Central Iowa PRSA PRIME Awards

The annual PRSA PRIME Awards provide a valuable opportunity to showcase and recognize the work of Iowa public relations, marketing and communications professionals. When you take the time to complete and submit an award entry, the pride you have in your work and your commitment to advancing the visibility of your profession is sure to be noticed by your organizational leaders, public relations/communications colleagues and the community.

New in 2018

The format for the PRSA PRIME awards has been updated to offer two options for award categories: campaigns and tactics. The campaign category will evaluate all aspects of a complete campaign, including research, planning, implementation and evaluation. This entry option is ideal for organizations that have successfully implemented a comprehensive public relations, marketing or internal communications campaign. The tactic category will assess individual pieces created as part of an overall strategy. This entry option is ideal for smaller projects that had a big impact on the intended audience(s).

Judging criteria for campaigns and tactics will vary slightly, but both will remain focused on evaluating the overall level of effectiveness through measurable objectives. More information about the categories and judging criteria is available below.

Eligibility

The PRIME Awards are open to individuals or organizations responsible for producing work in any of the campaign or tactic categories in Iowa between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018. Members of Central Iowa PRSA who have produced work in other states during the same timeframe are also eligible to submit an award entry or entries. Entries should be submitted by the company representative or agency that contributed directly to the end product.

A campaign entry is eligible if the majority of tactics were completed or if the campaign concluded during the eligibility timeframe, even if the campaign started or if some tactics were implemented prior to the start of the eligibility timeframe.

Individual tactics of an overall campaign may be split up and entered into tactic categories, as well as the overall campaign category. 

Materials entered in previous PRIME Award competitions are not eligible. 

All entries must include the following components:

  • Completed entry form

  • Summary (two pages or less)

  • Supporting materials

  • Up to three JPG or PNG images representing the entry for online display

  • Payment

Any entry not meeting all of the above requirements will be disqualified.

Award Entry Categories 

Individual Awards of Excellence Categories

  • Outstanding Student Member: Given to a student or recent graduate in an Iowa PRSSA chapter who demonstrates academic excellence in public relations, devotes time to mentoring or developing other students and is involved in extracurricular activities and events including the advancement of PRSSA and PRSA.

  • Outstanding New Member: Presented to a PRSA Central Iowa Chapter member with three or fewer years of membership who has enthusiastically contributed to chapter activities, demonstrating an eagerness and willingness to get involved with chapter activities, as a way to improve professional skills and increase knowledge of the profession. 

  • Outstanding Chapter Member: Given to the PRSA Central Iowa Chapter member whose distinctive contributions to the chapter have had a positive impact on the chapter’s success and value to members, and whose involvement has provided insight and leadership to other members.

  • Outstanding Public Relations Professional: Presented to a PRSA Central Iowa Chapter member who represents the best of public relations, and whose public relations or community service activities have had a significant impact on the local, regional or national community.

  • Outstanding Iowa Advocate: Given to a non-member individual, group or organization that has contributed to the enhancement of the state’s regional, national or international reputation. The candidate must have demonstrated a personal commitment — above and beyond a professional obligation to a client or employer — to the betterment of the state of Iowa and its residents. The commitment may involve service to one or many groups and may also include financial support to organizations that provide for the enhancement of the state and its reputation. The nomination should include specific mention of the candidate’s activities, messages, audiences and results.


Campaign Categories

  • C1. Community Champion: Pro bono program that fosters relationships with key community audiences of an organization, product or service. Entry can include a one-time campaign or a long-term commitment by an organization.

  • C2. Crisis/Issues Management: Designed to demonstrate emergency preparedness or timely response to an issue. Include plan for dealing with unforeseen crises that could negatively affect an organization’s effectiveness and an example of this plan in action. May involve internal and/or external audiences.

  • C3. Event/Observance: Communication program surrounding a special event. Event may be a commemoration, observance, opening, celebration or other special activity.

  • C4. Integrated Communication: A program that exemplifies creative and effective integration of traditional public relations tactics with at least one other marketing communication tool, such as advertising, direct marketing, sale promotion or design.

  • C5. Internal Communication: Program or campaign targeted primarily to employees, organization members, boards/directors and other internal audiences to achieve a goal.

  • C6. Marketing Business to Business: Program or campaign specifically designed to sell a product or service directly to another business.

  • C7. Marketing Consumer Products: A program or campaign that introduces new products or services or promotes existing products or services to a specific audience.

  • C8. Media Relations Program: Program instituted via the media to build and foster relationships with key community audiences of an organization, product or service. Entries can include a one-time campaign or an ongoing program (includes media tours and press conferences targeting any type of editorial medium).

  • C9. Reputation/Brand Management: A campaign or program designed primarily to promote, maintain or establish a reputation of an organization or person (i.e. political campaign) with its publics or key audiences.

  • C10. Student: Any public relations, advertising or marketing work performed by college students or college class projects. PRSSA membership is not required. College and university faculty and administrators can submit work performed by students under their supervision. Working professionals can enter work performed by college interns under their supervision, or students can enter individually.


Tactic Categories

  • T1. Advertorial: Paid article in newspaper, magazine, website or other publication that is meant to educate prospective consumers about the features of a product.

  • T2. Annual Report: Publication reporting on an organization’s annual performance.

  • T3. Blog: Web-based blog communicating to a specific audience.

  • T4. Brochure: Small booklet, pamphlet or handout designed to inform or create action around a specific product, service or event.

  • T5. Direct Mail: Letter, postcard or other unsolicited mailers. Can be either business to business or direct to consumer.

  • T6. Feature Writing: Writing designed to inform or entertain about an organization, product or service.

  • T7. Magazine: Regularly occurring publication with 10 or more pages (excluding front and back cover) that focuses on a particular company or not-for-profit organization’s area of expertise. All writing must be done by the company/individual submitting the piece.

  • T8.Media Relations: Use of media relations including media tours, press conferences, editorial board meetings or other tactics as part of a public relations program. Include copies of results – news clippings, photos, etc. – to support your results.

  • T9. Multimedia: Includes video, audio and other audiovisual tactics designed to educate or inform a target audience.

  • T10. Newsletter: Content written and designed (including electronic) to communicate company facts, direction or news. May be a single piece or an ongoing series. If entering a series, include at least three issues. Target audience may be internal or external stakeholders.

  • T11. Public Service Announcement: Any work or form of media created to raise awareness of or change public attitudes and behavior about a specific subject.

  • T12. Social Media: Use of social media including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, blogs or other social media networks as part of a public relations program. Include screen shots, copies of key pages and/or blog entries to support your summary.

  • T13. Student: Any public relations, advertising or marketing work performed by college students or college class projects. PRSSA membership is not required. College and university faculty and administrators can submit work performed by students under their supervision. Working professionals can enter work performed by college interns under their supervision, or students can enter individually.

  • T14. Technical Writing: Document or editorial written to define and/or explain a technical product or service to a target audience. 

  • T15. Website: Website designed as part of a communication program or business platform. Copy entered in this category must be written by the entrant. Design may be subcontracted. Include the URL, screen shots and provide any necessary passwords to access the site. 


Deadline and Entry Fees

Early deadline: Friday, July 20, 2018, 5 p.m. (Central)

  • $35 for entries submitted by Central Iowa PRSA members

  • $50 for entries submitted by non-members

  • $15 for entries submitted by or on behalf of students

  • $0 for entries submitted for Individual Awards of Excellence

Payment available here.

Final deadline: Friday, July 27, 2018, 5 p.m. (central)

  • $45 for entries submitted by Central Iowa PRSA members

  • $60 for entries submitted by non-members

  • $25 for entries submitted by or on behalf of students

  • $0 for entries submitted for Individual Awards of Excellence

Payment available here.

ADDITIONAL DEADLINE EXTENSIONS WILL BE NOT BE GRANTED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

Payment is preferred via credit card during the time of online entry submission. Checks payable to Central Iowa PRSA will also be accepted, but must be received by the final deadline.

Checks can be mailed to:

Laura Plumb, Central Iowa PRSA Treasurer
Lessing-Flynn
220 SE 6th St., Suite 210
Des Moines, IA 50309

Entry Form

A completed entry form is required for every award entry. Be sure to complete each section thoroughly.

Entry Submission

When submitting an award entry, be sure to include the completed entry form, summary and all supporting materials. Please label all of the materials starting with the category letter and number, followed by the organization name and entry title. 

Option 1: Dropbox

  • Upload the entry form and supporting materials into a folder in your Dropbox account. If you are submitting multiple award entries, please use a separate folder for each entry.

  • Invite prsaciowaawards@gmail.com to share your Dropbox folder(s).

  • Email prsaciowaawards@gmail.com to notify the Awards Committee that your entry has been submitted via Dropbox.

  • Complete the online registration form and process payment. The online registration form must be completed for every entry, even if payment is made by check.

 

Option 2: Email

  • Send an email to prsaciowaawards@gmail.comand attach the entry form and supporting materials. If you are submitting multiple award entries, please send a separate email for each entry and indicate the entry category in the subject line.

  • Complete the online registration form and process payment. The online registration form must be completed for every entry, even if payment is made by check.

 

After submitting your award entry, you will receive an email from a member of the Awards Committee to confirm your materials were successfully received. Every effort will be made to respond to award entry submissions within 48 hours.

Judging and Scoring Criteria

Entries will be judged by a PRSA chapter in a different state. Judges will be instructed to score entries based on a complete work plan, thorough planning, creative execution and documentation of results. You can view the scoring criteria here for campaigns and here for tactics.

For each campaign and tactic entry, judges will select one PRIME Award of Excellence (first place) and/or one Award of Merit (second place). For categories with more than five entries, a second Award of Merit may be assigned. If, in the judges’ opinion, no entry in a particular category is deserving of an award, no winner will be named.

Once all of the individual award entries have been evaluated, two “Best of Show” winners – one from a corporation or agency and the other from a non-profit organization – will be selected from the list of PRIME Award winners.

All judges’ decisions are final. 

Winner Notification

Once award judging is complete, the contact listed on the award entry form will be notified via email as to whether or not the award entry or entries submitted will receive an award. Award winners will have the option to order duplicate awards. Notification should take place in early September. 

Awards Ceremony

All award winning entries will be formally recognized at a ceremony during the Central Iowa PRSA OctoPRfest event on Thursday, Oct. 18 at 3 p.m. For more information on this event, or to register to attend OctoPRfest, click here.

Questions?

Please email questions regarding the PRIME Awards to: prsaciowaawards@gmail.com.

Note: all entries become the property of Central Iowa PRSA. Entries are not confidential. Central Iowa PRSA reserves the right to use entries or a reproduction of entries in part or in full at the PRIME Awards ceremony. Materials provided may be posted on the Central Iowa PRSA website and/or to provide a resource of successful programs for educational purposes.