Your secret is out: You’re a brand architect who knows how to tell and sell a story.
Now, we’d like all the details. Tell us how you mastered the delicate balance of powerful storytelling, relationship building, reputation management and more to create an impressive media relations strategy across multiple channels. How did you analyze media trends to generate more clicks, more shares and more coverage?
The 2017 Media Relations Awards are here to celebrate your ability to remain calm in the face of a crisis, your willingness to think beyond the standard press release and your dedication to sharable storytelling. Gain recognition for the accomplishments that made a difference for your customers, your clients or your team.
This year’s 20 categories, including Brand Messaging or Position, Integrated Marketing Communications, Product or Service Launch, Press Event or Media Tour, and Social Media Campaign will allow you to share your expertise in a specific discipline. Three new categories, Crisis or Reputation Management, Native Advertising, and Social Influencer Program will celebrate your most innovative strategies and campaigns.
Don’t feel confined to one category; we encourage you to submit any campaign to as many categories as you’d like. Of course, don’t forget the Grand Prize category, which will validate you as a true expert.
Want to see what it takes to be named a winner? Check out the 2016 Media Relations Special Edition
See a full list of categories and eligibility requirements, and read how to enter below.
These awards are open to in-house, agency and independent communication practitioners in the private, corporate, nonprofit and government sectors. Enter your work, the work of your organization or submit entries on behalf of your client.
Companies from around the world are welcome to enter as long as the entry is submitted in English.
This year’s program is open to any work executed between Jan, 1, 2016, and Feb. 15, 2017, inclusive.
Contact Justine Figueroa to find the perfect category for your campaign or project. You can reach her at 312-960-4304 or email@example.com
Early Bird Deadline: March 15, 2017
(Save $50 per entry!)
Final Extended Deadline: May 10, 2017
The fee for this program is $295 per entry. (Entry fee for either Grand Prize category is $395.)
Early bird submissions must be received by 11:59 p.m. Central time on March 15, 2017 to receive the $50 discount.
A late fee of $100 per entry will added to all entries after 11:59 p.m. Central time, April 12, 2017.
Please note: Entry fees are non-refundable.
W-9 Form / Tax ID Number Request
Each category winner will receive:
- A featured write-up in a Special Edition of Ragan.com
- An elegant trophy
- One complimentary registration to any Ragan event, webcast, or conference within 12 months of winning
The winners of the Grand Prize categories also will receive a one-year membership to Ragan Training —a premium online training library featuring hundreds of hours of the very best content from Ragan events. Find out more about the site here: https://ragantraining.com/
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Brand Messaging or Positioning
We want to know how you propelled your organization’s reputation forward. How did you set your brand apart from its competitors and create buzz? Did you see an increased response from media outlets? Tell us about the intricacies for your brand campaign and how you got your story out to the world.
Cause Advocacy Campaign
Tell us how you’re contributing to causes that matter and how you’re raising the public profile of issues you care about. Give us the details of your campaign strategy. Did you overcome a major challenge while trying to raise awareness? What tools did you use to get past it? Share your campaign and results.
Your campaign took a customer-first approach. How did your media relations campaign prove that the opinions of your audience were most important? How did you cultivate brand ambassadors from your loyal customer base? Tell us how their voices brought attention to your brand and boosted its reputation.
New! Crisis or Reputation Management
You’re the Olivia Pope of crisis communications. You remained cool-headed under pressure and de-escalated a chaotic situation. How did you mitigate a potential media disaster to keep your organization’s reputation in good standing with the public? Tell us about the crisis and how you bounced back using journalists’ help.
Your high-level executives are the face of your brand. How do you train them to personify and amplify your message? Which senior executives are you putting out there? We’re looking for campaigns that don’t merely “humanize” top-tier bosses. We want to see campaigns that bring to life unforgettable, genuine personalities—and tie them to the organization’s goals.
Global Media Relations
Your message reached far and wide, and we want to know how you gained the momentum to take your brand international. How does your message cross geographical boundaries? How do you make your message relevant and interesting where you live and useful to those across the oceans? What was your story? Where did it travel?
Governmental or Public Affairs Media Relations
How and why did you collaborate with journalists to meet governmental or public affairs goals? How did your relationship help you engage with your local community? Share how you developed this relationship and how it benefitted your organization. How did you educate the public about your group or its policy?
Innovation in Media Relations
Are you tired of taking the same ineffective, repetitive route when it comes to your organization’s media relations strategy? How did you execute your vision for creating a new process, concept or slogan? What results did your idea bring that changed the way journalists or members of the public think about you or your product, service or cause? Show us.
Integrated Marketing Communications
How did you put together a well-coordinated mix of promotional messages that reinforced your brand awareness to the media? Did you use content marketing and storytelling in your media-relations blitz? What were the results?
Media Relations Video
How did your team or company master the art of video to reach a mass audience? How do you use images and real people to tell an array of stories? Did you keep them short and simple, or did you create long-form videos? Did your videos inspire action or use humor to educate? Show us, and tell us the story behind what’s on the screen.
New! Native Advertising
Did you land coverage in a national publication that helped sell your product or services? How did you collaborate with an editorial team to create an under-the-radar advertorial? Tell us what publications you sought out and why you think your audiences are similar. Share the native ad and metrics to prove that it built brand awareness.
Product or Service Launch
Tell us how your PR department or client impressed journalists with the launch of a product or service. Describe the tactics and strategy, and brag about how sweet the outcome proved to be.
Thought Leadership Campaign
Your organization is staffed by experts with a wealth of industry knowledge. How did you make sure customers and competitors alike knew this? Did you place an op-ed in a local newspaper? Did a team member author a piece for a notable trade publication? Tell us how you used brand storytelling to prove your talent in a particular field and put forth your organization as an industry thought leader.
The key components of an impressive pitch are imagination, great writing and outstanding visuals. Did you write an email pitch with a perfect subject line, followed up with a narrative story hook so dramatic, yet concise, that journalists, bloggers and influencers fell over themselves trying to find out more? Did your online press release set a record for click-throughs and average time on your website? Did your multimedia press release get shared hundreds of times on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn? Brag about it.
Press Event or Media Tour
Not only did you handle the chaos of a producing a live event, you thrived under the pressure and created an unforgettable experience. Tell us how you selected your guest list, promoted your event across multiple channels and encouraged social media engagement. Give us the inside story on how you pulled it all together, resulting in outstanding media coverage.
Stunt or Special Event
How did your publicity stunt or special event directly or indirectly generate interest from journalists for your client or highlight your message? What ideas inspired its creation? What led to its success? How did you measure results?
Use of a Celebrity or Personality
Tell us why you thought a celebrity or personality would be the best spokesperson for your brand. Did you hire a local figure, an A-lister or someone in between? How did media outlets respond? How does your product or service reinforce the credibility of your celebrity and vice versa? How did you turn that match into results?
New! Social Influencer Program
The right social influencer can have as much power as a well-known media outlet. Tell us how you scouted the perfect group of influential social media stars to raise your brand’s profile among a certain demographic. Did you reach out to mommy bloggers? Beauty gurus? Instagram-famous Chihuahuas? What metrics determined the ideal influencer? How did you entice them into becoming brand loyalists and public ambassadors? What were the results?
Social Media Campaign
We want to see evidence that you built a publicity campaign aimed at reporters, influencers and bloggers on your social media channel(s). Explain why you chose your channels, what you hoped to do, the results, lessons learned and the effect on your organization internally. We’re interested in hearing the whole story.
Grand Prize: Media Relations Campaign of the Year
We’re seeking well-rounded and robust campaigns that delivered huge success. Share with us everything you did to reach the stars. Winners will be chosen in each of these categories:
- Over $50,000
- Under $50,000
- Under $10,000
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How To Enter
On the entry form, be sure to include a thorough synopsis explaining the purpose and scope of your project. We ask that the synopsis be at least 1,000 words (max: 1,250 words) and include the following sub-headings (when applicable):
- Strategy and tactics
- Evaluation: success, results or ROI
Be sure to follow the guidelines laid out in the category descriptions, as the judges will look for those elements when they select the winners.
You will be able to upload up to five additional documents to your submission. We encourage you to include press releases, design concepts, videos, analytics, testimonials and anything else you feel will give us a better sense of your project. Proprietary or internal information can also be attached and will not be shared with the public.
Supporting documents that can’t be uploaded to the system should be mailed to:
316 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60601
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Are the awards open to organizations outside the United States?
Yes. Entries may be submitted by organization from around the world. The only requirement is that entries be submitted in English.
May an organization or nominator enter more than one entry?
Yes. Enter as many categories as you like. One story, video, design, etc. may also be entered in multiple categories if it meets the criteria. Each entry and each category will require a separate entry fee.
Will you return my entry materials?
Who judges the entries?
Our judges include the editorial staff of Ragan.com, PR Daily.com, and Health Care Communication News.
When and where will the winners be announced?
We try to announce a list of finalists six to eight weeks after the close of the program. The announcement of the winners comes about three to four weeks after the announcement of the finalists. Each of these announcements will be made with a headline on our website, in our daily email newsletter, and on our social media platforms. Emails will be sent to all the entrants to notify them of these announcements.
Will there be an awards luncheon or live ceremony?
There is no live event associated with this program.
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If you have any questions about the program or problems submitting your entry, please call Justine Figueroa at 312-960-4304 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in sponsoring one of Ragan Communications’ award programs, please contact Kristin Farmer at 312-960-4405 or email her at email@example.com.
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