Award Results, Not Just Frugality

by Dan Ward

While attending the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) Golden Image Award banquet the other night, I was reminded of something that has long puzzled me about such awards.

Over the years, I’ve participated in many awards programs, and have served as a judge for other associations’ programs, and find that the process most often rewards communications programs that cost the least, not just those that achieve the most.

That’s not to say that low-cost programs can’t be very successful … we ourselves received two Awards of Distinction this year for programs that were very economical.

But the strong focus on cost seems to draw attention away from what should be most important … results. As an industry, shouldn’t we be happy when a company believes so strongly in the power of public relations that it invests confidently and exceeds minimalist objectives?

“The old adage ‘you have to spend money to make money’ rings true and public relations people – who most often are taught the business in college classes that use nonprofit case studies – ought not shy away from recommending and implementing well-funded, first-class programs. The rewards will be in their organization’s cash drawer and the awards in the P.R. Dept. trophy case.”

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