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53rd Annual PRSA-LA PRism Awards: FAQs


How do I apply?

The PRSA-LA PRism Award submission process is 100% online. The advantages to an online-only submission process are many:

  • Straightforward entry form.

  • Easy upload of supporting files.

  • Save on paper and materials costs.

  • No postage or delivery charges.

  • Secure credit card payment.

We recommend that you prepare and save your entry materials offline and use the online system when you are ready to submit those materials for consideration. Compared to previous years, there are many new PRism Award categories to choose from in 2017.

Please review the 2017 PRism Award Call for Entries thoroughly as it contains all the information needed to prepare and submit entries. If after reviewing the Call for Entries you still have questions, you may find the answer below.

We will continue updating this FAQ periodically as other questions arise. If your question is not addressed here, please contact Vicky Lelash, 2017 Call for Entries Chair, at vicky@prsala.org.


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Who can enter?

The PRism Awards are open to all public relations practitioners who work in the Greater Los Angeles County area, Ventura County and Santa Barbara County or who have completed work for clients based in those areas. Work must have been completed between July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017.

Where can I find the Entry Forms?

2017 PRism Award Entry Forms are only accessible online. PRism Awards entries may only be submitted online via our electronic entry system. Click here for online entry.


How can I pay for my Award entries?

Payments for entries will be accepted via the online entry system. It is a PayPal-based system. PRSA-LA encourages electronic payment. To be invoiced and pay by check, please contact PRSA-LA Executive Director Mindy Carson Brundige at mindy@prsala.org.


How do I pick the proper category?

Your work may be eligible for consideration in more than one award category. For the best chance at success, pick the category or categories that you feel best represents your campaign, program or tactic. Judges are not required to assign or re-assign entry categories.


May I enter the same work in multiple categories?

You may submit entries in as many categories as you wish, however a separate entry fee must be paid for each submission. Submitting the same work in multiple categories may increase your chance of winning a PRism Award or Award of Excellence, but only if your entry is competitive in the categories you enter.

It is a common practice for PRism Award entrants to submit one entry for Strategic Campaigns and Programs, and multiple entries for Tactical Programs related to that same PR campaign.


Why are there separate category sections for Programs and Tactics?

Extensive time and thought has gone into category / sub-category definitions. Starting in 2016, PRism Awards categories resemble, but do not precisely mirror, the award categories for PRSA Bronze Anvil and Silver Anvil Awards.


What is the difference between a PRism Award and an Award of Excellence?

PRism Award trophies are given to honor the best entry in each of the contest categories (Strategic Campaigns & Programs and Tactical Campaigns & Programs). Judges may also bestow Award of Excellence paperweight to runner-up entries within that category.


I registered through the online systems last year, do I need to register again?

Yes. If you used the system to submit an entry in a previous year, you must register again for this year’s awards. For your convenience, our system optionally allows you to register using your Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+ account.


Why does it appear that the awards categories are different from past years?

The PRSA-LA board and PRism Awards committee periodically review categories to make sure they are consistent, current and applicable to the PR work being executed by our community. PRism Awards categories resemble, but do not precisely mirror, the award categories for PRSA Bronze Anvil and Silver Anvil Awards.


Why is there an Early and Final Deadline?

We want to give you every opportunity to prepare your entry in a way that meets your high standards. We also want to give you the opportunity to save money on entry fees if you get your entry in early.


Do we need permission from my client or employer to submit an entry?

PRSA-LA recommends that you secure approval from your client and/or employer prior to submitting an entry. PRSA-LA accepts all award entries as if permission has been granted. Refunds will not be given and entries will not be disqualified if there is a complaint that an entry was submitted without authorization. Disagreements involving clients, employers and submitters must be addressed by the parties. PRSA-LA will not mediate.


Does submitting an entry guarantee we’ll win an award?

No. Qualified public relations executives will evaluate each entry. PRism Awards are only granted when the judges deem an entry worthy of this honor. From time to time, no awards will be granted in a category where there were no meritorious entries.


Will we be notified of a winning entry?

Successful entrants will be notified of their finalist status, but not whether they have won a PRism or an Award of Excellence. All awards will be presented at the 2017 PRism Award Show on Wednesday, November 8, 2017. Show details will be announced soon.


What do we win?

If you are named a finalist, you are assured of public recognition for your work at the PRism Award Show. PRism Award winners will receive a custom, hand-engraved and personalized crystal PRism trophy at this event; Award of Excellence winners receive a personalized, clear acrylic paperweight.


What information is needed for each entry?

Please provide the following information in your submission: 100-Word Overview; Names of Key Contributors; Research; Objectives; Target Audiences; Execution/Implementation; Budget; Measurement/Evaluation; and Results. While these sections are broken out on the electronic form, we recommend that all told the information be covered in less than two pages, if it were submitted in hard copy.


What are the qualifications of the judges?

Judges are selected by the PRSA-LA Board. The judges group comprises senior PR practitioners with many collective years of experience. We seek to have as many judges as possible with APR or Fellow status. PRSA-LA provides judges our criteria and score sheets, along with training on our standards and best practices.


What criteria will the judges use to score the entries?

Entries will be scored on the following items:

  • Research: use of research (10%)

  • Planning: program outline, audience and budget (10%)

  • Execution: implementation, quality of work, creativity and budget allocation (50%)

  • Results: overall success of the program; quantifiable results will earn higher scores (30%)


What if our entry must remain confidential?

The nature of the PRism Award process cannot preserve confidentiality. If you have confidential work that cannot be shared, it should not be submitted. Award entries become the public property of PRSA-LA and may be used in promotional endeavors or for educational purposes.

Does PRSA-LA release program budgets?

No. Budget information is used only in comparing entries against one another for overall effectiveness. PRSA-LA does not release specific budget information.


Will entrants receive the judges’ score sheets?

No, the judges’ scoring and supporting remarks are the property of the PRSA-LA chapter.


Is there a dispute process?

No. The PRism Awards is a volunteer-driven program. Judging is based on criteria set out in the Call for Entries and all scores and decisions are final.


How can I become involved in the PRism process?

PRSA-LA encourages volunteers to participate in the PRism Awards. If you are interested in volunteering to serve on the PRism Awards Committee, which manages the Call For Entries and Judging process, or volunteering for the PRism Awards Show, contact PRSA-LA Executive Director Mindy Carson Brundige at mindy@prsala.org.


Who should I call with questions?

Please review the Call for Entries Forms and these FAQs for answers to your questions. If you have additional questions, please email Vicky Lelash, 2017 Call for Entries Chair, at vicky@prsala.org. We will email you a response and/or post the updated Q&A on this FAQ document for others.


Our agency is based in Orange County. Can we submit an entry for the PRSA-LA PRism Awards?

Yes, provided project or service was performed for clients based in the Greater Los Angeles Area.


Can we submit a campaign that started in March 2016 and ended in July 2017? The campaign began before the allotted award time period (July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017), but it was completed during that time period.

The start date for your campaign does not affect eligibility. What matters is that the end date occurs during the award time period. The eligibility requirements state “work must have been completed between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017.” However, you may submit a component of that campaign under a category in the “Tactical Programs and Campaigns” section if it has been completed during the eligible period.

Is there a maximum word count for the entry form fields, or maximum number of documents that can be uploaded? 

Submitting a very lengthy entry will not increase your chances of winning, so you should endeavor to submit approximately two typed pages of entry text, in addition to supporting material.

An entrant may upload from 0-5 files as supporting documents, and each file must be less than 50Mb in size. File types allowed are PDF, DOC, JPG, MPEG and most other common types.

If you have larger files, please post them to an accessible location such as YouTube or Dropbox and include a link in the text of your entry. Make sure to test your links! For externally hosted files, also make sure your access permissions allow outside judges to review your material.