What's New With Prisms

Get ready: it’s time to submit your Prism Award entries!

2017 Prism Awards to be presented at the ARcom Arkansas Marketing and Communications Event, hosted by the Arkansas chapter of PRSA in partnership with IABC Arkansas

Here's What's New

Over the past year, the PRSA board has been meeting with individual chapter members about their impressions of the Prism Awards and how we can make this year the best one yet. Based on that feedback, we’ve developed some new ideas for 2017, and I want to share with you a few of the changes we’re making.

  1. Partnership with IABC. We’re excited to announce a new partnership with our friends and fellow communicators at IABC Arkansas. Many of you know IABC made a difficult decision to cancel their annual Bronze Quill Awards this year. In an effort to celebrate and support exceptional marketing and communications work in our community, PRSA Arkansas and IABC Arkansas will jointly host an awards ceremony for both organizations this fall, with participation from the Northwest Arkansas PRSA chapter as well and probable participation from the Arkansas Ad Club.

    The awards received will still be called Prism Awards, and we’ll continue to use APR judges from other markets, but we’re looking to rename the event to reflect the overall marketing and communications industry here in central Arkansas. The committee has been working hard to provide an engaging celebration, and we look forward to sharing more details with you soon.

  2. New Judging Platform. The awards entry online platform we’ve used for the past several years will cease operations this summer, so we’ve been searching for a replacement product. Fortunately, the PRSA District Council has recently recommended and approved vendor, OmniContests. This new platform comes with a standardized set of judging criteria also approved by the PRSA District Council and based heavily on the 4-step PR process: Research, Planning, Implementation and Evaluation.

    We’ve heard positive feedback from other chapters that have moved to this platform and are pleased to be working in alignment with our national organization and fellow PR practitioners across the country. As you craft your entries, be sure to focus on the 4-step process in order to be most successful. Here's more information about what judges will be looking for.

  3. Recognition for Sponsors and Winners. To bring greater recognition to our sponsors and award winners, we plan to run an ad in Arkansas Business following the awards ceremony to let our community know about the outstanding work of our local PR practitioners. In addition, if one of your entries has been selected to receive an award at the event, we’ll let you know in advance so you can be sure to bring your team and your clients to accept the award. 

We Need Your Help

Prism Awards are a signature program of our chapter and require a great deal of time and resources to execute each year. In order to be successful, we need the help and support of our entire chapter. Here’s how you can support PRSA Arkansas and help us celebrate excellence in PR and communications:

  1. Submit an Entry! We’ll be issuing the official call for entries this week, and you’ll have until June 16 to submit your entry at the regular rate, or June 23 at the last minute rate. Preparing your entry is a fantastic way to evaluate your own work and hone your craft. So pick your favorite projects from 2016 and get started!

  2. Sponsor the Event. Our new partnership with IABC creates opportunities to build the audience for our awards event and amplify the reach of your sponsorship. It takes resources to host a quality event, so we need your help. Consider sponsoring a table (a great option if you plan to bring several team members or clients), or one of our categories: Single-Element, Multi-Element or Best in Show. Email Prisms Chair Stella Prather, APR, at if you're interested in reviewing our sponsor packages.

  3. Attend the Awards Ceremony. Come out and support your fellow communicators at our event in September. We’ll be providing more details and logistics soon.

Good luck in the competition!

Sarah Kinser, APR
2017 PRSA Arkansas chapter president

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