5 Reasons Why PR Awards Are Worth Pursuing (+ examples)

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Who doesn’t love to receive an award? The recognition is exciting, the applause fills us with pride, and we get a trophy or plaque to display prominently in our office. PR awards are no different: being acknowledged for an outstanding PR campaign is a big thrill and motivates you to think even bigger for your next campaign.

However, it does take time and energy to apply for PR awards and earn the right to say you’re an award-winning agency. There are awards to research, applications to complete, and events to attend. With so much to do already in just serving your clients daily, it’s only appropriate to consider if the time investment for PR awards is truly worth it.

If you love the idea of getting a PR award, then you’ll love our answer. We think there are some really great reasons why PR awards are worth pursuing, not only for yourself but for your team members and agency brand.

But first, if you’re new to the PR awards arena, allow us to introduce you to the types of awards you can apply for.

The Basics of PR Awards

Let’s start by discussing the types of PR awards out there these days. There are many different awards, and they each offer several different categories. This point is important: just because you’re a small agency doesn’t mean you should think you’re years away from competing for awards. There are awards out there that are a perfect fit for what you do! Just take the time to research and find them.

Agency awards

Start by looking for agency awards. These awards recognize your agency for outstanding work. Hone in on awards that are specific to your main sector, like lifestyle, technology, or non-profits. If you look for awards centered on your niche and industry of expertise, you’ll significantly increase your chances of coming out on top.

Below you can see an example of how Jennifer Berson uses the information about the awards pursued by her PR company on the official website. She also mentions it in the interviews, like Prowly’s #PRChat!

Campaign awards

Next, look for awards that are campaign-focused, meaning they evaluate a single PR campaign that your agency has managed. Work with your entire team to determine the strongest PR campaigns in your portfolio from the past year. We bet you can already name them! 

These are the ones that had outstanding and specific results you can credit to your dedicated PR efforts. In some years, your agency may even have several standout campaigns. Don’t hesitate to enter them all for awards consideration. 

Business awards

Finally, identify PR or business awards that use public voting. If you know that you have a strong online community that you can count on to support you with online votes, this is a great opportunity for you! You’ll be able to spread the word easily on your social media accounts and in email blasts, asking for their support through voting. 

Local awards

Sometimes you don’t even have to look that far to find award opportunities. Local business organizations offer awards too. Join your local Chamber of Commerce or neighborhood business association to learn about and apply for their annual awards. If you’re new to the PR awards process, this may be the best place to start.

Now that you know the different types of PR awards available to you, hear us out on our top 5 reasons for why they’re worth pursuing.

5 Reasons to Pursue PR Awards

Reason #1: They Prove Credibility, Quickly

As our attention spans grow shorter in the midst of so much information online, we’re guilty of skimming a lot of information to look for the few gems we need. It’s no different for a potential client who is researching PR agencies. An award-winning PR agency is going to stand out from the rest. 

We can’t help but automatically associate an award with an established business that has experience in their industry and likely a big network of colleagues. Plus, when an outside party recognizes a business for their work, we give that praise more value. Bottom line: it helps develop trust for the agency.

Once you’ve earned a PR award, you’ll want to put it front and center on your marketing materials. Add it to your homepage with the awards logo, and write it into your “About Us” section. Include it in your agency introduction within proposals and capabilities decks too. 

Wondering what that might look like? Here’s an example of how to weave awards into internal marketing copy:

Cali Communications is an award-winning PR agency with 15 years of expertise in the food and dining market. Our client work gets measurable results and has been recognized with awards from industry leaders like PR Week, PRNEWS, and PRSA.

Cali Communications website screenshot showing text where they used phrase "award-winning".

Reason #2: You Can Acknowledge a Team Member

One of the best ways to acknowledge a hard-working team member is to tell them that you think their agency work is award-worthy. Can you remember being an up-and-coming new PR account executive and having your boss acknowledge your hard work? It feels terrific.

Some agency and campaign awards can be individual-based, so look for opportunities to nominate one or more of your team members for an award.

Then, make it a big deal! Invite the team member to a special meeting or lunch and let them know you think their work is worth recognition, and that you want to nominate them for an upcoming award. Provide them with all the award details and let them know the perks for them if they win.

For some people, this recognition from their supervisor is an award in itself!

Reason #3: The Accompanying Events are Great for Networking

Many times, PR agency owners see other PR agency owners only as the competition. This is a big mistake. They should be seen as potential partners too. 

Here’s why: other agencies may need to turn away work when their plate is full or the client doesn’t fit their specific industry niche. This is exactly when you want other agencies to know about your agency and your excellent work. 

With knowledge that your agency is active in the PR community (and hopefully award-winning), they can easily send referrals your way. They’ll have no problem stating that you’re a solid agency with PR experience and credibility.

So, use the PR awards process to get in front of other agencies. On the awards website and at awards events, you’ll get exposure to these agencies, with the added ability to network with them all in the same room. 

We witnessed this recently when we sponsored PRWeek’s Global Awards and had a great time at their awards event. Bonus: it’s really fun too!

Prowly as a sponsor of PR Week Global Awards

Reason #4: Your Client Also Wins 

An award for your campaign is an award for your client too. They already know you launched a successful PR campaign for them – on top of that, other PR professionals agreed! 

Include your client in the process, letting them know you’ve entered the campaign for consideration. Agencies work very closely with their clients’ internal marketing teams, so remember to point out how they’re team was involved in the campaign too.

Once you win that award and start to mention your award in places like your website, keep your client in the spotlight too. Include links to their website in the announcement or case study. Then, use a PR database like Prowly to send a press release to relevant editors about the client’s business challenge, resulting campaign, and award win. This could result in additional PR coverage for both you and your client.

Reason #5: You’ll See How Far You’ve Come

PR is hard work. You spend hours each day strategizing, writing, and pitching your clients. The consistency of your daily and weekly efforts eventually lead up to our favorite news as PR professionals: that an editor wants to cover your client!

So like with all hard work in your life, it’s important you allow yourself some moments to step back and observe all you’ve accomplished during the past year. Applying for a PR award is a way to dedicate some time each year to look through your portfolio of clients and campaigns and admire the work you’ve achieved with your team.

The fact is, whether you win an award or not, you’ll have taken the time to review your prior year’s work and acknowledge everything you have completed and learned.

Getting Started

We hope we’ve convinced you to jump into the PR awards process! Getting started is very easy. We’ve even created a list of some popular PR awards for you to research for applicable categories. You can begin here.

Popular PR Awards to Consider:

If the process is new to you, we recommend you pick just one or two potential awards to dip your toe in the water. This will help you get familiar with the process and allow you to learn along the way. Sometimes, putting all your dedication into a few targeted options ensures the best results.

Then, get your agency team on board to help you prepare the entry materials. This will be a fun project to introduce to your agency as a new annual tradition.

Good luck out there! We’re convinced a PR award is waiting out there just for you.