Tokyo, Japan – December 11, 2008 – Dentsu Public Relations Inc. has won the Grand Prix Award at the 11th Japan PR Awards. This marks the second time the company has won the award. The awards ceremony will be held on Tuesday, January 20, 2009 at Roppongi Academy Hills.

Screening for this year’s award was held on Monday, December 8 at the auditorium in Roppongi Academy Hills 49. Selected for the Grand Prix Award was the product launch campaign for the sixth edition of the long-selling Japanese dictionary, Kojien, conducted on behalf of Iwanami Shoten, Publishers.


(Photo capture:)Recent trends have seen the emergence of online and electronic dictionaries, while some paper-based dictionaries have been forced to cease publication. When Iwanami Shoten decided to buck this trend and revise their Kojien for the first time in nearly ten years, Dentsu PR was up to the challenge.


Dentsu PR reiterated the value of paper-based dictionaries by investigating how language level has deteriorated and delivered relevant and newsworthy information to the media and in educational contexts. By preparing angles such as newly added words, words removed from this edition, the ratio of borrowed words to native Japanese words, meteorological terminology and dialects, exposure was garnered on news, quiz and weather programs. Through an IMC (Integrated Marketing Communications) strategy that organically linked creative ideas with promotional activities, Iwanami Shoten achieved their targeted sales figures while also reaching potential users, and rejuvenated the entire paper-based dictionary market and raised its own corporate value. Advertisements and posters featured prominent figures who sympathized with our cause to convey the importance of words. Additionally, in order to reach out to people about what Kojien is and to create an opportunity for them to see it in its entirety, posters spanning 15 meters that showed all 230,000 words contained in the fifth edition were placed in Shibuya and Shinjuku stations, both major transportation hubs in Tokyo. To create additional momentum, we collaborated with clothing brand Uniqlo on t-shirt sales and in-store displays.

Account executive Tadashi Inokuchi commented, “I am proud to have had the opportunity to take part in the first revision in nearly ten years through PR.” He added, “As many abbreviations are commonly used and texting has led people to write shorter sentences, the deterioration of Japanese language usage has become a subject of contention. The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), an internationally standardized assessment of 15-year-olds in schools conducted by OECD, has shown that language comprehension has dropped in Japan. I hope that through this campaign, people will rediscover the value of paper-based dictionaries and think about the deep meaning each word carries. This will hopefully lead to proper usage.”

Dentsu PR also won the Category Award for PR tools for its entry of Medical Care and the Pharmaceutical Industry, an almanac for Astellas Pharma Inc. published annually.

The almanac was started in 1988 by Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Ltd., before their merger with Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical, Co., Ltd. to form Astellas Pharma. The goal was for the general public to have a proper understanding of the company. The publication was developed as a tool for journalists and analysts so that they would have a correct understanding of the company. Since inauguration, the almanac has been released every year for 21 years without interruption.

As the name states, a collection of various data related to the actual status of health, illness, medical care and the pharmaceutical industry is presented in numbers without including corporate information. Starting in 2006, the information, as well as the English version, has been made available online. Eighteen-thousand almanacs have been distributed to media, analysts, researchers, and public libraries, high schools, universities, two-year colleges, local government offices and public health centers across Japan.

Project manager Hideaki Masuda noted, “In order for a company to be fully understood, the industry, medical care and pharmaceuticals must first be understood. That is why we came up with this compilation, a first of its kind.” He added, “We worried that as the Internet spreads to even the remotest areas of the country, there wouldn’t be a need for the print edition. However, we saw enough worth in the print edition because though you can retrieve separate bits of information from the Internet, the paper edition can include information from the past and show the progression that has occurred.” He concluded, “This award is proof that continuing this publication for 21 years without including corporate information was the right thing to do. This was made possible because Astellas Pharma understood the importance of it and because there was demand for it from stakeholders.”

Past Awards

About the Public Relations Society of Japan
The Public Relations Society of Japan (PRSJ) undertakes a wide range of activities under its own initiative and facilitates joint research and interchange for the advancement of public relations. It conducts seminars to train those new to the field, organizes regular lectures, study sessions and research projects, hosts workshops and field trips, publishes the PR Quarterly and monthly PRSJ News as well as the Japan PR Handbook (in Japanese). It also collects and disseminates PR literature and materials and interacts with international PR associations overseas, including the International Public Relations Association (IPRA). The PRSJ has been hosting the annual Japan PR Awards since 1998, for outstanding PR in the fields of business, culture/sports, society, and education/research, and the PR Awards since 2001, for noteworthy work in the fields of corporate, product and public awareness PR.For more information about Public Relations Society of Japan, please see

Japan PR Awards
The PRSJ established the Japan PR Awards in 1998, the Society’s 10th anniversary, to promote greater understanding of both PRSJ activities and PR in general. Awards are presented annually for innovative, newsworthy and timely PR in the fields of business, culture/sports, society, and education/research.

The PRSJ established the PR Awards in 2001 to publicize PR success stories and encourage the ongoing enhancement of PR skills among PRSJ members. Awards are presented for noteworthy work in the fields of corporate, product and public awareness PR, with the most outstanding achievements earning the Grand Prix.

About Dentsu Public Relations Inc.
Dentsu Public Relations has been Japan’s largest public relations agency since its inauguration in 1961. As a pioneer in the field in Japan, the company has been helping Japanese and foreign clients communicate with their critical stakeholders — consumers, governments, investors, employees, and communities. Headquartered in Tokyo with a branch in Osaka, Dentsu PR has 220 employees and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dentsu Inc.