Judging

Judging is always conducted by accredited public relations professionals outside of the Las Vegas market.

The Pinnacle Awards uses the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) as a guide to the body of knowledge for the profession. Entrants are expected to be proficient with The Four Step Process (research, planning, implementation, evaluation). Judges are asked to review the APR Study Guide to refresh their knowledge of the process before judging the awards.

Entries are organized by classification and category: Public Relations Programs or Tools and Techniques. For consistency, judges will review all entries in each category they are judging.

The Pinnacle Awards in Public Relations Programs and Tools and Techniques are to be judged on individual merit. It is not a competition between entries. Rather, judging should be handled using a grading system where truly exceptional work is worthy of a Pinnacle, outstanding work receives an Award of Excellence, and meritorious work receives an Award of Merit. There may be multiple winners at each level or no winners at all.

Entries are given a score of up to 100 points by each judge and receive the average of the two scores. If there is more than a 15 point spread on an entry, a third judge will score and the entry’s final score will be an average of the three scores.  If one of the scores is an outlier, meaning one of the judges had a score that was more than 20 points lower or higher than the other two, the outlier score will be thrown out.

Based on points received, the entry may receive either a Pinnacle Award, Award of Excellence, or Award of Merit. Each year, depending on the quality of entries, there are categories in which no Pinnacle Award, Award of Excellence, or Award of Merit is given.

Best in Show
The highest average scoring entry in the Public Relations Programs group and the highest average scoring entry and Tools and Techniques group will receive the additional recognition of being named Best in Show.

Individual Awards
Judges will use the entry scoring sheets as a guide to help form a decision by consensus. These scoring sheets will not be shared with entrants. There can only be one honoree in each individual award category. An award does not have to be given in any category if the judges feel no suitable nominee was submitted.

Judging Criteria

The Pinnacle Awards judging criteria is divided into three categories to reflect the three categories of awards:

  • Public Relations Programs
  • Tools and Techniques
  • Individual Awards

Criteria – Public Relations Programs

  • Entries must demonstrate proficiency with The Four Step Process from the APR Study Guide
  • Judges will review the entry summary and accompanying materials and provide numerical scores on the score sheet provided
  • Download the score sheet for Public Relations Programs

Criteria – Tools and Techniques

  • Judges will review the entry summary and accompanying materials and provide numerical scores on the score sheet provided
  • Download the score sheet for Tools and Techniques

Criteria – Individual Awards

Download the judging score sheet for Individual Awards.

Newcomer of the Year

  • A public relations professional who has been in full-time practice for less than five years (began full-time practice in January 2006 or later), excluding internships and part-time employment while working on a degree

PR Practitioner of the Year

  • An established practitioner with 6-15 years of full-time practice in public relations

Senior PR Practitioner of the Year

  • An established practitioner with more than 15 years of full-time practice in public relations

Roger Buehrer Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Exemplifies PRSA’s professional ideals
  • Has contributed greatly to the practice of public relations in the community
  • This individual has an impressive working knowledge of the profession
  • Provided valuable service to both the national PRSA organization and to the Las Vegas chapter
  • Has had a profound effect on the practice of public relations in the geographic area in which he or she practices

Winner Notification

Shortly after judging in October, the Pinnacle Awards Committee will send email notification to Pinnacle Awards entrants if their entry received an award (either a Pinnacle Award, Award of Excellence, or Award of Merit).

The notification will identify the award winning entry by its title and be sent only to the person submitting the entry.

A list of winning organizations will also be posted on this website in the Winners section following the Awards Ceremony.