The media landscape is noisy. We want to know how you broke through the noise and stood out.

Tell us how you mastered the delicate balance between powerful storytelling, relationship building, reputation management and more to create an impressive media relations strategy across multiple channels. How did you analyze media trends to generate more clicks, shares and coverage? Share the strategies you used to maximize your reach.

PR Daily’s 2020 Media Relations Awards are here to celebrate your ability to remain calm in the face of a crisis, your willingness to think beyond the standard press release and your dedication to sharable storytelling. Gain recognition for the accomplishments that made a difference for your customers, your clients or your team.

This is the premiere program for showcasing the best media relations campaigns, events and professionals from the past year.

We encourage you to submit any campaign to as many categories as you’d like. If you submit the exact same campaign into multiple categories, you’ll save on entry fees, too.

More to know about the Media Relations Awards:

  • Enter in as many categories as you'd like
  • Recognize your team members in the entry form
  • Budgetary information and other behind the scenes strategies in your entry are kept confidential
  • It takes less than 7 minutes to enter one category
  • Ask us any questions - we're here to help

See a full list of categories and eligibility requirements, and read how to enter below.

Eligibility Requirements

These awards are open to in-house, agency and independent communication practitioners, and vendors, in the private, corporate, nonprofit and government sectors. Enter your work, the work of your organization or submit entries on behalf of your client.

Companies from around the world are welcome to enter as long as the entry is submitted in English.

Contact Brendan Gannon to find the perfect category for your campaign or project. You can reach him at 312-960-4407 or brendang@ragan.com.

This year’s program is open to any work executed between March 11, 2019, and May 8, 2020, inclusive.

Recognition

Custom Certificates and Other Swag: bragging rights for your win, plus other swag as a reminder of your prowess. We’ll provide certificates for all winning projects.

Editorial & Social Media Coverage: You’ll be featured on Ragan’s web sites Ragan.com and PRDaily.com, on our social platforms and in our eletters, reaching more than 250,000 communicators and marketers.

Marketing & PR: Leverage your win in your marketing materials, press releases and other messaging.

Digital Badge: Add the Winners badge to your email signature and your web site.

Press release: We’ll provide you with a quote for your press release plus we’ll post your organization’s award release on our site to boost recognition.

CATEGORIES

CAMPAIGNS

Brand Messaging or Positioning Campaign

We want to know how you propelled your organization’s reputation forward. How did you set your brand apart from its competitors and create buzz? Did you see an increased response from the media? Tell us about the intricacies of your brand campaign and how you got your story out into the world.

Cause Marketing Campaign

Tell us how you’re contributing to causes that matter and raising the public profile of the issues your organization is dedicated to. Give us the details about your campaign strategy. Did you face a challenge while trying to raise awareness? What tools did you use to get past it? Share your campaign and results.

Community Relations Campaign

Share the methods you used to create mutually beneficial relationships with your community or your client’s community. What channels did you tap into? What were the results? Share all the details.

Crisis Communications Campaign

Effective communication is crucial during a crisis. Was your COVID-19 crisis response instrumental in delivering essential information in an unprecedented time? Was there another crisis you confronted over the past year? We want to hear about your strategy for successfully navigating a crisis.

Data-Driven Media Relations Campaign

Numbers don’t lie, and you built a campaign around metrics that led to success. How did you use data to tailor your campaign? How did you decide which metrics were important? What obstacles did you have to overcome? Share the results that proved your success.

Executive Visibility Campaign

Your high-level executives are the face of your brand. How do you train senior executives to personify and amplify your message? Who are you putting out there? We’re looking for campaigns that don’t merely “humanize” executives. We want to see campaigns that bring to life unforgettable real personalities—and at the same time tie them to organizational goals.

Global Media Relations Campaign

Your message reached audiences far and wide. We want to know how you gained the momentum to take your brand international. How does your message cross geographical boundaries? How do you make your message relevant and interesting where you live and useful to those across oceans? What was your story? Where did it travel?

Governmental or Public Affairs Media Relations Campaign

How and why did you collaborate with the media to meet governmental or public affairs goals? How did your relationship help you engage with your local community? Share how you developed this relationship and how it benefitted your organization. How did you educate the public about your group or its policy?

Integrated Marketing Communications Campaign

How did you put together a well-coordinated mix of promotional messages that reinforced your brand awareness to the media? Did you use content marketing and storytelling in your media relations blitz? What were the results?

Thought Leadership Campaign

Your organization is staffed by experts with a wealth of knowledge about your industry. How did you make sure that customers and competitors alike know this? Did you place an op-ed in a local newspaper? Did a team member author a piece for a notable trade publication? Tell us how you used brand storytelling to prove your talent in a particular industry and brand your organization as an industry thought leader.

Purpose-Driven Campaign

You or your client took a stand on important social or political issues, and consumers loved it. What was the issue you advocated for? What was the response from consumers? How did you deliver the messaging? Share the goals, obstacles and results.

Reputation Management Campaign

In times of organizational strife, it helps to remain cool-headed. While under pressure, your team understood the bigger picture and didn’t get overwhelmed by chaos or criticism. How did you mitigate a potential media disaster and keep your organization’s reputation in good standing with the public? Tell us about the crisis and how you bounced back with the help of journalists.

Social Media Campaign

We want to see evidence that you built a publicity campaign aimed at reporters, influencers and bloggers on your social media channel or channels. Explain why you chose your channels, what you hoped to do, the results, lessons learned and the effect on your organization internally. We’re interested in hearing the whole story.

EVENTS

Livestream

Your livestream received incredible engagement and helped spread the word about your organization or your client’s. What event did you livestream? Why was this a great platform for the event? Share the goals and results.

New Product or Service Launch

Tell us how your PR department or client impressed the media with the launch of a new product or service. Describe the tactics and strategy and brag about how sweet the outcome proved to be.

Press Event or Media Tour

Not only did you handle the chaos of a producing a live event, you thrived under the pressure and created an unforgettable experience. Tell us how you selected your guest list, promoted your event across channels and encouraged social media engagement. Give us the inside story of how you pulled it all together so that outstanding media coverage resulted.

Stunt or Special Event

How did your publicity stunt or special event directly or indirectly generate interest from the media for your client—or highlight your message? What ideas inspired its creation? What led to its success? How did you measure results?

MEDIA RELATIONS STRATEGY

Content Marketing and Brand Journalism

Earned media worked well for you. How did creating your own original content lead to getting picked up by media outlets? How did your content stand out on the crowded content landscape? What stories did you tell? Which mediums were most successful for you? We want to hear it all.

Exclusive Content Strategy

You found media relations success without wide distribution. Tell us how the lure of exclusivity made your strategy a success. Did you provide an exclusive to one media outlet or seek to drive traffic to only one platform? Tell us about your strategy and what made it a success.

Innovation in Media Relations

Are you tired of taking the same ineffective, repetitive route when it comes to your organization’s media relations strategy? How did you execute your vision for creating a new process, concept or slogan? What results did your idea bring that changed the way people or the media think about you or your product, service or cause? Show us.

Media Relations Video

How did your team or organization master the art of video to reach a mass audience? How do you use images, stories and real people? Do you keep it short and simple or did you create long-form videos? Did your videos incite action or use humor to educate? Show us, and tell us the story behind the screen.

Use of a Celebrity or Personality

Tell us why you thought a celebrity or personality was the best spokesperson for your brand. Did you choose a local figure, an A-lister or someone in between? How did the media respond? How does your product or service reinforce the credibility of your celebrity, and vice versa? How did you turn that match into results?

PITCH

Announcement Pitch

Something new and exciting is happening at your organization, and you wanted to share it with the media. How did you craft a pitch that was relevant to a writer’s beat and made him or her want to learn more? What outlets covered your announcement and how did that draw audiences to your brand?

Influencer Pitch

Pitching to influencers can allow you to be your most creative. What product, service or piece of news did you want influencers to know about and share? Tell us how you scouted the perfect group of influential social media stars to raise your brand’s profile among a certain demographic. Did you reach out to mommy bloggers? Beauty gurus? Gamers? Instagram-famous chihuahuas? What metrics determined the ideal influencer?

Product-Focused Pitch

You pitched a new product to a publication in hopes of landing in holiday shopping guides, “Best Of” lists or even demonstration video segments. How did you refine your pitch so it showed off what’s special about your product? Tell us how you got writers and producers excited about your product. How did that effect awareness, your social media following and sales?

Trend Pitch or Newsjacking

What’s happening in the news or in the world of pop culture that tied in perfectly with your brand? How did you capitalize on a fleeting trend to get attention for your brand, product or service? Share how you crafted the pitch and the results.

Visual Pitch

We want to see pitches with a strong visual element. How did you do some of the legwork for journalists by providing research, infographics or data visualization? Did you provide any other unique creative assets? Share how you positioned the story angle and how your strong visuals made it a quality lead for writers and editors.

GRAND PRIZE

Media Relations Campaign of the Year

We’re seeking well-rounded and robust campaigns that were a huge success. Share with us everything you did to reach the stars. Winners will be picked in each of these categories: Over $50,000 Under $50,000 Under $10,000

Media Relations Innovator of the Year

For you, the status quo just didn’t quite cut it; mundane isn’t in your vocabulary. You set aside the ordinary media relations approach in favor of something extraordinary and new. What innovative tactics and strategy did you employ to achieve outstanding success? What was your overall goal, and how did you manage to overcome challenges along the way? Share the results.

Media Relations Professional of the Year

You’re a maestro of the media relations world. Your campaigns and initiatives led to outstanding coverage for your organization or clients. Maybe you were a one-person team that delivered success usually saved for larger teams. Maybe you were the leader of a media relations team that mentored colleagues and achieved success. If you believe you were the best media relations pro around, we’re looking for you. Share the details.

How To Enter

On the entry form, be sure to include a thorough synopsis explaining the purpose and scope of your project. We ask that the synopsis be at least 500 words (max: 1,250 words) and include the following sub-headings (when applicable):

  • Goals
  • Strategy and tactics
  • Execution
  • Evaluation: success, results or ROI

Be sure to follow the guidelines laid out in the category descriptions, as the judges will look for those elements when they select the winners.

You will be able to upload additional documents to your submission. We encourage you to include press releases, design concepts, videos, analytics, testimonials and anything else you feel will give us a better sense of your project. Proprietary or internal information can also be attached and will not be shared with the public.

Supporting documents that can’t be uploaded to the system should be mailed to:

*NEW ADDRESS*

Brendan Gannon
Ragan Communications 
10 S. LaSalle St., Suite 310
Chicago, IL 60603

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should you apply?
Our award programs help you measure the success of your work and prove the value of your contributions to your organization. You can set yourself apart in the industry as an expert, which will open doors throughout your career. As a winner, you’ll earn publicity for your brand across our websites and social media audiences, discounted training at Ragan conferences, a custom write-up about your campaign and a trophy.
Who can enter?
Entries may be submitted by organizations worldwide. The only requirement is that entries be submitted in English. The program is open to in-house, agency, independent communication practitioners and vendors in the private, corporate, nonprofit and government sectors.
What does it take to be a winner?
We look for top-quality work that shows clear, bold and creative ideas that benefit your business or client. Please provide metrics or media coverage that back up your claims, and share creative collateral such as videos, visual design or websites that were a part of your project. Please look at our past award winners to see what gets recognized and rewarded. We encourage you to submit the same campaign to multiple categories, if you feel they are relevant. Doing so increases your chances of winning.
What are the entry requirements?
The entry form requires that you submit a synopsis explaining the purpose and scope of your project. The synopsis—no more than 1,250 words, please—should include the following sub-headings (when applicable):
  • Goals
  • Strategy and tactics
  • Execution
  • Evaluation: success, results or ROI
Campaigns must have been executed within 12 months prior to the date we begin accepting submissions for a given program.
Why are some deadlines extended?
We extend deadlines based on applicant needs and upcoming promotional opportunities.
When will I find out results?
We try to announce a list of finalists six to eight weeks after the close of the program. The announcement of the winners comes about three to four weeks after the announcement of the finalists. Each announcement will be made with a headline on our website, in our daily email newsletter and on our social media platforms. Emails notify entrants in advance of these announcements. As deadlines are extended, so are expected announcement dates.

Additional Questions

If you have any questions about the program or problems submitting your entry, please call Brendan Gannon at 312-960-4407 or email him at brendang@ragan.com.

Sponsorship Opportunities

If you are interested in sponsoring one of Ragan Communications’ award programs, please contact Hannah Lavelle at hannahl@ragan.com

Ragan Communications is not responsible for international shipping fees related to Winner trophies.