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PRSA’s Public Relations Professional of the Year Award honors the individual who, in the previous year, represented the best in public relations as an outstanding example of the management function that establishes mutually beneficial relationship between an organization and the public upon whom it success or failure depends.  This award is presented to a PRSA member with a minimum of 5 years of experience.

Nomination Procedures

Complete the online nomination form, which will ask for the following information:

  • A two-page summary of the nominee’s accomplishments and qualifications addressing the judging criteria.
  • Two letters supporting the nomination.  These letters should come from people who have knowledge of and involvement with these extraordinary individual accomplishments and/or contributions.
  • The nominee’s professional bio.
  • The nominee’s headshot.

Judging Criteria

This represents the definition of public relations as demonstrated by public relations practitioner in a given year – specifically the management function that establishes mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and the public upon whom its success or failure depends.  The recipient must clearly have demonstrated the superb employment of each of the four components of the public relations planning process:  research, planning, execution and evaluation.

In a given year the recipient must have demonstrated outstanding leadership/management skills, innovation and creativity in a project or program that was challenging and/or difficult in nature.

Demonstrate the impact and outcomes of the project or program.

Judging Procedures

All entries are reviewed and scored by PRSA’s Honors & Awards Committee according to the judging criteria and then approved by PRSA’s Board of Directors. The winner will be notified in late summer and invited to accept the award at PRSA’s International Conference.

NOTE: The nomination deadline is July 17, 2017.

To avoid a conflict of interest, the PRSA Chair is not eligible to receive an individual award during his or her term of office and for two years thereafter. Officers and members of the National PRSA Board of Directors and the National Honors & Awards Committee are not eligible to receive an Individual Award.

Previous Recipients

2016 – No Award
2015 – Paula L. Pedene APR, Fellow PRSA
2014 – No Award
2013 – Doug Ulman, President and Chief Executive Officer & Katherine McLane, Vice President for Communications and External Affairs — LIVESTRONG Foundation
2012 – Jon C. Iwata — IBM
2011 – The PepsiCo communications team (Peter Land, Melisa Tezanos, & Andrea Canabal); the Weber Shandwick Pepsi Refresh Team; and the Edelman Pepsi Refresh Team
2010 – No Award
2009 – Robert Gibbs — Obama for President Campaign
2008 – San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders’ Communications Team: Fred Sainz, George Biagi, Eileen Brennan, Bill Harris
2007 – Megan Colligan, Michael Feldman and Buffy Shutt — Public Relations Campaign Team for Al Gore’s Oscar-Winning Film, “An Inconvenient Truth”
2006 – Bernadette Mansur — National Hockey League
2005 – Charles D. Connor, Darren Irby, Deborah S. Daley — American Red Cross Communications Team
2004 – Grace Chen Trent and Brad Burns — MCI
2003 – Victoria Clarke — U.S. Department of Defense
2002 – Tim Doke — American Airlines
2001 – James E. Murphy — Accenture
2000 – Rick Kaufman, APR — Jefferson County Public Schools