The Birmingham Chapter of the American Advertising Federation (AAF) recognized Big Communications President John Montgomery with a Silver Medal Award at the 54thannual Birmingham ADDY Awards gala. The Silver Medal Award Program was established in 1959 to recognize men and women who have made outstanding contributions to advertising and who have been active in furthering the industry’s standards, creative excellence and responsibility in areas of social concern.

“John’s personal passion and mantra for ‘making a difference while making a living’ continually propels our agency forward,” says Ford Wiles, Chief Creative Officer of Big Communications. “It is this simple philosophy that John brings to work every day that not only helps the company grow but it also leads to a lasting, powerful and ever- present-effect on the city and community around us.”

John started his career as a teenager, working as a promotions intern for the Birmingham Bulls. He founded Big in 1995 armed with nothing but a laptop, a loft and a giant cell phone. While the irony of the name was not lost on his first clients, John’s well-beyond-his-years experience in public relations, media and event promotions delivered against it, with an invaluable combination of headline-grabbing tactics, great relationship building and media targeting smarts.

In 17 short years, John has grown Big from a one-man PR circus to one of the hottest shops in Alabama. Though Big’s client roster now includes leading brands across the state and region, John has made sure that the agency proudly maintains its commitment to being a local firm first.

Big’s Chief Branding Officer Mark Ervin says “John is officially Birmingham’s biggest fan and actively pursues opportunities to make our city a better place to live and work. He loves this community and is proud of the potential, the progress and the collective creativity of Birmingham.”

John’s commitment to the community is visible through projects such as the popular Birmingham Convention and Visitor’s Bureau “IN” campaign, The Birmingham Business Alliance Blueprint Birmingham rollout and the reinvigoration of The Birmingham News brand. Regional efforts include the Alabama Construction Recruitment Institute’s Go Build campaign as well as Serve the Gulf, a pro-bono effort launched by John to counteract misinformed perceptions after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Robin Oliver, Big’s Vice President of Public Relations, says “John Montgomery is one of the most creative entrepreneurs in this field and quite possibly the brightest PR mind in our state. He’s a compassionate employer who puts the welfare of family and friends well ahead of profit and gain. We are grateful for the advertising community’s public recognition of John’s commitment to excellence.”

Big Communications also took home seven awards for its 2011 work at the ADDY Awards, held Thursday, January 2 at The Club. Big’s awards included:
Silver – Entertainment District Brochure, Bayer Properties Silver – Website, Big Communications Silver – Birmingham Airport Display, Birmingham Airport Authority Silver – Consumer or Trade Publication, Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau
Gold – EspresShip Sales Video, Royal Cup Coffee Gold – Shuttlesworth Service Brochure, Shuttlesworth Foundation Silver – The Civil Wars Poster, Standard Deluxe Silver – ‘This Is Our Story’ Musical Score, The Birmingham News Silver – Birmingham Magazine Campaign, The Birmingham News