With the 2015 ACE Awards around the corner, many people are looking back on the past year and evaluating their work. A campaign’s success is measured by its objectives, a client’s overall satisfaction with the execution and how it affects the bottom line. The time that public relations practitioners dedicate to their work and the effort they put in off the clock can be lengthy and demanding. However, the recognition from our peers for creating a program that is truly in line with public sentiment justifies all of that stress and sweat. Awards programs like CPRS Toronto’s ACE Awards complement client satisfaction with acknowledgement from our peers for all of the behind-the-scenes work which doesn’t show on the bottom line.
In many ways, it is imperative to have award programs that recognize excellence in the practice of public relations as a profession.
Advancing the practice of public relations
Professional associations all over the world reward their members and colleagues for their contributions to their field. Why not public relations as well? Public relations professionals who do the same show the public that PR efforts are something to be recognized and awarded. If we as PR practitioners do not show appreciation for our fellow communicators’ work it threatens to stunt the growth and innovation that recognition encourages. An awards program encourages clients’ trust in us as practitioners and underlines our necessity in a marketplace that is crowded with multidisciplinary approaches to marketing communications.
Measurement and the bottom line
Running parallel to the qualitative evaluation of tactical and strategic knowledge, CPRS Toronto’s ACE Awards place equal value on the quantitative measurement of a campaign. Measurable goals show how well a campaign tracks back to the bottom line. SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) goals should be incorporated into all campaigns. Without measurement, public relations practitioners cannot show the correlation between their work and bottom line success. To identify PR as a vital component to an organization’s business plan, sometimes you have to get down to the numbers.
Encouraging the next generation
Awareness of the public relations industry has spread and some post-graduate programs receive applications in the thousands. When students have proved that they have the foundation of budding professionalism, they need to be encouraged. Recognition from the professionals that they aspire to be is the motivation that many students need. Acknowledging budding talent justifies the unpaid volunteer work and long class hours that dedicated students commit to in an effort to separate themselves from the pack. An early introduction to the importance of evaluating one’s work is important to foster the growth of the next generation of young professionals.
Look back on 2014 and ask yourself what work you are most proud of. Can your work teach someone a new skill or would you like to improve your public relations tool kit? The CPRS Toronto ACE Awards are a vehicle for professional advancement to make you a better practitioner and a more well-rounded professional.