Saturday, December 1, 2012

Winning the Minnesota PRSA Classics

The Minnesota Public Relations Society of America Classics Awards recognize the best campaigns and tactics in our state's public relations community. The winners are feted at a gala event each spring featuring celebrity emcees and a delicious dinner.

Behind the celebration, though, lies a lot of hard work. A tremendous amount of effort goes into implementing award-winning campaigns and tactics, and assembling an award-winning Classics entry is no small task.

Minnesota PRSA Classics
Cassie D'Kae, Christine Michaelis and Johnna Vogelbacher of Exponent PR
To help public relations practitioners prepare successful award entries, Minnesota PRSA recently held a workshop featuring this year's "Best of Show" team members (see photo on the right).

Exponent PR's Christine Michaelis, Johnna Vogelbacher and Cassie D'Kae won "Best of Show" for their firm's work with Caribou Coffee.

For their campaign promoting Caribou Coffee's Amy's Blend and Amy's Garden, the Exponent PR team focused on goals of increasing donations and improving customer engagement. While making the entries fun and telling a story is key, Michaelis also pointed out that all aspects of the four-step process (research, planning, execution and evaluation) need to be covered in a Classics entry.

"Writing an award entry reminds us of the fundamentals of the PR craft," said Kelly Puspoki, vice president of Consumer Marketing at Weber Shandwick. Puspoki's team won multiple PR awards for its integrated campaign on behalf of client American Girl.

Puspoki, in reflecting on her entries, also said to avoid buzzwords.

Tracy Carlson, APR, of Padilla Speer Beardsley, recommended keeping material in a folder throughout the year to make it easier to gather data for award entries. She also said that demonstrating the campaign's four-step process is important, particularly the research and evaluation steps.

Best of luck as you prepare your Classics entries! The due date is noon on Dec. 14.
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