Awards Timeline

Entry Deadline: 
July 11, 2014

Extended Deadline:
July 25, 2014

Awards Luncheon:
October 10, 2014

Entry Form

Enter Online

*The page for the 2015 awards program will be made available on January 1, 2015.

PR News' Digital PR Awards is the industry's top honor in the PR and communications digital space, recognizing outstanding digital initiatives among corporations, agencies and nonprofits. The coveted awards set the industry benchmark for excellence across all areas of digital PR. The winners of the Digital PR Awards are those organizations that took risks, made tremendous strides and understand the power of digital communications in public relations. Your hard work is done – now it’s time for you and your team to get recognized for it! The awards will also salute the PR, marketing and communications executives behind the scenes who make these digital initiatives shine. 

Are you ready to enter? It's easy to compete, as your campaigns and people speak for themselves. But you have to enter to be considered, so don't let your competitors steal the show. All winners and honorable mentions will be honored at the October 10 awards luncheon in New York City.

Questions: Please contact Marketing Coordinator Kristina McHale at 301-354-1609; kmchale@accessintel.com.

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Categories 

Winners will be awarded in the following categories:

  • Blog (Organization): Recognizing an outstanding, influential blog from an organization with the goal of connecting a brand with its target audience and stimulating engagement.
  • Blogger: An individual who has become nearly as well-known for his or her work as a blogger as for public relations work in itself. Should be a thought leader whose blog posts carry beyond the sphere of PR peers.
  • Cause Marketing/CSR: Use of digital communications, including social media, in advancing a cause or corporate responsibility program.
  • Contest/Game: A contest or game used to promote a brand by a PR team that successfully plays across multiple digital platforms. Contest or game itself should be original and terms of play should be clearly expressed; include metrics showing engagemen.
  • Crisis Management: Successful use of multiple digital channels, including social media, to either prevent or mitigate a crisis affecting a corporation or nonprofit organization. Effectiveness of crisis management should be proven with as much data as possible.
  • Digital Communicator: A communications professional who has successfully conceived and executed digital PR campaigns on behalf of his or her organization or clients over the past year and, in doing so, has revolutionized that organization’s approach to communications in the mobile & social era.
  • Digital PR Campaign: A PR campaign that successfully engaged intended audiences and influencers using multiple channels such as social networks, blogs, email, Web sites, mobile apps. Campaigns may be entered in one of the four budget categories below:
  • Digital Marketing Campaign: A creative, successful marketing campaign promoting a product or brand that is primarily rooted in digital platforms or has a strong digital component. Objectives of the campaign should be clearly stated and measures of success must be included.
    • 100k and under
    • 100k - 200k
    • 200k - 500k
    • 500k +
  • Digital PR Team of the Year/Corporate: A PR team that over the past year has exhibited consistent innovation and success on digital channels on behalf of a corporation. Individual team members should be named and their roles should be described.
  • Digital PR Team of the Year/Nonprofit: A PR team that over the past year has exhibited consistent innovation and success on digital channels on behalf of a nonprofit organization. Individual team members should be named and their roles should be described.
  • Email Newsletter/s: Consistent packaging of high-quality content delivered via email on behalf of a client or clients, or on behalf of one's own organization. A PR team should be the primary driver of the e-newsletter. As much supporting data (open rates, for instance) as possible should be included.
  • Employee Communications Online: Demonstrated success at conveying to staff via digital channels either news of a management change or merger, corporate goals and strategy, a CSR initiative, a new benefits package, etc., as well as demonstrated ability to accept employee feedback. Data showing employee engagement should be included.
  • Facebook Communications: Use of Facebook 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. Examples of useful comments and content should be included. Also encompasses use of Facebook related to a specific product, CSR initiative or for crisis management.

  • Influencer Communications: Success at both finding online influencers (tactics used should be described in detail) and communicating with them and transforming them into advocates for a brand or organization.
  • Intranet: Intranet from an organization that has either launched or relaunched in the past year and that has successfully woven in new technology such as content-sharing tools. Data showing visits and time spent should be included.
  • Listening Campaign: Employment of digital channels to survey audiences or otherwise monitor them (via social networks, for example) to gauge their sentiments about a brand or organization, and demonstrated ability to put that information gleaned to use in communications initiatives.
  • Location-Based Digital Campaign: Successful initiative using a geo-location platform or feature. Objectives of initiative should be clearly stated, as should metrics that demonstrate success.
  • Media Relations Campaign: Use of digital channels—in particular, social networks—in communicating with traditional media and bloggers for a particular PR campaign. Two-way engagement with the media should be demonstrated; media placement and comments should be tied directly to digital outreach.
  • Microsite/Custom Site: Microsite launched or relaunched in the past year with a clearly expressed goal (for instance, microsite launched to promote a corporation's branding or CSR initiative, or microsite launched by an organization to promote a new service), backed up by metrics showing high engagement.
  • Mobile Campaign: A communications initiative either solely designed for mobile devices or one that encompasses mobile. This can include, for instance, use of texting for a PR initiative.
  • Mobile App: An easy-to-use, well-designed mobile app created to support a communications initiative, to promote services of a PR agency or created on behalf of a client. Objective of app should be clearly stated; include number of downloads.
  • Most Engaged Brand: A brand that over the past year has succeeded in measurably increasing its engagement online with target audiences.
  • New Digital Service/Product: Either a PR agency that has successfully rolled out a digital service available to clients or has created a specific new digital product on behalf of a client, or a corporation or nonprofit organization that has launched a digital service that engages audiences or sells a product in a new way.
  • New Site: A site launched in the past year by either an agency on behalf of a client or by an organization's in-house PR team that is marked by high-quality design and content that clearly conveys the organization's brand and encourages engagement. Traffic metrics should be included.
  • Online Community: A community that has launched in the past year and has surpassed targets for engagement and members, or an existing one that has grown demonstrably over the past year. Can be either a branded community or one that is based on social networks.
  • Online Newsroom: An organization's newsroom that has either launched or relaunched within the past year and goes far beyond the listing of press releases and contact information; metrics showing engagement should be included.
  • Podcast or Videocast: A series of high-quality podcasts/videocasts that provides useful or entertaining content and either promotes a brand or individuals representing a brand. Metrics showing viewings/listenings should be included.
  • PR Firm of the Year: Digital: A PR agency that has become synonymous over the past year with the innovative use of social media, Web sites, email, blogs, etc., on behalf of clients. Client testimonials are encouraged.
  • Public Affairs Campaign: Successful digital PR campaign that measurably influences opinion about an issue that affects a wide swath of the public on a national or local level.
  • Redesign/Relaunch of Site: A site redesign that is clearly distinguishable from a prior version; the objectives of the redesign should be clear, as should metrics showing an increase in traffic or engagement. Communications initiative promote the redesign and relaunch should be included.
  • SEO: Clearly demonstrated success at using optimization tactics to improve searchability for a client's site or organization's site and content.
  • Social Networking Campaign: Innovative PR campaign either solely restricted to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., or one in which social networks play a large role. Goals of social networking campaign and indications of success (increase in likes, increase in Twitter followers, sentiment of comments, increase in sales, participating in contest, for instance) should be included.
  • Twitter Communications: Use of Twitter by either a PR firm on behalf of a client or clients or by an in-house organization's communications team; significant increase in followers should be demonstrated. Examples of useful comments and content should be included. Also encompasses use of Twitter related to a specific product, CSR initiative or for crisis management.
  • Use of Facebook: Innovative use of Facebook 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 and engagement should be demonstrated.
  • Video: Production and digital distribution of video content that promotes a product, organization or individual or is used to respond to a quickly developing issue or crisis. Recognizes video content that both surpasses expectations of viewings and succeeds at enhancing a brand and building an audience.
  • Viral Campaign: A digital PR campaign that is designed to be sharable beyond a brand or organization's immediate audience; metrics of success must be included.
  • WOW Campaign: A digital campaign that either creatively overcomes the constraints of minimal resources or introduces an entirely new concept or new use of digital channels. It should make one's peers think: "Why didn't I think of that?"

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Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible, the campaign or PR initiative must have taken place (either in part or in full) between July 1, 2013 and July 11, 2014.  Some of the work must have occurred during this time, but it’s not necessary for it to be completed during the eligibility period.

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How to Enter

Compiling Your Entry

The following information must be listed on your synopsis:

  • Category entered
  • Title of entry (as it would appear on your award)
  • Team members (on campaign)
  • Key contact for entry
  • Organization submitting entry
  • Budget (All budget information is strictly confidential and will not be published w/o expressed permission.)

Within your two-page synopsis (max 800-1200 words), please describe your campaign or PR initiative using the following sub-headings:

  • Objectives
  • Strategy
  • Tactics
  • Execution
  • Evaluation of Success/Results/ROI

Provide the following for all Firm of the Year Entries: Overview of the firm, including practice areas, # employees and hiring/retaining strategy; List of major accounts and top campaigns executed in 2013; Notable achievements in the 2013 calendar year; Marketable distinction from other firms your size; Account wins & losses in 2013 through 2014; two client testimonials; Industry partnerships, pro bono work and other community relations initiatives.

Supporting materials should show evidence of the success of your work. It can be any of the following: sales figures, brand media coverage, clippings, photos, urls/web sites, research documents, and testimonials.

Provide the following for all Digital Communicator entries:

  • Why should this nominee be a finalist for Digital Communicator of the Year (50 words or fewer)
  • Details of nominee’s role within his or her organization.
  • List specific digital campaigns or efforts spearheaded by this person in 2013 through July 2014 and related outcomes.
  • Include any evidence of peer and media recognition or awareness as a leader in digital communications (articles written by the nominee or articles in which the nominee is quoted, speaking engagements, internal and external awards).
  • Examples of innovative thinking in using digital platforms and tools in PR campaigns.
  • List links to nominee’s own social media accounts (that are used for professional purposes) and social media accounts that the nominee leads on behalf of an organization or for clients.
  • Two client or peer testimonials.

Deadlines/Entry Fees 

Entry Deadline: July 11, 2014
Final Deadline: July 18, 2014

All entries must be final and paid for by Friday, July 18, 2014.
For entries finalized between July 12 and July 18, 2014 please add a $225 late fee per entry. Finalists will be notified in fall of 2014.

Entry Fees
The price of each primary entry is $350. If you submit the same entry in multiple categories, the additional fee is $225 per category. A late entry surcharge of $225 per entry will be added for entries submitted between July 12 and July 18, 2014. Payment in full must accompany the entry.

All entries are non-returnable and non-refundable.

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Frequently Asked Questions 

  • 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 the fall and announced in PR News and on 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

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Contact & Sponsorship Information

For questions regarding PR News' Digital PR Awards, contact Marketing Coordinator Kristina Mchale at kmchale@accessintel.com; 301-354-1609. For sponsorship information, contact SVP & Group Publisher Diane Schwartz at dschwartz@accessintel.com; 212-621-4964.

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Previous Winners

2013 winners
2012 winners

2011 winners