Categories

Awards of Excellence Categories

The National Awards are divided into two sub-categories: Communications Programs, which comprise numerous smaller projects, and Communications Projects, which support an overall campaign or program.

Each sub-category contains several individual award categories, of which a campaign may be entered into a maximum of two.

Communications Programs

Canadian External Communications Campaigns
Programs geared to improving relationships with the community, influencing public attitude and behaviour with hopes of generating greater public understanding of the organization, and/or increasing corporate or organizational identity with various audiences.

The External Communications category has been further divided into nine sub-categories:

Programs that integrate public relations, marketing and advertising strategies to help market products, services or places to external audiences.
Community programs (e.g. philanthropy, volunteerism, partnerships) that enable an organization to build and maintain positive and sustainable relationships with key individuals, groups or organizations within its communities.
Advocacy-based communication programs targeted to multiple audiences that focus on sustainable development and economic, social and environmental issues. May include programs where the primary objective is to address and enhance the long-term well-being of specific communities or the environment. Entries may include economic revitalization projects and cause-related issues in cultural preservation, education, literacy, health, poverty reduction, employment and the environment.
Media relations programs should exhibit improvement of an organization’s media profile measured against desired objectives, or the adept management of issues involving media coverage, or the development of a successful media relations campaign created by a communications agency. 
Media relations programs should exhibit improvement of an organization’s media profile measured against desired objectives, or the adept management of issues involving media coverage, or the development of a successful media relations campaign created by a non-agency. Eligible campaigns in this category include those conducted by government, not-for-profit/non-governmental or private sector corporations.
 
Communication programs that demonstrate proactive planning and preventative action during an extraordinary event. Also, communication programs that show actions taken to address trends, issues and interest group attitudes with major impact on an organization.
Programs targeted at government bodies and government agencies or programs that recognize the effective use of public affairs to change or enlist public opinion in order to influence government policy or regulations.
 
In complex health care environments, effective communications initiatives can impact patient safety, quality of care and patient satisfaction. This award recognizes excellence in health communications, public relations and engagement. The campaign must demonstrate a connection to a health care issue or communication need. The award is open to CPRS Health Academy members working in, or for, organizations that deliver direct care or health planning services across Canada.
A digital communications program that successfully engages with target audiences to create engaged communities, launch or raise awareness of products or manage issues or crisis communications.

Canadian Internal Communications Campaigns
The Internal Communications category has one award:

Programs focusing on internal audiences aimed at improving relationships between employees and management, providing a better understanding of the organization's strategic plan and the importance of their role therein, or both. Such programs can also aim at rallying personnel around the strategic planning or improving employee/management morale, motivation and interest towards the organization.

Communications Projects

Awards within this category honour excellence in the strategic development of materials and individual public relations products that advance the goals and objectives of an overall program. Special emphasis should be placed on the relevance of the initiative to the public relations objectives.

The Communications Projects category has been further divided into seven sub-categories:

A public relations program for openings, anniversaries and other ceremonies commemorating a one-time event or series of special events or occasions.
Communications projects that use a range of multimedia tactics to achieve an organization’s communication objectives, including but not limited to video and audio recordings, video news releases, podcasting, digital media, or computer-generated slide presentations developed for internal or external target audiences.
A communications project using digital and social media to achieve an organization’s communications objectives including but not limited to websites, intranet sites, blogs, webcasts, on-line productions, discussion boards, Facebook and Twitter. The summary should include a rationale for the use of digital and social media, targeted audiences and statistics or other means of quantifiable measurement that meet stated objectives. Screen shots of the medium being entered as well as the URL must be submitted as part of the entry.
This category encompasses original material written for a communications project including but not limited to speeches, recurring features or columns, magazine articles, editorials, advertorials or news releases. Each award will be judged based on the quality of writing as well as creativity and strategic alignment with their organization’s business goals.
To be considered in this category, submit three consecutive issues of your high frequency, low cost, primarily text-oriented publication intended for internal audiences, e.g. staff, executives, volunteers. Judges will look for clear, concise, readable copy that exhibits high editorial standards, effective use of colour or graphics and overall creativity.
 
Printed or electronic material developed for external target audiences, such as newspaper inserts, brochures, promotional campaigns, posters, or magazines. Judges will look for clear, concise, readable copy that exhibits high editorial standards, effective use of colour or graphics and overall creativity.
Judges will look for clear, concise and imaginative writing, and the use of creative graphics. Judges will consider suitability of photographs or illustration to the report’s overall presentation, clarity in presenting financial and statistical materials, and effective use of colour.