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Still working on your #BIM19 Entries? Here’s some tips!

Design courtesy of Devaney & Associates

Still working on your 2019 Best in Maryland entries? Or have you finished but just not sure if it’s good enough?

Did you know that every year, we see entries get pushed aside not because the campaign or component wasn’t creative, effective and successful, but because the entry wasn’t? It’s not enough to show what you did – you need to show how you did it and what the outcome was.

So to help answer any nagging questions you may have, here’s some things to consider as you complete your entries:

Before Preparing Your Entry:

  • Take the time to determine if your entry is truly award-winning. Did you make an impact on the organization’s bottom-line? Was there a reason for doing the program in the first place? If you can’t come up with a good reason for doing the award entry (besides “my boss wants me to do it”), you will have a hard time putting it together.
  • Know the entry criteria. Many award entries are submitted without measurable objectives or outcomes, budget or timelines. If you leave out information that is requested in the entry form, you will lose points. If you can follow the four-step strategic planning process for program entries (click here), you are more likely to have a good entry.

Objectives:

  • Think long and hard about your objectives. They should outline what you’re trying to accomplish as a result of your entry. Remember, the objective is not the entry itself.
  • Objectives should be SMART: Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound.

Research/Evaluation (these tend to be the weakest areas of entries):

  • You might have done informal research without even realizing it. Look back at your records; did you talk with personal contacts, key informants, advisory committees and boards, and field employees about the issue? That’s informal research. (But don’t push it.)
  • Your evaluation should iterate your objectives verbatim and then show how you achieved them specifically.
  • Even though qualitative data can work for evaluation purposes and explaining results, it’s always good to build in quantitative data as well.
  • Identify ways you can evaluate a program and build evaluation in at the beginning. Even if you don’t have a huge budget, you can still plan some measurement capability.

 Supporting Materials:

  • Provide back-up materials to your summary. If you talk about something in your one- or two-page summary, please include with your submission.  The judges want to see evidence of your hard work, so be sure to show it off!

Before Submitting to the Awards Committee:

  • Don’t worry if one of your sections isn’t as strong as another. As long as the section is addressed, it should be okay.
  • When in doubt, submit. Forces beyond your control – such as the number of entrants in a category, judges’ prerogatives, etc. – have a lot to do with winning. Besides, the exercise you go through in assessing your work and putting it together according to PRSA qualifications is worth the exercise, because it sets you up to evaluate your own work. You can often make use of this in making a case for continuing a program, launching a new one, or increasing the budget to do more.
  • Proof your entry carefully! If you have a typo in the summary (which we’ve seen happen!), the judges are very likely to take your entry less seriously than they would that of a well-written summary.

And of course, if you still have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at info@prsamd.org or call our chapter office at 301-725-2508 and ask away.

Click here for Categories

Click here on Preparing Your Entries

#BIM19 News: From Submitting to Winning!

By Lisa Brusio Coster

I know that in 2018 you addressed a communications challenge with exemplary professional skill, creativity and resourcefulness. So, wait no longer to submit your winning work for a Best in Maryland (BIM) award.

Be an early bird and save some of your hard-earned money by submitting by August 16.  If you have too much vacationing to do before then, submit by the drop-dead date of August 30.

From someone who has entered eight BIM awards since 2005, and won more than I have lost, I want to share my knowledge and insights. Now familiar with the process, I prepare the elements of a submission of what I believe will be a successful project when I start the work, not when the submission deadlines are announced.  This may not work for you this month, but it is something to keep in mind for next year.  So, in other words, begin with the end in mind, not only in terms of your client’s goals but also with your professional goals (winning awards!). Today, I hope it allows you to focus on a 2018 success (or two) to submit.

While it is about the results of a successful campaign or tactic, the most important part of completing an award entry is to clearly and concisely summarize your entry in TWO PAGES.  This can be challenging because we are PR people who like to talk and write A LOT.  Furthermore, keep in mind your audience will NOT have any background on your project, so you also need to provide context, avoid jargon and SPELL OUT acronyms. And, again this must be done in TWO PAGES or the entry could be disqualified.  Furthermore, the components of that summary are different depending upon your category, for instance:

Campaigns Require:

  • Research
  • Planning
  • Execution
  • Evaluation

Tactics Require:

  • Planning/Content
  • Creativity/Quality
  • Technical Excellence
  • Results

As I was told many years ago by a WINNING colleague, make sure your results or evaluation map back to your planning. Did you make your goals or exceed them? Include numbers, percentages, demographics, psychographics. Don’t submit if you realize you didn’t meet the intended targets.

Another tip – have a trusted colleague who is not familiar with your work review your submission. You will be surprised by the questions they may have because you are too close to your work. Edit, re-structure and clarify based on their feedback.

To avoid nepotism, a panel of public relations professionals from ANOTHER CHAPTER will judge entries and select winners. Judges may only present one Best in Maryland award and up to two other entries for an Award of Excellence in each category. Judges reserve the right to not select an award in a given category. Judges also reserve the right to re-categorize materials. The decisions of the judges are final.

Once your entry is submitted, enjoy what is left of summer and be confident that you highlighted the right project or campaign to take a BIM back to the office. Finalists will be notified in October and winners announced at the BIM Gala on December 4 at the Mt. Washington Mill Dye House. Good luck!

PRSA Maryland Chapter Bestows 44 “Best in Maryland” and Professional Awards

Best in Show Winners: Pictured left to right are: Chuck Fitzgibbon, Weber Shandwick, and members of Chesapeake Employers Insurance’s  Communications team:  Jim Taylor; Claudia Ciolfi; Dianna Fornaro, APR; Donna Wilson; Meaghan Yurek; Carolyn Gutermuth; and Archie Johnson.

The Public Relations Society of America Maryland Chapter (PRSA MD) presented its 2018 Best in Maryland awards December 11. Best in Maryland showcases exemplary efforts in public relations, communications, and marketing by PR firms, solo practitioners, marketing agencies, associations, and corporate communications teams. Kate Amara, reporter, and Barry Simms, I-Team reporter, both at WBAL-TV in Baltimore, emceed the Best in Maryland Gala and Holiday Party, December 11, at Martin’s West in Baltimore.

The 2018 Best in Show, the top BIM winner from all categories, was awarded to the Towson-based Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company for its, “Let’s Work to Reduce Opioid Addiction Now” reputation/brand management campaign.

Best in Maryland is the top award in each category, followed by the Awards of Excellence, if appropriate. The following are winners in the PR campaigns category:

Community Relations
Award of Excellence: Hope Lives Here Fundraising Program, Chase Brexton Health Care and  Devaney & Associates

Crisis Communications
Best in Maryland: Hurricane Harvey & Irma Response, Erickson Living

Events and Observances fewer than 7 days
Best in Maryland: Sheetz Launches Made-to-Order Cafe in Charlottesville, Planit
Award of Excellence: Beyond Bars 25th Anniversary commemoration, Girl Scouts of Central Maryland

Events and Observances more than 7 days
Best in Maryland: Belair Road Supply Centennial Anniversary, Clapp Communications

Integrated Communications
Best in Maryland: Integrace Brand Awareness Campaign, Integrace and Devaney & Associates
Award of Excellence: New Laws Campaign, Maryland Auto Insurance

Internal Communications
Best in Maryland: Be a Customer Service Superhero, Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company
Award of Excellence: 2017 Employee Engagement, Building a Better Workday, LifeBridge Health

Marketing
Best in Maryland: We Love Lifting You Higher, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport and Weber Shandwick
Award of Excellence: BGE Lighting Discount Campaign, BGE

Multicultural
Best in Maryland: New Laws Campaign, Maryland Auto Insurance

Public Service
Best in Maryland: Raising Awareness of the Maryland Poison Center, University of Maryland School of Pharmacy
Award of Excellence: Annual Check-Up Campaign, Carroll Hospital and Devaney & Associates
Award of Excellence: New Laws Campaign, Maryland Auto Insurance

Reputation/Brand Management
Best in Maryland: Let’s Work to Reduce Opioid Addiction Now, Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company

The following are the winners in the category of PR components:

Advertorials
Best in Maryland: Spanish-language Advertorials, Maryland Auto Insurance

Annual Reports
Best in Maryland: Building Stronger Connections – 2016 Annual Report, Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company
Award of Excellence: Maryland/DC 2017 Annual Impact Report, The Nature Conservancy in Maryland/DC

Blogs
Best in Maryland: Flooding the Swamp: Pocomoke Restoration, The Nature Conservancy in Maryland/DC
Award of Excellence: Van Eperen Voices, Van Eperen

Creative Tactics – Assoc/Nonprofit/Govt
Best in Maryland: Maryland Auto Minute, Maryland Auto Insurance

Editorial/Op-Ed Columns/Story Placement
Best in Maryland: Don’t Trash Maryland, Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration
Award of Excellence: Private Sector Solutions, Public Sector Challenges, Greater Baltimore Committee
Award of Excellence: Voice of America, Van Eperen

Magazines/Newsletters – Print
Best in Maryland: A Healthy Dose Magazine, Carroll Hospital and Devaney & Associates

Media Relations – Assoc/Nonprofit/Govt
Best in Maryland: Integrace Media Relations Campaign, Devaney & Associates
Award of Excellence: The Investment Gap in Spending on Infrastructure, American Society of Civil Engineers & News Generation, Inc.

Media Relations – For Profit
Best in Maryland: Charm City Bluegrass Festival, Planit
Award of Excellence: Supporting PC44 and Maryland’s Electric Vehicle Goals, Baltimore Gas and Electric
Award of Excellence: CBRB Mid-Atlantic President Media Tour, Clapp Communications

Publications
Award of Excellence: 2018 Scholarly Journals Catalog, JHU Press Journals Division

Social Media – Assoc/Nonprofit/Govt
Best in Maryland: “Victories for Veterans” Social Media Video Series, Crosby Marketing Communications
Award of Excellence: Securing America’s Future: The Power of Liberal Arts Education, Van Eperen and Council of Independent Colleges

Social Media – For Profit
Best in Maryland: Powering Lives Through Corporate Citizenship, BGE

Videos
Best in Maryland: SPARK Incubator – JPEO-CBRND, A. Bright Idea
Award of Excellence: Overcoming Opioids, Maryland Public Television

Websites
Best in Maryland: ForYourMarriage.org Relaunch, Crosby Marketing Communications

Click here to read winning entries summaries.

Professional and leadership awards were also given and include:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Pattie Yu, nationally recognized communications counselor and founder of Maryland PR agency, The Yu Crew
  • Educator of the Year Award – Tania Rosas-Moreno, Ph.D., associate professor of Communication at Loyola University Maryland
  • Rising Star Award – Catherine Gordon, associate, Client Experience, Weber Shandwick, Baltimore
  • PR Team of the Year Award – Lisa Brusio Coster, president of Coster Communications, and Dorothy Fuchs-Yeager, president of Purple Dot PR
  • Partner of Distinction Award – Mariner Management & Marketing in Columbia, MD, an association management firm that has been servicing PRSA MD for 13 years

Click here to read more on our professional award honorees.

The 2018 sponsors were Coster Communications, Purple Dot PR, Coyle Studios, Lisa Fargnoli, and In Tandem Design.

Click here to see who was there.

About PRSA Maryland
The Maryland Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA Maryland) helps public relations and communications professionals stay connected professionally and personally. As part of the nation’s largest and foremost organization of communication professionals, PRSA Maryland offers networking, training, resources and support to assist members in practicing public relations at the speed of communication. Click here to learn more.

Pattie Yu to Receive PRSA Maryland Chapter’s Lifetime Achievement Award

By Jeffrey Davis, APR

Pattie Yu, nationally recognized communications counselor and founder of Maryland PR agency The Yu Crew, will receive top honors as the Lifetime Achievement recipient at the 2018 Best in Maryland Gala, the Public Relations Society of America Maryland Chapter’s annual awards event on Dec. 11.

Yu will be acknowledged for her distinguished visionary leadership and her tireless commitments to mentorship and volunteerism. She has worked with several well-respected national public relations firms, including Porter Novelli and Fleishman-Hillard. She has 35 years of experience as a professional communicator, including The Yu Crew which she founded seven years ago. Yu is regarded by colleagues as a pioneer in the field of public relations.

“Pattie Yu is a superb professional, a leader, a tireless volunteer for worthy causes, and an inspiration to up-and-coming PR [professionals],” Bill Novelli, now a professor in the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, wrote in his nomination letter to the chapter. “There is absolutely no one more deserving of this award. I am proud to nominate her, and especially proud of Pattie herself.”

“Pattie’s communication career has been marked by exceptional experiences and achievements,” said PRSA Maryland Chapter President Claudia Ciolfi. “Her passion for the public relations and communication profession is contagious, as is her desire to serve as a mentor and support young communications professionals with the Public Relations Student Society of America, University of Maryland, Morgan State University and Washington Women in Public Relations, in their education and career pursuits.”

Recently, she served on Washington Women in Public Relations’ Emerging Leaders Award task force and currently sits on its Advisory Council.  Yu’s virtual PR agency has been recognized with numerous industry awards, including two Silver Anvils, ASAE’s Overall Gold Circle, PRSA Maryland’s “Best of Show” and the National Capital Chapter’s Thoth awards.

Others that will be recognized during the Dec. 11 Best in Maryland gala for their individual and team achievements in public relations include:

Educator of the Year Award
Tania Rosas-Moreno, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Communication at Loyola University

PR Team of the Year Award
Lisa Brusio Coster, president of Coster Communications, and Dorothy Fuchs-Yeager, president of Purple Dot PR

Rising Star
Catherine Gordon, Associate, Client Experience, Weber Shandwick Baltimore

Click here to learn more about our professional award honorees.

In addition to the individual and leadership awards, Best in Maryland will showcase exemplary efforts in public relations, communications, and marketing by PR firms, solo practitioners, marketing agencies, associations and corporate communications teams. Kate Amara, reporter at WBAL-TV in Baltimore, will emcee the event, which will be held on December 11 at Martin’s West in Baltimore.

For more information on nominations and event registration, click here

Congratulations to our “Best in Maryland” 2018 Nominees!

The results are in!

 

Presenting our 2018 Best in Maryland Award Nominees!

 

A Bright Idea

American Society of Civil Engineers & News Generation, Inc.

Baltimore Gas and Electric

BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport with Weber Shandwick

Carroll Hospital | Devaney & Associates

Chase Brexton Health Care | Devaney & Associates

Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company

Clapp Communications

Crosby Marketing Communications

Devaney & Associates

Erickson Living

Girl Scouts of Central Maryland

Greater Baltimore Committee

Integrace | Devaney & Associates

JHU Press Journals Division

LifeBridge Health

Maryland Auto Insurance

Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration

Maryland Public Television

Planit

The Nature Conservancy in Maryland/DC

University of Maryland School of Pharmacy

Van Eperen

Van Eperen and Council of Independent Colleges

 

Winners will be announced on December 11 at the 2018 Best in Maryland Gala at Martin’s West in Baltimore. Join us as we celebrate another successful year in Maryland PR and Communications. We’ll also honor our Lifetime Achievement recipient and award the Educator of the Year, Rising Star and PR Team of the Year. Our grand finale is the reveal of the BEST IN SHOW! Click here for details and registration information.

Do you have award worthy work or staff? Submit to #BIM18

The Devaney team had so much fun with #BIM last year, they are still talking about! Don’t miss out on your chance to take home a #BIM18 and have much to celebrate all 2019.

Last date for Best In Maryland entries submission is one week away – September 14!

New Category this year: Influencer communications!

The entry process is fully electronic (no binders to build!) and we even have tips on creating a winning entry to help you. Categories are diverse ranging from traditional PR campaign and tools to podcasts, video, and influencer communication; click here for a complete list!

And we have an array of professional awards including PR Team!

For instructions on submitting, click here.

For information on the Dec 12 Gala, click here.

 

A special thanks to our #BIM18 Sponsors …

Printing

Thank You to Our Chapter Sponsors

Thank You to Our Chapter Sponsors