Entry tips for the 5th Annual Worthy Awards!

By Carolyn Bobo, APR, Fellow PRSA

The Worthy Awards are back! The annual contest, like those held by other chapters, gives area communications, marketing and public relations professionals an opportunity to honor and celebrate creativity, strategic thinking and professional ability.

Worthy entries will be judged by professionals like you who understand the challenges of time, budget, staff and other factors that go into efforts to support our organizations or clients. Don’t be shy; identify your best efforts and enter them. But be sure to allow plenty of time to think about your work from beginning to end and prepare a strong narrative to showcase your project.

Terminology and tactics have changed over the years, but the fundamentals of our profession remain the foundation for contests: research, planning, execution and measurement. Read the entry form closely and be sure to explain:

  • What was done?
  • Why did it matter?
  • How was it measured?

Some tips for entrants:

Explain any type of research. A textbook campaign includes qualitative and/or quantitative research, but that isn’t always feasible or necessary. Judges know this, but they expect your entry narrative to show your knowledge of options and professional literacy. The judges want to know that you observed the public or market, and then thought about how to reach it. Use textbook terminology. For example, best practices review, media audit, literature search, anecdotal reports or even a brainstorming session may be described as secondary, informal research.

Explain the strategic purpose of your entry. Was your intent to create name recognition, influence behavior, increase sales, raise funds? Describe any factors about the program or tactic that will help judges understand your decisions. Judges are not likely to be familiar with our market and geographic area, so be sure to include details about population, annual sales, number of employees, consumers, etc., that help them understand the scope of your efforts.

Explain which tactics were chosen and why.

Remember that the judges won’t know that your tactic was spot-on unless you tell them. If your work required extraordinary skills or a budget challenge, be sure to say so. If media relations are part of your entry, be sure to note that we work in the fifth largest media market in the country (Nielsen) and that there is fierce competition for mass media attention.

Describe how the target responded and how you learned about its response. Program evaluation and measurement may be a replication of preliminary research or of other activities. For example, measures can be election results, a sales increase, ROI, donor or donation increase, or the number of participants/responses that exceeded expectations. Include as much measurable and anecdotal response as possible; describe future plans.

If comprehensive research was not needed, say so. For example, “More than 5,000 people in our target public responded to the activity. We expected only 3,000, so we did not repeat our preliminary research to measure interest.” 

Or, if the goal was “to generate five media stories,” the result must show five (or more) media reports. If the purpose is “to raise awareness,” the results must show a measurable increase in awareness.

Remember that evaluation results must must must match your stated goal or purpose, i.e., “Why our work mattered.”

Good luck!

(Carolyn has been a member of Fort Worth PRSA since 1999 and was previously a member of contest-hosting chapters in New Mexico and South Carolina.)

June 2016 Luncheon

PRSA_June Luncheon“What’s Trending Now?”
June 8 – GFW PRSA June Luncheon
Presented by: Michael Pranikoff, PR Newswire Global Director of Emerging Media

Are you still telling your story the same way as you were five years ago? Companies and organizations are creating content at a furious pace today, but now we need to think differently in order to connect that content with how consumption behaviors are changing. It’s not enough to just create content, we have to evolve how we reach those audiences and adapt our stories to reach them effectively.

Register today!

Join the Greater Fort Worth chapter of PRSA on June 8 at 11:30 a.m. at the City Club in downtown Fort Worth. Our discussion will be led by PR Newswire Global Director of Emerging Media, Michael Pranikoff who speaks at events and consults with companies all over the world on his perspective about how we need to think differently about content we are creating and the channels that we use to syndicate to reach & engage our targeted audiences.

May 2016 Luncheon

PRSA_Maygraphic
“Making Research Work for You”
May 11 – GFW PRSA May Luncheon
Presented by: Angela Rogers, LimeTree Marketing
Sponsored by: Tarleton State University

 

Research is important to driving strategy. It can seem like a daunting and expensive task, but it can be done on a smaller scale and still provide valuable insight. Angela Rogers, brand marketer and entrepreneur, serves in an advisory role in strategy and research for LimeTree Marketing. She has tips and tricks for how to obtain research data on any budget and how to apply that to your company’s strategy.

 

TarletonClick here to register!
Thank you to Tarleton State University for graciously sponsoring this month’s luncheon.

 

Join the Greater Fort Worth chapter of PRSA on Wednesday, May 11, at 11:30 a.m. at the City Club of Fort Worth in downtown. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to learn how to get the data you need to effectively drive the change you seek in your organization.

April 2016 Luncheon

April 2016 Luncheon

APR: Everything You Want to Know and More

Join us on Wednesday, April 13, at the City Club of Fort Worth, as we play a game of Jeopardy to learn all about the APR process.

Register today!

The APR process remains a mystery and can be intimidating. Let our chapter APRs unveil the mystery for you in an entertaining way. Three contestants will be chosen to play and winners will receive some special prep work from our chapter APRs to prepare them for the process.

We will also honor our new and existing APRs with a pinning ceremony. Join us as we celebrate this distinguished honor.

March 2016 Member Spotlight: Laken Rapier

March 2016 Member Spotlight: Laken Rapier

Laken Rapier - headshotName: Laken Avonne Rapier

Job Title/Company: Public Relations and Social Media Coordinator, Justin Brands, Inc.

College/Degree/Graduation Date: University of Kansas / Bachelor of Science in Journalism / May 2013

Hometown: Flower Mound, Texas

Position within GFW PRSA (i/a): I help tweet during luncheons and events on occasion 🙂

Childhood ambition (what did you want to be when you grew up?): Growing up, I wanted to be a chef. I loved watching Food Network and insisted on visiting Emeril Lagasse’s restaurant in Orlando during a family vacation to Disney World and Universal Studios at age 8.

Current livelihood (what you’re actually doing as a grown-up: Public Relations and Social Media Coordinator

First PR job: I handled press and communications for a Member of Congress on Capitol Hill.

What you know now that you wish you’d known then: Identify what works for you, in order to be and give the best that you can. Recognize that sometimes you need a break or change of pace to make sure you’re always coming at your work in the most creative and energetic way you can, while giving not just 100%, but the best 100% you can give.

Laken RapierBest piece of advice you’ve ever received: I’ve received a lot of good advice. Here are some of my favorites that I remind myself of often: Actions create opportunities. Listening is very different from hearing. Use all your vacation days, because everyone needs time to recharge.

Greatest professional or personal accomplishment: One of the accomplishments I’m most proud of is having an article I wrote nominated for a Hearst Award.

If you weren’t in PR, you would be: An attorney

Desired Legacy: My desired legacy is to be bigger than myself. I hope when I’m not present people still know what’s in my heart.

Why did you originally join PRSA? I joined PRSA after attending a few events with some coworkers. I found it was a great way to meet other PR professionals in the community, while continuing to learn and keep up with industry trends.

Finally, tell us about your hometown and what makes it cool.Flower Mound is a sleepy town, so much in fact that people I went to high school with made a music video about it lacking excitement. Is that cool?