Corporate social responsibility is an essential building block of organizations' annual business plans. It enhances reputation and builds positive bridges to communities, customers and the public at large—and in so doing affects the bottom line. The sweeping nature of social networking has only magnified the influence corporate social responsibility programs can have on brand reputation. PR News’ CSR Awards is the industry's best showcase for the most powerful, impactful social responsibility and green campaigns. The finalists in this awards program set new standards of excellence and lead the way for other organizations to follow.
Winners will be awarded in the following categories:
Agency CSR A-List - PR News introduces the CSR A-List and invites you to submit your PR firm for consideration on this esteemed list. To be considered for inclusion in the CSR Agency A-List, your firm must have a proven track record in developing and managing corporate responsibility programs and social good initiatives for clients. We are looking for PR firms that understand the importance of communicating corporate social responsibility to a client's various and varying stakeholders and have developed innovative and successful CSR communications initiatives.
Annual Report - This category recognizes outstanding annual reports for shareholders and other key constituents. (A synopsis is not needed for this category.)
Blog - Recognizing an outstanding, influential business-related weblog or online journal written by a representative of the organization with the goal of espousing the brand or a certain message and written with flair and personality.
Cause Branding Campaign - This category recognizes a particular campaign in which the corporation's brand is aligned with a cause, resulting in a nonprofit-corporate partnership that benefits the cause and raises awareness among consumers and other stakeholders. Entrants must show tangible results of campaign and year-over-year strategies to improve the cause branding campaign if this is an ongoing program.
Community Affairs - This category encompasses a wide variety of corporate citizenship efforts, from prominent support for local causes to outstanding partnerships with national and international cause-related organizations. Include a synopsis of the initiative with the entry form along with information on any pertinent partnerships.
Corporate-Community Partnership - This category comprises those campaigns whose primary focus is forming/promoting a partnership for a social or community cause, but which may also include promotion of your product and/or services and/or company and the advancement of your reputation as a corporate citizen.
Corporation with between 1,000 and 10,000 employees - Overall Leader in CSR Practices
Corporation with between 10,000 and 25,000 employees - Overall Leader in CSR Practices
Corporation with less than 1,000 employees - Overall Leader in CSR Practices
Corporation with more than 25,000 employees - Overall Leader in CSR Practices
CSR on a Shoestring - Recognizes success of CSR efforts while working with limited funds/budget, whether it's for a single campaign or for ongoing programs. "Shoestring" is subjective, so the emphasis should be on how more was done with less.
CSR Professional of the Year - Nominate the CSR leaders in your organization, whether they are in the PR or Marketing departments or in the C-Suite.
Diversity Communications - The winning communications initiative in this category will reflect an organization's commitment to racial, ethnic, religious and gender diversity.
Employee Relations - This category recognizes internal communications efforts and honors those organizations that are communicating CR commitments to employees and engaging them in helping to create positive change on important social and environmental issues.
Event: CSR / Green Focus - A live event that succeeds at both promoting a particular CSR/green campaign and enhancing the reputation of the sponsor organization. The event should be creative in its conception and execution, and should weave the particular cause into its structure.
Facebook Communications Campaign - the use of Facebook for a CSR initiative by either a PR firm on behalf of a client or clients or by an in-house organization's communications team; significant increase in "Likes" should be demonstrated, along with examples of useful comments and content that created engagement, should be included in the entry.
Green PR Campaign - This category recognizes a communications strategy with your organization's "Go Green" efforts as its focus. Along with your entry form, provide an explanation of your company's green practices as well as a synopsis of the campaign or ongoing communications initiatives.
Hall of Fame - Enter your organization for its history of CSR communication success, which spans over a lifetime.
Human Rights Communications - The winner in this category will have effectively communicated to its various stakeholders worldwide the social actions it has taken—whether proactively or reactively—to improve human rights and/or advance social justice in the geographic areas where it conducts business.
Media Relations - The winner in this category will have demonstrated outstanding media relations strategies resulting in positive coverage for a CSR program/campaign. Entrants must show measurable results from its media efforts and include samples of coverage that demonstrates consistent messaging and PR's role in educating the media about the CSR program.
Nonprofit/Corporate Partnership - This category comprises corporations whose primary focus is forming/promoting/leveraging a partnership with a nonprofit, but which may also include promotion of your product and/or services and/or company and the advancement of your reputation as a corporate citizen.
Philanthropy Communications - Recognizing an organization with a successful charitable giving program(s) in which the communications of these efforts has improved the image and standing of the organization in the markets it serves.
Pro Bono Campaign - Recognizing an organization with a successful charitable giving program(s) in which the CSR communications of these efforts has improved the image and standing of the organization in the markets it serves.
Product Design / Redesign - Entries in this category should focus on the PR efforts surrounding a new product design or redesign of an existing product or service, whether in the consumer or business-to-business arena.
Recycling Program - Entries in this category should focus on the PR efforts surrounding a recycling program. The program can be new or an on-going recycling effort and can be in the consumer or business-to-business arena.
Social Good - An agency or corporation that has integrated into its overall business model the desire to improve the common welfare of people (for instance, environment, health and educational issues) beyond immediate stakeholders. Entrants should demonstrate how the organization's internal and external corporate responsibility efforts are designed to positively affect the bottom line and the larger economic sphere.
Social Media Campaign - These are campaigns that connect people and allow them to be integrated into a product or company. Social media campaigns can include any existing social media application or site (Facebook, Twitter, Vine, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Spapchat, Google+, Tumblr, etc.).
Stakeholder Engagement - The winner in this category will have demonstrated outstanding success in engaging its various stakeholders in the CSR program or campaign. The CSR program will have demonstrated that it heeded the needs of its stakeholders, be it employees, local citizens, investors, etc.
Supplier/Vendor Partner of the Year - This award recognizes outstanding communications of a vendor offering CSR-related products and services.
Sustainability/CSR Report - This category recognizes outstanding CSR-and-sustainability reports for shareholders and other key constituents. (A synopsis is not needed for this category.)
Twitter Communications - the use of Twitter for a CSR initiative by either a PR firm on behalf of a client or clients or by an in-house organization's communications team; significant increase in "Likes" should be demonstrated, along with examples of useful comments and content that created engagement, should be included in the entry.
Video Initiatives - Creative use of video to advance a CSR/green campaign. Can be a stand-alone video campaign, or part of a larger effort, and should demonstrate high audience engagement.
Volunteer Program - Either a new or ongoing volunteer program from an organization; entries should be clear in stated aim of program and in number of volunteers involved, as well as results of volunteer efforts.
Workplace Innovation - Recognizing a campaign or ongoing efforts within the organization which furthers achievement of the organization's CSR goals.
You can enter either online or by mail with this downloadable entry form.
At the beginning of your 2-page synopsis, the following information must be listed:
- Category entered
- Title of entry (as it would appear on your award)
- Key contact for entry
- Organization submitting entry
- Team members that contributed to the campaign
- Budget (where applicable) (All budget information is strictly confidential and will not be published w/o expressed permission.)
Within your 2-page synopsis, please describe your campaign or PR initiative including the following:
- Evaluation of Success/Results/ROI
**For entries that are mailed in, please provide three (3) copies of each material including the synopsis.
When submitting an entry in this category, please outline (in 2 pages maximum) your CSR efforts, including but not limited to CSR best practices and CSR communications. Include specific initiatives that took place in the past 12 months that may still be ongoing.
For the Agency A-List category, entrants will submit a justification synopsis (up to 500 words) for why this agency deserves to be named on the A-List. Entrants should also submit up to three client testimonials (up to 300 words), a summary of successfully executed CSR programs going back at least two years clearly detailing campaign objectives and measures of success (up to 500 words) and unique CSR best practices the agency applies to all its corporate responsibility initiatives (up to 300 words).
Annual Report/Sustainability Report Categories
For the Annual Report and Sustainability Report categories, you'll simply need to provide a PDF of the report itself, along with any additional documents or supporting materials that you would like to include. There is no synopsis required.
When submitting an entry in this category, please outline (in 2 pages maximum) the CSR efforts of your organization, including but not limited to CSR best practices and CSR communications. Include specific initiatives that took place in the past 12 months that may still be ongoing.
Supporting materials should show evidence of the success of your work. It can be any of the following: direct web addresses/URLs, sales figures, brand media coverage, clippings, photos, research documents and testimonials.
Mailed Entries: For entries that are mailed in, please provide three (3) copies of each material including the synopsis.
Questions: Contact Rachel Scharmann at email@example.com; 301-354-1713.
- How are the entries judged? Entries are judged by a blue chip panel of corporate, agency and academic executives as well as by the staff of PR News. We evaluate your entry based on creativity, innovation, sound planning, implementation and outcomes. The most important criterion is proven success in aligning your strategic objectives with your end goals.
- When will I be notified about the status of my entry? You will be contacted by PR News staff regarding your entry only if you are named a finalist in the award program. Finalists will be notified in late January 2016 and announced in PR News and www.prnewsonline.com.
- Can I enter my campaign in more than one category? Yes. Please include separate written entries for each category. Also, there is no limit to number of campaigns you can enter.
- How do I increase my chances of winning an award? Emphasize the goals of your campaign as well as your campaign's achievements in your introduction. Provide as many concrete and specific examples of success as possible, and explain clearly and succinctly your research, planning, implementation and measurement of the campaign or ongoing initiative.
- Must we include our campaign budget? It's not a requirement, but it helps the judges to better compare your campaign against other entries. Include at least a reasonable budget range. The judges always take into account the campaign budget relative to the goals and outcome. All information is confidential and will not be published.
- What is your Federal tax ID number? 52–2270063
- W-9 Form
For questions regarding PR News' CSR Awards, please contact Rachel Scharmann at 301-354-1713 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For sponsorship of the PR News CSR Awards, please contact Diane Schwartz at 212-621-4964 or email@example.com.