Virginia Public Relations Award Series, Part One: How To Decide What Work to Submit For the Awards

By Meg Irvin, account strategist at The Hodges Partnership

It’s awards season, PRSA members! We’re not talking about the Oscars or the Golden Globes – but the Virginia Public Relations Awards, which are now open for entries.

We’re just about one month out from the early deadline for entries, which falls on February 28 this year. As you’re considering what great work from 2019 you can submit this year, you might be asking yourself, “Is this award really worth submitting?”

Our team at The Hodges Partnership has a conversation around this time each year where we reflect on the year prior and work we’re proud of. Then comes the hardest part: whittling down that list into the award entries we think have the best chance of taking home an award. Here are a few things we consider:

Planning and reporting are key.

  • A cool project without metrics is going to get dinged, so make sure your planning shows a clear path to your results.
  • Ask yourself: Do I have metrics related to this project that will show its impact?

Visuals, visuals, visuals.

  • We’ve all heard it: a picture is worth a thousand words. As you’re considering different projects from last year, think about where you have the best ability to show the impact of the work in a visual way. This might be a national media hit or high level of engagement on a social campaign that you can share in a captivating way.
  • Ask yourself: Do I have visuals that show off the results?

Give as much background as possible!

  • The entries are scored out of market, so you can’t assume the person on the other ends knows anything about the client or project. This additional context will be helpful for the judges.
  • Ask yourself: Will this work resonate with someone out of market just as much as it would resonate to someone in Virginia?

Pro tip: if you’re working on something this year that you know you might want to submit for an award next year, keep note throughout the process of what you need for a good entry. You could even keep a former winning entry at your desk as a good reminder.

Finally, don’t forget to save the date for the 73rd annual Virginia Public Relations Awards Ceremony, taking place Wednesday, May 20 at The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, VA. Tickets will be on sale soon!