Mercury Awards Entry Guidelines

 

Thank you for your interest in the Greater Connecticut PRSA Mercury Awards. We are excited to acknowledge the talents and accomplishments of the best and brightest in our state.  We are also pleased to announce our new online entry portal that eliminates the need for hard copies. We look forward to seeing you at Dunkin' Donuts Park, home of the Hartford Yard Goats, on October 24 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 :00 p.m. for the Mercury Awards Ceremony!
 

Basic Entry Information

  • The deadline for entries is September 16. *Entries submitted between September 17-20 will incur a $35 late fee per entry. Entries close at 11:59 p.m. September 20, 2019. 

  • All entries and entry materials must be submitted online. Hard-copies are no longer accepted. 
     

  • At least some part of the entry must have taken place between 2018 and 2019. Programs tend to have better chances of winning near their completion, when evaluation against initial objectives can be measured.
     

  • Entries may be submitted into more than one category, provided that the specific criteria specified within each category are applicable. In deciding which category/categories are most appropriate, entrants should examine program objectives and target audiences. Judges will not move entries to better suited categories.
     

  • A category must be selected for each entry, along with the title of the entry, name of the organization/client, name of the agency (if any) and a 100 word description of the program.
     

  • One-Page Summary for Tactical Campaigns: A concise summary no longer than one page must be uploaded as a PDF. The objectives, audiences, budget and a summary of results must be addressed. The one-page summary should be typed using no smaller than 10-point typeface and one-inch margins.  

  • Two-Page Summary for Strategic Campaigns: A concise summary no longer than two pages must be uploaded as a PDF. Each of the four criteria research, planning, execution and evaluation — must be addressed. The two-page summary should be typed using no smaller than a 10-point typeface and one-inch margins.

  • Supporting Materials: Entrants will be instructed to upload four separate PDFs (no more than 225 pages each with a maximum file size of 10MB) of any detailed supporting materials referenced in the research, planning, execution and evaluation sections of your two-page summary. Pages should be no larger than 8.5 x 11 inches with a minimum of 10- point typeface and one-inch margins.
     

  • Images: Up to three graphic images representative of your program may be uploaded. Images of winning entries will be featured on screen during the Mercury Awards Ceremony. All images must meet the following requirements: Acceptable file formats include: jpg, tif, eps, native Illustrator, Photoshop or hi-res PDF files. Generally, artwork should be at least 1,000 pixels or more in either width or height.
     

  • Ethics: By entering the Mercury Awards program, all entrants confirm that their programs and entries comply with the ethical standards of the profession, as embodied in the PRSA Code of Ethics. Should an entry have an aspect of "ethics performance" that is both instructive and vital to the program, please include commentary of no more than four sentences. Should the judges find two entries equally deserving of a Mercury Award, they may use this statement to break the tie. If at any point PRSA becomes aware of any aspect of a submission that may not be in compliance with the Ethics Code, it may, at its sole discretion, take appropriate action.
     

Preparing Mercury Award Entries

The one- or two-page summary is the single most important component of the Mercury Awards entry. Judges evaluate the program on the merit of  the four criteria — research, planning, execution and evaluation — that you share in your summary. Your entry should begin with a brief situation analysis for your program. The following information will help you prepare a strong entry. 

Research

  • What prompted the research? Was it in response to an existing problem, or does it examine a potential problem?

  • What type of research did you use — primary, secondary or both? Primary research involves original research, including focus groups, interviews and surveys. Secondary research involves searching existing resources for information or data related to a particular need, strategy or goal (e.g., online computer database searches, Web-based research, library searches, industry reports and internal
    market analyses).

  • How was the research relevant to shaping the planning process?

  • How did the research help define or redefine the audience(s) or the situation?


Planning

  • How did the plan correlate to the research findings?

  • What was the plan in general terms?

  • What were the specific, measurable objectives of the plan?

  • Who were the target audiences?

  • What was the overall strategy used?What was your budget?


Execution

  • How was the plan executed, and what was the outcome?

  • How did the activities flow in general terms?

  • What were the key tactics?

  • Were there any difficulties encountered? If so, how were they handled?

  • Were other organizations involved?

  • Were nontraditional public relations tactics used, such as advertising? (Unless you are entering this program under “Integrated Communications,” advertising costs should not exceed one-third of the budget.)

 

Evaluation

  • What methods of evaluation were used?

  • What were your results?

  • How did the results compare to the specific, measurable objectives you identified in the planning section?

  • How well do the results reflect original strategy and planning?

How we define non-profit

      This subcategory is specifically intended for health &  welfare organizations, educational and cultural institutions that are not included in             other subcategories. It is not intended for organizations that may have non-profit status but are clearly business organizations. Programs           receiving funding or support from private or government organizations should be entered in those subcategories or as partnerships.

 

Entry Fees
For entries submitted by the September 16 deadline
 

Single-item Component (Tactical) 

  • $60 per entry  PRSA member or member of an affiliated organization 

  • $75 per entry  non-member or non-affiliated organization 

  • $45 per entry  3 or more entries for PRSA member or member of an affiliated organization 

  • $60 per entry  3 or more entries for non-member or non-affiliated organization

Comprehensive Campaign (Strategic) 

  • $70 per entry  PRSA member or member of an affiliated organization 

  • $85 per entry  non-member or non-affiliated organization 

  • $55 per entry  3 or more entries for PRSA member or member of an affiliated organization 

  • $70 per entry  3 or more entries for non-member or non-affiliated organization

*Entries submitted between September 17-20 will incur a $35 late fee per entry. Entries close at 11:59 p.m. September 20, 2019. 


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