After putting together a combination party and awards program to celebrate startups, technology and life science entrepreneurs as well as companies small to great last fall,’s marketing team has received some recognition of its own.

Led by Marketing Manager Lisa Jeffries and Marketing Coordinator Tara Whitfield, the team won the “Best Bang for the Buck: Special Event” award from the Raleigh Public Relations Society for WRAL TechWire’s “Full Steam Ahead Awards” event.

The two aggressively marketed and promoted then put on a three-hour celebration that drew a crowd of some 170 people to host Full Steam Brewery in Durham.

For less than $500.

“After reading the application for the award that recapped all Lisa and Tara did and to know first-hand just how much their efforts delivered in direct, measurable results – from attendance to new memberships and much more – I can’t believe they executed Full Steam for that amount of money,” said Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of WRAL TechWire.

“Their astute use of limited dollars and the savvy utilization of marketing channels spread across the spectrum of social media and the Internet show that successful marketing is based on much, much more than just money. It takes smarts – and these two are smart.”

Ten individual and five corporate awards were presented, all following an express train team from Subway (stealth mode) to Express. Awards and prizes include engineer caps, whistles and toy trains – all geared to the Full Steam theme.

The event was the second such program.

Full Steam will return in early 2015.

Jeffries and Whitfield are now working on WRAL TechWire’s “Fiber Transforms the Triangle” conference which is set for Oct. 13 at SAS.

WRAL TechWire, which launched as Local Tech Wire in 2002, is a two-time winner of “21 Awards” from the North Carolina Technology Association.

The full list of Sir Walter winners will be available online.