In 2010 we introduced a lot of new public relations and communications awards categories in The American Business Awards, and we haven't added any new ones for 2011. But I thought I'd take a moment here to outline the categories that I think are the best fit for public relations, corporate communications, public affairs, and investor relations professionals, because not all of them are plainly labelled.
First off, there are those categories that are plainly labelled, and they include the many Communications or PR Campaign/Program of the Year categories we introduced in 2010. Here are the main communications categories (the letter/nomination combinations are our internal category codes):
C01. Public Relations Agency of the Year
C02. Communications Department of the Year
C03. Communications Team of the Year
C04. Investor Relations Campaign/Program of the Year
C05. Communications or PR Campaign/Program of the Year
a. Community Relations: campaigns/programs that aim to improve relations with communities in which the sponsoring organization has an interest, need or opportunity.
b. Crisis Communications: campaigns/programs undertaken to deal with an unplanned event and requiring immediate response.
c. Global Issues: campaigns/programs that demonstrate effective global communications implemented in at least two countries, one of which must be the United States.
d. Issues Management: campaigns/programs undertaken to deal with issues that could extraordinarily affect ongoing business strategy.
e. Low Budget (under $10,000): campaigns/programs that cost no more than $10,000 to plan and implement.
f. Marketing – Business to Business: campaigns/programs designed to introduce new products or promote existing products or services to a business audience.
g. Marketing – Consumer Products: campaigns/programs designed to introduce new products or promote existing products to a consumer audience.
h. Marketing – Consumer Services: campaigns/programs designed to introduce new services or promote existing services to a consumer audience.
i. Multicultural: campaigns/programs specifically targeted to a cultural group.
j. Reputation/Brand Management: campaigns/programs designed to enhance, promote or improve the reputation of an organization with its publics or key elements of its publics.
k. Public Affairs: campaigns/programs specifically designed to influence public policy and/or affect legislation, regulations, political activities or candidacies.
l. Public Service: campaigns/programs that advance public understanding of societal issues, problems or concerns.
m. Social Media Focused: campaigns/programs designed to be implemented primarily through online social media.
C06. Communications, Investor Relations, or PR Executive of the Year
C07. Communications Professional of the Year (for non-executive communications, PR, and IR professionals). This category has no entry fee.
These categories all require pretty much the same information:
a. An essay or case of up to 500 words about the achievements of the nominee since January 1 2010. Depending on the category the nominee can be an entire department, a team, an individual, or the performance of a campaign or program.
b. A set of links to online work samples, news articles, press releases, videos, images, etc. that support the nomination. This is optional but highly recommended. You can provide as many links as you'd like, but up to 20 is optimal.
c. A brief biography of up to 100 words about the nominee or the leader of the nominated department, team, or campaign/program initiative.
As always we welcome your comments and questions about these categories and how to enter.
There are a number of other ABA categories that should be of interest to communications professionals, including many of the corporate literature and annual report awards categories, web site and blog awards categories, video awards categories, and live event awards categories. I recommend that you take a look at these as well.