Are You Worthy?

By Michelle Clark

The Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA is thrilled to embark on its inaugural Worthy Awards competition – designed to recognize the highest level of professional performance in our industry and our region. The awards committee – co-chaired by Margaret Ritsch, APR, Carolyn Bobo, APR, Fellow PRSA, and me, and with the tremendous support of Allyson Cross, Liz Heck, Megan Murphey and Rita Parson – has worked incredibly hard over the past year to research the best ways to introduce a rigorous yet attractive competition to our area.

Worthy Awards will be given in three separate categories – first, a strategic communications programs and campaigns category that includes integrated communications efforts; a tactics category that evaluates specific campaign components as stand-alone items; and a separate category for academic contributions to the public relations profession. We’re very proud of that last category – all indications are that the Worthy Awards will be the only regional competition in the nation that includes an academic category. Our chapter has a long history of academic support from our local universities, and we want to make sure to celebrate the work they do to prepare future members of our profession. Awards in this category will recognize everything from textbook chapters to published academic articles and formal presentations.

We’re also throwing in a dash of the unexpected: a Communicator of the Year selected from outside the public relations field. One of our key roles as public relations professionals is mentoring the leadership teams of our organizations in the art of open, effective communications with various publics. This award seeks to recognize that kind of commitment to public discourse, and nominees are sought from across all avenues of public life – clergy, elected officials, business leaders, educators and more.

We’ll celebrate our winners May 31 at a dinner ceremony at the Marquis on Magnolia – a fittingly elegant setting in which to recognize our region’s highest professional achievements. Star-Telegram Columnist Bob Ray Sanders will serve as master of ceremonies for the evening.

Early entries are due by March 19, and the final entry deadline is April 6. All entries will be judged by an out-of-state PRSA chapter. Our most recent chapter luncheon addressed the importance of the Research, Planning, Implementation and Evaluation model for developing award entries. If you weren’t able to attend and are curious to know more, I hope you’ll reach out to the awards committee for help with crafting effective entries.

You can find everything you need for your entries at the Worthy Awards website – worthyawards.com. The site offers a detailed explanation of each category, and you can fill out entry forms and submit nominations for Communicator of the Year. You can also find the contact information for awards committee members if you need someone to address a specific question.

This is our time to showcase the outstanding work we all deliver every day as members of GFWPRSA and the public relations profession. I, along with my colleagues on the awards committee, encourage each of you to enter – and to invite others to do so, regardless of whether they are PRSA members. Let’s make our inaugural competition a tough act to follow.

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