It’s almost time to recognize the winners of the 2020 Influence Awards program! 

But first, we’re excited to announce a few changes to this year’s celebration. Our virtual event will take place across the week of Nov. 16 with a series of short, live sessions broadcast on social media, including Influence and Merit award winner recognition, Distinguished award winner Q&As, and more.

A full agenda and details for participation will follow; for now, join us in our excitement as we prepare to celebrate the most impactful work of Sacramento’s communications community.

Stay tuned! For more information, please contact the Influence Awards Committee Co-Chairs:

Stephanie Fretwell, stephanie.fretwell@fsresidential.com

Jordyn Anderson, jordyn.anderson@edelman.com

Daniel Thigpen, dthigpen@cde.ca.gov

ABOUT OUR AWARDS CATEGORIES

Signature Awards

With the evolving world around us, we’ve expanded our list of signature awards to include two awards that honor the important and influential work being done to alleviate our communities during the numerous crises that have struck home this year.

Evaluation: One honoree will be selected for each category via majority vote by members of a special judging committee. In order to participate in the judging committee, members must be appointed by the PRSA CCC Board and Influence Award Committee and be APRs and/or have more than 15 years of professional experience.

  • NEW – Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice Award: Honors outstanding efforts by an agency, organization or individual to promote inclusivity and/or dismantle discrimination of ethnically and socially diverse communities in 2020 (in-progress or complete). Work submitted can include long or short-term campaigns and/or an event directed toward or directly supporting underserved and marginalized communities. To win, the effort must demonstrate how public relations and communications strategies or tactics were deployed, and to what degree success was achieved, to drive positive change.
  • NEW – Community in Crisis Award: Recognizes the most impactful work in 2020 (in-progress or complete) by an organization, agency or individual to alleviate and uplift one or more communities during a crisis. Work submitted can include long or short-term campaigns and/or an event directed toward or directly supporting communities experiencing a crisis. The winning effort must demonstrate how public relations and communications strategies or tactics were deployed, and to what degree success was achieved, to alleviate the crisis.
  • RETURNING – The CAPPIE: An ode to the Sacramento Public Relations Association, the CAPPIE Honors the most successful or inspiring public relations campaign that distinctly enhanced or promoted the Sacramento region over the past year. Work submitted can include a long or short-term campaign or an event, such as commemorations, observances, openings, year-long anniversaries, celebrations or other special activities. The winning campaign or event must demonstrate how public relations tactics and strategies were used to highlight the positive economic, social, cultural or environmental aspects of the Sacramento region.
  • Influencer of the Year: Recognizes a local professional with 10 or more years of experience in strategic communications. Nominations should address the candidate’s contributions to the field of public relations, as well as their service in the community at large. Judges will consider the nominee’s professional accomplishments and, if applicable, past or present involvement in PRSA.
  • Distinguished Young Influencer: Recognizes a local professional or student – age 35 and younger – with 5 years or less of experience in the public relations field. Nominations should address the candidate’s contributions to the field of public relations, as well as their service in the community at large. Judges will consider the nominee’s professional accomplishments and, if applicable, past or present involvement in PRSA. Additionally, judges will consider what sets the individual apart from their peers and evidence of their likelihood to continue to impact and influence the public relations profession/ community.
  • Influential Agency of the Year and Influential Organization of the Year: Recognizes how an agency or organization elevates the communications profession and sets an industry benchmark for excellence. Agency nominations should demonstrate client growth and retention in 2019-20, as well as project creativity. Organization nominations should highlight the marketing/ communication team’s achievements in 2019/2020 and reference examples of campaigns that resonated with your stakeholders. Judges will consider the nominee’s professional accomplishments and, if applicable, past or present involvement in PRSA.

Programs and Campaigns

Evaluation: To ensure the utmost objectivity, each Influence Award submission will be reviewed by a separate state chapter of PRSA. Submissions will be scored on a 100-point scale and awarded at the “Merit” level if the combined score is 80 points or higher. Submissions will be awarded at the “Influence” level if the combined score is 90 points or higher. The categories are not competitive, so many categories will have multiple winners.

Programs /Campaigns: A program encapsulates a fully developed communication effort that included multiple tactics. Entries into program categories will be judged on the following criteria which, must be addressed in your written summary:

  • Purpose (1,000 character limit). Provide a clear statement of the problem you were trying to solve or goal you were attempting to meet. Include any detail necessary to fully understand the issue.
  • Research (1,000 character limit). Each entry will be judged on the quality of the original and/or secondary research. In your summary, indicate the types of research selected, the rationale for using each specific research method and what conclusions you were able to draw based on your results.
  • Planning (1,000 character limit). Explain how you moved from research to developing a full plan. Include a description and justification of your target audiences, measurable objectives, strategies, activities/tactics and budget. Indicate who was involved in creating the plan and their specific role.
  • Implementation (1,000 character limit). Describe how your plan was executed. In general terms, how did the activities flow? Were there any difficulties encountered? If so, how were they handled?
  • Evaluation (1,000 character limit). Judges will consider to what degree a program met its stated objectives and what efforts were made to identify, analyze and quantify results. Describe any formal evaluation tools or methods used to measure effectiveness of the program as a whole and results toward each stated objective.

The programs/campaigns categories are as follows:

  • Public Affairs. Programs specifically designed to influence public policy and/or impact legislation, regulations, political activities or candidacies — at the local, state or federal government levels — so that the entity funding the program benefits.
  • Crisis Communication & Issues Management. Programs undertaken to deal with a crisis event or an issue with broad impact.
  • Special Events. A one-time program to honor, commemorate, celebrate or recognize something. The duration of this one-time program may be a single day to a full year.
  • Internal Communication Campaigns. Programs targeted specifically to special publics directly allied with an organization (for example, employees, members, affiliated dealers or franchisees).
  • Social Media Campaigns. A campaign executed online using multiple social media applications to inform a public, grow a membership base or promote a product or service. Include screenshots of key elements of your campaign with your entry.
  • External/Community Relations Campaigns. 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.

Tactics

Evaluation: To ensure the utmost objectivity, each Influence Award submission will be reviewed by a separate state chapter of PRSA. Submissions will be scored on a 100-point scale and awarded at the “Merit” level if the combined score is 80 points or higher. Submissions will be awarded at the “Influence” level if the combined score is 90 points or higher. The categories are not competitive, so many categories will have multiple winners.

Tactics: Specific activities or actions undertaken as part of a formal program or independently may be entered in the tactics categories. Entries will be judged on the following criteria, which must be addressed in your written summary:

  • Purpose (1,000 character limit). Provide a clear statement of the problem you were trying to solve or goal you were attempting to meet. Include any detail necessary to fully understand the issue.
  • Implementation (1,000 character limit). Share details of how your tactic was executed. Your summary must include the timeframe of the project and a description of who was involved and their role. You should also describe any difficulties encountered and how they were handled.
  • Budget (1,000 character limit). Judges will evaluate if projects were completed in a cost-effective manner and within allocated budgets. Describe the final project budget and note any discrepancies with the project’s initial budget.
  • Evaluation (1,000 character limit). Indicate in your summary whether the project met its stated objectives and detail what evaluation methods were used to determine its effectiveness. Documentation of how success was measured is encouraged.

The Tactics categories are as follows:

  • Media Relations. A single media relations tool used to generate media coverage for a person, product, service, topic or an organization. Submit one copy of your press release, press kit or other tool. Submit your tool as supplementary material to your entry summary.
  • Feature/Editorial Writing. An original article, column or essay written to entertain or educate a public about a specific person, organization or topic. Submit a copy of the final piece as supplementary material to your entry summary.
  • Collateral Materials/Publications. Printed materials designed to inform a target audience about an organization, product, service or issue. This category includes pamphlets, brochures, posters, signage, newsletters or magazines. Submit a PDF of the material along with your entry summary. For publications published on an ongoing basis, please submit three consecutive issues.
  • Annual Report. Publications that report on an organization’s annual performance. Submit a PDF of the publication along with your entry summary.
  • Audiovisual. An audio or video project targeted toward an internal or external audience. Your final product should be posted online and a link included in your entry summary.
  • Electronic/Digital. An interactive communications piece including websites, individual social media posts, e-newsletters, intranets, etc. If web-based, submit an active URL as well as a set of screenshots. If not web-based, submit a PDF document with images or other appropriate supporting materials.
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