We’ve changed the Best In Maryland program for 2012. To help with the transitions, we’ve created a list of questions that you may have and supplied the answers below. Please don’t hesitate to chime in with any additional comments or questions. Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why aren’t you doing the usual call for entries? And why the shift to a nomination process?
Last year, PRSA MD celebrated 50 years of our Best In Maryland awards program, an anniversary of which we are extremely proud. During the last 50 years, the awards have focused on specific programs and products that successfully addressed a communications challenge. This year’s program shifts focus from the product to individuals and teams that represent exemplary contributions to the public relations profession in Maryland.
What exactly are you looking for and what are the categories?
We’re looking for the best PR pros, teams, students, educators and partners. Categories include our two signature awards, the Lifetime Achievement and the New Professional of the Year, as well as 5 new awards including Educator of the Year, Partner of Distinction, Social Media (Individual Or Team), Improvement of the State Award (Team Or Individual), and Innovation and Technology (Team). We will also be awarding two $500 Kathleen Kelly Undergraduate Scholarships this year. Go to PRSA MD Awards for descriptions of each award.
Is there a fee to nominate someone?
There is no fee. You need only submit the application. What’s more, you can do so electronically, saving you time and money. No more hours or anxiety spent putting together a binder. And no more shipping fees.
Can I nominate myself and/or my team?
You can self-nominate in the following categories: Partner of Distinction, Social Media (individual or team), Improvement of the State Award (team or individual, paid or pro bono), and Innovation and Technology (team only). Students apply for their own scholarships.
Do I need to submit reference letters along with the application?
Reference letters (no more than two) are optional for all the awards except the Kathleen Kelly Undergraduate Scholarship, which requires two references. Please be sure to carefully read the requirements for the scholarships.
What about the scholarship? Who is eligible and who completes the application?
The Kathleen Kelly Undergraduate Scholarship is awarded to a student with a PR focus who is in his/her sophomore or junior status at the time of the application. The student completes the applications and submits along with two letters of recommendations (one from a professor and one from an internship supervisor or other source).
What is the deadline?
The deadline for nominations is Monday, April 2. The deadline for the student scholarship is Monday, April 9.
I’m not nominated nor am I nominating anyone. Why should I attend the Best In Maryland Awards event on May 10?
The program is more than just an award ceremony. Whether you’re a seasoned PR pro or a newbie, here’s your opportunity to hobnob with savvy PR professionals throughout Maryland, and to make connections that you can’t get anywhere else. You’ll also hear from our keynote speaker Bill Toohey, communications director for the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention. Bill has been named Baltimore’s best public sector PR man – or Best “Flak” – three times: once by Baltimore magazine and twice by the Baltimore City Paper. Finally, you’ll be there to honor the best in PR including our Lifetime Achievement and New Professional of the Year winners as well as winners in 6 other new categories.
Regarding the full 2012 program schedule, what happened to the monthly events?
PRSA MD recognizes that with shrinking budgets and staff, getting to monthly events has become more difficult for our members and guests. But we also recognize that professional development and face-to-face networking are still important aspects of any professional association, so this year programming will be a combination of webinars and quarterly face-to-face events. Our first face-to-face was held on February 29, and if you attended, you already know how successful it was – we had over 35 people! Other face-to-face events include the Best In Maryland set for May 10 at 6:30 pm, a summer networking event in August, and the 2012 Annual Mid-Atlantic Chesapeake Conference set for November 8. Our first webinar is set for March 29 and will feature MGH on the new business Facebook Page. Go to www.prsamd.org for information on all upcoming webinars and events.