Tag Archives: ace awards

What truly makes a gold submission?


ACE Awards Judge, Lauren More, answers that question and shares her insights on the qualities of a gold winning submission

Taking the leap to judging the CPRS Toronto Ace Awards was a natural next step for Lauren More, VP Communications for Ford of Canada. Her six years of judging allowed her to see some of the freshest and most creative campaigns across industries. From helping run the CPRS Toronto mentoring program to ACE Awards judging, Lauren sees volunteering as her way of supporting the communications field.

Lauren shares her insight into creating an award-winning submission with this year’s crop of ACE award applicants:

The most popular categories

While ACE award judges typically judge on a variety of different categories, there are some categories that receive far more entries and are more competitive to place.

“It’s very competitive because it’s kind of the meat and potatoes of a lot of what we do as communicators,” said Lauren. “But the other area that has certainly just expanded exponentially is the social media category.”

The social media category, in particular, has some of the most creative submissions she’s seen.

The most standout campaigns

Lauren notes that often the most memorable and effective campaigns are the ones where “maybe it’s not the sexiest product or the sexiest point of view or the sexiest issue to grab awareness for”. Yet with a creative approach, these campaigns gained a ton of media attention.

While there are some topics that are naturally going to be of more interest to the media, the campaigns she’s enjoyed over the years are the ones where the brand really has to work at it to find something that would be meaningful to their audience.

The challenges to creativity

While it’s increasingly challenging, to come up with new ideas and new approaches, Lauren concedes sometimes there are periods where budgets have been a lot tighter.

“You have to do a lot more with a lot less,” she said, “And you’re still expected to deliver the same type of results – so I think that’s really pushed the level of creativity.”

The ability to sit back

It comes to no surprise that most communicators rarely have time to slow their everyday pace. Lauren explained the ACE Awards provide that perfect evening to do just that with your team and reflect back on your best work.

“We tend to in our jobs and our field to run pretty fast and run pretty hard.” she said, “And I think it’s really worthwhile to stop and take a breath now and then. To acknowledge the work and commitment we put in.”

There are certain things that separate excellence in our field. Lauren believes it’s important as a profession to both recognize and celebrate that.

The extra “oomph”

Key to winning best in show or taking home gold in any given category, Lauren emphasizes the consistency throughout the RACE formula steps. Some of the best submissions, in her opinion took the following measures:

  • The research connects well with the analysis
  • The analysis connects well to the communications tactics
  • A solid evaluation of the results

If you research well you understand what you’re trying to achieve with a communications program. Those winning gold and best in show have that extra dose of creativity, she said.

Lauren also notes past campaigns resonated with people – their key audience – and they told a story, a really good story and “they have that little extra oomph to them.”

Written by: Jessica Chong, Account Coordinator, High Road Communicatons

Taking home the top CPRS Toronto ACE Award


“And the 2015 Public Relations Campaign of the Year goes to Weber Shandwick and McDonald’s Canada McCafé Retail Launch.”

On May 20, 2015, the Weber Shandwick team jumped out of their seats and congratulated one another as their McDonald’s client walked on stage to accept the most prestigious ACE award of the night.

The Work Behind Winning

When asked to reflect on the agency’s big achievement and what it was like to compete in the ACE Awards, Jessica Greasley, account director from Weber Shandwick, stepped up to the opportunity.

In September 2014, Weber Shandwick devised a communications plan for McCafé’s first ever grocery launch. The essence of the communication plan focused on driving awareness of the retail launch to both consumers and the business sector.

Weber Shandwick demonstrated how the brand was innovative and appealed to a younger demographic through their campaign’s creative strategies and tactics. The global agency also took risks to try something new with Songza and the McDonald’s Canada internal team embraced this opportunity to engage their younger audience on a new digital platform. Greasley also explained how the agency’s partnership with the McDonald’s team also fueled the campaign’s success.

The ACE Awards Submission

The submission was comprehensive.

“All of the components in the submission emphasized how the campaign’s strategies tied directly back to the company’s business objectives.”

Greasley also noted the submission’s careful attention to distinguishing how their results matched their initial objectives and goals, which was instrumental to ensuring the campaign stood out. She even identified how showcasing the large scope of the campaign combined with the business and consumer phases and the planning and timing layout were key aspects of the submission.

In terms of advice to agencies developing their submission for the 2016 ACE Awards Greasley said, “Provide a good understanding of the insights that led to the approach. Having clear targets, and how you measured against it will make help the judges understand why it’s award-worthy.”

The Best In Show Presentation

With only 15 minutes to present in front of the judges, the team selected critical parts of the campaign to prove why it was deserving of the top award.

Their presentation communicated why the McCafé Retail launch should receive the prestigious award by:

  • Demonstrating a strong understanding of the company’s audience and brand image
  • Highlighting the agency’s thought process and initial research that was conducted to tailor the campaign’s objectives
  • Showcasing innovative strategies such as the Songza partnership and proving why it was chosen to effectively reach McCafé’s younger audience
  • Explaining the media relations strategy behind the campaign and timing it with International Coffee Day, which engaged consumers and garnered an overwhelming and successful amount of media coverage

The Importance of Celebrating the Public Relations and Communications Industry

After finding out the campaign surpassed Weber Shandwick’s targets (and stretch targets!) the team was confident that it was a strong contender to compete within the ACE Awards. “It was a great honour for the company and client,” said Greasly. Especially since McDonald’s has had a long standing partnership with the agency. Greasly also mentioned “it was all hands on deck”. Everyone from the agency contributed to the campaign and award.

Greasley informed me the agency is currently assembling their application for the ACE awards again this year, “As an industry, it’s definitely important to submit and recognize the great work that’s being done by communications professionals. Wishing all this year’s submissions the best of luck!”

To learn more about the campaign watch this video

Jessica Greasley LinkedIn

Follow Weber Shandwick @WSCanada

Written by: Alessandra Manieri, Post-Graduate Student, Humber College


Judging the ACE Awards, a researcher’s perspective


Friday February 26 is the deadline to submit to this year’s ACE Awards and returning judge, Lisa Covens, vice president of communications and public affairs at Leger, discussed her marking style and approach to judging this year’s campaigns.

Before stepping up as a judge, Lisa would attend the ACE Awards to support the clients who used Leger and the research they conducted for the award winning campaigns. When the opportunity came up to be one of the esteemed ACE judges, Lisa took it and started doing something she had never done before.

Lisa shared with us her strategy to marking submissions and to help prepare this year’s hopeful campaigns. Here are some highlights from her interview:

On her judging approach

“My focus will be on the RACE formula.” Research and evaluation jump at her the most.

On what makes a campaign stand out

“Today, campaigns are now so integrated – videos and visuals – which allow people to be very inclusive in their submission. Not only is the winning campaign sharp, but there’s something special about them. It is supported with research, includes creativity, success was measured and explained and overall well-executed.”

On the importance of submitting to the ACE Awards

As a returning judge for the third year in a row, Lisa listed why it is important to submit to recognitions awards such as CPRS Toronto’s ACE Awards:

  • Keeps public relations professionals on top of their game throughout the year
  • This isn’t done in market research so this a an opportunity worth taking advantage of
  • Provides a good reflection on the campaign – when summarizing a submission it makes you think of the campaign from beginning to end
  • Outline and learn from the issues encountered
  • And of course, recognition is always a good thing

On one piece advice for this year’s submissions

“It’s a shame when we mark a submission and it’s so creative and clear but misses a part of the requirements. Doing that will take you out of the running for the gold.”

TIP: Ask someone, who was not part of the campaign, to review the guideline and checklist. Ensure all the components are included because anything can be overlooked and the missing section will be marked with a zero.

On what she is looking forward too

“One aspect of the ACE Awards I really enjoy is the Best In Show judging day. That day, candidates are on top on their game. You get to witness great presenters and great speakers. I take away so much and I even receive insight on how to be a better presenter. It is such an inspiring night.”

One last thing: “Keep up the great work!”


Follow Lisa Covens on Twitter: @lisacovens


Submission deadline is this Friday February 26. Submit your campaigns here.

Written by Charzie Abendanio, Humber College BPR Student and CPRS Toronto’s Student Steering Committee President

APEX PR’s Jennifer Stein on the importance of celebrating success


Last year, APEX Public Relations & Walmart Canada took home the ACE Award for Best Creative for the innovation and creativity behind their “Back-To-School with Walmart” campaign. We sat down with Jennifer Stein, vice president of APEX Public Relations, to look back on the award-winning campaign and the importance of celebrating success.

  1. What inspired you to launch Back-To-School with Walmart?

The inspiration started with the Snack Report. In our research we found out people were talking about lunch and dinner solutions, but not snack solutions. When I think about kids I think of them trading snacks on the school ground. Kids have snack envy, and that really set the tone for what we did.

  1. Why do you think the campaign was so successful in the end?

We really touched on a nerve on something that was applicable. We had a hypothesis, we did a survey to prove the hypothesis and the hypothesis was true.

It wasn’t just 50 per cent of moms, it was 85 per cent of moms that have this problem, and we knew we needed to provide this solution for them. We worked with a recipe developer to create fun recipes that would resonate with everyone. The content was amazing and when you have amazing content the media is more apt to pick it up.

  1. You have your finger on the pulse with key industry trends. How important is it to know your audience?

Not only do you need to know your target audience, you need to know what their habits are. How much time they’re spending shopping, how much time they’re spending watching TV, online and listening to the radio so that they can really be targeted, otherwise your message isn’t getting to them.

  1. Was an ACE Award priority during the campaign, or was it after it ended that you decided to submit?

After. Even though we knew we really blew it out of the water with media impressions, we didn’t know until a couple of months later when all the sales data came in that we helped drive sales and in-store foot traffic. It’s not until you get that insight that you know you have a winner.

  1. Back-To-School with Walmart was completed and your client was satisfied. Why submit to the ACE Awards?

I think it’s a nice way to congratulate the team. Awards can be tedious, but everyone squeals when you get an e-mail and it tells you you’ve won an award. It’s a feel-good ending to a campaign and something you can show the client, too, that it was an award-winning success.

  1. Do you think it’s important to submit to recognition awards like ACE?

Yes, often in our industry we do a campaign, we wrap and then we’re on to the next. We don’t take the time to sit back and relish how amazing the campaign was because this industry is so fast and furious. This allows us to take a step back and reflect. Not enough people do.

  1. Why do you think APEX won last year?

We had amazing content, content that was backed by research. And the campaign helped drive sales and at the end of the day, that’s what’s most important.

  1. What advice do you have for those PR campaigns being submitted this year?

If you have a sales stat, always use a sales stat to show your success. Or stakeholder analysis. The more you can dig deep into that the better your awards submission will be.

  1. When you found out you were competing for the highest ACE Award, how did you prepare for the Best in Show judging?

We treated it like a new business pitch to a panel of 12 people we didn’t know. We put together a presentation, we vetted it and then we rehearsed. We rehearsed three to four times as a group.

Written by Bianca Jimeno, Post-Graduate Student, Humber College


CPRS Toronto recognizes the best public relations campaigns at the 2015 ACE Awards


TORONTO, May 20, 2015 /CNW/ – The Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) Toronto chapter honoured theGreater Toronto Area’s best public relations (PR) practitioners this evening at the annual Achieving Communications Excellence (ACE) Awards Gala. Attended by over 300 practitioners, the ceremony at Arcadian Court celebrated the accomplishment of PR professionals.

“This is a very special night for the public relations industry in Toronto, as we get to highlight all of the creative and innovative work that our colleagues bring to life,” said Maryjane Martin, President, CPRS Toronto Chapter. “The level of expertise on display tonight was fabulous and I’m very proud to see the industry coming out to support each other.”

The ACE Awards concluded with the presentation of the two most prestigious awards: Best PR Campaign of the Year and Best Creative PR Campaign of the Year. Weber Shandwick & McDonald’s Canada was honoured for PR Campaign of the Year for the strategic planning and execution of the “McCafé Retail Coffee Launch in Grocery” campaign. The Best Creative PR Campaign of the Year was awarded to APEX Public Relations & Walmart Canada for the innovation and creativity behind the “Back-to-School with Walmart” campaign.

“A dedicated panel of volunteer experts carefully reviews all of our submissions to find the very best campaigns,” saidCarolyn Schulz, ACE Awards chair, CPRS Toronto. “For our members, an ACE Award is a calling card that represents skill, ability and trust.”

The 2015 ACE Award recipients include:

PR Campaign of the Year

  • Weber Shandwick & McDonald’s Canada – McCafé Retail Coffee Launch in Grocery

Best Creative PR Campaign

  • APEX Public Relations & Walmart Canada – Back-to-School with Walmart

Leadership Awards

  • Lois Marsh Award: Barry Waite, Chair, School of Communications, Media & Design at Centennial College
  • Volunteer of the Year: Arden Bagni, Humber College
  • CPRS Toronto Public Relations Student of the Year: Jessica Grace Chong, Centennial College

Media Relations – Budget Over $50,000


  • APEX Public Relations & Walmart Canada – Walmart Canada: Christmas Comes Together for Less
  • APEX Public Relations & Walmart Canada – Back-to-School with Walmart


  • Edelman Public Relations – The AMD #2BetterThan1 Campaign
  • Paradigm Public Relations & Tim Hortons – Tim Hortons Camp Day Raises $11.8 million
  • Strategic Objectives – A&W Ingredients Guarantee


  • APEX Public Relations – Nestlé Halloween Scary Bars
  • Citizen Relations – Future Shop Back-to-School 2014 Campaign
  • Cohn & Wolfe – Sunbeam Supports with Warmth
  • Edelman Public Relations – Kraft Hockeyville 2014
  • Edelman Public Relations – Symantec Canada Honey Stick Project
  • GCI Group & Novartis Canada – VOLTAREN Emulgel® Stay in the Play
  • Kaiser Lachance Communications – Thought Leadership in Canadian Real Estate: The Royal LePage House Price Survey
  • NATIONAL & Boehringer Ingelheim – Kiss IPF Goodbye – 2014
  • NATIONAL & Pfizer Canada – Quit to List
  • Paradigm PR, Energizer Personal Care & Real Interactive – Schick Hydro “Becoming my Dad”
  • Weber Shandwick – Protecting Our Tomorrows
  • Weber Shandwick & McDonald’s Canada – McCafé Retail Coffee Launch in Grocery

Media Relations – Budget under $50,000


  • Kaiser Lachance Communications – Wealth Simple, Canada’s First Online Investment Service
  • Lamb Creative Group – Yves Veggie Cuisine Food to Love


  • DDB Public Relations – 26th Annual Beaches Jazz Festival
  • MSLGROUP Canada – The Randstad Award 2014
  • Veritas & Microsoft Canada – Microsoft XP EOS


  • Argyle Communications & COLD-FX – COLD-FX Holiday Media Engagement
  • Argyle Communications & Novartis – World Asthma Day, Helping Canadians Breathe Easier
  • Canadian Tire Corporation – Jumpstart Red Ball Campaign 2014
  • TVO and marblemedia – Back-to-School with Hi Opie!
  • Veritas & Disney Consumer Products Canada – Minnie Mouse at World Master Card Fashion Week

Best Use of Special Events


  • Argyle Communications & DHL Express – Connecting Mothers Around The World
  • Centennial College Students – ART HAUS
  • DDB Public Relations and Shopper DDB – CIL Décor Experts on the Road”
  • Shaw Media and Unit PR – Chopped Canada Media Challenge

Brand Development Campaign of the Year


  • DDB Public Relations and Shopper DDB – CIL Décor Experts on the Road
  • Strategic Objectives – Second Cup Coffee Company: Café of the Future


  • Ford of Canada & NATIONAL Public Relations – Mustang 50th Anniversary & Global Launch
  • Canadian Tire Corporation – We All Play for Canada


  • Argyle Communications & Real-Estate Council of Ontario – Communicating Real Estate Protection
  • Edelman Canada – Revealing the Truth about RVing
  • Hill + Knowlton Strategies Canada – ABSOLUT MakerFest: Curiosity, Creativity, Canadian
  • Paradigm PR, BOOM! Marketing, Real Interactive & Energizer Personal Care – Join the Panty Party
  • Veritas & CBC – #FALLforCBC

Employee Engagement / Internal Communications Campaign of the Year


  • City of Vaughan – Internal Communications Strategy


  • DDB Canada – Share DDB: Art Crawl & Auction
  • Ford of Canada – Ford of Canada and Free The Children Partnership

Community Relations Campaign of the Year


  • Citizen Relations – Hyundai Hockey Helpers

Best Digital Campaign of the Year


  • Hill + Knowlton Strategies Canada – Make it a #MoscatoMonday
  • Toronto Public Health – Breastfeeding in Public Campaign
  • Strategic Objectives – The Great #PringlesDIPbate


  • DDB Public Relations and Shopper DDB – CIL Décor Experts on the Road
  • Ruckus Digital & Husqvarna Canada – Bring it On!


  • Argyle Communications & The American Peanut Council – Getting Social Around the Campfire
  • Toronto Hydro – Be Enlightened Whiteboard Video

Government Relations/Public Affairs Campaign of the Year


  • Cohn & Wolfe and Hoffmann-La Roche Limited – The Ontario IPF Patient Watch List Advocacy


  • The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan – The Defined Benefit Pension Evolution Thought Leadership Program

Investor/Financial Relations Campaign of the Year


  • Kaiser Lachance Communications – Divestiture of Sherritt’s Coal Business

New Product or Service Campaign of the Year


  • Toronto Hydro – The Making of Copeland Station
  • Narrative PR – Jaydess Launch – Sex Ed 2.0
  • Weber Shandwick & McDonald’s Canada – McCafé Retail Coffee Launch in Grocery


  • Manulife’s Advisory Services & Veriday – Empowering advisors to take control
  • Strategic Objectives – Second Cup Coffee Co. Flat White Launch


  • Citizen Relations – Hyundai Hydrogen Fuel Cell Launch

Best Student PR Campaign of the Year


  • Centennial College – Talk is Cheap 7.0


  • Centennial College, Wilki Team – Wilki Night Out


  • Centennial College – More Than Just a Brew
  • Humber College – Clearpath Robotics CSR Strategy

The Canadian Public Relations Society is a national professional organization focused on establishing and upholding educational and ethical standards in Public Relations. CPRS Toronto is one of the largest local societies with nearly 600 members. For more information, please visit:http://www.cprstoronto.com.

Special thanks to our sponsors:




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The Canadian Public Relations Society is a national professional organization focused on establishing and upholding educational and ethical standards in Public Relations. CPRS Toronto is one of the largest local societies with nearly 600 members. For more information, please visit:http://www.cprstoronto.com.


For further information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Robin Smith
Lead, ACE Marketing/Communications
CPRS Toronto ACE Awards Committee


PR Campaign of the Year: “Weber Shandwick & McDonald’s Canada – McCafé Retail Coffee Launch in Grocery.” (CNW Group/Canadian Public Relations Society)”.


Best Creative PR Campaign: “APEX Public Relations & Walmart Canada – Back-to-School with Walmart.” (CNW Group/Canadian Public Relations Society)”

ACE Award Lessons From Blair Peberdy


This blog post was written by Charzie Abendanio, a third-year student at the Humber College bachelor of public relations program and Vice President of CPRS Toronto’s Student Steering Committee


Blair Peberdy

Blair Peberdy

As a judge for the ACE Awards and an award recipient during his time at Toronto Hydro, Blair Peberdy has a lot of valuable insight to applicants in this year’s 2015 ACE Award submissions. In the six times Blair has judged for ACE, he has seen the best that Toronto has to offer. Now with Weber Shandwick, Peberdy took time to shed some light on what judges will be looking for this year.


“The ACE Awards are a chance for organizations and companies to gauge how well they are doing compared to their peers,” said Blair. “Even if you don’t win, you gain creative inspiration from all the first-class submissions and winners.”


For Blair, the quality of submissions has continued to improve over the years. With new mediums changing how public relations professionals deliver their message, the award show is seeing more “cool and creative campaigns”. While judging, Blair enjoyed campaigns that involved classic corporate communication theory and practice. He recalls last year’s best PR campaign winner, Edelman Toronto, who stole the show with their integrated community relations campaign for client Ontario Graphite.


“A campaign like this one drew upon grassroots community around stakeholder issues and issues management,” said Blair, “and their use of new resources led to new and exciting marketing communication.”


Blair extolled the critical importance of clearly defined, measureable goals. When arranged logically and the thoughtfully aligned, the more successful the campaign will be. “Tie your measurements to your original objectives while explicitly identifying the measurements that determine the campaign’s success.”


A campaign must have all the major components: goals, objectives, strategies, tactics and measurements. “This disciplined PR management approach follows the criteria provided by the ACE Awards,” said Blair. “It goes a long way when a coherent entry allows judges to grasp the full breadth of a campaign.”


At the end of our time together, Blair was asked what exactly makes a great submission.


“Creativity is important but a great submission should also be organized around entry criteria, error-free, use good graphics, be professionally presented and must be easily navigated by the judges.” A campaign doesn’t necessarily need a large budget but combining the basics, as well as a creative aspect and being well-organized allows the judges to see the big picture.


“The ACE Awards showcases top talent in Canada,” said Blair. “It gives our industry the chance to learn from one another and recognize great work. We need to step back, congratulate each other and celebrate our accomplishments together.”


ACE Awards recognition enhancing the public relations industry


This blog post was written by Charzie Abendanio, a third-year student at the Humber College bachelor of public relations program and Vice President of CPRS Toronto’s Student Steering Committee


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.

Why I joined CPRS


Read our first winning submission from the new CPRS Toronto Student Blog Contest!

New topics are posted every two weeks, so be sure to submit your content for your chance to win. The next topic will be announced Saturday, November 22.


The Best Career Move I’ve Made and Why You Should Do the Same

My fellow soon-to-be industry professionals, I’m about to let you in on a not-so-secret secret of mine: the top 4 reasons I joined CPRS (also known as ‘The Top 4 Reasons Why You Should If You Haven’t Already’ list). So without further ado, here’s why becoming a member was the best career move I’ve made so far:


Let’s get the obvious one on the table first: PR is All. About. Networking. This is rule #1 in the handbook, and for good reason. As individuals not yet employed in the field, being a member is a great way to mingle with those who are. As a student member, you’re given access to the Membership Directory in which hundreds of new contacts are at your fingertips. You are immediately connected with like-minded individuals who share your passion and drive. Basically career gold.


In the very competitive world of PR, internships are the Holy Grail; highly coveted, hard to obtain. So how does one land an internship? It’s no secret that experience helps tremendously. And how does one gain experience? Enter volunteering. Nothing shows commitment to a goal more than offering your time and efforts without being paid. As a student member, you are given priority over non-members in terms of volunteering opportunities, including spending time at the ACE Awards, CEO Award, Annual General Meeting and other fun events. With volunteering, you are able to gain some seriously valuable knowledge, meet some hard-working and intelligent people and add some seriously good things to your resume. Win-win-win.


The CPRS Student Steering Committee doesn’t play around when it comes to the events they graciously plan. The exceptional Passport to PR event sold out within 3 hours of registration opening, and guess who got first dibs on their choice of PR agencies and offices to tour? As a student member, you’re always the first to be able to sign up for events like Passport, as well as others. Even before you’re given the first opportunity to register, all student members receive a very considerate reminder email regarding the coming event. Being a member ensures you never miss the signup date for events that may catch your eye.


(This one is arguably the most rewarding) Being able to write for CPRS and have my own personal post featured for my peers to see is definitely an accomplishment, but something I wouldn’t have been able to do before becoming a member. As a recognized student within CPRS, you are given opportunities to succeed in an environment filled with people you respect and look up to that non-members simply don’t have access to. When I first came across CPRS while researching public relations, I never would have guessed my blog post would be read by students just like me, but I’m grateful to say that it is, and there’s absolutely no reason why the next contributor couldn’t be you… or you… or you. Just remember folks: to observe is one thing, but to actively participate is quite another.

So there it is! Waste no more time missing out on the events, networking and opportunities awaiting you. And trust me… the grass is greener on the members’ side.

(Also, to make your life easier: http://www.cprstoronto.com/studentmembershipapplication/)


Cheyenne Freitas is a fourth-year political science and media studies student at the University of Toronto. Find her on:


Changes to 2014 ACE Award Submission Protocol


It’s that time again! The annual ACE Awards are on the horizon and that means it’s time for you to start thinking about where you shone the brightest this year. The 2014 ACE Awards will feature a few important rule changes that you need to know about.


1) The submission process

This year the ACE Award submissions will not require the preliminary entry of an executive summary. Executive summaries will be submitted together with the full campaign binder. This is for two reasons. First, it will allow judges to spend more time on one set of submissions and offer better feedback to entrants looking to improve their work. Second, the application process will be streamlined for those submitting their work for judging.

2) Return of documents

Binders will not be returned after the ACE Awards Gala. Experience has shown us that many applicants produce an extra copy of the “big binder” submission for their records, and do not need the originals returned to them. Instead of returning the full binder, entrants will receive their completed marking rubrics via email in the week following the ACE Awards Gala.

3) Best in Show/Best Creative Entries
For Best in Show and Best Creative nominations, the judges will nominate 2-3 submissions for both categories. The entrants will be asked to present their work to the judging panel to be considered for the Best in Show and Best Creative awards. Portions of these presentations may be videotaped for future use at the ACE Awards Gala.


These changes have been made to help strengthen the ACE Awards program and ensure that the submission experience is as rewarding as possible for our members. Streamlining the submission process creates a simpler experience for applicants, guarantees continued quality feedback on their work and allows CPRS Toronto to stay current with other award programs.


If you have any questions about the changes to the submission process, or about anything else related to judging and entries at the 2014 ACE Awards, please contact Leigh LePage or Charzie Abendanio, Judging & Entries co-chairs, at cprs.ace.awards@gmail.com.


A night of celebrating communications excellence


By: Miranda Germani

The ACE Awards, held on April 24 at Arcadian Court, truly lived up to its namesake of Achieving Communications Excellence. Fantastic examples of excellence were celebrated throughout the evening, with top campaign honours going to two particularly outstanding campaigns.

Winner of Best PR Campaign of the Year was Argyle Communications and Free for All for their “30% off Ontario Tuition” campaign.

“Receiving this honour from CPRS Toronto not only makes Argyle Communications and its clients feel proud, but also tells us that our professional peers believe we set and achieve high standards,” said Argyle Communications president Daniel Tisch.

“PR is at its best when practised in the public interest,” said Daniel, speaking to the importance of Argyle’s campaign. “The Ontario government had made its ‘30 per cent off tuition’ a priority, and needed support to get the message to students. PR was critical in getting this done. Like every great PR campaign, there were barriers to overcome, and a creative strategy was critical to success.”

The other star campaign of the evening was Strategic Objectives and Mondelēz Canada’s “100th Birthday of Oreo” campaign, which took home the award for Best Creative PR Campaign of the Year. Judy Lewis, Strategic Objectives co-founder and executive vice president, enthusiastically affirmed that winning the award gives her team the inspiration to continue to develop the most creative, breakthrough, and effective PR campaigns.

These two campaigns particularly epitomized achieving communications excellence for 2013. Who will win next year? The countdown begins now, so be sure to get ready to compile your amazing work into a submission for the 2014 ACE Awards.