Tag Archives: award

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

2012 AGM highlights & pictures


2012-2013 CPRS Toronto Board of Directors [CONTACT INFO]

President – Vincent Power, APR
1st Vice President/Education/Marketing & Promotions – Maryjane Martin, APR
2nd Vice President/ Internet/Member Communications – Diane Bégin, APR
Treasurer – Gerald Crowell
Secretary – Christine Edwardson
Past President/CEO Liaison Committee – Martin Waxman, APR

Natalie Bovair, APR
Kathleen Garrett, APR
AJ Goodman
Amanda Laird
Laurie Smith
Christina Stefanski

Doris Whiteside Award winners for academic excellence

Richia Bissoondath – Centennial College
Morgan Cadenhead – Durham College
Sal Hosny – Seneca College
Matthew Ventura – Humber College

Life members

Life Members are honoured with Life Membership for their contribution both to public relations and the Society and being a member for 30 years.

Lydia Boyko Ph.D., APR
Carol Panasiuk, APR

Toronto Hydro presentation makes sense of community involvement


Community members are active participants in Toronto Hydro's Light the Night events.

If you missed the CPRS Toronto professional development (PD) program on May 24, you’ll want to see and hear the presentation by Toronto Hydro Communications & Public Affairs staff Gillian Earle, Advisor, and Karen Evans, Manager, now available to members online

You’ll learn how the communications staff at Toronto Hydro engaged community members with their brand and produced meaningful and measured results.

For example, in addition to actively engaging community members with the Toronto Hydro brand at three staged events and earning an impressive 83% MR2P™ score for earned media coverage, Earle shares some astonishing data about the lasting effects of the Light the Night™ program in at-risk neighborhoods. The reduction in assaults and robberies is truly inspiring.

You’ll also hear about the evolution of Toronto Hydro’s community involvement strategy. Evans shares information about the strategic focus of past events and defines the corporation’s current emphasis on community activities that are relevant to the business and key stakeholders.

It’s easy to see why the Toronto Hydro communications team won a CPRS Toronto ACE Award for this program – the case reads like a virtual roadmap for brand- and community-building.

Last Chance to Buy Your Tickets for 19th Annual CPRS Toronto CEO Award Luncheon on January 24!


By Francesca Gilli

Get your tickets now for the CPRS Toronto CEO Award Luncheon on Jan. 24, honouring Dr. Robert S. Bell, president and CEO of University Health Network.

The CPRS Toronto CEO Awards celebrates excellence in communications. Award recipients are successful in expressing a clear mission and values to stakeholders.

Dr. Bell, the 19th recipient of the annual CEO Award of Excellence in Public Relations, is an internationally recognized orthopedic surgeon, health care executive, clinician-scientist and educator. To highlight just a few of many career achievements, Dr. Bell was instrumental in leading Canada’s largest cancer centre at UHN’s Princess Margaret Hospital, he has educated Canadian and international surgeons and this past year led the integration of the UHN with the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute.

We invite you to join us in recognizing Dr. Robert S. Bell at a gala luncheon in his honour.

Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012
12 – 2 p.m.

Fairmont Royal York Hotel
100 Front St. W., Toronto

Members $65
Non-Members $80
Student Members $50
Table of 10: $700

Purchase tickets now to avoid disappointment. This event typically sells out.

Register directly through our secure website at www.cprstoronto.com/pd/events.aspx

Lois Marsh

This event is a good networking opportunity for all communicators and a great place to bring your own CEO. Don’t miss out; tickets are going fast so grab yours today!