PR People Awards

Categories | Deadlines & Entry Fees | Past Winners | Questions

The 2017 program will open for entry August 22, 2017. PR News' PR People Awards competition is your opportunity to showcase the top talent, the innovators and passionate professionals who day in and day out are making communications matter in the marketplace. The winners of this annual program set the benchmark for PR and underscore the outstanding PR achievements made in the past year. Nominate your colleagues, or self-nominate; either way, we want to meet the best in PR and introduce them to the thousands of readers of PR News and their key stakeholders. Multiple entries from an agency, corporation or association are accepted.

The winners of the PR People Awards will be profiled in the PR News Special Issue, online and at an awards luncheon on December 5 in Washington, D.C.

Awards Timeline

Entry Deadline:
September 8, 2017

Final Deadline:
September 15, 2017

Luncheon Event:
Dec 5, 2017 in D.C.


  • Account Director or Supervisor of the Year: Superior rapport with clients; developed unique programs whose success should be supported with data. Testimonials from clients will factor into the judging.
  • Agency Account Manager of the Year: Strong planning skills and vision for PR strategy for a single account or multiple accounts. Demonstrated leadership with clients and team members.
  • Brand Marketer of the Year: Innovation in marketing of a brand across multiple channels. Demonstrated strong advocacy for a brand. Audience engagement with the brand should be able to be tracked with metrics.
  • Community Relations Professional of the Year: Either launched a new and successful community outreach program or took an existing program to new heights. Showed leadership in inspiring internal stakeholder engagement with an organization's community.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Leader of the Year: Either launched a new and successful sustainability program or took an existing program to new heights. Goals of sustainability program(s) should be stated clearly, and metrics showing success should be evident.
  • Crisis Manager of the Year: Led overall communications efforts during an organizational crisis; proven ability to protect an organization's reputation and stay on message during a crisis.
  • Digital Communications Leader of the Year: Led communications team to innovate across multiple digital platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, etc.. Results should be measured in number of Twitter followers for a brand or organization, Facebook likes, increase in Web traffic, etc.
  • Event Marketer of the Year: Demonstrated innovation in marketing live or virtual events using some of the following mediums and methods such as: e-letters, social media, direct mail, Web content, media outreach. Increase in attendance/exhibitors should be demonstrated, as well as revenue increases. In the case of a new event, targets should have been met or exceeded.
  • Financial Communication Professional of the Year: Led outreach to investors and analysts during a challenging or notable period for an organization, and succeeded in having the core message resonate with stakeholders and the media. May also have advised on or led communications during a strategic shift for an organization.
  • Government Communicator of the Year: Led successful communications efforts for a local, state or federal agency or department. Communications challenges for the agency or department should be stated clearly, as well as evidence of success.
  • Hall of Fame: Pioneers in public relations who have left a lasting mark and have been outspoken leaders in one or more areas, including but not limited to crisis communications, nonprofit communications, PR measurement, diversity initiatives, corporate social responsibility, charitable efforts and digital communications.
  • Internal Communicator of the Year: Successfully led an organization's internal communications efforts during a major organizational change such as a merger, acquisition, CEO change, product launch or rebranding, or has established a successful intranet or social media policy.
  • MARCOM Professional of the Year: Success at using various media and communications methods such as TV, print, Web, social media, direct mail, word of mouth and e-letters to create awareness for a product or service in the marketplace. Marketing communications plan for product or service should be described in detail, and plan's success should be supported with data.
  • Marketer of the Year: Initiated and drove successful, innovative marketing strategies that resulted in measurable growth for an organization. This growth may be financial for a for-profit organization or may be measured in terms of membership and fundraising for a nonprofit organization.
  • Measurement Expert of the Year: A specialist who has established a measurement practice at an agency or corporation that refines PR efforts and ties them to bottom-line goals, or a leader who has advanced and demystified the practice of PR measurement through advocacy, blogging and public speaking.
  • Media Relations Professional of the Year: Surpassed target goals of media impressions and awareness of a brand, product, service or organization. Demonstrated strong relationships with journalists and bloggers through all channels, including social networks, or succeeded at respositioning a brand through media outreach. 
  • PR Blogger of the Year: Authoritative voice among PR bloggers who has expanded his or her Web traffic and Social Media followers over the past year. Criteria include originality of material, quality of writing, frequency of blog posts, generosity with hard-earned insight and breadth of reach.
  • PR Professional of the Year: Corporate: Demonstrated success at repositioning an organization or brand; led programs that resulted in significant revenue increases; produced unique PR campaigns that led to increased budgets for PR activity within a company; successfully built external programs and partnerships.
  • PR Professional of the Year: Nonprofit/Association: Oversaw communications efforts that led to increased donations or membership, or secured major media coverage that led to increase in awareness of goals of nonprofit organization or association.
  • PR Professional of the Year: Agency: Helped lead PR agency to growth in client base and/or revenue; expanded scope of agency's offerings; spearheaded winning campaign(s) on behalf of a client.
  • PR Team Leader of the Year: Led a PR team that demonstrated consistent success over the past year; established herself/himself as a mentor and expanded skill sets of teammates.
  • PR Trainer/Educator of the Year: Specialist in an area of PR who has established himself/herself as a highly sought-after trainer or teacher. Comments/reviews by peers or students about the value of the training program is a plus.
  • Publicist of the Year: Excelled as a brand advocate and at leading media tours, crafting sound bites, writing press releases, pitching the media and securing positive media coverage.
  • Public Affairs Professional of the Year: A leader in political and public affairs who has successfully spearheaded advocacy initiatives and influenced policy and public opinion.
  • Social Media Professional of the Year: Established himself/herself as either a prominent voice of PR on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr or LinkedIn; or, on behalf of an agency or a client, has advanced the use of social media as a public relations platform.
  • Spokesperson of the Year: Succeeded at cutting through the media clutter and presented an organization in a positive light; developed a successful messaging strategy that connected with the media and public.
  • Tweeter of the Year: Tweeted large volume of tactical, useful content, with many followers. Can be a PR expert who regularly tweets tips, points of view and insight, or someone who tweets on behalf of a brand. The tweeter is someone that most PR professionals feel compelled to follow.
  • Volunteer of the Year: Produced excellent communications work on behalf of a nonprofit organization. Went above and beyond typical career demands to donate time and apply skills to benefit others.
  • PR Student of the Year: Outstanding student who has demonstrated leadership, talent and passion for the public relations and communications area of concentration.
  • Intern of the Year: Established herself or himself quickly as a self-starting member and idea generator for a communications team and exhibited strong writing skills, professional demeanor, smart use of digital tactics. Testimonials from supervisors are necessary for consideration.

Deadlines & Entry Fees

Entry Deadline: September 8, 2017
Late Deadline: September 15, 2017

All entries must be submitted by September 15, 2017.For entries submitted between September 9 and September 15, 2017, please add a $275 late fee per entry. Finalists will be notified in November and honored during a luncheon on December 5 in D.C.Entry Fees:
The price of each primary entry is $425 for all general categories. Each entry for the Student/Intern of the Year categories is $250. There is a late entry surcharge of $275 per entry that is applied after the entry deadline of September 8. Payment in full must accompany the entry.

All entries are non-returnable and non-refundable.


Entries are judged by a blue-chip panel of PR executives, as well as by the staff of PR News. We evaluate your entry based on the criteria listed in the “Compiling Your Entry” section.
Any communications professional worldwide – corporate, agency, non-profit, academic institutions.
The winners will receive their award during a luncheon on December 6 in Washington D.C.

Who's Eligible

The PR News Finnie Awards are open to all agency, corporation, nonprofit/association, and government organizations. To be eligible, the campaigns or PR initiatives you are highlighting must have taken place (either in part or in full) between January 1, 2016, and August 4, 2017. Some of the work must have occurred during this time, but it's not necessary for it to be completed during the eligibility period.

National and international entries are accepted.

Past Winners


Submission Questions

For questions about the Finnie Awards, contact:

Mary-Lou French

Sponsorship Questions

For information on sponsoring the PR People Awards, contact :

Amy Jefferies