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Have an Award Winning PR Campaign? How to Prep for an Early Award Submission

File Organize

With the launch of a new PR campaign, it’s easy to move through the motions and put thinking about submitting for future awards on the back burner. With the San Diego Edward L. Bernays Mark of Excellence Awards around the corner, PR pros have already submitted or are making final last-minute touches to their award-winning campaign submissions. As I drafted an entry for NST client Milton’s Craft Bakers and our work on the launch of their line of gluten-free baked crackers, I was appreciative of how well our work had been documented, filed and organized. However, I definitely saw room for improvement for future years to come. Here are four things to keep top of mind for future campaign launches to make your award submissions a success:

PR plan
It’s a given you already have a PR plan in place, but I suggest taking time to create a separate internal document and organize accordingly: research, planning, execution and evaluation of the program. This will not only help you tremendously when you create your entry summary for award submissions but is an important step when developing KPI’s (key performance indicators) for your client to measure success afterward. As you move through the campaign, go back to your internal document and update as needed. New piece of research? Include it. A client win? Clip it and save.

Speaking of clips, are you on top of yours? Clip reports are the life blood to show achievements and results; keeping your clip document up-to-date and organized is key. Having to comb the internet for missing coverage is no fun on a time crunch; especially if you can’t recall the publication that covered your story. I like to live by this mantra: client win, clip and grin; client win, clip and grin – and flag the big wins separately. Combing through a client’s entire history of media coverage to find the biggest placements can be daunting if the amount is sky high. Create a document, track links and key terms to help narrow down the search.

Media coverage tracker
So you are tracking coverage as it comes in, and tracking first and second follow ups that go out, right? If you don’t already have a spreadsheet with all three of these elements combined into one, create it and get ahead of the game. The Bernays entries call for a coverage tracker that encompasses all three. Opening your pitch tracker and plugging in coverage after the fact can be time consuming. And because you’re submitting an award-winning campaign, you most likely have a ton of coverage and pitching evidence to include!

As PR pros, we send and receive countless emails. To save you time when pulling pitches and tracking down media correspondence to include with your submission, create a Word document that contains key search terms, times of email and dates. This small amount of prep will make going back to find the communication between you and a reporter that emphasizes your stellar media relations game a breeze. Even better? Save those emails once received in your file so you don’t have to find them later.

By keeping up with your prep work for award submissions and flagging specific work that shows high standards of performance, drafting your entry will be much easier. Do you have other tips or tricks about keeping award organization skills on point? Share with us on our Facebook page!

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