellow PRSA, of Langley, Washington, received its highest honor, the Outstanding Leadership Award, presented for only the second time since it was first presented in 2009.

Frause was nominated by colleagues Mary Deming Barber, APR, Fellow PRSA, and Vivian Hamilton, APR, Fellow PRSA, in recognition of his decades-long service and contribution to PRSA, the College of Fellows and the communications profession.

“It’s always an honor to be recognized for your efforts,” Frause said, “but it is even more rewarding when you and your cohorts are having fun making a difference. I follow the mantra that leadership is not only learned, but also earned. And earning your position as a great follower sets the stage for you to become a great leader.”

The College of Fellows is the gold standard of public relations professionals and is an active organization comprised of more than 350 leading practitioners and educators, each of whom has left a significant footprint on the public relations profession. The Outstanding Leadership Award was presented at the virtual induction ceremony for the 2021 College of Fellows class.

“There are not enough words to describe the impact Bob has had on the College and our profession,” said Greg Bailey, chair, College of Fellows and partner with Finley + Bailey Strategic Communications in Nashville, Tennessee. “I’ve never ended a meeting or conversation with Bob without learning something important. He has impacted the College in so many ways for so many years, and he continues to do so today. I can think of no individual member who deserves the Outstanding Leadership Award more than Bob Frause. He is a friend and a mentor, and I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from him.”

This year, Frause co-chaired the College’s Strategic Planning Committee, along with co-chairs Kevin Gaydosh, APR, Fellow PRSA, and Brooke Worden, APR, Fellow PRSA, and developed the new 2022-24 strategic plan for the College. The committee and Fellows volunteers completed nearly 50 hours of one-on-one research with members of the College, especially reconnecting with Fellows who are no longer active or members of PRSA.

Mary Deming Barber, APR, Fellow PRSA, who nominated Frause for the honor, said, “Bob’s work in the College and service to the profession are exemplary. Within PRSA and the College, he has served in nearly every office he could at the chapter, district, national and College of Fellows levels. His work in the area of ethics is unmatched by any other professional, from working on the committee charged with rewriting the Code of Ethics in 2000 and chairing the effort to craft the Fellows Standards of Excellence in 2010. Bob has put his stamp on almost every important initiative in the College and PRSA since the mid-1980s. To have him receive this award speaks to his legacy and to the indelible mark he’s left on the profession and PRSA.”

Vivian Hamilton, APR, Fellow PRSA, was presented the inaugural Outstanding Leadership Award, along with Joan Capelin, APR, Fellow PRSA, for their decade-long work in developing the GoodFellows mentoring program for aspiring members of the College. This year, Hamilton wrote a support letter on behalf of the Frause nomination.

“Bob is one of the hardest working, most dedicated public relations practitioners and PRSA volunteers I have ever met,” said Hamilton, APR, Fellow PRSA. “His involvement and leadership in shaping the ethical practice of public relations are his most important and lasting legacy. He’s always been a role model for me, and others, and I can’t think of anyone who exemplifies and is more worthy of what makes a strong, effective leader than Bob.”

Frause has provided communications and marketing counsel to clients throughout the U.S. for more than 40 years, serving hundreds of private, public and nonprofit sector clients. For 23 years, Frause has led his consultancy, The Frause Group, following extensive leadership experience as senior counsel and in agency ownership, as well as numerous positions focused on economic development, advertising and public relations agencies, development and corporate communications. He served from 2011 to 2014 as Global Chairman of PROI Worldwide, the professions largest global network of independent PR agencies.

“For me, the key attributes of a successful leader begin with having an opinion but displaying the courage to listen, engaging in collaboration and expressing trust in those you lead,” Frause said. “I’m tremendously grateful for the experiences I’ve had and the journey I continue to embrace.”

Frause has received numerous awards including the Jay Rockey Lifetime Achievement Award and Professional of the Year from the PRSA Puget Sound Chapter and is a PRSA Silver Anvil award winner, among other notable accomplishments in and outside of the public relations profession. He was inducted into the College of Fellows in 1999, served as Chair in 2008 and continues to serve the College today.

Frause holds a bachelor of arts in journalism from Seattle University. Prior to beginning his public relations career, Frause served as a U.S. Army officer, rising to the rank of Captain. Today he lives in Langley, Washington.

About PRSA
The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is the nation’s leading professional organization serving the communications community. PRSA is the principal advocate for industry excellence and ethical conduct and provides members lifelong learning opportunities and leading-edge resources to enhance professional connections and support them at every stage of their career. With nearly 30,000 members, PRSA is collectively represented by 110 Chapters and 14 Professional Interest Sections, and on nearly 375 college and university campuses through its student organization, the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). For more information, please visit prsa.org.


Bob Frause Headshot Oct. 2021


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