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Three – just three – keys to winning a Phoenix Award this year

You are busy.  You do not need another long list of to dos.  So here are the three – yes, just three – steps you need to take while writing your entry to get the recognition you deserve this year in PRSA Georgia’s awards program.

#1: Articulate your meaningful, measurable objective(s) at the start of your write up and show that you measured it at the end.  Many entries never get past a cursory glance because what the writer said he wanted to achieve in the Planning section did not match what they said they accomplished under Evaluation.  Make them the same.  Make them specific and measurable.  Make them honest.  With more of our work being done online, it’s easier than ever to move past “impressions equal awareness” and show concrete impact using numbers.  And yes, PR people need to know at least that much math. 

#2: Showcase the compelling insight that led you to come up with your big idea.  More than ever, data and analytics rule, and Google means anyone – with any budget – can do research.  The question is, what was the “aha” you gleaned from your research that led you to your strategy?  Insights are what make your particular approach different from what the competition might have done.  They justify your direction.  Written well, insights are like poetry.  Never leave the judges guessing what thinking fueled your creativity.

#3: Most importantly, make the judges want to give you the award.  They really, really are rooting for you.  Unfortunately, entrants do not always make it easy.  How can you help them?  No typos. Not. A. Single. One.  Follow the prescribed format, but tell a story.  Why was this work so necessary?  How did your team anticipate and overcome obstacles to deliver results?  Finally, use your supplementary materials to add color to your write up.  Do not pad them with “stuff” that doesn’t contribute to the story.  Likewise, do not leave something meaningful out.

Ask yourself: is this program or project really an award-winning effort? As professionals, we know the difference between the ordinary and routine, and the truly great.  When you have something special, these three tips can help you win.

Mark Dvorak, APR, Fellow PRSA, has served as a Silver Anvil juror 11 times.  As a former Chapter president, his goal is to help Georgia get even more recognition for the great work we do.

Click here to start your Phoenix Awards entry!