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Entry Guidelines

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Polaris Entry Portal

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Previous Award Recipients

Polaris Dates

Entry Deadline
August 17, 2018 (Early Bird*)
August 28, 2018

Award Notifications
Week of October 1, 2018

Awards Dinner
Reservation Deadline
October 17, 2018 (Early Bird*)
October 26, 2018

Awards Dinner Event
November 8, 2018

*Early Bird Discount Applies

Polaris Awards 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

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

C1 - Community Relations

Campaigns or programs aimed at winning the cooperation of and improving relations with publics or organizations in communities where the sponsoring organization has an interest, need or opportunity.

C2 - Crisis Communication

Development and implementation of a communications strategy in response to a crisis.

C3 - Innovative Communication

Campaigns or programs that push the envelope of creativity, innovation and/or technology to reach an intended audience.

C4 - Internal Relations

Campaigns or programs to improve internal relations through enhanced communications or programs affecting relations with employees or staff.

C5 - Marketing

Campaigns or programs designed to introduce, publicize or promote products, services or ideas. Campaigns that successfully create buzz and brand recognition.

C6 - Multicultural Communications

Campaigns or programs, of any kind, strategically targeted to a cultural group.

C7 - Public & Governmental Affairs

Programs that communicate an organization’s position to affect legislation, government regulation, or political activities at the local, state, or federal level.

C8 - Public Relations

Ongoing program affecting a company/organization’s overall relations with its internal and external publics.

Tactics

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

T1 - Audiovisual

T1a.  Video – Short Form (2 minutes or less)

Video message which benefits targeted or inclusive publics. Public Service Announcements and other videos less than two minutes are applicable to this category.

T1b.  Video – Long Form (More than 2 minutes)

Informational videos which focus on educating, informing or persuading the audience for the benefit of the organization or company. May include video series.

T1c.  Photography

Photography should be part of an effort to educate, inform or persuade the audience for the benefit of the organization or company.

T2 - Branding

Using public relations in the launch of a new or rebranding initiative. The campaign must go beyond simple brand name recognition to show an appreciation and understanding of key message points among target audience.

T3 - Collateral

T3a.  Annual Report (Print or Electronic)

Publication that reports on annual performance.

T3b.  Brochure/Flyer

Flyers, pamphlets, tri-folds, or other small publications designed to inform a target audience.

T3c.  Magazine, Newsletter or Periodical (Print or Electronic)

Publications designed, written and published periodically to provide timely information to target audiences while supporting overall communications objectives. Submit at least three consecutive issues as part of the supporting materials.

T4 - Digital

T4a.  Mobile Apps

Using an application to communicate, influence and share information with a particular audience.

T4b.  Social Media

Using social and digital media platforms or channels to communicate, influence, share information, or build brand awareness with constituent groups.

T4c.  Website Internet

Designed for a particular agency, event or purpose to build awareness with the audience.

T4d.  Website Intranet

Designed for internal stakeholders of a particular agency to build awareness with those stakeholders.

T5 - Media Relations

T5a.  News Release

Submit release and clippings that demonstrate earned media attention.

T5b.  Op/Ed

Submit op/ed as well as resulting coverage that demonstrated earned media attention.

T5c.  Media/Press Kit or Online Newsroom

Submit supporting documents all materials provided to media, including news releases, video/photos and fact sheet that demonstrate earned media attention.

T5d.  Media Event

Activities designed specifically to attract earned media attention for the purposes of outreach, information sharing, public calls-to-action, etc.

T6 - Special Event

T6a.  One-Time

One-time event of limited duration designed to generate awareness with key audiences. Includes product launches, openings, celebrations, premieres, anniversaries, kick-offs or other special observances.

T6b.  Ongoing/Recurring

Resident town halls, special events (concerts, parades, holiday-themed or seasonal events, carnivals, etc.).

T7 - Writing

Inclusive of a feature story, speech, editorial, advertorial, op/ed, or technical piece. For published pieces, please provide a scan of the original piece as well as proof of publication.

Student Project

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.