TOP corporate chiefs and public relations industry veterans were recognised for their achievements at the Prism Awards held by the Institute of Public Relations of Singapore yesterday.

Mr Liew Mun Leong, president and chief executive of CapitaLand, added another feather to his cap when he won the Outstanding PR Champion award.

"There is no place for a non- communicative CEO, especially in a listed company. I am a firm believer that PR is an essential business requirement which must be fulfilled," Mr Liew said. He pointed to the importance of PR in building the "global corporate reputation" of a company.

Former TV journalist Farah Abdul Rahim, director of corporate communications and press secretary at the Ministry of Manpower, won the Outstanding PR Professional award.

Two senior PR practitioners were recognised for their lifetime achievements in the PR industry: Hong Leong Group's corporate affairs head Gerry de Silva and Citigate Dewe Rogerson, I.MAGE managing director Elaine Lim.

The Outstanding PR Mentor award went to Ms Kathy O'Brien, managing director of Red Shoe Communications.

In total, 32 excellence and merit awards across 19 categories were handed out at a gala dinner at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel. The awards were judged by a 10-man panel of senior PR practitioners, including Mr Han Fook Kwang, managing editor of Singapore Press Holdings' English and Malay Newspapers Division.

Mr Basskaran Nair, a judge at this year's awards, noted the growing influence of social media in PR campaigns. He said: "This is a sign of the times. Technologies and social networking tools are no longer new forms of existing communication. Used effectively they generate interactivity, sharpen conversation and create a shared awareness of the realities that institutions, individuals and companies and countries are faced with today."