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The New York Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America established the Big Apple Awards program in 1987 to encourage excellence in public relations. The program has evolved to keep pace with a rapidly changing industry and continues to celebrate the exciting and innovative successes of talented professionals working in the heart of the communications universe. Today, a Big Apple Award is recognized as one of the highest honors bestowed in public relations.
The competition is open to all PR professionals in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut for programs created from 1/1/2019 through 3/31/2020, and implemented anywhere in the world. Most or all of the strategic work on the nominated programs should have been performed by professionals in this tri-state area. PR pros outside the area may also submit entries if the nominated program was implemented primarily in New York, New Jersey and/or Connecticut.
Professionals from in-house communications teams at businesses, associations and government agencies; representatives of agencies of all sizes; and independent practitioners are all encouraged to participate!
Diversity of Work
Our comprehensive roster of more than 100 award categories provides an opportunity for nearly every type of communications program to be considered.
- Within the Campaign Awards, separate categories exist for "general entries" (over $150K) and small (less than $150K). Popular categories have entries for business campaigns and those for government, associations and non-profit organizations as well.
- The Spotlight Awards (previously known as the Single Item Entries) showcase work that is deserving of its own recognition, even if it was also submitted as part of a larger campaign entry. In this category you may see print projects or video; websites or mobile apps; or the use of influencers and experiential marketing techniques to foster brand engagement. If you’re operating at the front of the technological pack, be sure to highlight your tech leadership with a submission in The Next Big Tech Thing: Innovative technological approaches to execution.
The judging panel comprises dozens of experienced, senior-level PR professions representing a wide range of disciplines and expertise. Special care is taken to assure that all judges remain impartial and are not assigned to review the nomination(s) of a competitor.
Four key areas of the work are reviewed: research, planning, execution, and results. Consideration is also given to the creative use of limited funds and to entries that have impressive media results and clearly articulate direct business or other campaign outcomes.
For any category, the judges may choose to award a winner and/or honorable mention(s). They may also choose to NOT designate a winner in a category should they feel no entries of award-winning caliber were submitted.
Notification of Nominees
When the judging is complete, nominees are notified. This year, notifications are expected to be issued in Mid-August.
All Big Apple Award nominees should send a representative to the 2020 Big Apple Awards Gala to accept the award, should that nominee be named a winner.
Awards Presentation Ceremony
The unveiling of Big Apple Award Campaign winners, Spotlight Award winners, and honorable mentions is kept secret until announced at the Big Apple Awards Gala on September 30th.