It’s hard to believe the 50th Annual Bell Ringer Awards celebration is only four months away. We are so excited to celebrate our winners on June 13 at the State Room in Boston. If you’re an “early bird” and your submissions are complete — congratulations! If you haven’t completed yours yet, don’t worry! The regular deadline is March 9 by 6 p.m. ET, and the late deadline is March 15 at 6 p.m. ET. Submission guidelines can be found here, and the link to submit your application is here. Need some inspiration? We’re here to help.
Nearly every communications professional has experienced that thrilling moment when a piece you’ve been working on for weeks — or even months — finally hits the press. In fact, I have my first national placement tacked to my bulletin board. Even though the paper is yellow, and the edges are fraying, there’s no way I’ll ever take it down. A big placement is something to be celebrated, and we’re looking forward to clinking glasses with the Bell Ringer winners. But as you think about your submissions this year, we’d also like you to consider throwing your hat in to the ring for some of the “less-heralded” categories. These types of campaigns can impact a brand’s overall reputation and contribute significantly to its bottom line.
Here are ten less-heralded categories to consider as you pull together your 2018 submissions:
- Corporate social responsibility — an initiative designed to assess and take responsibility for a company’s effects on environmental and social wellbeing. Demonstrate how and/or what the brand improved and drove awareness of an issue.
- Brand Building or Re-branding Campaign — an initiative to develop or enhance a brand, rooted in strategy, that ushers in a new vision and carries it through across all marketing/PR channels and touchpoints. Explain how PR counsel played a central role in the strategy development, messaging, and roll out of the new brand. Demonstrate how the execution met the campaign’s stated objectives.
- Crisis Communications Campaign — this award is for a program that mitigated a potentially damaging situation or communicated with stakeholders and/or the public during or after a disaster or emergency. We will make every effort to keep the information confidential.
- Guerrilla Marketing Campaign — an initiative or activities developed to generate awareness in unique and unconventional ways. This category includes activities such as street branding, flash mobs, etc. Explain how the initiative was evocative and include the results it produced.
- Superior Achievement in Research & Planning — conducting original research and using modern data and analytics should be the crux of submissions for this category. Explain how your PR campaign used formal planning techniques and research to develop strategy and execute a successful campaign.
- Investor Relations — a program developed to explain an organization’s fiscal profile and promote favorable relations with stockholders, financial analysts, local business community and/or the general public.
- Podcast — a podcast developed for an internal or external audience that supports the brand message of the organization or agency and helps it achieve its objectives. This may include leveraging earned and paid podcast integration into communications initiatives.
- Nonprofit Communications Campaign — a campaign designed to generate media and/or donor attention and visibility among target audiences for a non-for-profit organization.
- Employee Communications Campaign — an internal program developed to improve and enhance employee relations.
- Cause Marketing Campaign — a campaign designed to increase brand sales or consumer engagement and link the brand to an important issue or cause, producing mutually beneficial results for both parties.
We hope you’ll consider submitting to one of these remarkable categories this year. We can’t wait to see you at the State Room on June 13!