“No Soup for You!” if You Submit Poor PR Award Entries
In the classic “Seinfeld” episode where the notorious Soup Nazi refused service to patrons who didn’t abide by his strict protocol, he would dismiss them with a curt “No soup for you!”
I felt like shouting that phrase a few times recently after judging public relations and communications award entries from another Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) chapter. It still amazes me that some organizations would turn in sloppy or incomplete award entries.
Here are a few tips for submitting PR/communications award entries:
- Proofread, proofread, proofread! Or better yet, have other people proofread your submission. Among the typos and misspellings I spotted were “neswletter” and “19century.” C’mon people, you’re submitting entries for communications awards but you don’t even proofread your own entries?
- Pay attention to detail. Our group found several entries where the one-page write-up was included but no work sample was provided. How are we supposed to judge a logo or advertisement if it’s not included?
- Know what the difference between a goal and objective is. Your goal is your overall intended state of being. For example, “The Braggtown Literary Festival is viewed as a success by students, parents and teachers.” An objective is a specific, measurable and time-delineated desired outcome. “The Braggtown Literary Festival will have attracted 400 students to the Main Street Library on June 8.”
- Know the difference between an objective and a tactic. Writing a press release is not an objective. Distributing flyers is not an objective. Those are tactics – specific decisions and actions that should help you reach your objective.
- Include metrics. Give us specific numbers in your objectives and your evaluation. “The CEO thought the event was great” and “We got a lot of press coverage” are not proper evaluative summaries.
Now, having said all that, I did come across several entries that were fully researched, well-planned, creatively executed and that provided quantitative results. There are some extremely bright and talented individuals in our profession who should be lauded for the quality of their work and for producing good results. They get soup!