2015 Polaris Awards

Calling all outstanding public relations professionals in the Inland Empire! The PRSA Inland Empire Chapter is calling for entries for its 2015 Polaris Awards.

The annual awards recognize public relations tactics and programs that successfully incorporate sound research, planning, execution and evaluation. These awards represent the highest standards of performance in the public relations profession in the Inland Empire.  


All submissions, or a portion of the entry, must have been executed between June 1, 2014 and June 1, 2015. In addition, all submissions must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Company/client resides in the Inland Empire, except for student category.
  • Project was executed in the Inland Empire, except in the case of a student project, which may be a proposal rather than an executed project.
  • Open to members of PRSA Inland Empire and non-members.


  • Entry Deadline -  Friday, August 28, 2015
  • Final Deadline for Entries – Friday, Sept. 4, 2015
  • Awards Ceremony – Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Enter here


Thanks to all of our sponsors! 

Presenting Sponsor:

PRSAIE Sponsor:

In-kind Sponsors:



PRSA Inland Empire Members

  • Entry Fee: $45 per entry (must be uploaded by Friday, Aug. 28 2015)
  • Final Entry Date Fee: $65 per entry (must be uploaded by Friday, Sept. 4, 2015)


  • Entry Fee: $60 per entry (must be uploaded by Friday, Aug. 28, 2015)
  • Final Entry Date Fee: $80 per entry (must be uploaded by Friday, Sept. 4, 2015)

Online Submissions ONLY
! The PRSA Inland Empire Polaris Awards submissions are now 100 percent online!

  • Simple, easy steps to follow.
  • Easy upload of entries via Dropbox.
  • No postage or delivery charges.
  • Save on paper and supply costs with no binders or copying needed.

All entries must be uploaded to a separate folder in Dropbox. A free account can be created at

  • Place each entry in a clearly labeled folder in Dropbox identifying the category for the entry, the applicant, and the title of the project.
  • Log in to DropBox and create a new folder for the entry using the following protocol:
    • [Category-Number]_[Entrant-Name]_Project-Title
    • Example: 4_PRSA-Inland-Empire_Annual-Report-2014
  • Once the folder is created:
    • Create your entry summary and save as a PDF inside the project folder using the same naming protocol.
    • Place all files relevant for your entry into this folder.
  • Once your entry folder is complete, click "Share Link" in Dropbox.
    • Click “Share Folder” icon
    • Select “share existing folder”
    • Address your message to and type a brief message about your entry. Press Share!
    • Once you have shared files via Dropbox, please send an email  to notify that you have submitted files. We will reply with a confirmation.

Requirements for ALL Entries:

  • Entry must be uploaded as one document in PDF format.
  • Include a copy of your entry form
  • Multimedia files including photos, video (less than five minutes) or audio may be uploaded separately. Entry file name must be the same as the Entry PDF.
  • Pages should be no larger than 8 1/2 x 11 inches.
  • The document should include any supporting materials referred to in the one- or two-page summary. For example, if you reference a public relations planning document, a copy of the plan should be included.
  • Any collateral such as press kits, direct mail pieces, etc.  - please include a screenshot, photograph or rendering within your document.


Members of a PRSA sister chapter will judge entries. Entries can earn up to 100 points.


  • Polaris: entry must receive an average score of 90 or more points
  • Capella: entry must receive an average score of 75 to 89 points
  • From the winning entries, the judges will select an award for the coveted Best of Show honor based on a point system. If an entry does not meet the point criteria, a best of show award may not be given.


The PRSA California Inland Empire Chapter will host its 50th Annual Polaris Awards & Dinner on Nov. 18, 2015 at Center Stage in Fontana.


All entries must meet the following criteria. Entries that do not meet these criteria will be disqualified.

  • Complete entry form. Entrants are responsible for designating the appropriate category and/or subcategory for each category; judges will not assign category of entries.
  • Choose appropriate categories. Entry may be submitted in multiple categories as needed. Each additional category must include a separate form, summary and entry fee.
  • Submit each entry online in Dropbox as noted above.
  • Prepare a concise summary no longer than two typewritten pages to introduce your entry to the judges. The summary should include the following: Introduction, Research, Planning, Execution and Evaluation.
  • All entries that meet the Polaris Awards criteria will be recognized in a multi-media presentation. You must include a jpg or PowerPoint file of one image from your entry (i.e. cover of magazine, press release, web site home page, press kit, etc.) and limit the file size if possible. Ten points will be deducted if not submitted.
  • Font size must be no smaller than 10 point font.
  • Margins must be a minimum of .5 inches all around.

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August 5: Navigating the Perilous Waters of a Whistleblower

Orange County PRSA Senior Roundtable Presents:

Navigating the Perilous Waters of a Whistleblower: An Insider’s Look at the Veterans Health Administration Scandal

It may sound noble, but as Paula Pedene, APR will share from her experience at the Phoenix VA hospital, standing behind ethics and honesty can be fraught with peril. Join us at this OC PRSA Senior Roundtable presentation, held in partnership with PRSA-IE Counselor’s Forum, to hear first-hand what happens when it is necessary to uphold the Code of Ethics and be a whistleblower.  All members of the PR profession welcome.

Paula was at the center of an ongoing VA scandal in which she and a few of her colleagues uncovered senior officials falsifying data behind hundreds of veterans dying while waiting for care. Paula will discuss a PR professionals’ responsibility regarding “whistleblowing” and the ethical and legal repercussions.

Prior to Paula’s presentation, attendees will enjoy wine and appetizers and a tour of Chapman University’s Digital Media Arts Center, a new state-of-the-art facility where film students study animation arts, game design and special effects creation.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015
6 p.m. cocktails and networking; 7 p.m. program

Digital Media Arts Center, Chapman University
220 N. Cypress St., Orange (free parking in the adjacent structure)

$35 member; $45 non-member

Fee includes appetizers; hosted beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages


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Thinking about going for your APR?

Join us for a free informational dinner to learn more about the APR program and get started on Thursday, August 6, 2015. The dinner will take place at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Riverside.

What is APR Accreditation?
The APR (accredited in public relations ) program is the only professional certification program open to public relations professionals. It's also one of the oldest and most respected designations in the communications industry.

Where your public relations career takes you is based on individual drive, determination and diligence. One next step all seasoned practitioners should consider is earning the APR designation. Earning the APR certification proves you have successfully demonstrated competency in the knowledge, skills and abilities required to practice public relations effectively in today's business arena.

Visit our Accreditation page for more information and a link to the national application.

To RSVP for the dinner or if you have questions about the APR, please contact Gwen Kleist at


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5 Minutes w/Dr. Pearson, APR

With more than 20 years of PR and journalism under her belt, Dr. Pearson, APR brings a lot to the table at California Baptist University (CBU), where she serves as associate professor of public relations and is the department chair for CBU’s school of Art. 

What drew you to public relations?
I am passionate about mentoring, coaching, teaching and communicating effectively. Passion drives my work and the three areas I am most passionate about are journalism, public relations and education. I have worked in the field of Public Relations and I teach public relations but I have been told that I am a natural PR person and I agree with that statement.

What are your favorite digital tools for work?
I like images and video so Instagram, Vine and Pinterest are favorites but I also enjoy Twitter to keep current with news and trends.
What industry blogs do you follow?
I follow everything PRSA and I really like Deirdre Breakenridge (, Oliver Blanchard and I am a member of the International Mentoring Association and follow blogs related to mentoring.

How do you measure PR success?
Reputation and brand management are very important and a big part of success is keeping negative material out of the media.  I also measure PR by writing quantifiable
objectives that can be measured and evaluated.
What’s your proudest PR accomplishment? 
I mentor students and I am proud of their accomplishments. I am also proud of two
student-produced magazines I spearheaded at CBU - Evoke and Pursuit. I am also proud of my doctoral dissertation that included research on motivating Millennial students. I am very proud of the work PRSAIE does and I am proud to be a part of it.


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