Well, 2014 has come and (almost) gone… Can you believe it? When thinking back on the biggest news stories of the year, we found that 2014 was pretty good for public relations. Sure, there were some major PR fails (ahem… Uber, NFL Commissioner Robert Goodell and countless celebrities on Twitter), but let’s focus on some of the great feats of communication this year.

Here are five PR wins in 2014:

1. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge – Unless you spent 2014 under a rock, you undoubtably saw (or participated in) the Ice Bucket Challenge, benefitting the ALS Association. Since July 29, the ALS Association raised $115 million, proving that a viral campaign can make a BIG impact.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

2. Taylor Swift – Whether or not you’re a Swiftie, PR pros can appreciate the brand and business savvy of the world’s biggest pop star. This year, Taylor released her new album, 1989, through a surprise livestream with Yahoo! True Swift fans know, though, that Taylor had actually been previewing the album at small house parties and intimate gatherings for weeks, letting her fans in on the “secret.” The result? Taylor had the only platinum album of 2014.

Taylor Swift at the 2014 AMAs

3. Sochi Olympics – Remember when Christi wrote about the Olympic-sized fail turned PR win at the Opening Ceremonies? If the Olympic planners can laugh about it, so can we.

Sochi Olympic Ring Fail - 2014 Winter Olympics

4. Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke – For a brand as big as Coke, personally reaching customers by name might seem impossible. Fortunately, with the magic of variable printing, Coca-Cola tapped into our love of personalized products (narcissism?) and boosted sales by a reported 2.5 percent. Another 6 million virtual bottles were customized and shared through social media. Not bad for a product that has been on the decline for more than a decade.

Share a Coke

5. Presbyterian Dallas' Ebola Response – Not all PR crises can be avoided and, instead, you have to respond as best you can under the circumstances. When the deadly Ebola virus reached Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, the hospital – and our city – were thrust into the international media spotlight. The initial days and weeks proved challenging. Yet, Presby navigated government agency red tape, a fairly unknown and highly contagious virus, and intense public scrutiny with grace and professionalism. We are truly #PresbyProud.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas

Do you agree? What PR wins make your list this year? We want to know what you think in the comments below.

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