Polaris Awards

PRSA-IE's Polaris Awards celebrate the professionalism and success of our members. The Polaris Awards recognize exemplary public relations efforts that successfully incorporate sound research, planning, implementation, and evaluation. These awards represent the highest standards of performance in the public relations and communications profession within the Inland Empire. We can all agree that the events of 2020 have been unprecedented, and 2021 may indeed have similar challenges. But as PR professionals, we adapt and we pivot. Show us how you’ve found solutions to the most daunting challenges this year - we encourage you to take this time to submit COVID-19 work that fits into the categories below! Work outside of COVID-19 is also welcome, of course!

important 2021 dates- Polaris Deadline Extended 

Judgify Opens
Regular Entry Deadline
Final Entry Deadline

Extended Deadline
Polaris Celebration Date


The Polaris Awards are open to all members of the Inland Empire Chapter of PRSA and non-members serving the Inland Empire.  The Inland Empire is defined as the area encompassing Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

Submissions must have been implemented between July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.

All submissions must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Company/client resides in the Inland Empire, except in the case of a student project.

  • Program/project was implemented within the Inland Empire; except in the case of a student project, which may be a proposal rather than an executed project.

  • Individuals may submit work completed for a company/organization that is a former client or employer but must obtain permission from the company/organization before submission.

  • There is no limit to the number of entries you may submit for any given category.

2021 Polaris Award Entry Fees TBD

Regular Member                                               $

MEMBER SPECIAL                                        Submit 3 *                           

Regular Non-member                                      $

Regular Student                                                 $

Final Member                                                     $

MEMBER SPECIAL                                        Submit 3 *

Final Non-member                                            $

Final Student                                                       $

Polaris Deadline Extended 

Pricing (No Group discounts)

$ for Students

$ for Members

$ for Non-Members

*Participants submitting three entries for the Member Special will be asked to pay full price in the Judgify system. Upon receipt of your paid submission, send us an email to arrange a rebate check for the discounted amount.

Entry Guidelines

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

two- page Summary

A professional entry includes a two-page typed description. The two-page description must use 8½“ x 11” pages, 11-point font or larger typeface, no less than 0.5" margins, and be packaged as a PDF of no more than 50MB.  All entry descriptions should include an introduction and demonstrate the four stages of public relations – Research, Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation.

Supporting Materials 

Supporting materials, such as program plans, financial documents, photos, letters, scripts, media clips or other materials should be included. Use title pages to separate supporting materials. Include images or actual program or project elements. Supporting materials can be in the form of PDF, images, video or audio.  For supporting materials over 50MB, please provide a URL link to your materials or include screenshots and links within a PDF.

Package your entry

Package the entry into a PDF of no more than 50MB. Save the entry using the following naming convention: CompanyName_EntryName_Category_Subcategory (i.e. PRSAIE_Membership Campaign_Campaign_Marketing).

Mini Executive Summary & Asset Submission

For each submission, please submit a 60-word MAX description and one image that is representative of the work. Get creative! If you are selected as a winner, this description and image will be used in a special presentation, include as a standalone page in the pdf upload.

Submit your entry 

Entries must be submitted through the online Judgify system.

All entries become the property of the PRSA Inland Empire Chapter.

Judging Criteria

Entries are judged by a PRSA sister chapter. Entries can earn up to 100 points.

Overall Presentation (Up to 10 pts)

Professional entries will demonstrate adherence to Entry Criteria and will be produced professionally.

Introduction (Up to 10 pts)

Provide a brief description of your organization, description of the program or project, why the program or project fits into the entry category, when the program or project was undertaken, entrant’s role in the program or project, the purpose of the program or project and how it benefited or is benefiting the organization.

Research (Up to 20 pts)

Summarize the primary and/or secondary research used to identify problems or opportunities addressed by the entry. Include the planning and execution of the research conducted.

Planning (Up to 20 pts)

Outline the implementation plan. Specify the entry’s budget, timeline, goal(s), strategy(ies), target audience, SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely) objectives, creativity, etc.

Implementation (Up to 20 pts)

Describe the various elements of the program or project, techniques used, tactics undertaken, implementation of the plan and difficulties encountered. Participating or cooperating agencies should be identified along with their roles. If advertising materials were used, the entrant must identify and demonstrate that costs amounted to less than one-third of the total program cost.

Evaluation/Results (Up to 20 pts)

Demonstrate how the program met or exceeded its SMART objectives through quantifiable measurement methods.

Entry Categories

PRSA-IE offers three major categories for submissions - Campaigns, Tactics, and Student Projects.  Each major category contains subcategories, for a total of 27 entry categories. We encourage you to review all categories and subcategories to choose the most appropriate category(ies) for your entry(ies).

Campaigns (View Category Descriptions)

Campaigns are defined as large-scale, multi-faceted programs and projects that incorporate multiple tactics. All entries should demonstrate the four stages of public relations – Research, Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation.

Tactics (View Category Descriptions)

Tactics are defined as focused efforts. All entries should demonstrate the four stages of public relations – Research, Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation.

Student Project (View Category Descriptions)

Undergraduate or graduate students, individually or in teams, may submit a project done for a public relations course (i.e., press kit, campaign proposal, special event proposal, etc.) Submissions will be judged on how well the project uses the four-step process of public relations in its development.


PRSA-IE will have a Polaris celebration in November, with multiple sponsorship opportunities. Given the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, our board is currently in discussions about the details of our event this year. This year’s event may be virtual in nature, but just as fabulous and memorable as years past! Stay tuned for more information!

For awards information and sponsorship opportunities, contact [email protected].