Entry Deadline:

This program is now closed.

Learn more about current programs here.

Standing out and delivering on the media landscape has become increasingly difficult.

We want to hear how you told powerful stories, protected your organization’s reputation, navigated uncertainty during the pandemic, built mutually beneficial relationships with reporters and more to create a robust media relations strategy.

Ragan’s Media Relations Awards will showcase the people and teams whose efforts positioned their organization or client in a positive light and delivered compelling messaging. This is the premiere program for recognizing the best media relations campaigns, events (live or virtual) and initiatives from the past year.

Showcase your innovative tactics for securing media coverage, your ability to remain calm during a crisis, your knack for crafting engaging narratives. If you’ve been a part of campaigns and initiatives that led to success for your organization or client, we want to hear about it.

Enter Ragan’s Media Relations Awards to earn recognition for your impressive work from the past year! Winners will be announced in special editorial programming and will receive awards trophies and more.

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.

 COVID-19 Communications Campaign

You likely had to change your approach to respond to a global pandemic. We want to hear how you pivoted your media relations plans during COVID-19. What innovations did you make or new initiatives did you create? Tell us how you reached your audiences safely in what was unchartered global territory.

 Crisis or 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.

 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.

 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative

You created a campaign or initiative that promoted diversity, equity and inclusion. What were the goals? How did you use your communications platform to combat discrimination against the marginalized group(s) you were supporting?

 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?

 Purpose-Driven Campaign

You or your client took a stand on important social or political issues, and consumers appreciated your response. 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.

 Social Media Campaign

We want to see evidence that you built a publicity campaign 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.

 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.

EVENTS

 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 or virtual 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?

 Virtual Event

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

This past year called for innovative ways to achieve your media relations goals. 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.

 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.

 Pitch

Something new and exciting is happening at your organization or for your clients, and you wanted to share it with the media. What were you announcing? 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 or your client’s brand?

 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?

GRAND PRIZE

 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

 Grand Prize: Media Relations Innovator of the Year

2020 called for innovative media relations professionals like yourself. 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.

 Grand Prize: 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

Campaign or Initiative Entries: 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 no more than 1,000 words and include the following sub-headings (when applicable):

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

Individual or Team Entries: Tell us in 1,000 words or less about the nominee’s or team's accomplishments in the previous 12 months. Winners will be those who have distinguished themselves among their peers with meaningful achievements. Please include examples of creative campaigns or initiatives that have proved beneficial to your organization or clients. When applicable, please include the following sub-headings:

  • 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:

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

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

These awards are open to in-house, agency and independent communication practitioners 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 call 312-960-4407 or email brendang@ragan.com.

This year’s program is open to any work executed between Jan. 1, 2020, and March 12, 2021, inclusive.

ENTRY FEES

The fee for this program is $425 per entry into standard categories. Grand Prize entries are $475 per entry.

A late fee of $199 per entry will be added to all entries after 11:59 p.m. Central time, March 19, 2021.

Do you have a campaign, project, person or team you'd like to enter into multiple categories? Pay the original entry fee, and then only $199 for each additional category!

W-9 Form / Tax ID Number Request

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, 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?
Although each award program is unique, 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—and you'll receive discounted rates on additional entries.
Why are some deadlines extended?
We extend deadlines based on applicant needs and upcoming promotional opportunities.
When will I find out results?
Finalists will be announced in summer 2021. The announcement of the winners comes about 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 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 brendang@ragan.com.

Sponsorship Opportunities

If you are interested in sponsoring one of Ragan Communications’ award programs, please contact Hannah Lavelle at 312-960-4628 or email hannahl@ragan.com.

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