[Skip to Content]

Categories and Category Requirements


What categories are available?

 

WRITING

Categories 1 through 17

General instructions: Entire article must be submitted for entries published in newspapers or other print or online publications. If submitting a PDF or JPG of scanned tear sheet(s) or printed page(s), highlight or underline the headline or title if more than one article on a page, and if the name and date of the publication will not show when work is reproduced, write them at the top of the page so they may be seen in the scan.  

For Web-based writing, submit a URL. If the entry is behind a paywall or not still online, upload a text file that includes the name of Web publication and date of publication. An MP3, an MP4, a CD, a DVD, or other electronic file may be uploaded to a website or to YouTube or Vimeo and the URL submitted.

An article may be entered only once.
If the work has been published both online and in print, entrant may choose either subcategory but may not enter the same work in both. 

Likewise, an article entered as a single feature or news story cannot be entered in a multipart category such as in-depth reporting or vice versa. It may, however, be submitted in an editing or design category if it is part of a section or supplement that is edited by entrant or by someone else.  

Note: A single story OR a package (story, sidebars, and/or related information boxes) published on a single day constitutes one article. Put story and all related information into a single file, then submit that file. 

1. News Story
Submit ONE article.   

Judges will consider planning and general organization of story, initiative in obtaining story, news writing, readability and impact.

A. Print-based newspaper
B. Magazine, newsletter/other print publication
C. Online publication

2. Continuing Coverage or Unfolding News
Open competition for articles published in print or online.

Submit TWO to SIX articles representing the course of the story. The final article must be published on or before Dec. 31, 2021.

Judges will consider writer’s ability to stick with a story, handling of the subject, writing style, readability and thoroughness of coverage. (e.g., a trial underway with daily coverage, or surprising new facts discovered later on in a story that is not a planned series). 

3. In-depth Reporting
Open competition for articles published in print or online.

Submit TWO to SIX articles representing the course of the story. Entry can be several investigative stories, enterprise reporting of something that otherwise would not be covered or a series of articles with a consistent focus. The articles should demonstrate the ability of entrant(s) to provide treatment of an issue that has had an impact on publication’s coverage area. The final article must be published on or before Dec. 31, 2021.

Judges will consider initiative, thoroughness of research, documentation, clarity of writing and/or presentation and technical excellence.

4. Editorial/Opinion
Submit ONE article published in print or online.

This category is for non-bylined pieces that appear on editorial pages, or for bylined op-ed pieces. Personal columns should be submitted in Category 8D. Column, personal opinion (bylined, not editorial).

Judges will consider relevance to readers, clarity of style, sound reasoning and effort to influence readers’ opinions in what the writer believes to be the right direction.

5. Feature Story
Submit ONE article published in print or online. Interviews should be submitted in Category 6. Personality Profile.

Judges will consider interest and unusual aspects of the feature material itself and/or the handling of it, writing style, readability and thoroughness of coverage.

A. Print-based newspaper
B. Magazine, newsletter/other publication
C. Online publication

6. Personality Profile
Submit ONE article published in print or online that gives a portrait of an individual based on interviews with one or more people.

Judges will consider how well writer reveals the personality of the subject by exploring subject’s actions, background, motivation and character.

A. 500 words or fewer
B. More than 500 words

7. Specialty Articles
Submit ONE article published in print or online (online does not mean one's personal blog or personal website). Do not enter same article in two different subcategories. Where subcategories overlap, entrant must choose the one in which to enter.

Judges will consider planning, general organization, clarity of writing, documentation, presentation/style, readability, impact, initiative in obtaining story and author’s ability to write knowledgeably on subject.

A. Agriculture (agribusiness, aquaculture)
B. Arts and entertainment (enter reviews in 7O.) 
C. Business
D. Education
E. Food
F. Ghost-written article (penned for someone else with one-page statement required: describe entrant’s role)
G. Government or politics
H. Green/environmental
I.  History   
J. Hobby (crafts, building, designing, construction)
K. Obituary (expanded from a regular obituary)
L. Personal essay (occasional article from author’s perspective with single thesis, supporting statements and conclusion)
M. Physical health (fitness, diet, clean lifestyle)
N. Religion
O. Reviews (any subject, must express a personal opinion)
P. Science or technology
Q. Social issues
R. Sports
S. Style (fashion, interior design, furniture, architecture, landscaping, home economics)
T. Travel

8. Column
Submit TWO samples of a column in print or online. Note: Two column samples a) equal one entry and b) should be listed on the same entry form. 

Column should: have a headline or logo that indicates it is a regular feature of the publication; entertain and/or educate; and reveal the author’s style. Blogs are not columns and should be entered in Category 37, Blog.

Judges will consider interest, organization and ideas, as well as clarity, readability, style and author’s ability to write knowledgeably on the subject.

A. General
B. Humorous
C. Informational (how-to, Q&A, advice)
D. Personal opinion (bylined, not editorial)

9. Headlines
Open competition. No subcategories as to type of publication or circulation. 

Submit FOUR samples through URLs for electronic sites. If the entry samples are behind a pay wall or are no longer online, upload PDF(S) of marked and scanned printout(s) from electronic sites with the URLs printed and circled on the pages.

Judges will consider appropriateness to story, originality and appeal to the reader. 

10. Publication Regularly Written by Entrant (Editors of publications, please go to 19. Publication Regularly Edited by Entrant)
Submit ONE complete issue of the publication.

Judges will consider headlines, appropriateness of content to target audience, writing style and readability of the publication.

A. Newspaper
B. Magazine/Magapaper (newspaper format with magazine-style writing and design)
C. Newsletter/other publication, nonprofit, government or educational
D. Newsletter/other publication, corporate or for-profit

Books, Short Stories, Verse

Categories 11-17

General instructions:

Electronic entries only (no mailed hard copies) will be accepted.                                                                     
Books, novels, short stories, and poetry must have been written by entrant and published during 2021.

Books that are ghostwritten by entrant or written under a pseudonym and do not include entrant’s name require a one-page statement: describe entrant’s role. Fiction for adult reader books recommend a one-page statement: describe what type of book genre it is intended to be (romance novel, historical fiction, etc.).

Books may be professionally published or self-published but must have an ISBN.

Year of publication (not the copyright date) governs eligibility. If the year of the copyright date printed inside the book or included in an online publication is not the year of publication, please furnish documentation from publisher verifying publication date.

Submit ONE PDF text, Epub file, or URL (not behind a pay wall) where the full text is published. Submitted books must be first editions or, if a later edition (not a reprint), must not have been submitted previously in this competition.

Judges will consider the quality of writing, organization of thought, expression of ideas, originality and the principles of writing for each specific category.
 
11. Fiction for Adult Readers
A. Novels (More than 40,000 words)
B. Novellas (40,000 words or fewer)

12. Nonfiction Book for Adult Readers
A. Autobiography or Memoir
B. Biography or History
C. Humor
D. General Nonficton
 

13. Children’s Book

Children’s literature consists of many types of books, including picture books, beginning-reader books, books of poetry, books of adventure, historical books and novels. They are written to appeal to, be understood by, and be appropriate for groups of children from their first year though about age 13.

Entrant must be the author, but for picture book, does not have to be the illustrator.

Judging is based on text only.  

A. Fiction
B. Nonfiction

14. Young Adult Book

YA books, intended for teenagers but often enjoyed by other age groups, feature information and themes that are more complex and mature than for younger readers. In YA fiction, there usually are dynamic main characters between the ages of 14 and 18 solving problems, overcoming challenges, and learning new things. Whether fiction or nonfiction, YA books appeal thematically to those in that age range with topics such as friendship, accidents, love, death, tragedy, sci-fi, the future, technology and more.

Entrant must be the author.

A. Fiction
B. Nonfiction

15. Short Stories
For short stories (prose fiction) submit a PDF, Epub file, or URL (if not behind a paywall)

A. Single story
B. Collection of short stories written by entrant (published together in book form, including electronic books).
C. Collection of short stories written by multiple authors (published by entrant in any book form). 

16. Creative Verse
For poetry published on the Web, submit the URL (if not behind a paywall) or submit printouts from the site showing the book or the poem, the publication title, and the date, with the URL written or circled on the printout. For electronic books and audiobooks, submit poetry as a PDF or Epub file. 

A. Single poem
B. Book of poetry (written by entrant and published in book form, including electronic books).
C. Chapbook of poetry (a collection of poetry of no more than 40 pages written by entrant and published in book form).

17. Essay, Chapter or Section in a Book
Submit ONE sample. Entrant must have written a section of a larger, published book written by someone else. For example, entrant may have written an entry in an encyclopedia that otherwise was written and compiled by others, or an essay in an anthology of essays by various authors. For this contest, an essay, sometimes called a personal or narrative essay, is defined as a short work of nonfiction. Personal essays should be submitted in Category 7L. Specialty Articles, Personal essay

Entry may have been published in a hard-copy or an electronic book, but publication must have an ISBN. Follow submission guidelines for other books, but make sure entrant’s essay, chapter or section is well marked.

Judges will consider quality of writing, organization of thought, expression of ideas, originality and fit with the overall theme of the book.

EDITING FOR PRINT OR ONLINE PUBLICATIONS

Categories 18 through 20 

18. Single Page, Section or Supplement Edited by Entrant
Submit one sample. Frequency of publication does not matter (can be frequent, infrequent or one-time publication). Entry must specify the larger publication in which section appeared. Newspaper supplements such as Sunday magazines must be entered in a newspaper subcategory.

Judges will consider planning and general organization of the page, the power of original editorial material, suitability and appeal of feature material, informational value, editing, headline writing, cohesiveness and thoroughness of coverage, as appropriate. 

A. Newspaper
B. Magazine/Magapaper (newspaper format with magazine-style writing and design)
C. Newsletter/other publication – non-profit, government or educational
D. Newsletter/other publication – corporate or for profit

19. Publication Regularly Edited by Entrant
Submit ONE entire issue.

Judges will consider editing and content.

A. Newspaper
B. Magazine/Magapaper (newspaper format with magazine-style writing and design)
C. Newsletter/other publication – non-profit, government or educational
D. Newsletter/other publication – corporate or for profit 

20. Book Edited by Entrant
Open competition for editing of any type of book.

One-page statement required:  Describe entrant’s role in the project and the extent or type of editing done.         

Judges will consider quality of writing, organization of thought, expression of ideas and continuity to determine whether entrant has ensured that principles of good writing have been adhered to and will evaluate other editorial contributions.

PHOTOGRAPHY

Categories 21 through 23

General instructions: Photographs may have been published in print (including exhibition catalogue) or online venues or displayed as part of a public exhibition. Images must not be digitally enhanced or retouched (correction for lens distortion, cropping, toning, contrast and red-eye removal are the only electronic adjustments that are allowed).

In all categories, entrant must submit both A. and B. A. titled photograph or design, and B. A JPG of the titled photograph or original work (edited, if need be, to no more than 100 MB total file size and, if possible, RGB color space). For prints published in black & white, originals may be color or black & white. Add a brief caption for each photograph.

Judges will consider only the photo. Except for category 23, photographer-writer, text will not be considered.

21. Single Photograph
Submit ONE original photo as described above. Add a brief informational caption that will not be considered in judging.

A. News or feature photo
B. Sports photo
C. General photo (open competition on any subject)

22. Photo Essay
Submit ONE entire titled layout, a) as a PDF, and b) as JPGs of the individual titled photographs with brief captions. The titled layout either must have a narrative quality or must present a point of view on a single subject. Photographs may have been published in print or online.

Judges will consider the quality of the photos and the layout of the photos in relationship to one another. Judges will not consider text.

23. Photographer-writer
Submit a titled photograph or photographs published (in print or online) as a package with text. Photos and text must be the work of the entrant. Layout will not be considered.

Judges will consider the quality of both the photos and the text, the relationship of one to the other, and the completeness of the package.

GRAPHICS AND DESIGN

Categories 24 through 26 

24. Graphics
A. Graphics. Submit ONE editorial cartoon, single comic strip, flier or graphic illustration. Work may be published online or in a print publication. Drawing and written elements, if any, must be the work of the entrant.

Judges will consider only the appearance of the original format, NOT the reproduction. Text, unless an integral part of drawn/designed work, will not be considered

B. Infographic. Submit ONE graphical display that makes large data sets intelligible without distorting what they say. Provide either a caption or a statement that puts the entry into context.

Judges will consider how well the graphics reveal data by condensing large amounts of information into a visual that easily can be understood by the reader; whether they effectively integrate the verbal and statistical interpretations of a data set; and whether the viewer is drawn to the substance of the product rather than the mechanics of the technology or design of the graphics. 

25. Page Design
Submit ONE sample of page regularly designed by entrant.

Judges will consider overall layout and design of the pages, typefaces, use of photographs and arrangement of the various elements to appeal to readers.

A. Newspaper
B. Magazine or magapaper (newspaper format with magazine-style writing and design)
C. Newsletter/other publication 

26. Book Designed by Entrant
Submit ONE book published in print or online. Photographs, drawings, graphics, artwork, layout or other visual elements must be created by or arranged by entrant. 

One-page statement required: Describe entrant’s role in designing the book. Specify whether the design work includes the book cover/book jacket.

Judges will consider only the appearance of the book: overall layout and design of the pages (and book cover, if applicable), typefaces, use of photographs or artwork, and arrangement of the various elements to enhance the text and the appeal to readers. Text, unless an integral part of drawn/designed work, will not be considered.

RADIO AND TELEVISION

Categories 27 through 32

General instructions: Content may have appeared on traditional radio or television stations. Submit audio and video files, or a URL to the full package as it aired. In instances where more than one person contributed to the report, entrant must have had an equal or the major role in creating/delivering the broadcast. Digital podcasts should be entered in Category 37. Blog in the Web and Social Media division.

27. On-the-scene Report
Submit ONE report (news, feature or sports). Entry may be edited. Narratives or voice-overs are allowed only if part of original piece that aired. Entrant must be the reporter.

Judges will consider reporter’s ability to provide enterprising coverage of one event.

A. Radio
B. Television

28. Prepared Report
Submit ONE report (news, feature, sports or opinion). Entry may be limited to a single report or may include excerpts from a related series. Entrant must be the reporter, reviewer or critic.

Judges will consider initiative, ability to obtain a story with impact, clarity of writing/production, thoroughness of research, documentation of any allegations, technical excellence and concise assembly.

A. Radio
B. Television

29. Special Programming
Submit ONE program. Entry may be a single report or editorial or a series of stories on the same subject, including documentary, public affairs, editorial or investigative. Entrant(s) must be the reporter(s). Entry may be edited, but narratives or voice-overs allowed only if part of the original piece that aired.

Judges will consider entrant’s ability to provide comprehensive and effective in-depth coverage of a community problem or significant news event, creativity, clarity of writing and/or presentation and technical excellence.

A. Radio
B. Television

30. Interview

Submit ONE interview. Delete all commercial breaks, but no other editing may be done to the interview as aired. Entrant may be interviewer OR person being interviewed.

Judges will consider opening, content, performance and style.

31. Talk Show 

Submit one program. Delete all commercial breaks, but no other editing may be done to the talk show as aired. Entrant must be talk-show host. 

Judges will consider opening, content, performance and style.

32. Best Newscast
Submit ONE newscast (commercial or noncommercial station). Newscast must be under overall supervision of the entrant. Delete all commercial breaks, but no other editing may be done. Narratives or voice-overs are allowed only if part of the original piece that aired. 

Judges will consider excellence of news content and production values.

A. Radio
B. Television

WEB AND SOCIAL MEDIA

Categories 33 through 41

General instructions: If the work (website, blog, podcast, etc.) is still online, submit URLs for the specified number of examples to access the material in the electronic format in which it was meant to be viewed during the year of eligibility. If behind a pay wall or no longer online, submit specified number of examples as Word files or PDFs with URLs printed and circled at the top of the copy. Note: Material written for print publication and reused on the Web is not eligible.

The same work may not be entered in more than one category. An article may be entered in a writing category, though, while the website on which it is posted is entered in an editing, web, or social media category. It is not the intent to prevent writers and editors from entering their individual work when the work of both is published on the same site.

33. Web Copy
Submit ONE example of a piece written by entrant as standing copy on a website (i.e., a permanent or semi-permanent part of the site such as an “About Us” or a “Products and Services” page). The entry can be a URL for a website, a webpage, a blog, etc. If behind a pay wall or no longer online, submit a Word file or PDF with URL printed and circled on page with text or screen capture below.

One-page statement required: Describe role of entrant(s), purpose of site, target audience, goal of item submitted, evaluation criteria and assessment of effectiveness in terms of those criteria.

Judges will consider adherence to purpose, clarity of copy and message and observance of principles of web-based communication.

34. Website Edited or Managed by Entrant
Submit ONE URL for the website or, if behind a pay wall or no longer online, submit samples of site’s webpages in a Word file or PDF, with URL printed and circled at top of page with text or screen capture below. Judging will be on editorial and content-management skills, not coding skills.

One-page statement required: Describe role of entrant(s), purpose of website, target audience, goal of item submitted, evaluation criteria, and assessment of effectiveness in terms of those criteria.

Judges will consider adherence to purpose, clarity of website, interaction options, design and observance of principles of web-based communication.

A. Nonprofit, government or educational
B. Corporate or for-profit

35. Personal Website
Submit ONE example. Entrant must be the owner and author of the website (can include blogs, author sites, etc.). Provide a URL to the site. If site is behind a pay wall or is no longer online, upload PDFs or scans of printouts from electronic sites with the URL printed and circled on the page. Site is judged as a whole, including content, images and site navigation.

One-page statement required: Describe the entrant’s role, purpose of the site, target audience, goal, number of views and results.

Judges will consider the entire website, including content and clarity of message, images and design, site navigation, appropriateness to target audience, effectiveness results and adherence to principles of web-based communications.

36. Podcast 
Submit ONE podcast (audio or video). This regularly updated channel can be a podcast, a video channel or similar platform. Submit URL to site of specific podcast to be judged. If the entry is behind a pay wall or is no longer online, upload PDF or scan of printout from electronic site with the URL printed and circled on the page. Note: Entries must be original content and not repurposed. If the material was on the air prior to being used in the podcast, it should be entered in a Radio/Television category.

One-page statement required: Describe role of entrant, purpose of podcast, target audience, goal of item submitted, evaluation criteria and assessment of effectiveness in terms of those criteria.

Judges will consider originality, creativity, content organization and effective communication of message.

37. Blog
Submit ONE example. Provide URL to the blog entry to be judged. If the entry is behind a pay wall or is no longer online, circle or write the URL at the top of printed copy and submit a scan. Entrant must be the author of the blog.

One-page statement required: Describe role of entrant(s), purpose of blog, target audience, goal of item submitted, number of views, evaluation criteria, and assessment of effectiveness in terms of measurement criteria.

Judges will consider clarity of message, content organization, appropriateness to audience, and adherence to principles of Web-based communication.

A. Nonprofit, government or educational
B. Corporate or for-profit
C. Personal

38. Social Media Campaign
Submit ONE example. Provide URLs to the various parts of a well-thought-out, comprehensive, and strategically placed social-media campaign with components that reach the target audience and achieve a professional goal. If site is behind a pay wall or is no longer online, upload PDFs or scans of printouts from electronic sites with the URL printed and circled on the page.

One-page statement required: Include role of entrant(s), site purpose and goals, target audience, evaluation criteria and effectiveness in terms of measurement criteria.

Judges will consider clarity of message, appropriateness to audience and adherence to principles of web-based communication.

A. Nonprofit, government or educational
B. Corporate or for-profit

39. Social Media Presence
Submit ONE sample. Entrant must be the manager of the social media site. Provide a URL to the site. If the entry is behind a pay wall or is no longer online, submit PDFs or scans of printouts from electronic sites with the URL printed and circled on the page.

A target-group-oriented social media platform as part of a modern online communication strategy is characterized by inclusiveness, authenticity, credibility and transparency. The online platform should engage in dialogue with its community while presenting adapted and attractive messages to expand its influence. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are examples of the types of a social media presence that may be entered.

One-page statement required: Describe the purpose of the site, target audience, goals, number of views, evaluation criteria and assessment of effectiveness in terms of measurement criteria.

Judges will consider adherence to purpose, clarity of site, interaction options, design and observation of principles of web-based communication.

A. Nonprofit, government or educational
B. Corporate or for-profit
C. Personal

40. Electronic Newsletter
Submit ONE sample. Provide a URL to the newsletter to be judged if the entry is not behind a pay wall. If entry no longer is online, upload a PDF of the electronic publication. Entry must deliver a combination of compelling content and useful information through an online-only publication.

One-page statement required: Describe role of entrant(s), purpose and frequency of publication, target audience, how it reaches online audience, evaluation criteria and assessment of effectiveness in terms of measurement criteria.

Judges will consider clarity of message, quality of content, design, impact of publication and adherence to principles of Web-based communication.

A. Nonprofit, government or educational
B. Corporate or for-profit
C. Personal

41. Video for Web
Submit ONE URL to the video. Entry must demonstrate exceptional and innovative efforts in telling a story through a video.

One-page statement required: Describe role of entrant(s), purpose of site, target audience, goal of item submitted, evaluation criteria and assessment of effectiveness in terms of those criteria.

Judges will consider clarity of message, quality of video and overall presentation of the piece. 

A. Web reporting, single news or feature story
B. Web reporting, continuing coverage
C. Video for nonprofit or government organization
D. PR video promoting specific product or service
E. Special interest video

ADVERTISING

Categories 42 through 45

General instructions: Ads may be for retail products or services or they may be institutional, image or public-service ads. For ad campaigns or series, the final ad must have appeared by Dec. 31, 2021.

42. Single Advertisement
Open competition. Submit ONE sample of a single ad that appeared in print publications or electronic-based media. Submit Word files, PDFs or marked and scanned tear sheets of the ad or ads in print. For electronic ads, submit URLs. If the entry is behind a pay wall or no longer is online, submit PDFs or scans of printouts from electronic sites with the URL printed and circled on the page.

One-page statement required: Include role of entrant(s) in carrying out the project, reason for the ad or campaign, special strategies, evaluation criteria, and effectiveness in terms of measurement criteria.

Judges will consider originality of the selling idea or promotion, adaptability and suitability of the idea to the advertiser, appropriate choice of medium, appearance of ads, style and content of copy and results.

43. Advertising Campaign
Open competition. Submit ONE example of an advertising campaign in print or electronic media (or combination of the two) built around one subject. The series may feature the same product, service, or message, or different products, services, and messages from the same advertiser. The series must be related by theme or design format. Submit Word files, PDFs, or marked and scanned tear sheets of the ad or ads in print. For electronic ads, submit URLs. If the entry is behind a pay wall or no longer is online, submit PDFs or scans of printouts from electronic sites with the URL printed and circled on the page. The final ad must have appeared by Dec. 31, 2021.

One-page statement required: Include role of entrant(s) in carrying out the project, target audience, reason for the ad or campaign, special strategies, evaluation criteria and effectiveness in terms of measurement criteria.

Judges will consider originality of the selling idea or promotion, adaptability and suitability of the idea to the advertiser, clarity of message, appropriateness to audience, suitable choice of medium, appearance of ads, style and content of copy and results.

44. Advertising Poster, Billboard or Banner
Submit ONE example of a single poster, billboard or banner, which may be provided in black and white or in color. Originals may be any size, but entries will consist of ONE JPG, PDF or a scan of a printout.

One-page statement required: Include role of entrant(s) in carrying out the project, target audience, reason for the ad or campaign, special strategies, evaluation criteria and effectiveness in terms of measurement criteria.

Judges will consider originality of the selling idea or promotion, adaptability and suitability of the idea to the advertiser, clarity of message, appropriateness to audience, suitable choice of medium, appearance of ads, style and content of copy and results.

45. Radio and Television Advertising
Submit ONE sample of an audio or video file of either a single commercial OR an advertising campaign built around one subject. A series must be related by theme or design format, and the final ad must have appeared by Dec. 31, 2021. Advertisements may have appeared on traditional radio or television stations or through online radio or television outlets.

When more than one person contributed, the entrant must have had an equal or major role in creating/delivering the advertisement. 

One-page statement required. Include role of entrant(s) in carrying out the project, target audience, reason for the ad or campaign, special strategies, evaluation criteria and effectiveness in terms of measurement criteria.

Judges will consider originality of the selling idea or promotion, adaptability and suitability of the idea to advertiser, clarity of message, appropriateness to audience, appropriate choice of medium, the appearance of ads if on television or the sound quality if on radio, style and content of copy and results.

A. Radio
B. Television

COMMUNICATIONS PROGRAMS AND CAMPAIGNS

Categories 46 through 50

General instructions: Communications programs or campaigns may consist of print or online copy or a combination of both. Submit Word files, PDFs or scans of major supporting items including brochures, press releases, speeches, and/or URLS for audio and video files if not behind a pay wall. Limit audio or visual sample to FIVE minutes. The program or campaign must have been completed by Dec. 31, 2021.

Entry must have been under overall supervision of entrant(s), with entrant role(s) defined in the required one-page statement. In audiovisuals, for example, entrant must document role to state whether it included scripting only, scripting and photography, photography only, production, etc.

Note: Materials submitted in this division as part of a campaign also may be submitted as individual entries in Categories 51–53.
 
46. Public Relations Campaign

Submit ONE example. Entry should document a public relations campaign seeking to win the support or cooperation of or aiming to improve relations with stakeholders. Communities can be internal, external or both.

A.    Internal communications: Activities that communicate to stakeholders within an organization: for example, employees, members or donors.

B.    External communications: Activities that communicate organizational goals or programs to external stakeholders.

C.    Integrated Communications: Activities that employ integration of public relations strategies and tactics with promotional marketing communications such as advertising and social media.                 

One-page statement required: Include role of entrant(s), research or reason for program or campaign, audience, strategies used to reach stakeholders, theme (if any), timetable, budget, evaluation criteria and effectiveness in terms of measurement criteria.

Judges will consider clearly stated objectives, general impact of program on target audience, effective use of media, technical quality and results.

47. Crisis Communications
Submit ONE crisis communications program. Provide documentation of strategies and tactics implemented to mitigate the crisis (often an event that has had, or may have, an extraordinarily negative impact upon an organization or community). Package should include pertinent news clips/coverage of event, if any; mitigating efforts (community meetings, press events, speeches, public opinion surveys to gauge public sentiment); and multi-media messaging platforms such as social media campaigns or editorials (print or video) to convey or update the crisis plan of action and the needed internal and/or external resources.

One-page statement required: Include role of entrant, brief overview of situation, strategies to mitigate the event, strategies for stakeholders, timetable and results.

Judges will consider objectives, strategic thinking, effective use of media and results of efforts.

48. Public Service Program or Campaign
Submit ONE example of a public relations program or campaign for the public good. Upload major supporting items including brochures, press releases, speeches, and/or URLs for audio and video files (if not behind a pay wall). Limit audio or visual sample to FIVE minutes.

One-page statement required: Include role of entrant(s), research or reason for program or campaign, audience, strategies used to reach audience, theme (if any), timetable, budget and how the program or campaign was evaluated.

Judges will consider clearly stated objectives, success in meeting objectives and in relating to audience, effective use of media, general impact of program, technical quality and evaluation of effectiveness.

49. Marketing Program or Campaign
Submit ONE marketing program or campaign. Entry should document a public relations program or campaign for a new or existing product or service. Upload major supporting items including brochures, press releases, speeches, and/or URLs for audio and video files if not behind a pay wall. Limit the audio or visual sample to FIVE minutes.

One-page statement required: Include role of entrant(s), research or reason for program or campaign, audience, strategies used to reach the audience, theme (if any), timetable, budget and how the program or campaign was evaluated.

Judges will consider clearly stated objectives, success in meeting objectives and in relating to the audience, effective use of media, general impact of the program, technical quality and evaluation of effectiveness.

50. Audiovisuals
Submit ONE audiovisual sample. Provide the appropriate format (i.e., URL to viewable presentation), as well as Word files, PDFs, or scans of hard-copy materials where appropriate. Entry must be creatively directed, edited and executed by the entrant. It may include still illustration or multi-image slides, video productions, PowerPoint presentations or other types of audiovisual creations. 

One-page statement required: Include role of entrant(s), research or reason for program or campaign, audience, strategies used to reach the audience, theme (if any), timetable, budget and how the program or campaign was evaluated.

Judges will consider clearly stated objectives, success in meeting objectives and in relating to audience, effective use of media, general impact of program, technical quality and evaluation of effectiveness.

PUBLIC RELATIONS MATERIALS

Categories 51 through 53

Submissions of PR materials can be PDFs or scans of reports, magazines, newsletters, etc. Entry may have appeared in print or electronic publications and must be creatively directed, edited and executed by the entrant.

Note: Materials submitted as individual entries in this division also may be submitted as part of an ad campaign in Categories 46–50.

One-page statement required: Include role of entrant(s) in carrying out the project, general objectives, theme (if any), audience, frequency, budget, evaluation criteria and effectiveness in terms of measurement criteria.

Judges will consider success in meeting clearly stated objectives and in relating to the target audience, effective use of media, technical quality and general impact as determined by evaluation criteria.

51. Report

Submit ONE sample of a report (including, but not limited to, annual reports)                                                

One-page statement required: As described above. 

52. Brochure

Submit ONE sample.

One-page statement required: As described above.

A.    Nonprofit, government or educational

B.    Corporate or for-profit

53. Catalog, Manual, or Handbook

Submit ONE sample.

One-page statement required: As described above.

INFORMATION FOR THE MEDIA

Categories 54 through 56 

54. News or Feature Release – Single Release

Submit ONE news or feature release. Provide Word files, PDFs or scans of original release and clippings of ONE to THREE published articles resulting from a single release (or reports of placement, with printouts if possible, if used by electronic media). Release may have been rewritten for publication.

One-page statement required: include general objectives, audience targeted, media contacted, theme (if any), timetable, budget, follow-up, evaluation criteria and effectiveness in terms of measurement criteria.

Judges will consider content and organization of copy, effective communication of the message, clearly stated objectives, success in relating to the audience, meeting objectives within the budget and general impact. 

55. News or Feature Releases – Multiple Releases

Submit TWO to SIX news or feature releases on a similar topic. Provide Word files, PDFs or scans of original releases and clippings of one or more published articles (or reports of electronic placement, with a scan of printout if possible) that resulted from the releases. Releases may have been rewritten for publication. 

One-page statement required: Include general objectives, audience targeted, media contacted, theme (if any), timetable, budget, follow-up, how entry was evaluated, and results statement.

Judges will consider content and organization of copy, effective communication of the message, clearly stated objectives, success in relating to the audience, meeting objectives within budget and general impact.

56. Media Pitch

Submit ONE news or feature story resulting from a direct pitch to a media outlet. The pitch can be from a media advisory, phone call or personal email.

One-page statement required: Include documentation (where possible) of how and to whom entrant pitched the story, what resulted from the pitch and the follow-up from other media. Document the story as much as possible.

Judges will consider effective communication of message, coverage, use of information pitched and general impact of pitch.

SPEECHES

57. Speech

Each entry will consist of a Word file, a PDF, or an electronic file of a script for a speech written (or ghost-written) by entrant. Speech must be delivered to an audience during the contest year. Entrant does not have to be the presenter.

One-page statement required:  Include entrant’s role, title of speaker, title of speech, type of speech (persuasive, motivational, informative, etc.), description of audience (including name of group and size), date, and goal of speaker in reaching the audience.   

Judges will consider the effective interpretation of subject matter, structure, appropriateness for audience and situation, writing for deliverability, the organization of messages and credible conclusion.

COLLEGIATE / EDUCATION

Categories 58 through 61

General instructions: Open to college students in either a two- or four-year program who are working on an undergraduate degree. Entries may have been published in a campus, professional or nonprofit print or electronic publication, media outlet such as television or radio station or online venue. If print publication: submit Word file, PDF or URL. If electronic publication: submit URL. If entry is behind a pay wall or no longer is online, submit Word file or PDF with URL circled, or, if appropriate, also upload an audio or video file.

Entrant must be a college student, except for 61. Faculty adviser of student publication, station or site.

58. Writing

Submit ONE story written by entrant for a print, internet, radio or television outlet. For radio and TV stories, entrant must be the reporter.

Judges will consider planning and general organization of story, initiative in obtaining story, news writing, readability and impact.

A. News
B. Features
C. Sports
D. Opinion/Editorial/Reviews

59. Art and Design

Submit ONE sample: a page design (published in print or online); a published photograph or graphic; or an illustration. Entrant must be the photographer, artist or designer.

Judges will consider the overall layout and design of pages, typefaces, use of photographs and arrangement of the various elements to appeal to readers.

A. Design (print or electronic)
B. Graphics/Illustrations
C. Photographs

60. Public Relations Program or Campaign

Submit ONE sample. Provide major supporting items, including PDFs of brochures, press releases, speeches, photos of displays, URLs (if not behind a paywall), CDs, DVDs. Limit audio or visual sample to FIVE minutes. The PR program or campaign must have been under the overall supervision of entrant and must have been completed by Dec. 31, 2021.

One-page statement required: Include entrant’s role, research or reason for the program or campaign, audience, strategies used to reach the audience, theme (if any), timetable, budget, and how program or campaign was evaluated. 

Judges will consider clearly stated objectives, success in meeting objectives and in relating to the audience, effective use of media, general impact of the program, evaluation of effectiveness and technical quality. 

61. Faculty Adviser of Student Publication, Station or Site

Submit ONE example of a high school or college newspaper, literary journal, website, television or radio station, yearbook, or other student publishing, broadcasting or media venue. 

One-page statement required: Include the role of entrant as adviser; information about the publication/site, such as circulation, print run, or number of views; role of publication/station/site; brief background on the publication/station/site; and any special comments from the adviser(s) regarding the publication/station/site, such as staffing, budget, or other resources; impact on the audience; or special successes.

Judges will consider entrant’s role both in how well the publication/station/site did in meeting objectives, relating to the audience, using media and other resources effectively, general impact of program and technical quality.