2021 Mercury Award Categories
All entries for campaigns or tactics that ran from 2020 to 2021 will be judged on: Research, Planning, Execution & Evaluation
Tactical Recognizing the very best in public relations tactics.
1. MEDIA RELATIONS
Enter tactics, programs, and events driven entirely by media relations. These include press releases, media advisories, pitch letters, requests for coverage, etc. Upload evidence of the resulting media coverage (article, interview, broadcast feature, etc.) and one-page summary of entry.
Enter publications designed, written and published periodically to provide brief and timely information to target audiences while supporting an organization's overall objectives. Submit three consecutive issues along with one-page summary.
b. Online / Digital
3. ANNUAL REPORTS
Enter publications that report on an organization's annual performance. Submit one copy of the publication along with one-page summary.
Enter pamphlets, booklets or other small publications designed to inform a target audience about an organization, product, service or issue. Submit one copy of the publication along with one-page summary.
5. SPECIAL-ISSUE PUBLICATIONS
Enter single-issue publications designed for a special purpose. Books and other publications not eligible for consideration in other
categories should be entered here. Submit a link or PDF of the publication along with one-page summary.
Video production directed at targeted internal or external audiences. Submit a link to the content with a one-page summary that includes rationale for the chosen format, statistics or other quantifiable measurement to support objectives.
7. RESEARCH / EVALUATION
Submit research that provides a meaningful contribution or input to a public relations program, or an evaluation documenting the value or benefit of a public relations program or tactic. Sample of the methodology and findings of any research should be included in the entry, along with a one-page summary. One-page summaries for evaluations should detail how and why this method is unique and valuable.
Submit a one-page summary including a link to the blog, objectives, target audience and goals of the blog. Be sure to include
information regarding the author of the blog, etc.
9. EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS
Positioning of an executive at any level across earned, owned, and share platforms. The one-page summary should include information about the executive and stated objectives, quantification of results as well as copies of significant placements, social media, posts or memos.
10. INFLUENCER MARKETING / PROMOTION
Tactic that focuses on using paid spokespeople and key leaders to increase awareness and drive your brand's message to the larger market.
11. MAGAZINE, DIGITAL
Online publications designed to provide in-depth information about an organization or topic on a regular basis. Magazines typically differentiate from newsletters by the number of pages and length of articles. Upload samples of three consecutive issues along with the one-page summary.
12. MAGAZINE, PRINT
Print publications designed to provide in-depth information about an organization or topic on a regular basis. Magazines typically differentiate from newsletters by the number of pages and length of articles. Upload samples of three consecutive issues along with the one-page summary.
13. ONLINE NEWSROOM
Also known as a pressroom, media room, press center or media center is a website, web page or site section that contains distributable information about a corporation or organization.
How did you tell your story – was the purpose to teach or share? Was it intended for internal or external audiences and was there engagement on multiple platforms? Provide listener feedback.
15. WEBSITES, INTERNAL
Use of a website as part of an internal communications or employee education program. Include screen grabs or copies of key pages to support your one-page summary. Additionally, include the website URL for external sites.
16. WEBSITES, EXTERNAL
Use of a website as part of a communications or content marketing program. Include screen grabs or copies of key pages to support your one-page summary. Additionally, include the website URL for external sites.
Strategic Campaigns Recognizing the very best in comprehensive public relations campaigns.
1. COMMUNITY RELATIONS
Submit programs that seek to win the support or cooperation of, or that aim to improve relations with, people or organizations in communities where the sponsoring organization has an interest, need or opportunity. "Community" in this category refers to a specific geographic location or locations. (Campaigns designed to promote products should be entered in Marketing Products or Services.)
2. REPUTATION/BRAND MANAGEMENT
Submit programs designed to enhance, promote or improve the reputation on of an organization with its public or key elements of its public, either proactively or in response to an issue, event or market occurrence.
3. EVENTS & OBSERVANCES
Submit commemorations, observances, openings, celebrations or other special activities such as a year-long anniversary. Length of the program or event does not including planning and preparation.
a. Programs or events scheduled from one to seven days
b. Programs or events scheduled for more than seven days
4. PUBLIC AFFAIRS
This category is for programs specifically designed to influence public policy and/or affect legislation, regulations, political activities or candidacies at the local, state or federal government levels, to the benefit of the entity funding the program. This category also includes programs that advance public understanding of a societal issue, problem or concern.
5. CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS
Submit programs undertaken to deal with an unplanned event, requiring immediate response.
6. INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS
This category is for programs targeted specifically to special public directly allied with an organization (i.e.,employees, members, affiliated dealers or franchisees).
7. MULTICULTURAL & DIVERSITY
This category addresses any type of program (e.g., institutional, marketing, or community relations) specifically targeted to a cultural group.
a. For-Profit Business
8. INTEGRATED COMMUNICATIONS
Submit a program that employs the creative and effective integration and leadership of public relations strategies and tactics with
other promotional marketing communications. It should demonstrate the integration of strategies, plus the budget and
measurement of return on investment f the communications to any stakeholder group including employees, consumers, the media and shareholders.
10. SOCIAL MEDIA
Submit a social media-based campaign with more than 50% of tactics employed through social media channels (Facebook, Twitter,YouTube, etc.). As a campaign, the submission should demonstrate the use more than one (1) social media channel.
Submit a program that markets valuable, relevant content to consumers and/or your target audience without directly
marketing a program, product or service.
a. Business to Business
b. Consumer Products
c. Consumer Services
12. ISSUES MANAGEMENT
For programs undertaken to deal with issues that could extraordinarily affect ongoing business strategy.
13. PUBLIC SERVICE
Includes programs that advance public understanding of societal issues, problems or concerns.
14. EXTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS
Includes any program that demonstrates leadership of public relations strategies and tactics in a creative and effective campaign.
Best in Show
The Best ins Show recipient is selected from among the year’s Mercury Award winners. The Best in Show winner represents the pinnacle of excellence in public relations programming, and contributes to The Business Case for Public RelationsTM by demonstrating strategic value and ability to drive critical business outcomes.
For entries submitted by September 13*
Single-item Component (Tactical)
$65 per entry PRSA member or member of an affiliated organization
$80 per entry non-member or non-affiliated organization
$50 per entry 3 or more entries for PRSA member or member of an affiliated organization
$65 per entry 3 or more entries for non-member or non-affiliated organization
Comprehensive Campaign (Strategic)
$75 per entry PRSA member or member of an affiliated organization
$90 per entry non-member or non-affiliated organization
$60 per entry 3 or more entries for PRSA member or member of an affiliated organization
$75 per entry 3 or more entries for non-member or non-affiliated organization
*Entries submitted between September 14 - September 17 will incur a $50 late fee per entry. Entries close at 11:59 p.m. September 17, 2021.