Welcome to the

Digital PR Awards

Enter By: July 8, 2016
Digital Pr Awards

PR News’ Digital PR Awards salutes the year’s most outstanding digital communicators and campaigns in a variety of media: video, website design, mobile apps, social media and beyond. The winners and honorable mentions for this coveted program will be recognized at an awards luncheon in November in NYC.

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Digital PR Awards Categories

There are 30+ categories spanning every type of digital PR campaign. Please make sure you only enter events and people in appropriate categories. You may enter a campaign in as many categories as you’d like.

Select a Category


Recognizing an outstanding, influential blog from an organization with the goal of connecting a brand with its target audience and stimulating engagement.

Cause Marketing/CSR

Use of digital communications, including social media, in advancing a cause or corporate responsibility program.


A contest or game used to promote a brand by a PR team that successfully plays across multiple digital platforms. Contest or game itself should be original and terms of play should be clearly expressed; include metrics showing engagement.

Crisis Management

Successful use of multiple digital channels, including social media, to either prevent or mitigate a crisis affecting a corporation or nonprofit organization. Effectiveness of crisis management should be proven with as much data as possible.

Digital Communicator

A communications professional who has successfully conceived and executed digital PR or marketing campaigns on behalf of his or her organization or clients over the past year and, in doing so, has revolutionized that organization’s approach to communications in the mobile & social era.

Digital Marketing Campaign

A creative, successful marketing campaign promoting a product or brand that is primarily rooted in digital platforms or has a strong digital component. Objectives of the campaign should be clearly stated and measures of success must be included. Campaigns may be entered in one of the four budget categories below:

  • 100k and under
  • 100k – 200k
  • 200k – 500k
  • 500k +
Digital PR Campaign

A PR campaign that successfully engaged intended audiences and influencers using multiple channels such as social networks, blogs, email, web sites and mobile apps.

Digital PR Firm of the Year

A PR agency that has become synonymous over the past year with the innovative use of social media, web sites, email, blogs, etc., on behalf of clients. Client testimonials are encouraged.

Digital PR Team of the Year/Corporate

A PR team that over the past year has exhibited consistent innovation and success on digital channels on behalf of a corporation. Individual team members should be named and their roles should be described.

Digital PR Team of the Year/Nonprofit

A PR team that over the past year has exhibited consistent innovation and success on digital channels on behalf of a nonprofit organization. Individual team members should be named and their roles should be described.

Email Newsletter/s

Consistent packaging of high-quality content delivered via email on behalf of a client or clients, or on behalf of one’s own organization. A PR team should be the primary driver of the e-newsletter. As much supporting data (open rates, for instance) as possible should be included.

Employee Communications

Demonstrated success at conveying to staff via digital channels either news of a management change or merger, corporate goals and strategy, a CSR initiative, a new benefits package, etc., as well as demonstrated ability to accept employee feedback. Data showing employee engagement should be included.

Facebook Communications

Use of Facebook by either a PR firm on behalf of a client or by an in-house organization’s communications team; significant increase in “Likes” should be demonstrated. Examples of useful comments and content should be included, as well as metrics on clicks, shares, likes, etc. Also encompasses use of Facebook related to a specific product, CSR initiative or for crisis management.

Influencer Communications

Success at both finding online influencers (tactics used should be described in detail) and communicating with them and transforming them into advocates for a brand or organization.


Intranet from an organization that has either launched or relaunched in the past year and that has successfully woven in new technology such as content-sharing tools. Data showing visits and time spent should be included.

Listening Campaign

Employment of digital channels to survey audiences or otherwise monitor them (via social networks, for example) to gauge their sentiments about a brand or organization, and demonstrated ability to put that information gleaned to use in communications initiatives.

Location-Based Digital Campaign

Successful initiative using a geo-location platform or feature. Objectives of initiative should be clearly stated, as should metrics that demonstrate success.

Media Relations Campaign

Use of digital channels—in particular, social networks—in communicating with traditional media and bloggers for a particular PR campaign. Two-way engagement with the media should be demonstrated; media placement and comments should be tied directly to digital outreach.

Microsite/Custom Site

Microsite launched or relaunched in the past year with a clearly expressed goal (for instance, microsite launched to promote a corporation’s branding or CSR initiative, or microsite launched by an organization to promote a new service), backed up by metrics showing high engagement.

Mobile App

An easy-to-use, well-designed mobile app created to support a communications initiative, to promote services of a PR agency or created on behalf of a client. Objective of app should be clearly stated; include number of downloads.

Mobile Campaign

A communications initiative either solely designed for mobile devices or one that encompasses mobile. This can include, for instance, use of texting for a PR initiative. This can also include a mobile app executed within the past year to promote services of a PR agency or created on behalf of a client.

Most Engaged Brand

A brand that over the past year has succeeded in measurably increasing its engagement online with target audiences.

New Digital Service/Product

Either a PR agency that has successfully rolled out a digital service available to clients or has created a specific new digital product on behalf of a client; or, a corporation or nonprofit organization that has launched a digital service that engages audiences or sells a product in a new way.

New Site

A site launched in the past year by either an agency on behalf of a client or by an organization’s in-house PR team that is marked by high-quality design and content that clearly conveys the organization’s brand and encourages engagement. Traffic metrics should be included.

Online Community

A community that has launched in the past year and has surpassed targets for engagement and members, or an existing one that has grown demonstrably over the past year. Can be either a branded community or one that is based on social networks.

Online Newsroom

An organization’s newsroom that has either launched or relaunched within the past year and goes far beyond the listing of press releases and contact information; metrics showing engagement should be included.

Podcast or Videocast

A series of high-quality podcasts/videocasts that provides useful or entertaining content and either promotes a brand or individuals representing a brand. Metrics showing viewings/listenings should be included. Individuals can also submit an entry on a brand’s involvement with an existing podcast or videocast.

Public Affairs Campaign

Successful digital PR campaign that measurably influences opinion about an issue that affects a wide swath of the public on a national or local level.

Redesign/Relaunch of Site

A site redesign that is clearly distinguishable from a prior version; the objectives of the redesign should be clear, as should metrics showing an increase in traffic or engagement. Communications initiative promote the redesign and relaunch should be included.


Clearly demonstrated success at using optimization tactics to improve searchability for a client’s site or organization’s site and content.

Social Networking Campaign

Innovative PR campaign either solely restricted to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, etc., or one in which social networks play a large role. Goals of social networking campaign and indications of success (increase in likes, increase in Twitter followers, sentiment of comments, increase in sales, participating in contest, for instance) should be included.

Twitter Communications

Use of Twitter by either a PR firm on behalf of a client or clients or by an in-house organization’s communications team; significant increase in followers should be demonstrated. Examples of useful comments and content should be included. Also encompasses use of Twitter related to a specific product, CSR initiative or for crisis management.


Production and digital distribution of video content that promotes a product, organization or individual or is used to respond to a quickly developing issue or crisis. Recognizes video content that both surpasses expectations of viewings and succeeds at enhancing a brand and building an audience.

Viral Campaign

A digital PR campaign that is designed to be sharable beyond a brand or organization’s immediate audience; metrics of success must be included.

WOW Campaign

A digital campaign that either creatively overcomes the constraints of minimal resources or introduces an entirely new concept or new use of digital channels. It should make one’s peers think: “Why didn’t I think of that?”

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How To Enter


The Digital PR Awards are open to all individuals and teams worldwide at for-profit and non-profit organizations including: corporations, PR firms, public affairs and IR agencies, publicity firms, associations, government and NGO teams, and sole practitioners. Vendors are also eligible to compete on behalf of client.

To be eligible, the campaign or PR initiative must have taken place (either in part or in full) between January 1, 2015, and July 15, 2016. Some of the work must have occurred during this time, but it’s not necessary for it to be completed during the eligibility period.

Entrants may submit as many campaigns as they wish into the 2016 Digital PR Awards. Campaigns may be entered in multiple categories, as long as it is within category guidelines.

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Judging Criteria

Entries are judged by a blue chip panel of corporate, agency and academic executives as well as by the staff of PR News. We evaluate your entry based on creativity, innovation, sound planning, implementation and outcomes. The most important criterion is proven success in aligning your strategic objectives with your end goals.

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Entry Deadlines & Fees

Entry Deadline:
July 8, 2016

Final Deadline:
July 15, 2016

All entries must be final and paid for by Friday, July 15, 2016.

For entries finalized between July 9 and July 15, 2016 please add a $275 late fee per entry. Finalists will be notified in fall of 2016.

Entry Fees

The price of each primary entry is $425. If you submit the same entry in multiple categories, the additional fee is $275 per category. A late entry surcharge of $275 per entry will be added for entries submitted between July 9 and July 15, 2016. Payment in full must accompany the entry.

All entries are non-returnable and non-refundable.

There are two ways to enter. You can enter online or enter by mail.

Enter Online: You will be taken through a step-by-step registration process, and then the nomination process. International organizations are also open to enter. You may upload a word document or PDF that includes your full synopsis or entry, but please be sure to only upload it once. In the text boxes, please write “See synopsis attached.”
*If you enter online, you do not need to send any materials via mail. You’ll upload your supporting materials, etc. to your online entry form(s).

Enter By Mail: Follow the instructions on the Entry form and mail with your entry. *For all mailed entries, please provide three (3) copies of all materials including your synopsis.

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Compiling Your Entry

The following information must be listed on your synopsis:

  • Category entered
  • Title of entry (as it would appear on your award)
  • Team members (on campaign)
  • Key contact for entry
  • Organization submitting entry
  • Budget (All budget information is strictly confidential and will not be published w/o expressed permission.)

General Categories Entries

Within your two-page synopsis (max 800-1200 words), please describe your campaign or PR initiative using the following sub-headings:

  • Objectives
  • Strategy
  • Tactics
  • Execution
  • Evaluation of Success/Results/ROI

Digital PR Firm of the Year Entries

Provide the following for all Digital PR Firm of the Year entries:

  • Overview of the firm, including practice areas, # employees and hiring/retaining strategy
  • List of major accounts and top campaigns executed in the past year
  • Notable achievements in the past year
  • Marketable distinction from other firms your size
  • Account wins & losses in 2015 through 2016
  • Two client testimonials
  • Industry partnerships, pro bono work and other community relations initiatives.

Digital Team of the Year Entries

Provide the following for all Digital Team of the Year entries:

  • Photo of the team and the company or team’s Twitter handle
  • Synopsis with five examples of notable achievements in the past year (no more than 1500 words)

Digital Communicator Entries

Provide the following for all Digital Communicator entries:

  • Why should this nominee be a finalist for Digital Communicator of the Year? (50 words or fewer)
  • Details of nominee’s role within his or her organization.
  • List specific digital campaigns or efforts spearheaded by this person in 2015 through July 2016 and related outcomes.
  • Include any evidence of peer and media recognition or awareness as a leader in digital communications (articles written by the nominee or articles in which the nominee is quoted, speaking engagements, internal and external awards). This should be a single PDF.
  • Examples of innovative thinking in using digital platforms and tools in PR campaigns. This should be in PDF format.
  • List links to nominee’s own social media accounts (that are used for professional purposes) and social media accounts that the nominee leads on behalf of an organization or for clients.
  • Two client or peer testimonials.

Supporting Materials

Supporting materials should show evidence of the success of your work. It can be any of the following: sales figures, brand media coverage, clippings, photos, URLs/web sites, research documents, and testimonials.

Shipping information for all mailed entries:

You can mail your entries using the following form.

Access Intelligence, LLC
Mary-Lou French
PR News Digital PR Awards
9211 Corporate Boulevard, 4th Floor
Rockville, MD 20850

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FAQs & Past Winners

  1. How are the entries judged?
    Entries are judged by a blue chip panel of corporate, agency and academic executives as well as by the staff of PR News. We evaluate your entry based on creativity, innovation, sound planning, implementation and outcomes. The most important criterion is proven success in aligning your strategic objectives with your end goals.
  2. When will I be notified about the status of my entry??
    You will be contacted by PR News once judging has begun for your entry. After this point, you will only be contacted regarding your entry if you are named a finalist in the award program. Finalists will be notified in September and announced in PR News and on www.prnewsonline.com.
  3. Can I enter my campaign in more than one category?
    Yes, multiple entries are strongly encouraged! There is no limit to number of categories you can enter for a single campaign, and you receive a $175 discount on each additional category entered.
  4. How do I increase my chances of winning an award?
    Emphasize the goals of your campaign as well as your campaign’s achievements in your introduction. Provide as many concrete and specific examples of success as possible, and explain clearly and succinctly your research, planning, implementation and measurement of the campaign or ongoing initiative.
  5. Do I have enough time to enter?
    Of course! Submitting your entries is simple and should only take a few minutes. Any hard copies you’ll be shipping our way just need to be postmarked by Friday, July 15. Need a little extra time? Contact Rachel Scharmann at rscharmann@accessintel.com.
  6. Must we include our campaign budget?
    It’s not a requirement, but it helps the judges to better compare your campaign against other entries. Include at least a reasonable budget range. The judges always take into account the campaign budget relative to the goals and outcome. All budget and revenue information is confidential and will not be published.
  7. When will the winners be announced?
    The winners will be announced at an awards luncheon on November 16, 2016 in New York City.
  8. What is your Federal tax ID number?
  9. W-9 Form
  10. Previous winners:

    2015 Winners
    2014 Winners
    2013 Winners
    2012 Winners
    2011 Winners
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Should you have an inquiry about the categories, rules or eligibility of the Digital PR Awards, please contact:

Mary-Lou French, Marketing Coordinator



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PR News is a daily intellectual hub that serves the communications and marketing community at corporations, agencies and nonprofits. The PR News group focuses on honing and growing PR practitioners’ skills in social media, crisis management, digital PR, measurement, employee relations, media training, CSR and writing through its flagship newsletter, webinars, conferences, awards programs, workshops and guidebooks. With the launch of its weekly newsletter over 70 years ago, PR News has remained dedicated to supporting the growth of communicators all while keeping them abreast of the latest news affecting the industry. To view more information, visit: http://www.prnewsonline.com.

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