The 2014 Nonprofit PR Awards are now open!
These awards are the result of many conversations with nonprofit communicators. While nonprofits have had a significant presence in our employee communications and PR awards contests (several taking top honors), we concluded it was time we offered public-service entities a competition of their own.
PR Daily's Nonprofit PR Awards were built for you—philanthropic foundations, government agencies, professional associations, charitable organizations, academic institutions and the agencies that represent them. You've proven your work is every bit the equal of the work of your for-profit counterparts.
This time, it's all about you!
Last year’s launch of this new program was downright impressive. The innovative and sophisticated communications done by governmental and non-governmental organizations, universities, hospitals, philanthropies, professional associations and other not-for-profit organizations wowed us.
To see what we’re talking about, check out last year’s winners in this Special Edition of PR Daily.
We’re looking to compile an equally impressive list this year.
Find out everything you need to know about this program below.
These awards are open but not limited to academic institutions, government entities/departments/agencies, nongovernmental organizations, nonprofit healthcare organizations, philanthropic or charitable groups, professional associations, public/civic groups, or any other not-for-profit organizations.
Agencies, organizations, sole practitioners or freelance consultants can also enter projects completed for their nonprofit clients.
We want to see work from any industry, anywhere in the world. Organizations 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 January 1, 2013
, and March 26, 2014
If you aren't sure your project qualifies, contact Tyler Landry. You can reach him at 312-960-4303 or
Deadline: Wednesday, March 26, 2014
The entry fee for this program is $195 per entry per category.
A late fee may be added to entries after March 26, 2014.
W-9 Form / Tax ID Number Request
Each category winner will receive:
- A featured write-up in a Special Edition of PR Daily, read by hundreds of thousands of communications professionals around the world
- An elegant trophy
- One complimentary registration to any Ragan event or conference in 2014 or 2015
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Winners will be awarded each of the categories below. Don’t feel limited to entering just one category—you may submit your work in as many categories as you like.
|Winners will be awarded in the following categories:
- Advocacy/Awareness Campaign
Raising awareness for a cause or advocating on behalf of another is the sole mission of many nonprofits. For others, it’s a special one-off campaign for the organization's own good or the good of the cause. Tell us how you creatively promoted your organization or cause, bringing it greater public attention and media coverage.
- Branding/Re-Branding Campaign
Smart branding powerfully conveys your goals. It gains your audience's attention and often changes reputations. Tell us how you your brand strategically and what you achieved. We're interested in branding for organizations as well as for causes, events, new services, or other small projects. If this is a re-brand, we want to see the old brand and hear what drove your re-branding.
- Community-Nonprofit Partnership
Did your organization work with a community on a project, campaign, or event? We want to hear how you partnered with a local government, civic group, school, this past year. Perhaps it was a location-specific campaign to raise public awareness, an outreach project, or something else that will blow our socks off.
- Corporate-Nonprofit Partnership
We don't mean to mean to slight for-profits with this award program. Sometimes, their resources are just what a nonprofit needs to thrust a project or campaign to the next level. Have you combined forces with a for-profit organization? Tell us about the partnership and how you worked together to achieve amazing results.
- Development/Fundraising Campaign
No one likes to ask for money. But for many nonprofits, fundraising is fundamental. Whether your campaign benefited your cause or just kept your lights on, we want to hear about your appeal. Was it directed at your membership, the general public, or individuals (in the form of partnerships or sponsorships)? Let us know if you reached (or exceeded) your goals.
- Membership/Recruiting Campaign
We want to know about your campaign to get people enthusiastic to join your organization. Show us your promotions, pamphlets, pitches, and whatever else you use to sign up new or renew existing members.
- Public Affairs/Lobbying Campaign
Sometimes, issues are too large for any one organization to tackle on its own. That's when we call on civic institutions for help. Perhaps you were hoping to influence public policy or affect legislation, regulations, political activities or candidacies. Tell us how your organization worked to bring about the public good.
Great writing is fundamental to PR and communications. The rise of brand journalism and content marketing have underscored its importance. Your writing is a statement about your brand, its values, and your culture. Show us your best written article from 2013. This may take the form of a feature story written for your publication, an op-ed piece, an online article, or another example of great storytelling.
Blogs are still an excellent tool for sharing news and ideas, exchanging ideas, and telling a story. Does someone on your team write or maintain an excellent blog—one that is original, insightful, inspiring? We want to see it. Please include a link to the blog and a minimum of three posts.
Print, electronic, weekly, monthly or quarterly, newsletters must engage with the reader and deliver important information about the culture of your organization. We want to see design and writing that say "Pick me up!"; subject lines and headlines that lure, tantalize and stimulate casual readers to "Click on Me!" and "Open this now!"; and writing that is free of jargon, lively, and full of practical benefits to your audience.
- Press Release
We're looking for fundamental PR skills. It should be interesting to read, free of jargon, and adept at building excitement about your news. Most important, it must be effective. Have you written a press release that you're proud of? We'd like to see it. Our panel of judges will look at everything: subject lines, headlines and body copy.
- Public Service Announcement
Did you create a noteworthy PSA? We want to know how you found the perfect angle, developed the announcement, its mission and purpose, and most important—what were its results.
Do you publish materials that inform your members, stakeholders, community, or the broader public? Maybe it was part of a campaign or just part of your regular updates. We want to see what you put together--a magazine, pamphlet, mailer, information packet, or something else entirely. We'll be looking at the effectiveness of your headlines, ledes, design and writing, your ability to tell stories in words or images plus words. Print or electronic publications are welcome.
Reports are full of useful information. That doesn't mean they have to be boring. Share with us your organization's annual or quarterly report, white paper, or project summary that you used to educate your audience. Show us how you made it captivating and pleasurable to read. Again, print and electronic versions are welcome.
- Use of Social Media
Show us how you are using social media to increase engagement around your organization's mission or campaign. Maybe you started a passionate, lengthy discussion, promoted an event, brought awareness to your nonprofit's mission, or used it to gather stories, pictures, captions, ideas on a topic.
Be it an emotional TV advertisement, a sharable clip for the web, a prepared media reel, or video testimonials, video is a powerful medium. Put your best effort up against other creative geniuses. Show us how you used video to enhance your communications and extend your reach.
Your website is a major (if not the most important) touch point between your organization and the public. It must serve multiple functions for vastly different audiences. With so many expectations for one site, design and organization are key. We’ll take into account the purpose of your site, how easy it is to navigate and whether users can accomplish what they came on it to do. Microsites and custom websites are also eligible to enter.
- Crisis Management
They are unexpected, require quick thinking, and can test the skills and patience of even seasoned pros. Did you have to confront and power through a crisis this past year, either from inside or outside of your organization? If so, show us and tell us how you got your message out and strengthened your brand in the process.
- Event PR
A good event grabs the press's attention like nothing else, providing priceless publicity for your organization. All your superior PR talents come in to play. How did you get the word out and build hype for an event? Did you use social media, as well as traditional communications? Tell us what you did to get people and the media to the event.
- Marketing Campaign
Sometimes organizations must put their weight (and budgets) behind good old-fashioned marketing. Be it through print, digital, broadcast, or outdoor advertising campaigns, email promotions, online and social media marketing, or other tactics, we want to hear about your best marketing campaign in 2013.
- Media Relations Campaign
Develop great working relations with media outlets and reporters and you’re three-quarters of the way to perhaps your most important PR goal—giving reporters, bloggers, podcasters and content collectors the latest statistics, access, background facts and figures and interviews that make their job easier. Tell us about your media-relations strategy and tactics.
- PR Campaign
We want to hear how you cut through the clutter and noise to get media attention for your organization or cause. Did you bypass traditional media to go digital or did you rely on the perennial paper pitch to the media? We want to see freshness, real innovation in your PR campaign for your organization or a special project in 2013. Your idea can be simple, but there must be something that sets it apart, say, huge returns on ridiculously low costs, or an unexpected twist to an old publicity device that rouses your peers to undisguised envy.
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How to Enter
Entering Ragan's awards are now easier than ever using our online awards portal!
Log into the system with your email address and password or start a new application to register as a new user.
To preview the online entry form, click here.
On the entry form, be sure to select a category and include a thorough synopsis for the judges explaining the purpose and scope of your project.
We ask that the synopsis be around 1,000 words (max: 1,250 words) and include the following sub-headings (when applicable):
- Strategy and tactics
- Evaluation: success, results or ROI
Entry fees can be paid online with any major credit card. If you are unable to enter using our online entry process or need to pay by check or bank transfer, contact Tyler Landry at 312-960-4303 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Supporting documents that can't be uploaded to the system and offline entries should be mailed to:
316 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60601
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Are your awards programs open to organizations outside of the U.S.?
Yes! The only requirement is that all entries be submitted in English.
May an organization or nominator enter more than one entry?
Will you return my entry materials?
Who judges the entries?
Our judges include the editorial staff of Ragan.com, PR Daily, HR Communicator and Health Care Communications News.
When and where will the winners be announced?
We try to announce the winners about 8 to 10 weeks after the close of the program.
The announcement 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 award luncheon or live ceremony?
We are not planning on holding a live event for this contest.
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If you have any questions about program or issues submitting your entry please call Tyler Landry at 312.960.4303 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST during the U.S. business week) or email him at email@example.com.
To sponsor the PR Daily Awards, please contact Staci Diamond at 312.960.4671 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Wednesday, March 26, 2014