Sam Johnson communicator of the year

Sam Johnson has been named 2012 Communicator of the Year.
Sam Johnson has been named 2012 Communicator of the Year.

Student Volunteer Army founder Sam Johnson's communication skills have won him another accolade.

Johnson has been named the 2012 communicator of the year by the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (Prinz) for his work with the volunteer army.

The group's latest project, The Concert, is aimed at encouraging Christchurch residents to commit at least four hours to volunteering in the city.

Institute president Jane Dodd said Johnson had received the award for raising public awareness on the impact of the earthquakes and helping to improve quake-hit residents' lives.

"Sam is passionate about what he does and galvanised an army of volunteers during the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake through his ability to communicate and link with people.''

She said his work with The Concert showed his ''exceptional contribution'' to the city.

In a prerecorded acceptance speech, Johnson said the community's response to the quakes had been ''remarkable''.

"We have seen people young and old bind together to create a stronger fabric in communities."

He thanked his ''dedicated and disciplined team" of volunteers for putting hours of work into the projects and helping to keep him ''grounded''.

Johnson is the second Cantabrian in a row to receive the award, after Mayor Bob Parker was given the 2011 award.

Johnson, 23, was named the 2012 Young New Zealander of the Year after receiving the Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award.

The Press