The Public Relations Association of Uganda (PRAU) yesterday launched the 7th edition of the annual excellence awards with this year’s edition introducing some new key aspects with the most notable being that, it has this time gone digital.
This follows complaints and suggestions arising from previous editions where some sections of the public and media questioned the procedures and criteria for selecting and awarding the winners.
“This year’s selection process is going to be different from the previous ones because it will be done on line and entries will all be entered in digital format and submitted on the PRAU website as opposed to previous editions where entries were on paper.”
“This will help both us and the public to clear the issues to do with integrity and transparency in the selection process.” Cynthia Mpanga the PRAU president said at the press conference held at Hotel Africana.
Yesterday’s presser also doubled as the platform for official call for entry to individuals, organisations and agencies that wish to participate in the prestigious awards.
Entries for the 2017 awards will be accepted from 1st August to 30th September 2017, with the winners announced at a glamorous gala on Friday October 27th 2017 at a venue yet to be named by the organizing committee as certain some logistical issues are resolved.
This year’s awards will be organised under the theme “UPHOLDING PR EXCELLENCE IN TOUGH ECONOMIC TIMES” and shall honour companies and individuals with awards across thirteen categories.
“This year’s theme is reflective of the tough business environment that we operate in. We are aware that spend for communication work is shrinking by the day but there are brands out there that have been consistent in ensuring the produce excellence work no matter the environment they are in. These are the ones that we shall seek to award this year in the PRAU Awards” said Mpanga.
Responding to the issue of the impact of digital PR posing challenges to traditional PR methods, Cynthia reiterated that;
“The impact of digital on our profession continues. We are seeing more and more brands use the digital space to advance their communications. It will be interesting to see how far these brands have gone to ensure excellence in their work even as they use digital channels to get across to their clients and customers” she added.
When www.chano8.com asked about what else the awards come with besides the trophies and bragging rights, Mbanga emphasised that the awards are organised to reward excellence, appreciating and developing PR practices and encouraging professionalism. And besides organising the awards, the association is also involved in several other activities like value addition inform of training through partnerships and workshops, Night-outs for networking, boot camps among others.
This time round, there will be ample time given for receiving entries which will run for about 2 months and therefore there will be ‘no extension of deadlines’ according to Sheila E. Kangwagye, the associations Secretary General.
“This year we have given a full two months to our members to submit their award entries. This will allow each and every one who is participating enough time to prepare their award submissions as we understand this takes quite some time”.
According to the PRAU PR Director Mr Paul Mwirigi, the awards are open to; PR and communications practitioners, business enterprises/SMEs, government bodies, PR agencies, associations, NGO’s, students pursuing PR related courses, and In-house PR departments. Entries submitted to the PRAU Excellence Awards competition will be judged by an independent panel of senior and experienced practitioners.
The 2017 PRAU Excellence Awards will be presented in the following categories:
PR Campaign Category
a) Best Media Management Campaign
b) Best Event
c) Best Crisis Management Campaign
d) Best Corporate Social Responsibility Campaign
e) Best Public Sector Campaign
f) Best Not for Profit Campaign
g) Best PR agency
h) Best Corporate/online Publication
i) Best Social/digital Media Campaign
j) Best Young Communicator of the Year
k) PRAU Golden Honors
l) PRAU Sheppard Honors
m) People’s Choice Award