Ragan & PR Daily’s Communicators of the Year and Rising Star Awards
Recognizing the Individuals & Teams Behind the Scenes of Communications Success

Your organization was thrilled. Your clients, ecstatic. You made the magic happen.

Most of Ragan’s and PR Daily’s awards programs highlight the end result: the campaigns and projects that engaged audiences and led to business success. Our Communicators of the Year and Rising Star Awards is different. This program recognizes YOU, the individual communicator or team and your impressive work from the past year.

Our Communicators of the Year and Rising Star Awards will showcase the individual communications professionals and teams that dreamed up ambitious, engaging and innovative communications work that led to success for their organization or clients. Share with us the individual or team work you were a part of that pushed the envelope in communications and delivered results for your organization or clients.

The Hall of Fame Awards will honor the lifetime achievements of communicators who have made a profound impact on the communications industry over an illustrious career. We want to hear about your influential work, inspiring leadership and more.

The Rising Star Awards will recognize the top communications professionals under 30 years old. These relative newcomers will have already begun to make their mark on the industry and show no signs of slowing down. We want to hear about your work from the past year that has made you a rising star in communications.

Self-nominations, as well as nominations on behalf of colleagues and clients (current or former), are accepted.

Your organization or clients have already reaped the benefits of the successful campaigns and initiatives you've created—now, it’s your turn in the spotlight. Enter Ragan and PR Daily’s Communicators of the Year and Rising Star Awards!

See a full list of categories and eligibility requirements, and read how to enter below.

Eligibility Requirements

These awards are open to in-house, agency and independent communication practitioners in the private, corporate, nonprofit and government sectors. 

Companies from around the world are welcome to enter as long as the entry is submitted in English.

Self-nominations, as well as nominations on behalf of colleagues and clients (current or former), are accepted.

Contact Brendan Gannon to find the perfect category for your nominee. You can call 312-960-4407 or email brendang@ragan.com.

This year’s program is open to any work executed between Dec. 1, 2019, and Dec. 4, 2020, inclusive.

Recognition

Each winning honoree will receive:

An elegant trophy: Display this shiny trophy for all to see. Go ahead, you've earned it.

Editorial & Social Media Coverage: You’ll be featured on Ragan’s web sites Ragan.com and PRDaily.com, on our social platforms and in our eletters, reaching more than 250,000 communicators and marketers.

Marketing & PR: Leverage your win in your marketing materials, press releases and other messaging.

Digital Badge: Add the Winners badge to your email signature and your web site.

Press release: We’ll provide you with a quote for your press release plus we’ll post your organization’s award release on our site to boost recognition.

CATEGORIES

HALL OF FAME

Hall of Fame Honorees

The nominee's breadth of work in communications has been crucial to helping the industry grow, and they’ve helped mentor and lead budding professionals throughout an impressive career. They’re a leader who has had a tremendous impact on the organization(s) they’ve worked for and the communications industry as a whole.

RISING STARS OF THE YEAR (30 YEARS OLD AND YOUNGER)

Rising Star of the Year Honorees

Age is only a number, right? Tell us how the nominee burst onto the scene and made waves (in a good way). We’re looking for the innovative young communications professionals who are primed to climb the ranks quickly and achieve outstanding success. What makes the nominee one of the brightest up-and-coming comms pros?

COMMUNICATORS OF THE YEAR

Academic/Higher Learning Communicator of the Year

The nominee was the go-to communicator for their school, educational institute or organization. We want to hear how they told compelling stories that inspired action. Tell us about the nominee’s efforts to communicate on behalf of their organization.

Agency Leader of the Year

The nominee knows how to deliver for their clients. They consistently lead successful campaigns and initiatives for the organizations they communicate on behalf of. We want to hear about their successful work from the past year.

Blogger/Columnist of the Year

Industry experts, customers and potential employees consider the nominee a go-to source for the latest industry insights. When they wrote, people listened. Tell us about the strategy and how it affected traffic and other metrics.

Community Relations Professional of the Year

The nominee’s organization has built a beneficial relationship with its community—we want to know how they took delivered this messaging. Did they create a campaign to raise awareness? We want to see everything they produced: social media content, white papers, op-eds, direct mailings—all of it. Don't forget results.

Content Marketer of the Year

The nominee knows how to create content that can’t be ignored. Their copy, videos, visuals, social media posts and more captivate audiences and leaves them coming back for more. Share the engaging content the nominee created.

Crisis Communicator of the Year

The nominee is the calm amid the storm. Did COVID-19 shake up the core of their organization? Did they navigate a reputational crisis? Whatever the crisis, we want to know why the nominee is the one who is called upon to protect your organization.

CSR/ESG Professional of the Year

The nominee is leading the charge on making the world a better place. How do they champion these causes and enact change within or on behalf of your organization? We’re looking for a leader with vision and the conviction to make things happen. Has their CSR plan increased the pride everyone takes in working for their organization?

Digital Communicator of the Year

We’re seeking digital communicators who create great content for brands. Share the nominee’s talents with us and show us how their work drove incredible results. Tell us about the creative vision that keeps their work in demand. Share content created for any platform. Proprietary work will not be made public.

Diversity & Inclusion Communicator of the Year

We’re looking for the communicators who develop communications plans to keep internal and external stakeholders in-the-know about diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives within their organization. The nominee delivers the important, powerful messages. We want to learn more about them.

Editor of the Year

The writers that work with the nominee owe Them. The nominee ensures their copy is clean and compels readers to act. Nothing gets by them, and they pride themselves on that. Share their clear and concise work.

Educator/Trainer of the Year

The nominee has a wonderful amount of knowledge, and they are willing to pass it along and mentor the future communications leaders. Tell us how the nominee has used their knowledge and expertise to help mold up-and-coming communications professionals.

Financial Communicator of the Year

We are looking for communicators who turned dull but essential financial information into content that delivered an important message. The nominee was essential in keeping stakeholders—and potential investors—up to date on the state of their organization when it mattered most.

Government Communicator of the Year

What makes the nominee the best in communications for a local, state or federal agency or department? How did they avoid the inevitable trap of all government communication: Boring people so thoroughly that they give up and robotically do just the bare minimum needed to comply? How did the nominee make crucial information engaging and interesting?

Healthcare Communicator of the Year

Tell us about the nominee’s fresh perspective on health care PR or marketing. How did they communicate an important message or an urgent new idea with passion, integrity and care? Tell us how they told health care stories or created campaigns with a fresh perspective.

Intern of the Year

The nominee went above and beyond during their time as an intern. Tell us how they exceeded expectations and excelled in their role with their organization.

Internal Communicator of the Year

Creating engaging internal content is a challenge. How does the nominee balance being informative and having fun? What tools do they use to inform and inspire employees? How have they taken advantage of multiple channels to engage a diverse, multigenerational or distributed team? Tell us about their great work.

Intranet Expert of the Year

For widely dispersed workplaces, the nominee’s intranet is their office. As an intranet guru, they’re responsible for keeping the digital office functional, collaborative and creative. How have they made improvements to their intranet in design, content and personalization? What fun additions do employees get excited about? Tell us how they’re giving this essential communications medium new life.

Investor Relations Professional of the Year

The nominee knows how to deliver essential information to investors and potential investors in an engaging and informative way. They understand their organization’s financial strategies and communicate them to interested parties. We want to hear about it.

Marketer of the Year

The nominee told their brand’s story with a compelling narrative that moved readers to act. How did they advocate for their brand, market on multiple channels and increase audience engagement? Tell us how the nominee turned casual consumers into brand loyalists.

Measurement/Data Professional of the Year

The nominee dug into the data and used this crucial information to create incredibly successful campaigns for their organization or clients. Show us how they made metrics work for them and improved their communications efforts as a result. Share the impressive outcomes that were the result of their efforts.

Media Relations Professional of the Year

Tell us how the nominee built relationships with journalists that resulted in close collaboration between them and reporters on stories about your industry. How did they capitalize on their relationships with reporters to generate interest in their story suggestions, media impressions and increased brand awareness? Share the projects they’re most proud of.

Nonprofit Communicator of the Year

The nominee knows how to generate conversations, appeal to their target market and establish their client as a leading industry voice. Show us how the nominee wields PR tools, tactics and strategies to make indisputable arguments, repair tattered reputations and stir up buzz about new ideas for clients or brand executives.

Podcaster of the Year

People are consuming massive amounts of podcast content, and the nominee has successfully tapped into this engaging medium. We want to know how their podcasting abilities have led to success. Share any relevant data—and a clip or two of the show.

PR Professional of the Year—Agency

The nominee is the supreme professional when it comes to working with clients and delivering incredibly successful campaigns and projects. They’ve also helped secure new clients and grow their agency. Share the metrics that prove the success of their work.

PR Professional of the Year—Corporate

We’re looking for communicators who know how to deliver successful campaigns for their organization or brand. How did the nominee help grow awareness for their organization and boost revenue? What beneficial partnerships did they create with outside sources? We want to hear it all.

PR Professional of the Year—Nonprofit

A limited budget didn’t stop the nominee from securing donations or media coverage for their nonprofit organization. They’re a leader in nonprofit communications, and we want to hear about the tactics they employed to help raise awareness or money.

PR Team Leader

We’re looking for the fearless leaders who captained a team of PR professionals and not only delegated work flawlessly, but mentored the communicators on their team. We want to hear about the nominee’s success over the past year.

Publicist of the Year

We want to hear how the nominee generated incredible awareness for their organization or client. What were their secrets for earning coverage? How did they protect and maintain their organization’s or client’s reputation? Share all the details.

Public Affairs Professional of the Year

We’re looking for the communicators who know how to deliver their organization’s or client’s message to stakeholders and influence policy. What initiatives did the nominee lead? We want to hear about their successful campaigns.

Social Media Communicator of the Year

We want to hear how the nominee created the perfect strategy to deliver their organization’s message across all social media channels. What work did they do to develop an identifiable brand voice? Tell us why they’re the best social media professional in the industry.

Speechwriter of the Year

We’re looking for writers behind the powerful messages delivered by those for whom they are penning this impressive prose. Tell us how the nominee’s speechwriting has helped their subject deliver impactful speeches.

Spokesperson of the Year

The nominee was the face of an organization when delivering their message to the media and public. No matter the reason for the coverage, they honed their message and cast their organization in a glowing light.

Tech Communicator of the Year

The nominee has the inside scoop on the tech industry and knows how to deliver the latest news in a compelling manner. Tell us who they engage audiences and inform them about everything tech.

Video/Visual Communicator of Year

Videos and visual designs have a unique power to connect with audiences on an emotional level, and the nominee knows how to tap into those emotions and build strong connections. Let us know how they tell powerful stories using video or visual designs.

Wellness Communicator of the Year

This nominee is in charge of communicating their organization’s or client’s wellbeing programs to the masses. We want to hear how they are getting the word out about these incredibly important initiatives and programs.

TEAMS OF THE YEAR

Agency Team of the Year—Single Campaign

Your agency team delivered—big time—for your client. We want to hear all about your successful campaign. Share your strategy, tactics, channels, and all the content and metrics.

Agency Team of the Year—Multiple Campaigns

Your agency team delivered—big time—for your client or clients. We want to hear all about your successful campaigns. Share your strategy, tactics, channels, and all the content and metrics for each of your impressive campaigns.

Communications Team of the Year—Less than 25 team members

All communications for your organization or client came through your team. You led internal, external and maybe even social media communications for your organization. Share how this team of less than 25 people successfully created campaigns that engaged all audiences—internal and external.

Communications Team of the Year—25 team members or more

All communications for your organization or client came through your team. You led internal, external and maybe even social media communications for your organization. Share how this team of 25 people or more successfully created campaigns that engaged all audiences—internal and external.

Creative/Digital Content Team of the Year—1 to 9 people

Show us how your team impressed audiences with innovative content. We want to know about the creative people that deliver engaging content to their audiences. How does your team's efforts support marketing, internal comms, PR or communications? We want to see all your sleek, elegant content.

Creative/Digital Content Team of the Year—10 to 24 people

Show us how your team impressed audiences with innovative content. We want to know about the creative people that deliver engaging content to their audiences. How does your team's efforts support marketing, internal comms, PR or communications? We want to see all your sleek, elegant content.

Creative/Digital Content Team of the Year—25 people or more

Show us how your team impressed audiences with innovative content. We want to know about the creative people that deliver engaging content to their audiences. How does your team's efforts support marketing, internal comms, PR or communications? We want to see all your sleek, elegant content.

Editorial/Content Team of the Year—1 to 9 people

Your editorial team has a way with words. How do you use that gift to support marketing through microsites, blogs and news sites? Do these channels and sites generate stories and posts that build your organization’s reputation as a fountain of ideas? Show us statistical data proving that your team is the heavyweight content producer in your industry.

Editorial/Content Team of the Year—10 to 24 people

Your editorial team has a way with words. How do you use that gift to support marketing through microsites, blogs and news sites? Do these channels and sites generate stories and posts that build your organization’s reputation as a fountain of ideas? Show us statistical data proving that your team is the heavyweight content producer in your industry.

Editorial/Content Team of the Year—25 people or more

Your editorial team has a way with words. How do you use that gift to support marketing through microsites, blogs and news sites? Do these channels and sites generate stories and posts that build your organization’s reputation as a fountain of ideas? Show us statistical data proving that your team is the heavyweight content producer in your industry.

Internal Communications Team of the Year—1 to 9 people

How did your team reinvent the way your organization communicates internally? Did you think like corporate marketers appealing to a tough, indifferent external audience? Did you think like an outside corporate PR team working on a complete overhaul of your organization’s brand? We want proof that you made a deep, decisive change in internal communications.

Internal Communications Team of the Year—10 to 24 people

How did your team reinvent the way your organization communicates internally? Did you think like corporate marketers appealing to a tough, indifferent external audience? Did you think like an outside corporate PR team working on a complete overhaul of your organization’s brand? We want proof that you made a deep, decisive change in internal communications.

Internal Communications Team of the Year—25 people or more

How did your team reinvent the way your organization communicates internally? Did you think like corporate marketers appealing to a tough, indifferent external audience? Did you think like an outside corporate PR team working on a complete overhaul of your organization’s brand? We want proof that you made a deep, decisive change in internal communications.

Marketing Team of the Year—1 to 9 people

How does your team create consistent and seamless integrated marketing and brand experiences? List your unifying ideas for your brand. Show us how your new ideas strengthened every product line your organization offers. Tell us how you established new connections among your products. How did you positively influence brand awareness, lead generation and sales?

Marketing Team of the Year—10 to 24 people

How does your team create consistent and seamless integrated marketing and brand experiences? List your unifying ideas for your brand. Show us how your new ideas strengthened every product line your organization offers. Tell us how you established new connections among your products. How did you positively influence brand awareness, lead generation and sales?

Marketing Team of the Year—25 people or more

How does your team create consistent and seamless integrated marketing and brand experiences? List your unifying ideas for your brand. Show us how your new ideas strengthened every product line your organization offers. Tell us how you established new connections among your products. How did you positively influence brand awareness, lead generation and sales?

Public Relations Team of the Year—1 to 9 people

What strategies and tactics does your team use to send and showcase key messages to your target audiences? Tell us how your team creates a narrative for your organization’s uniquely compelling point of view for the public, your customers, your employees—or all three.

Public Relations Team of the Year—10 to 24 people

What strategies and tactics does your team use to send and showcase key messages to your target audiences? Tell us how your team creates a narrative for your organization’s uniquely compelling point of view for the public, your customers, your employees—or all three.

Public Relations Team of the Year—25 people or more

What strategies and tactics does your team use to send and showcase key messages to your target audiences? Tell us how your team creates a narrative for your organization’s uniquely compelling point of view for the public, your customers, your employees—or all three.

Social Media Team of the Year—1 to 9 people

Social media gives you a direct line to your customers. How does your social media team craft key messages through photos, videos and exclusive stories on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook? Are they dedicated to providing rapid and high-quality customer care via social media?

Social Media Team of the Year—10 to 24 people

Social media gives you a direct line to your customers. How does your social media team craft key messages through photos, videos and exclusive stories on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook? Are they dedicated to providing rapid and high-quality customer care via social media?

Social Media Team of the Year—25 people or more

Social media gives you a direct line to your customers. How does your social media team craft key messages through photos, videos and exclusive stories on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook? Are they dedicated to providing rapid and high-quality customer care via social media?

How To Enter

Individual Entries

Tell us in 500 words or less about the nominee’s accomplishments in the previous 12 months (Hall of Fame will be lifetime accomplishments). The winning list of individual honorees will be those who have distinguished themselves among their peers with meaningful achievements. 

Team Entries

Tell us about the team's accomplishments in 1,000 words or less. Please include examples of creative campaigns or initiatives that have proved beneficial to your organization or clients. When applicable, please include the following sub-headings:

  • Goals
  • Strategy and tactics
  • Execution
  • Evaluation: success, results or ROI

You also may include other information that you feel strengthens your entry.

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 additional documents and URLs 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:

Brendan Gannon
Ragan Communications
10 S. LaSalle St., Suite 310
Chicago, IL 60603

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should you apply?
Our award programs help you measure the success of your work and prove the value of your contributions to your organization. You can set yourself apart in the industry as an expert, which will open doors throughout your career. As a winner, you’ll earn publicity across our websites and social media audiences, a custom write-up about your success and a trophy.
Who can enter?
Entries may be submitted by organizations and individuals worldwide. The only requirement is that entries be submitted in English. This program is open to in-house, agency and independent communication practitioners in the private, corporate, nonprofit and government sectors.
What does it take to be a winner?
Although each award program is unique, we look for top-quality work that shows clear, bold and creative ideas that benefit your business or client. Please provide metrics or media coverage that back up your claims, and share creative collateral such as videos, visual design or websites that were a part of your project. Please look at our past award winners to see what gets recognized and rewarded.
What are the entry requirements?
For individual entries, tell us in 500 words or less about your nominee’s accomplishments in the previous 12 months; Hall of Fame entries honors lifetime achievements. The winning list of honorees will be those who have distinguished themselves among their peers with meaningful achievements. For team entries, tell us about the team's accomplishments in 1,000 words or less. Please include examples of creative campaigns or initiatives that have proved beneficial to your organization or clients. When applicable, please include the following sub-headings:
  • Goals
  • Strategy and tactics
  • Execution
  • Evaluation: success, results or ROI
You may also include supporting materials you believe will help our judges evaluate your nomination.
Why are some deadlines extended?
We extend deadlines based on applicant needs and upcoming promotional opportunities.
When will I find out results?
We try to announce a list of finalists eight weeks after the close of the program. The announcement of the winners comes about four weeks after the announcement of the finalists. Each announcement will be made with a headline on our website, in our daily email newsletter and on our social media platforms. Emails notify entrants of these announcements. As deadlines are extended, so are expected announcement dates.

Additional Questions

If you have any questions about the program or problems submitting your entry, please call Brendan Gannon at 312-960-4407 or email brendang@ragan.com.

Sponsorship Opportunities

If you are interested in sponsoring one of Ragan Communications’ award programs, please contact Hannah Lavelle at 312-960-4628 or email hannahl@ragan.com.