One way we validate the quality of our work is participating in competitive public relations awards programs that recognize exemplary programming. A few weeks ago, FrazierHeiby received recognition for 10 award-winning programs from the local Public Relations Society of America chapter based on our submission of 11 project summaries and samples. While we won more top public relations awards than any other local firm, I am most proud because these award-winning entries recognize documented results by our talented team members.
So, what does it take to create an award winning entry for PR practice? Here are four keys to success:
1. Execute Meaningful Programs
You will not win public relations awards for mediocre programming. The work you provide to clients must be strategic and impactful with measurable outcomes. Proudly, we serve all of our clients with strategy, complimented with measurable tactics. If you create impactful outcomes, the rest is easy.
2. Keep Your Submission Simple
Many public relations awards programs require a one- or two-page summary supported by sample materials. Judges are asked to pour over many entries, so make your summary and support materials easy to read and score. Break content into short paragraphs, use bullets and match subheads to evaluation criteria. Edit content until it is brief, clean and informative with obvious outcomes and creativity.
3. Make it Engaging
I try to add unique anecdotes or include unusual challenges that we conquered. Providing interesting visual support materials also helps illustrate your story. I sometimes include handwritten notes, emails from clients and other third party statements to give it life and credibility. Again, keep these support materials engaging, yet easy to review.
4. Prove Your Results
Public relations awards are bestowed based on how well they influence perceptions and/or motivate behaviors. A successful entry is not about the process or program execution, it's all about the impact it made. Spend extra time describing outcomes. Include meaningful data, citing formal and informal research. Include third party comments from impacted audiences and your clients. Prove you made a difference.
These four tips for award winning public relations programs could be applied to almost any application, resume or award entry. If you illustrate a compelling story and can show that you moved the needle, you certainly will gain the recognition you want.
Need help creating award-winning submissions for your company or organization? Let us know.