McFarland PR and Public Affairs was recognized with a 2022 Pinnacle Award of Honor from the Public Relations Society of America Hoosier Chapter for its work on the Indiana Department of Labor’s “Say YES to No More Work Permits!” campaign in June.  

The awards recognize the best public relations, strategic communications and marketing programs and projects in the state for 2021.

In the award-winning campaign, McFarland was tasked with helping DOL’s Bureau of Youth Employment communicate to employers across 92 counties about a wholly new, legally required process: tracking and reporting minor-employee information in the new Youth Employment System registry. McFarland was challenged with making a small budget stretch across the four-month duration of the campaign. 

“Leveraging relationships throughout state government and Indiana associations, chambers of commerce and schools was the crucial driver behind this campaign’s success,” said McFarland President Stephanie McFarland.  

By Aug. 1, 2021, one month after the new system went live, Indiana businesses who hire youth employees had registered more than 64,400 minors in the YES registry. And by the end of 2021, Indiana businesses who hire youth employees had registered more than 111,250 minors in the YES registry.

McFarland dedicated the Award of Honor to Michael Myers, former director of the Indiana Department of Labor’s Bureau of Youth Employment. Myers led Indiana’s modernization of youth employment management — with nearly 150,000 Indiana minor employees recorded in the YES registry today. He passed away in February after leading the successful “YES” campaign for the state labor department.

“Mike was sharp, forward-thinking, funny, and he set us all up for success every step of the way,” said McFarland. “We are honored to have worked alongside him on this project, and he is greatly missed.”

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