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PRISM Awards 2017 - Celebrating two decades of excellence in public relations and communication

Southern Africa's premier awards for public relations excellence, the PRISM Awards, celebrates two decades in 2017. The call for entries has opened and this year sees a number of new categories, including more opportunities in the digital environment and students studying public relations. The deadline for entries is 27 March, with the prestigious awards ceremony scheduled for Sunday, 7 May 2017.
PRISM Awards 2017 - Celebrating two decades of excellence in public relations and communication

Marking the 20th year, will be the online entry and judging process. All entries will be submitted online ensuring a far more manageable and streamlined judging process. The judging panel will comprise more than 60 judges, all professionals and leaders in their industries from around the world.

“A large number of entries in the past have come from the media relations and corporate relations practices and this put huge pressure on the cluster judges,” explains says Bridget von Holdt, convenor of the PRISM Awards. “With the new, more efficient online judging process, we expect it to lessen the load of judges. It is even more important that entries stick to the prescribed 1,300 words. We’re expecting over 250 entries from different sectors and practices this year.”

Important dates

“Entrants have just over 94 days to submit their entries,” advises Von Holdt. “The deadline date is 26 March 2017.”

Other important dates are:

  • Prepping for PRISMS – Cape Town, 26 January 2017
  • Prepping for PRISMS - Johannesburg, 27 January 2017

The PRISM Awards are presented to public relations and communication professionals who have successfully incorporated strategy, creativity, innovation and professionalism in the public relations and communication programmes and strategies.

Any public relations consultancy, business enterprise, association, private institution or government body is eligible to submit entries into the awards. Public relations consultancies may enter on behalf of clients and share the honours with them if they win an award.

”While the PRISM Awards are open for all to enter, the entries must be submitted with pride. The judges will be looking for entries that are exceptional and that have a real return on investment,” says Von Holdt.

The 34 categories in the 2017 PRISM Awards:

SectorsPracticesOver-Arching Awards

  • Business-to-business
  • Financial services
  • Investor relations
  • Healthcare
  • Technology
  • Travel & tourism
  • Resources
  • Environmental
  • Public affairs
  • Public sector
  • Community relations
  • NGO campaign
  • Corporate responsibility
  • Sponsorship
  • PR on a shoestring

  • Best use of social media as a support tool in a communication programme
  • Best use of an event to build/change reputation (event management)
  • Best use of communication in a township revitalisation or education campaign*
  • Campaign best informed by analytics/big data
  • Corporate communication
  • Crisis management
  • Internal communication
  • Publications
  • Media relations
  • Social media as the primary method of communication (best use of social media to lead a programme)*
  • Social media as the primary method of communication (best use of social media to lead a programme with no social media spend)*
  • Social media to launch a new product*
  • Mobile media for public relations (best use of mobile to lead a programme)
  • Student campaign of the year

  • Best Up-and-coming Public Relations Professional
  • Best Public Relations Professional
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Consultancy Awards

    • Best Small Public Relations consultancy (fewer than 10 people)
    • Best Mid-sized Public Relations consultancy (10–39 people)
    • Best Large Public Relations consultancy (More than 40 people)

  • African Network of the Year
  • Campaigns of the Year

    • Pan African Campaign of the Year

    • South African Campaign of the Year

*New categories

New categories

There are now four social media categories in the 2017 line-up – reflecting the explosive growth of this discipline.

PRISM Awards Convenor Bridget von Holdt
PRISM Awards Convenor Bridget von Holdt

“We have seen exponential growth in the Social Media category since it was introduced a few years ago,” says Von Holdt. According to the Social Media Landscape SA - 2017 briefings hosted recently by World Wide Worx - about 14 million South Africans are now on Facebook, the country’s biggest social media platform, with 85% of them using mobile devices to engage (a big increase from 77% the year before).

“In the digital landscape, public relations practitioners have a far more challenging and complex role to play,” continues Von Holdt. “In 2016, most entries contained a social media component – something almost unheard of just five years ago.”

Sponsors of the 2017 PRISM Awards include:

  • AfroFlame – hostessing
  • Contempo – dressing of hostesses, team, MCs and possibly judges
  • GroundUp Media – videos
  • Integrated Marketing Solutions – social media, branding and design
  • Katlego Maboe – MC
  • Lebo Mabotjwa - MC
  • Lounge Around – décor and furniture
  • ROI Africa – media monitoring
  • Stageline – audiovisual equipment and staging
  • Zoom Photography – photos

To enter or for more information visit

5 Jan 2017 11:42