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2019 Best in Maryland Awards Gala

Save the date to join us as we celebrate the “Best in Maryland”! We are planning a very exciting and different awards gala this year in the beautiful Mt. Washington Mill Dye House. More information coming this summer!

And watch your mailboxes for The Call for Entries! Please begin to gather your materials and prepare your entries. For more information and the categories, click here. Deadline for Entries is August 16 for Early Bird and August 30 for final.

 

 

 

#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!

2018 Best in Maryland Gala

Sold out!

A NIGHT TO CELEBRATE THE BEST OF OUR PROFESSION

Click here for a list of our nominees and see who you’ll be celebrating with!

The evening includes a festive cocktail hour, dinner, and awards presentation.

Featuring emcees …

Kate Amara, Reporter, WBAL-TV
Click here to read about Kate

Barry Simms, I-Team Reporter, WBAL-TV
Click here to read about Barry

Event Details:

Reception: 5:30 p.m.
Dinner: 6:30 p.m.
Awards ceremony follow

Tickets – Includes reception and dinner (choice of 3 entrees). Cash bar available.

  • Members/Nominees – $115
  • Individual Tickets for Guests – $150
  • Students – $100. Help us support our PRSSA student members by being a student sponsor. Pay this special registration rate and they’ll sit with you at the gala. Bring your own student or we’ll match you with one. Please contact us for more details.
  • VIP TABLE – $1,250. Just need special attention the night of the event? This level includes priority location, special signage, and two bottles of wine served exclusively to your guests. Ticket includes dinner for eight (8). Two more seats can be added at the regular event price. Have an extra seat? Save it for a student!

Online Registration is now closed. There are limited seats left. Please contact us at info@prsamd.org for more information.

*We will be raffling off several items with proceeds going to the Kathleen Kelly Undergraduate Scholarship. Be sure to bring cash.

A Special Thanks to our 2018 Best in Maryland Sponsors …

Centerpiece (co-sponsor)

Centerpiece (co-sponsor)

And our 2018 Best in Maryland Partners  …

Photography

Printing

Want to join the list? We have several unique opportunities to get your brand noticed including exclusive Dinner, Dessert and Centerpiece sponsorships. Or you can sponsor our pre-dinner reception with one of two sponsorships including Cocktail or Hors d’oeuvres (multiple available). Click here for more details or call us at PRSA Maryland Chapter office 301-725-2508 to create one of your own. 

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

More #BIM18 Tips for Creating that Award-winning Entry!

Here are some tips from past winners to help you bring home that award.

#1: The military calls it “lessons learned.”

“Before you dive into this year’s award entries, take a moment to review previous entries – winning submissions and non-winners alike – with special attention to where the entry submissions excelled, where they may have fallen short, and how they could have been improved. Take these lessons learned from previous entries and apply them to your current submissions.”

“Entering for the first time? Tap colleagues who are willing to share entries they’ve submitted to previous Best in Maryland competitions. You’ll be able to conduct the same “lessons learned” review of the entries, and you may even pick up an idea or two that you hadn’t thought of including in your own submissions!” – Tom Williams, APR, Maryland Public Television

#2: Bookmark the entry guidelines webpage and review its contents often.

“In addition to providing specific directions for each of the four categories that are required of all entry submissions, the page provides several questions your team’s submissions must answer.”

“Once your entry is ready for submission, conduct a final check by going over each question posed on the guidelines webpage and your team’s answer to each. All done? Send in your entry – and best wishes for your success!” – Fran Minakowski, APR, Fellow PRSA, Maryland Public Television

#3: Focus on what makes your campaign unique.

“Try thinking about your campaign from beginning to end and pick out the points that make it most unique. Consider the different award categories and try to think where the unique aspect of your campaign will stand out the most. While there may be a lot of competition, using the most original and most creative aspects of your campaign as a competitive edge will make you stand out to the judges, especially in specific award categories. The BIM Early Bird deadline is fast approaching, and you don’t want to miss it! Submit by August 31.” – Claire Howachyn, Van Eperen

 
#4: Use resources to your advantage
 
“Another great source is the PRSA Silver Anvil case studies that are available online. Those case studies will give you great guidance on how to prepare your BIM award entry.” – Lisa Miles, past chapter president and awards judge
 
 
 

Want to see more? Click here and here for tips from past winners and judges.

Thank You to Our Chapter Sponsors

Thank You to Our Chapter Sponsors