Posts Tagged ‘Association for Women in Communications’

It’s Public Relations Award Season!

Monday, May 17th, 2010
Flickr Image: Mags_cat

Flickr Image: Mags_cat

My email inbox, probably not unlike yours, is full of calls to enter local PR awards.  For instance, the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) DC Metro’s Silver Inkwell entries are due June 10. Entries for the National Capital Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA-NCC) Thoth Awards are due June 18. To top it off, Washington Women in Public Relations’ (WWPR) next professional development lunch is on writing successful PR award entries.  And that is just the regional events. Nationally, PRSA, IABC, the Association for Women in Communications (AWC), PR News, PRWeek, and others have awards programs too.

Although entering takes time and cash, winning one of these awards helps prove the value of your hard work throughout the year. “Whether you’re an internal communicator, media relations specialist, work in interactive communications, or any other communication discipline, there is nothing like being acknowledged by your peers, so I urge my communication colleagues to enter. It’s a terrific way to showcase your work, as well as advance the profession,” says Shonali Burke, ABC, president, IABC-DC Metro.

Recently I asked Lindsey Rose, senior counselor, Carmichael Lynch Spong (a client of BurrellesLuce) why she thought it was important for industry professionals to submit to these types of awards. She explains how PR industry awards offer several perks for your clients, your agency and you, as a practitioner:

Your clients: Awards give them recognition for their accomplishments and help raise visibility and drive excitement for their programs. Awards solidify clients’ achievements in their industry and help bring their stories to life. Award summaries also often help clients merchandise their communications efforts/case studies within their internal organization.

Your agency: Awards showcase your leadership through best practices outlined in your submissions. Awards celebrate your relationship with your client and reinforce the client/agency partnership (and oftentimes further reinforce clients’ ongoing investment in your work). Winning awards can also open doors and help bring your agency to the table for new business opportunities.

You: As a practitioner, awards showcase your strategic capabilities from research and planning to execution and generating results. Compiling awards is great practice for any PR practitioner – no matter what your level. Winning awards is even more rewarding.

You can get hints and tips for preparing your awards entries on many of your local and national professional organization’s websites. Some great resources include:

  1. PRSA offers advice on preparing their Silver Anvil Awards on their website.
  2. IABC has a webinar on entering the Gold Quill Awards.

Personally, from having judged several awards programs and chaired a judging committee, I know the key to winning is evaluation and measurement from beginning to end of the project or campaign. The best well-written press release will not win an award without showing how the release had impact. The key is to start early, ideally from the beginning of your project or campaign, and continue to document and save information throughout the program.

So now that PR awards season is well underway, how are you preparing? Are there any suggestions you can add for making the most out of your submission?

The Value of Joining a Group-Take 2

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Smiling business people standing togetherIn my last post I asked, “Why should you join a professional organization?” There were so many great answers that I felt it deserved a follow-up post, recapping all the insight.

There are a lot of resources a professional organization can help you find, like: magazines, newsletters, sample reports, case studies, conferences, awards, seminars, webinars…  But, the people seem to be the real reason many communications professionals join.

B j Altschul, APR, Montgomery County Humane Society, summed it up with, “…the value of peer support and knowledge has been a key benefit of my PRSA membership.” Like many of us, Altschul has moved from city to city. Her moves brought new leadership opportunities and new friends through her new chapter.

Inspiring others:
Association for Women in Communications (AWC) member Tina Christiansen, Write as Rain® Communications, says: “These are the FIRST people I turn to when I need another professional to partner with on a project or to make a referral — or when I just need to bounce ideas around.”

“I also think volunteering for IABC activities is one of the best things anyone can do to build a personal brand. People get to know you as a person then, and not just a business card, resume or portfolio,” says independent writer and editor Richard Buse.

I liked this idea of building a personal brand. How are you known in the communications community? Many people may see me as the “BurrellesLuce woman.” But, I hope they also see me as a volunteer, leader, tweeter or another persona I try to exhibit.

Media and communications advisor Jason Berek-Lewis noted, “We live in a linked world and I believe that real value lies in having access to a large, international network of thinkers in strategic communications – that’s why I joined the IABC.” Mary Wilson, ABC, Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, agreed that the network has helped give her fresh ideas.

How are you using your professional community or organization to inspire you? Are you gaining the benefits of your membership?