Winners to Receive the Newly Named “Jack Koten Page Principles Case Study Award" at the Page Society's Annual Spring Seminar

NEW YORK - Three DePaul University students have been awarded the Jack Koten Page Principles Case Study Award for their winning submission on the impact of CVS Health's high-profile corporate rebranding campaign. The grand prize for this competition was officially re-named this year to honor John A. (Jack) Koten, one of the Page Society's founders and its first chairman.

The Case Study Competition in Corporate Communications, which is sponsored by the Arthur W. Page Society and the Institute for Public Relations (IPR), awards students whose original case studies best examine the practice of corporate communications in a business issue or crisis. The Koten award will henceforth be designated as the grand prize in a competition that also issues first, second and third place awards in the business schools and communications schools categories. The grand prize winners will be recognized at the Page Society's Spring Seminar on April 9th in New York City.

The winning case study, “ Cigarettes Out. Health In. An Analysis of the Rebrand of CVS Health," was authored by Maggie Christ, Renata Sandor and Andrew Tonne, all students at DePaul University's College of Communication in Chicago. The study explores CVS's 2014 decision to end the sale of tobacco products in its stores and reform the company's identity around a new slogan: Health is everything. Their research observed the changing business practices within CVS Health and how these affected not only the company's bottom line but also the public's perception of CVS as an organization.

“Our case study competition reinforces the core principles that define public relations and strengthens the students' understanding of how organizations can practically apply these principles in a real-life setting," said Roger Bolton, president of the Arthur W. Page Society. “We could think of no greater way to honor Jack Koten and his contributions to our profession than to name after him an award that recognizes students who represent its bright future. I congratulate all of this year's winners on a job very well done."

Maggie, Renata, and Andrew will be awarded the $5,000 grand prize at the Arthur W. Page Society's annual Spring Seminar dinner, held on April 9, 2015 at the Conrad New York in downtown Manhattan, New York City. They will be joined by Matt Ragas, assistant professor of public relations at DePaul, who served as their academic advisor on the project.

To read the winning submission, please visit:

“As the competition continues to grow year after year, so do the efforts of the outstanding students that enter. This competition has lent a hand to progressing this industry's understanding of strategic communications and how it can be put to use to effectively maintain public relations as a critical part of businesses today," said Frank Ovaitt, President and CEO of IPR. “I am privileged to congratulate Maggie, Renata, and Andrew, as well as all fellow participants, for their exceptional work."

Larry Parnell, associate professor and program director of the Masters in Strategic Public Relations program at George Washington University and one of the competition judges, added: “Judging these cases keeps us current on the issues facing the profession and the best ones are often used in our classes at GW. The CVS case is a perfect example. It deals with a major business decision and the challenge of communicating it to all stakeholders in a transparent and effective manner."

This annual competition is judged by a panel composed of Page Society members as well as members of Page Up—a recently established organization for staff of senior-level members, who display the potential to rise to a CCO or another Page Society eligible role. The judges in this year's competition were:

Page Society Members

Page Up Members

For a complete list of winners, please visit the Page Society's website at:

The Jack Koten Page Principles Case Study Award

As the first chairman of the Arthur W. Page Society, Jack Koten extracted from Page's lifetime of work the set of defining values that we know today as the Page Principles. These Principles not only serve as criteria for this case study competition, but also serve as a guide for how Page members should approach their role within the Society. Jack personified the belief that businesses should operate honestly and honorably, and with unwavering integrity.

Upon his passing last year, Jack bequeathed funds to the Page Society that its Board of Trustees voted to use to establish the John A. Koten Memorial Fund. The proceeds from this fund will be used to fund in perpetuity the annual case study competition grand prize, which we have this year renamed the Jack Koten Page Principles Case Study Award.