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Download the 2021 Call for Entries to learn about eligibility, entry requirements, deadlines and fees.  



You may submit full communication programs or campaigns to be recognized for excellence in the following categories. On the online entry form, select the category that most closely fits the primary purpose of your entry. You may submit more than one entry per category or entries in multiple categories, but each entry must be submitted online separately.

Helpful hint: Did you enter the National PRSA Silver Anvil awards competition? You may use your Silver Anvil entry as a starting point as the program criteria for the PRSA NCC National Capital Excellence in Communication Awards (ECAs) follows the criteria for the national PRSA Silver Anvil Awards. However, your entry MUST meet the rules and criteria as outlined by PRSA NCC for the ECAs. 

Community Relations: Programs that seek to win the support or cooperation of, or that aim to improve relations with, people or organizations in communities in which the sponsoring organization has an interest, need or opportunity. “Community” in this category refers to a specific geographic location or locations.

Reputation/Brand Management: Programs designed to enhance, promote or improve the reputation of an organization with its publics, either proactively or in response to an issue, event or market occurrence.

Events and Observances: Programs or events (not including planning and preparation). Events may be, but are not limited to, commemorations, observances, openings, celebrations, and may be digital due to COVID.

Innovation due to COVID-19: Programs that had to be planned or altered significantly due to the conditions for communication during the pandemic, and that showed not just an ability to pivot in traditional ways, but rather fresh thinking and innovation in their approach toward meeting the goals.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Any type of program (i.e., institutional, marketing or community relations) by a governmental or non-governmental communications team specifically targeted to cultural group that is underrepresented in some way, including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, culture, gender and/or educational level. The entry should explain clearly what diversity, equity and inclusion goal the program aims to address.  

Public Service: Programs that advance public understanding of a societal issue, problem or concern. Similar programs conducted principally to enhance an organization’s standing or to otherwise serve its interests directly should fall in Reputation/Brand Management.

Public Affairs: Programs specifically designed to influence public policy and/or affect legislation, regulations, political activities or candidacies—at the local, state or federal government levels—so that the entity funding the program benefits.

Crisis Communications: Program undertaken to deal with an event or issue that has had or may have an extraordinary impact, and this also includes Issues Management. Issues Management covers programs that have dealt with issues that could extraordinarily affect ongoing business strategy.

Misinformation/Disinformation/False News: Programs aimed at combating misinformation/disinformation with well-researched, fact-based information that gets through to publics that may be in the thrall of misinformation/disinformation. 

Internal Communication: Programs targeted specifically to special publics directly affiliated with, or within, an organization (i.e., employees, members, affiliated dealers or franchisees). Subcategories:

  • Internal Communication for Companies and Organizations with Fewer than 1,000 Employees
  • Internal Communication for Companies and Organizations with More than 1,000 Employees

Influencer Marketing: Agencies, organizations and platforms that are helping brands to plan, smartly execute and measure their influencer marketing campaigns either as a standalone campaign or as part of a multi-channel effort.

Media Relations: Proactive outreach campaigns designed to target and leverage a specific type of media community on behalf of an issue, a product, service or organization. Submit any supporting materials, such as press releases, media advisories, satellite media tour materials, pitches, relevant tweets or posts, requests for coverage, outgoing messages to bloggers, etc., along with evidence of the resulting media coverage.

For online coverage, provide the URL for actual sites that still are live and relevant to the project. For TV and Radio broadcast coverage, upload materials. For print articles, blog posts or other online coverage, provide upload screen captures or PDFs.

Subcategories for this category are by industry:

  • Business
  • Government
  • Associations/Nonprofit Organizations

Integrated Communication: A program that employs the creative and effective integration and leadership of public relations strategies and tactics with other promotional marketing communication. It should demonstrate the integration of strategies, plus the budget and measurement of return on investment of the communication to any stakeholder group including employees, consumers, the media, investors and/or shareholders/stakeholders. Subcategories:

  • Consumer Products or Services
  • Business-to-Business
  • Government
  • Associations/Nonprofit Organizations

Pro Bono Public Relations: A public relations program created on behalf of or by a nonprofit (501(c)(3) organization [proof of nonprofit status required]. This program must be created, developed and executed by an individual practitioner or an agency without financial compensation to that individual or agency.