One insider’s guide to winning a coveted PRide Award

There’s just over a month until the 2016 CIPR PRide Awards deadline, so if you haven’t submitted your entries yet, you’d better get a wiggle on!

After three years as a member of the Awards team and dealing with over 3000 entries, I’ve decided to write this blog post to offer some tips I’ve picked up over the years.

So here’s everything you need to start working on to maximise your chances of being shortlisted:

#1 SMART objectives
Make sure you evaluate your work against SMART PR objectives.

#2 Measuring – business impact
Judges are looking for what your campaign meant to the business. What difference did it make?

No AVEs – Advertising Value Equivalence does not represent the value of PR – including AVE in your award submission will guarantee a zero mark in the measurement and evaluation section.

Stephen Waddington Found. Chart. PR, Hon FCIPR, Partner and Chief Engagement Officer, Ketchum, recently published a list of alternative PR metrics that you might find helpful.

#3 Stand out
Aka the magic dust! You need to show what you have done differently and provide evidence on what you’ve done to achieve that.

#4 Showcase excellence – be passionate
“I want to be inspired. I want to say ‘what an amazingly well planned, brilliantly executed campaign. I wish I had thought of that’” Sarah Pinch, Chart.PR, FCIPR, Past President, CIPR and Managing Director, Pinch Point Communications.

#5 Address all the criteria
“Great campaigns deserve excellent award entries. Write your submission to meet the criteria”– Jason MacKenzie, Found. Chart. PR, FCIPR, President Elect, CIPR and Managing Director, Liquid.

#6 Word Count
It seems obvious but you would be surprised by the amount of entries that get disqualified for exceeding word count – your word limit is 1000 words but don’t forget you have a 10% leeway!

#7 Proof read
Triple check your grammar and spelling. Ask a colleague to proof the final version – make a good impression; re-read and check your entry for spelling mistakes.

#8 ‘Create a winning entry’ guide
For the first time this year we’ve designed a ‘Create a winning entry‘ guide, covering what the judges want and advice on what to include within each section of the standard criteria.

#9 Past winner case studies
One piece of advice I always give is to take a look at past winners as they’ve achieved what you’re aiming for.

#10 Regional Events
Last but not least, check if your region is organising any activities to help you create a winning entry.

PRide Awards judge Lindsey Collumbell Chart.PR, MCIPR, also has some words of wisdom for entrants:
“I look for two elements to make the winning entry stand out from just being a ‘good’ piece of work:
1. an impact on the business – this does not have to be in financial terms, but something the work promoted that had a positive effect
2. a legacy – this could be in terms of a long-standing change to the business, or something learnt that can be applied in the future.
You need to demonstrate more than just ‘good practice’ to be a winner.”

If that sounds like a lot of work, these are the benefits of winning a PRide Award:
Winning a PRide Award marks you out as an industry leader in your area, boosts team morale and demonstrates the value of PR to the wider business world.

Never forget that the way you write your entry and present your work is an integral part of your chance of winning – get ready to inspire!

You’ll find more information on award categories, entry criteria and everything you need to enter online.

Don’t forget to follow @CIPR_Awards as more tips are coming soon! And if you have any questions, get in touch with the Awards team at prideawards@cipr.co.uk . Catherine, Kirstie and I would love to help you!

I hope you find these tips useful to help you prepare your PRide Awards entries.

Good luck!

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