February President’s Message

andrew-ryan-medIt’s award season around the country, and I’m not just talking about the Oscars. January and February are always big months for entertainment awards, but these first two months are also the time of the year to nominate your best PR work. The Virginia Public Relations Awards are back and PRSA Richmond is currently accepting nominations.

The Virginia PR Awards include 43 categories for both tactics and campaigns. The awards are a great way to highlight your most successful work from 2015. Winning an award is not just satisfying, but can serve as a wonderful credentialing tool for you and your organization.

Throughout the years, members have asked many questions about tips for submitting a successful award entry. I can understand the hesitation and nerves. Are your projects really worthy of recognition? I’m sure they are! Plus, PRSA National has a great set of case studies about the best award nominations. Check them out and use these examples as guides when you’re developing your entries. You don’t need a huge budget or front page placement in the New York Times. Rather, the most successful nominations articulate clear objectives and outline creative tactics to meet or exceed those objectives.

Some other tips that big winners at the Virginia PR Awards have recommended in the past include:

  • Review the judging evaluation sheets in advance of writing your nomination. The forms tell you exactly what the judges are looking for in a nomination.
  • Read the categories carefully and find the one that’s the best fit for you.
  • Document your planning process and explain how you used your time.
  • Include measurable objectives and revisit them in the evaluation section of the nomination.
  • Spend lots of time on the evaluation section and don’t skimp with details.
  • Have one or two people review your nomination in advance of submitting it.

The Virginia PR Awards also showcase two outstanding PR professionals. The Thomas Jefferson Award of Excellence is PRSA Richmond’s highest honor. It recognizes the extraordinary achievement of a seasoned public relations practitioner working in the Greater Richmond region. If you know a stellar young professional, consider submitting him or her for the Rising Star Award.

Don’t wait any longer and submit your entry today! You can even save money by nominating your work before the early bird deadline.

There are so many amazing PR practitioners across the state, and I can’t wait to see who wins a coveted Virginia Public Relations Award at the awards ceremony May 18 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts!


Andrew Ryan, APR
2016 PRSA Richmond President