Honoring the year's cut-above-the-rest communications initiatives.

Final Deadline: July 17 

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Communications professionals must constantly be learning while they're working overtime to make their messages heard, help their brand's bottom line and beat the competition. Their inspiring leaps in skill, creativity and versatility can find no better showcase than at PR News' annual Platinum PR Awards, which celebrate the best communications programs and teams of the year.

Platinum PR Award winners set industry benchmarks for excellence across all areas of communications. All U.S.-based and international agencies, corporations, nonprofits/associations, vendors and government organizations worldwide are eligible to enter. Categories for the 2018 Platinum PR Awards have been updated to reflect the evolution of brand communications and developments in social media. You can preview the submission questions create an entry portal account here

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Campaign Categories

  • 24-Hour Campaign

    A campaign that was conceived and executed within a 24-hour time frame, for instance, a campaign launched in reaction to a trending news story.

  • Activism Campaign

    A campaign that promoted, impeded, or directed social, political, economic, or environmental reform or stasis to make improvements in society.

  • Anniversary

    Includes anniversary programs, events or activities that take place for a day, week or over the course of a year (commemorations, observances, celebrations, etc.).

  • Annual Report

    We'll award the annual report that demonstrates the best and most efficient communication of a company's financial results and overall positioning. Design, crafting of messages from the CEO and effective presentation of company messages will be included in judging criteria. Please include a link to the annual report.

  • Blog

    Recognizing an outstanding, influential business-related blog or online journal written by a representative of the organization with the goal of espousing the brand or a certain brand message, and done so with flair and personality.

  • Brand Turnaround Campaign

    The winning campaign will have succeeded in measurably changing sentiment toward an organization facing reputational challenges (resulting from any of a number factors: internal/external crisis, competitive issues, attacks on social media, layoffs, etc.).

  • Branding

    Recognizing a highly effective campaign in which a corporate brand is enthusiastically received by its target audiences, where the essence of the product or purpose of the company is effectively conveyed via the brand campaign. This category also recognizes a company’s efforts to effectively reinvent a brand, applying the same principles of an outstanding PR campaign in which the brand becomes highly recognized and well received.

  • C-Suite Messaging

    Messaging directly from an organization’s CEO—either external or internal, via social media, publicly available email or press statement (although not including quotes within a journalist’s article)—that addresses either a challenge facing that organization or that organization’s industry, or a social issue. Success of the C-suite messaging should be backed up by data.

  • Cause-Related Marketing

    This category comprises campaigns whose primary focus is promoting a social cause, but which may also include promotion of your product and/or services and the advancement of your reputation as a corporate citizen.

  • Community Relations

    Community relations campaigns are those that target the communities in which your organization works. A broad range of campaigns fit into this category: anything from persuading a community to accept a new recycling system to promoting a holiday drive that benefits those members of the community who are in need.

  • Content Marketing

    Recognizing sponsored content that shines a positive light on your organization, a key issue and/or supports a multimedia campaign. Enter one piece of sponsored content or a series and show us how your storytelling resonated with your key stakeholders.

  • Crisis Management

    Communications surrounding any crisis, from product recalls to executive malfeasance to social media gaffes are eligible in this category.

  • Customer Service

    The customer always comes first, right? This category is for campaigns that went above and beyond to ensure the customer is 100% informed and satisfied.

  • Data Insights

    Demonstrate how you obtained insight through the use of data and analytics and how you put those insights to use to improve or grow your business, build awareness or spread a message. 

  • Digital Communications

    Entries in this category should focus on the overall digital communications efforts surrounding a product, service or event in the communications arena. Judges will look for PR strategies with a digital-first approach, leveraging online platforms and tools to elevate a message.

  • Diversity & Inclusion Campaign

    Innovative campaigns that have furthered the advancement of diversity and inclusion. Agencies that have developed diversity campaigns on behalf of clients as well as communications and HR teams at corporations, government associations, academic institutions and nonprofit organizations that have developed successful diversity campaigns in-house are eligible to enter.

  • Employee Relations

    This category recognizes outstanding communications to your most important stakeholders—your organization’s employees. Any PR campaign actively targeting the workforce is eligible.

  • Event Marketing

    Event marketing entries should include PR conducted at an industry event (a marketing communications effort conducted at an industry trade show, for example) or through an event or series of events conceived and implemented by your organization (for instance, a multi-city tour promoting a product or awareness of an issue).

  • External Publication (print or online)

    Any publication produced for stakeholders outside your organization is eligible for entry in this category. Please include the publication, a synopsis and pertinent information from our standard campaign entry form.

  • Facebook Communications

    Communications campaigns either developed specifically for Facebook, or campaigns that include a strong Facebook component will be considered. Entrants should demonstrate objectives, execution and results that are specific to Facebook.

  • Financial/Investor Relations

    This category recognizes campaigns conducted to support your organization's financial messages, whether targeted to investors or other audiences

  • Global PR Campaign

    Global PR campaigns are those that are international in scope and require special efforts to manage the target audiences' broad geographic and cultural diversity.

  • Healthcare Communications

    This category is tailored to communications initiatives in the healthcare domain. 

  • Influencer Communications

    Recognizes success at identifying influencers for a particular campaign or ongoing initiative, and mobilizing them to connect positively with a brand or organization.

  • Instagram Campaign

    Communications campaigns either developed specifically for Instagram, or campaigns that include a strong Instagram component will be considered. Entrants should demonstrate objectives, execution and results that are specific to Instagram.

  • Internal Publication (print or online)

    Entrants in this category should be publications targeted at your internal employee stakeholders. Hard copy and electronic publications are eligible; please include hard copies of the publication with your entry. Also include pertinent information from our standard campaign entry form.

  • LinkedIn Communications

    A communications campaign executed on LinkedIn to drive engagement or action.

  • Live Streaming

    Either one live stream using Facebook Live or Periscope or similar app, or an organization’s overall use of live streaming apps will be considered. Entrants should include clear organizational objectives for live streaming, specific measurement tactics and PR used to build an audience for live streaming.

  • Marketing Communications

    Campaigns in this category combine public relations and communications with traditional marketing tactics for either b2b or b2c promotions.

  • Measurement

    This category recognizes the most creative and effective use of metrics, whether front-end research to develop the best-targeted campaign, or back-end monitoring of outcomes resulting from your PR outputs. We look for creative applications of measurement and effective results stemming from the use of your research.

  • Media Event

    Media events are those events, from press conferences to media tours, which are built around in-person interaction between your company and the press. Entries should exhibit creativity in planning and implementing the event, drawing the media to it and engaging them at the event

  • Media Relations

    This category recognizes an overall campaign whose primary objective was to win fair or favorable media coverage of an organization. These campaigns may include individual components eligible in other categories (like media event ), but are representative of a complete campaign using a variety of tactics to reach the press.

  • Mobile Marketing Campaign

    The rapid evolution and increasing use of mobile devices such as smart phones, tablets and the internet of things is creating unprecedented opportunities for the communicators. Enter this category if you executed a unique and effective mobile marketing campaign.

  • Multicultural Campaign

    This category includes campaigns designed to recognize and serve the distinct needs of multicultural audiences. Campaigns targeted at or at an array of cultural segments of the population, including LGBT people, are eligible in this category.

  • On a Shoestring Campaign

    Recognizing outstanding examples of achieving success with limited funds/budget, whether it's for a single campaign or ongoing PR/public affairs. While shoestring is subjective, the winners in this category are those who have done more with less, and have been creative with the limited PR dollars they have.

  • Online Press Room/Media Center

    Recognizing effective online platform for media and other influencers to access information and intelligence about your organization or client; demonstrates ease of use for members of the media, influencers, bloggers; frequent updates; integration of social media channels; easily visible contact links for media to request interviews and more information

  • Podcast

    Entries in this category should focus on outstanding, impactful podcasts that promote a brand or executive and/or PR efforts surrounding a podcast and/or video cast, whether in the consumer or business-to-business arena. Specific measurement tactics should be demonstrated.

  • Press Release

    We're looking for the best-written press releases employing the effective storytelling techniques, leveraging multimedia where applicable and resulting in a return on investment. Will be judged on measurement results and ROI.

  • Pro Bono Campaign

    Recognizing an organization with a successful pro bono effort for a constituency or client in which the communications of these efforts has improved the image and standing of the organization in the market it serves

  • Product Launch

    Entries in this category should focus on the PR efforts surrounding the launch of a new product or service, in the consumer arena.

  • Product Launch - B2B

    Entries in this category should focus on the PR efforts surrounding the launch of a new product or service, in the business to business arena.

  • Promotion for Promotional Services Firm

    Detail the work done on a promotional campaign for a law firm, consultin firms, etc.

  • PSA

    Television, online, print and radio PSAs created by any organization are eligible in this category.

  • Public Affairs

    This category encompasses a wide range of campaigns influencing or educating the public about social, economic, governmental and other issues.

  • Re-Branding/Re-positioning

    This category recognizes a company’s efforts to effectively reinvent a brand, applying the same principles of an outstanding in which the brand becomes highly recognized and well received by its target audiences.

  • Satellite Media Tours

    Recognizing one or a series of live broadcasts aired by TV stations based on content, production value, messaging and ROI. Submit edited video along with the two-page synopsis.

  • Social Good

    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.

  • Social Media Campaign

    These are campaigns that connect people and allow them to be integrated into a product or company. Social media campaigns can leverage platforms ranging from Facebook to Twitter, from Snapchat to Instagram, from online forums and message boards to video and virtual reality.

  • Speech/Speeches

    Recognizing a presentation/speech by a PR professional or written by a PR professional for a client or an executive at his/her organization, given during any type of internal or external event/conference. Will be judged on quality of content and whether the speech met the stated objectives. Submit the text of speech and one-page synopsis.

  • Trade Show/Event PR

    Innovative use of multiple channels to raise awareness of trade show or event; tactics should be clearly linked to results (attendance, revenue, etc.).

  • Twitter Campaign

    Communications campaigns either developed specifically for Twitter, or campaigns that include a strong Twitter component will be considered. Entrants should demonstrate objectives, execution and results that are specific to Twitter.

  • University: Education Program

    Recognizing university programs showcasing outside communications curriculum and student outcomes. Graduate and undergraduate programs will be judged separately.

  • Video Program

    Best use of a video or moving image campaign to get your message across. We'll consider the customization and depth of an effort and ROI.

  • Visual Storytelling Campaign

    If a picture is worth a thousand words, show us how your visual storytelling took your communications to the next level. Whether it’s leveraging Instagram and Snapchat or utilizing photography and digital communications to tell your brand’s story, we are looking for the industry’s best visual storytellers.

  • Website Marketing

    Recognizing a campaign conducted primarily via a Web site, landing page or microsite, to promote a particular service, product, message or initiative.

  • Word of Mouth Marketing

    We'll honor viral marketing campaigns that touch a nerve and create major buzz among your customers. Leveraging best practices in word of mouth marketing, the winners will exemplify the hard work that goes into making something go viral.

  • WOW! Award

    Enter your most innovative, out of the box PR or marketing communications campaign. We’re looking for clearly original communications ideas. Run-of-the mill campaigns won’t make the cut.

  • YouTube

    Entrants should be able to demonstrate a high degree of engagement with either one YouTube video or with a YouTube channel. Show clear organizational goals for a specific YouTube video or a series of videos, as well as analytics showing those goals had been reached. Quality of videos is less important than meeting organizational goals with videos.

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Top Firms of the Year

  • Large PR Firm of the Year

    Saluting outstanding PR agency that has demonstrated client growth, retention and financial success in the past year. Judges will also look at the creativity of the programs and campaigns and the employee and agency/client culture. Open to U.S. and Canada-based firms with annual PR income of at least $60 million.

  • Medium PR Firm of the Year

    Recognizing a midsize firm with annual PR billings of $10 million between $60 million. Nominees will be judged on client growth and retention, innovation and agency/client culture. Open to any firm based in the U.S. or Canada.

  • Small PR Firm of the Year

    This award is open to any U.S. or Canadian-based PR agency with annual income below $10 million. As with other agency categories, nominees will be judged on their innovations, client growth and retention and culture.

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Top People and Teams

  • Boutique Firm (5 or fewer employees)

    You don't need a big team to make big things happen. If your boutique firm is making an impact, tell us about it!

  • CEO of the Year

    We will recognize the C-suite partners who get what you do and consistently support and extoll your PR efforts.

  • Educator of the Year

    Nominate an outstanding educator molding future PR and communications practitioners at a university or another educational program.

  • Marketing Team of the Year

    We’re looking for the top marketing teams of the year. Share with us the achievements of your marketing team and provide example of campaigns that resonated with your stakeholders.

  • PR Professional of the Year

    This award goes to a professional driving exceptional communications initiatives at their organization and beyond. All levels and job titles are eligible for this program. Must emphasize initiatives and successes over the past 12 months.

  • PR Team of the Year

    List all team members who should be recognized and provide 5 examples of outstanding initiatives that moved the needle for your brand or organization in the past year.

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Entry Guidelines

July 17

All entries must be submitted by May 18, 2018. Finalists will be announced in July 2018.

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Who's Eligible?

The Platinum PR Awards are open to agencies, corporations, nonprofit and government organizations worldwide. To be eligible, the campaigns or PR initiatives you are highlighting must have taken place (either in part or in full) between January 1, 2017 and May 11, 2018. Some of the work must have occurred during this time, but it’s not necessary for it to be completed during the eligibility period.

Entry Fees

The price of each primary entry is $425. If you one campaign in multiple categories, each additional entry will receive a $150 discount. A late fee of $275 will be applied to entries submitted between May 5 and May 18. Payment in full must accompany the entry. Entry fees are not refundable.



Submission Questions

For questions about the Platinum PR Awards, contact:

Jessica Placencia

[email protected]

Sponsorship and Advertising

For information on sponsoring the Platinum PR Awards, contact:

Katie Sullivan

[email protected]