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2010 PRSA Excalibur Awards

Tips, Definitions & Checklist

Preparation Tips Summary
This summary is the single-most important component of the Excalibur entry. Judges evaluate the program on the merit of the four criteria - research, planning, execution and evaluation - that you share in your two-page summary.

In addition, begin your entry by providing a brief situation analysis for your program. Use the following questions to help you prepare a strong entry:


  • What prompted the research - was it in response to an existing problem or to examine a potential problem?
  • What type of research did you use - primary, secondary, or both? Primary research involves original research, including focus groups, interviews and surveys. Secondary research involves searching existing resources for information or data related to a particular need, strategy or goal (e.g., online computer database searches, Web-based research, library searches, industry reports, and internal
    market analyses).
  • How was the research relevant to shaping the
    planning process?
  • How did the research help define or redefine the audience(s) or the situation?


  • How did the plan correlate to the research findings?
  • What was the plan, in general terms?
  • What were the specific, measurable objectives of
    the plan?
  • Who were the target audiences?
  • What was the overall strategy used?
  • What was your budget?


  • How was the plan executed and what was the outcome?
  • How did the activities flow, in general terms?
  • What were the key tactics?
  • Were there any difficulties encountered? If so, how were they handled?
  • Were other organizations involved?
  • Were non-traditional public relations tactics used (e.g., advertising)? (Unless you are entering this program under "Integrated Communications," advertising costs should not exceed one-third of the budget.)


  • What method(s) of evaluation were used?
  • What were your results?
  • How did the results compare to the specific, measurable objectives you identified in the planning section? (Note: See the Evaluation Checklist for further guidance and ideas.)

Definitions Used In Categories and Subcategories

Use the following definitions to help you decide the most appropriate category and subcategory based on your program's objectives and audiences:

Business-Products and Business-Services
Subcategories include all profit-making entities. A company that derives half or more of its sales from manufacturing products should enter under "products."

A company that derives half or more of its revenues by providing services (such as banks, utilities, retailers, transportation companies, etc.) should enter under "services."

Subcategory includes all government bureaus, agencies, institutions or departments at the local, state and federal levels, including the armed forces, regulatory bodies, courts, public schools and state universities.

Subcategory includes trade and industry groups, professional societies, chambers of commerce and similar organizations.

Subcategory is specifically intended for health and welfare organizations, and educational and cultural institutions not included in other subcategories. This subcategory is not intended for organizations that may have non-profit status but are clearly business organizations.

Programs receiving funding or support from private or government organizations should be entered in those subcategories or "partnerships."

Subcategory is intended for public service programs that are funded jointly by businesses and other organizations, including non-profit or government.

Evaluation Checklist

Since public relations activities are intended to affect business or organizational results, outcomes measurement is important to determine the effectiveness of public relations programs. Following is a checklist to help identify outcomes you can consider in preparing the Evaluation section of your Excalibur entry.

Awareness Data

  • Aided Awareness by Audience
  • Unaided Awareness by Audience
  • Familiarity
  • Knowledge of Specifics

Behavorial Data

  • Donations Raised
  • Employee Retention
  • Information Requests
  • Participating in an Event
  • Visiting a Web Site
  • Volunteers Committed
  • Voting
  • Writing/Calling

Financial Market Data

  • Corporate Valuation
  • Funds Raised
  • Market Capitalization
  • Market Share
  • Number of Customers
  • Sales
  • Stock Price
  • Trial/Repeat Purchase

Survey Data

  • Brand Equity Ranking
  • Community Support/Public Trust
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Employee Morale
  • Intent to Purchase
  • Overall Favorability
  • Reputation Ranking
Category: excalibur awards | Sub Category: tip sheet