Too Many PR Awards Ceremonies Are Devaluing The Industry (List of PR Award Ceremonies for UK Agencies)

  • PR

I received an email last week congratulating us on Umpf’s CIPR PRide Award wins.  It was along the lines of “Congratulations on your CIPR awards, would you like to enter ours?”

There are so many sector PR award schemes that it’s hard to keep up.  Personally, I think there’s too many and the market is over-saturated and this is having a negative impact on the industry.

Having so many award ceremonies, in my view, devalues the sector.

Even if you can keep up with all the possible awards – and there are at least 11 PR specific ceremonies (see List of PR Award Ceremonies For UK Agencies below), and that doesn’t include PR gongs up for grabs within other marketing awards dos, nor the verticals such as catering/food and drink, gaming, etc etc – the overall cost makes it prohibitive to enter all of them.

Agencies that consistently produce good work will do one of two things: select a couple of award ceremonies and enter many campaigns into each; or – and this is less likely – enter just one or two campaigns into many awards bashes.

The problem with the latter option is that many of the ceremonies request PR campaign submissions around the same time of year, and you’re never sure which of your campaigns stand the best chance of winning.

This year, some of Umpf’s PR campaigns that we thought would do well, didn’t; and some we didn’t think would fare so well, did.  So entering more campaigns in fewer award ceremonies gives agencies better odds of winning those gongs.

Which means that PR campaigns that ought to win are not even being entered into some PR awards; therefore, the standard of the less well known – or perhaps more expensive – PR award ceremonies is not as high as the most popular ones.

So back to cost.  Umpf’s average cost for a single award entry this year was £170.  Enter five or six at one event and you’re looking at £1,000 outlay straight away.

And then there’s the cost of attending – we’re attending four award ceremonies this year and the ticket prices range from £150-£195 for each member of the team.

And then you have to get to the venue.  Of the ones we’ve entered, three are national awards gigs so there’s travel costs away from our base in Leeds to factor in.

Add in the cost of the drinks – and you can’t really win without splashing out on Champagne and shots – plus taxis home and you’re looking at another £50-£60 per head.

So, entry fee, cost of attending and drinks works out at approximately £400 per person for each ceremony you attend.  More entries, higher cost.  More staff attending, higher cost again.  And that’s without travel or hotels.

That said, it’s one of the nicer cost to have as an agency as it it shows that your PR campaigns are being recognised by your peers and industry experts.

List of PR Award Ceremonies For UK Agencies
1. Cannes PR Lions http://www.canneslions.com/awards/categories_rules.cfm#9-27-120
2. CIPR Excellence Awards http://www.cipr.co.uk/content/events-awards/excellence-awards
3. CIPR PRide Awards http://www.cipr.co.uk/content/events-awards/pride-awards
4. Communicate Corporate Awards http://www.communicatemagazine.co.uk/awards
5. Corp Comms Awards http://www.corpcommsmagazine.co.uk/awards/corpcomms
6. European Excellence Awards http://excellence-awards.eu
7. Fresh PR Awards http://www.freshdigitalawards.co.uk/pr
8. Golden Hedgehog PR Awards (yes, they’re really called that) http://www.goldenhedgehogprawards.com
9. PR Week Awards http://www.prweekawards.com
10. PRCA Awards http://www.prca.org.uk/networking_events_2011_prca_awards
11. SABRE Awards http://www.holmesreport.com/uploadedfiles/news/2012EMEASABREENTRYFORM.pdf