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Q. What programs are eligible for entry into the National Capital Excellence in Communication Awards?
We have entries for programs, components within public relations programs, research, and agency/communication team.

At least some part of the program or component must have occurred in the prior calendar year. Programs have a better chance of winning near their completion, when evaluation against initial objectives can be measured.

Q. I’m confused about which category to enter. There seem to be several into which mine might fit. Can you help?
Sometimes there indeed are two or more different categories into which an entry might fit. Entrants must select a single category per entry. However, entrants may choose to enter their program in more than one category, provided that it applies to the specific criteria stated within that category.

Q. Will my entry be disqualified if it is entered into the wrong category?
While our judges can disqualify any entry that does not fit in the category entered, this is a rare action and taken only when an entrant has blatantly disregarded the category description.

Q. Can you tell me how many entries fall in the different categories?
No. We do not reveal the number of entries in any category or sub-category. You should select the category or categories you feel best fit the entry without trying to guess what the competition in a particular one might be. The number of entries in each category varies from year to year.

Q. The rules ask for budgetary disclosure, but my client insists on confidentiality. What do I do?
Budget is required, as it is an integral part of any public relations program. Specific figures will be kept confidential unless the budget amount is mentioned as part of your 50-word summary. We suggest that you speak in broader terms on how the budget was applied to the program.

Q. Where and when are the National Capital Excellence in Communication Awards presented?
The National Capital Excellence in Communication Award finalists are posted online, and the Awards event will be held Nov. 4, 2021. 

Q. What are the judges looking for in terms of measurement of a program’s success?
PRSA endorses the Barcelona Principles, which are intended to encourage best practices for measuring public relations and communications programs.

To facilitate measurement, programs should:

  • Have Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely (SMART) objectives.
  • Demonstrate how your public relations team made a tangible contribution to the organization through the program’s objectives.
  • Demonstrate the impact of the program on the target audience.
  • Show a link between your activity and your or your client’s business or organizational goals, and specifically demonstrate impact on business outcomes.
  • Not confuse the value of Advertising Value Equivalencies (AVEs) with the overall value of the public relations program.¹

¹ In line with AMEC’s commitment to the Barcelona Principles framework, the use of AVEs as the “value of earned media” will be considered very unfavorably by the judges. The consideration of AVEs as a value or benefit is simply wrong.

More Questions?

2021 National Capital Excellence in Communication Awards Chair: Elizabeth Thiel Mather, APR, ethielmather@gmail.com

PRSA NCC Chapter Staff Support: info@prsancc.org

National Capital Excellence in Communication Awards Sponsorships: Myles Goldman, mylesgoldman.ma@gmail.com