2020 BELL RINGER AWARD CATEGORIES

Award categories are broken down into single-item and campaign categories. Any or all campaign elements may be submitted in appropriate single-item categories, if applicable. See the full list of categories below.

 

A Single Item Division Entry

A single item entry may be a stand-alone item of a multi-faceted program. Individual items submitted as part of a campaign are also eligible in the single-item division.

Campaign Division Entry

A campaign is characterized by a broad range of separate – though related and consistent – elements implemented during a period of time. Elements of a campaign may be entered separately in the single-item division.

Single Item Division

Content Marketing

Digital or printed collateral (annual report, brochure, direct mail, etc.)
Any digital or printed material that was written by communications or PR practitioners that promotes or distinguishes a product, service, organization, cause, or event.

Digital video – Single
This includes informational/educational, entertainment-oriented, and traditional storytelling narratives for one online video (see Digital Video – Series for more than one video). Please submit video files with a resolution of at least 720p; file extension (container/type) should be .mp4, and codec: h.264 video.

Digital video – Series
This includes informational/educational, entertainment-oriented, and traditional storytelling narratives for two or more videos (see Digital Video – Single for one video). Please submit video files with a resolution of at least 720p; file extension (container/type) should be .mp4, and codec: h.264 video.

Owned media
A website, microsite, blogs, email marketing campaigns, and/or content created and designed for public relations/communications initiatives and written/conceptualized by communications professionals. Explain the achieved objectives of the owned media and include screen shot(s), URLs, and measurable results (i.e., visits, unique page views, leads, open rate, etc.)

Infographic
This is a visual representation of data to tell a persuasive, compelling story, spark conversation, or drive action or specific behaviors. This may include paid, earned, shared or owned initiatives, and the focus of this category is in the power of the piece to tell a story visually. Include any data that show changes in perceptions, behavior and/or opinions. 

Podcast
A podcast developed for an internal or external audience that supports the brand message of the organization or agency and helps it achieve its objectives. This may include leveraging earned and paid podcast integration into communications initiatives.

Paid
Any media partnership, paid sponsorship, native or sponsored advertisement designed to help an organization achieve its objectives. Explain how the content and paid platform together strengthen the overall communications effort. Include any information that demonstrates outcomes from the paid placement.

Agency citizenship or pro bono work
Any pro-bono work, volunteerism, and philanthropic programs designed to strengthen the relationship of an agency with the wider community.

Emerging Technology
This category recognizes creative and innovative uses of emerging technologies such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and 360-degree video to help an organization achieve its objectives. Explain how the emerging technology usage enhances the overall communications effort, and include any information that shows outcomes.

Diversity Initiatives
Any internal or external effort designed to raise awareness of and/or increase diversity and inclusion initiatives in the workplace, local community, or within an industry.

Events

Media Event
Media events are built around in-person interactions between your client or your company/organization and the press. May include press conferences, media tours and blogger events. Entries should exhibit creativity in planning and execution of the event, as well as information about how you drew the media to it and engaged them at the event. Include video and photos (high resolution: 300dpi), screenshots, or other materials that illustrate your event. Video resolution should be at least 720p; file extension (container/type) should be .mp4, and codec: h.264 video.

Special event- Single
A special event to draw public attention to an organization, agency, product, or service. Include video and other materials that illustrate your event, such as logos, photos (high resolution: 300dpi), graphics and screenshots. Video resolution should be at least 720p; file extension (container/type) should be .mp4, and codec: h.264 video.

Special event – Series
A series of special events to draw public attention to an organization, agency, product, or service. Include video and other materials that illustrate your event, such as logos, photos (high resolution: 300dpi), graphics and screenshots. Video resolution should be at least 720p; file extension (container/type) should be .mp4, and codec: h.264 video.

Media placements

Bylined article
An article written or ghostwritten by a communications or PR professional and placed in an external publication for an organization, agency, or client. Judged on writing and placement skills.

Digital/Print – National
PR placement/coverage secured in/on a print or digital publication that has a national reach. Judged on placement skills and achievement of stated objectives.

Digital/Print – Regional
PR placement/coverage secured in/on a print or digital publication that is regional or local in focus. Judged on placement skills and achievement of stated objectives.

Digital/Print – Vertical/Trade
PR placement/coverage secured in/on a print or digital publication that is focused on a vertical industry or field (i.e., tech, healthcare, higher education, finance). Judged on placement skills and achievement of stated objectives.

Digital/Print – Series
A series of three media placements/pieces of coverage made in a variety of outlets, including broadcast, print and online.

Television – National
A national news or feature story produced by station or network staff. Judged on placement skills and implementation of objectives.  Upload as .mov or mpeg files.

Note: Submission does not require the inclusion of VNR or B-roll footage.

Television – Regional or local
A local or regional news or feature story produced by station or network staff. Judged on placement skills and implementation of objectives. Upload as .mov or mpeg files.

Note: Submission does not require the inclusion of VNR or B-roll footage.

Response to breaking news
Demonstrate how your response to a breaking news situation, story, or event generated increased media coverage for a client, organization, or agency. How did you leverage the breaking news situation in an appropriate manner to generate attention?  

Op-Ed
Earned placement of an opinion piece designed to persuade and/or change thinking or perceptions. The focus of this entry is in the power of the piece to persuade using language, arguments and compelling stats, as well as the outlet’s fit in reaching the target audience. Include any data that show changes in perceptions, behavior, and/or opinions.

CAMPAIGN DIVISION

Product/Service Publicity

Consumer:
A publicity campaign developed to create awareness and maintain favorable interest in a product or service, specifically through media events and placements. This category includes consumer-focused campaigns.  Include video and other materials that illustrate your campaign, such as logos, photos (high resolution: 300dpi), graphics and screenshots. Video resolution should be at least 720p; file extension (container/type) should be .mp4, and codec: h.264 video.

Hospitality/Travel/Entertainment
A publicity campaign created to generate awareness and maintain favorable interest in a hospitality, travel, or entertainment service specifically through media events and placements. Include video and other materials that illustrate your campaign, such as logos, photos (high resolution: 300dpi), graphics and screenshots. Video resolution should be at least 720p; file extension (container/type) should be .mp4, and codec: h.264 video.

Business-to-Business
A publicity campaign created to generate awareness and maintain favorable interest in a product or service specifically through media events and placements. This category includes professional services and other business-to-business campaigns. Include video and other materials that illustrate your campaign, such as logos, photos (high resolution: 300dpi), graphics and screenshots. Video resolution should be at least 720p; file extension (container/type) should be .mp4, and codec: h.264 video.

High-Tech
A publicity campaign created to generate awareness and maintain favorable interest in a high-tech product or service specifically through media events and placements. Clean energy or green technology campaigns are also included in this category. Avoid jargon where possible. Include video and other materials that illustrate your campaign, such as logos, photos (high resolution: 300dpi), graphics and screenshots. Video resolution should be at least 720p; file extension (container/type) should be .mp4, and codec: h.264 video.

Healthcare
A publicity campaign created specifically for the healthcare/consumer market to support the sale/promotion of a cause, product, treatment, device, diagnostic and/or service. Include video and other materials that illustrate your campaign, such as logos, photos (high resolution: 300dpi), graphics and screenshots. Video resolution should be at least 720p; file extension (container/type) should be .mp4, and codec: h.264 video.

Product/Service Launch

Consumer
A one-time program developed to promote the introduction/launch of a new product or service into the consumer marketplace. Include video and other materials that illustrate your campaign, such as logos, photos (high resolution: 300dpi), graphics and screenshots. Video resolution should be at least 720p; file extension (container/type) should be .mp4, and codec: h.264 video.

Hospitality/Travel/Entertainment
A one-time program developed to promote the introduction/launch of a new service or product into the hospitality, travel, or entertainment industries. Include video and other materials that illustrate your campaign, such as logos, photos (high resolution: 300dpi), graphics and screenshots. Video resolution should be at least 720p; file extension (container/type) should be .mp4, and codec: h.264 video.

High-Tech
A one-time program developed to promote the introduction/launch of a new high-tech product or service into the consumer marketplace. Clean energy or green technology campaigns are also included in this category. Avoid jargon where possible. Include video and other materials that illustrate your campaign, such as logos, photos (high resolution: 300dpi), graphics and screenshots. Video resolution should be at least 720p; file extension (container/type) should be .mp4, and codec: h.264 video.

Business-to-Business
A one-time program developed to promote the introduction/launch of a new product or service into the B2B marketplace, including professional services. Include video and other materials that illustrate your campaign, such as logos, photos (high resolution: 300dpi), graphics and screenshots. Video resolution should be at least 720p; file extension (container/type) should be .mp4, and codec: h.264 video.

Healthcare launch
A one-time program developed to promote the introduction/launch of a new product, FDA approval or clearance, or service into the healthcare or consumer healthcare marketplace. Include video and other materials that illustrate your campaign, such as logos, photos (high resolution: 300dpi), graphics and screenshots. Video resolution should be at least 720p; file extension (container/type) should be .mp4, and codec: h.264 video.

Communications Campaigns

Integrated Marketing Communications
A campaign that used paid, earned, and owned media channels in an integrated way to increase public awareness. Campaign must utilize all three channels and submissions must demonstrate how an integrated media strategy garnered greater collective reach/impact than could have been achieved using individual channels. Include video and other materials that illustrate your campaign, such as logos, photos (high resolution: 300dpi), graphics and screenshots. Video resolution should be at least 720p; file extension (container/type) should be .mp4, and codec: h.264 video.

On a Shoestring
A campaign with a modest budget – one that does NOT exceed $10K – that still manages to make a big splash and generate impressive results. Please include what your campaign budget was. We will NOT make that information public but need it for judging purposes.

Brand building or re-branding – Consumer
An initiative to develop or enhance a brand, rooted in strategy, that ushers in a new vision and carries it through across all marketing/PR channels and touch points. Explain how PR counsel played a central role in the strategy development, messaging, and roll out of the new brand. Demonstrate how the execution met the campaign’s stated objectives. Include video and other materials that illustrate your campaign, such as logos, photos (high resolution: 300dpi), graphics and screenshots. Video resolution should be at least 720p; file extension (container/type) should be .mp4, and codec: h.264 video.

Brand building or re-branding – B2B
An initiative to develop or enhance a brand, rooted in strategy, that ushers in a new vision and carries it through across all marketing/PR channels and touch points. Explain how PR counsel played a central role in the strategy development, messaging, and roll out of the new brand. Demonstrate how the execution met the campaign’s stated objectives. Include video and other materials that illustrate your campaign, such as logos, photos (high resolution: 300dpi), graphics and screenshots. Video resolution should be at least 720p; file extension (container/type) should be .mp4, and codec: h.264 video.

Executive Thought Leadership Campaign:
A campaign developed to increase or enhance an executive’s position within the industry. This should be a coordinated effort that utilizes different forms of media to generate greater collective reach/impact than a single bylined article or op-ed could achieve. Please include samples of the content utilized for the campaign and where/how it was used.

Social media – B2C
A campaign created to leverage emerging and social media (i.e., Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, etc.) and engage with target audience(s) while achieving stated objectives. This submission should show how the campaign was creative and unique. Include measurable results attained. This can and likely will include the use of sponsored content and/or paid distribution / optimization. Include video and other materials that illustrate your campaign, such as logos, photos (high resolution: 300dpi), graphics and screenshots. Video resolution should be at least 720p; file extension (container/type) should be .mp4, and codec: h.264 video. 

Social media – B2B
A campaign created to leverage emerging and social media (i.e., Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.) and engage with target audience(s) while achieving stated objectives. This submission should show how the campaign was creative and unique. Include measurable results attained. This can and likely will include the use of sponsored content and/or paid distribution / optimization. Include video and other materials that illustrate your campaign, such as logos, photos (high resolution: 300dpi), graphics and screenshots. Video resolution should be at least 720p; file extension (container/type) should be .mp4, and codec: h.264 video.

Influencer
A program developed to leverage the reach, influence, and authority of influential voices, such as bloggers, social media influencers, YouTube stars, etc. These influencers have at least 75K followers in total across their social media platforms (blog UVM included). Content secured can include paid and/or earned media and should achieve the stated objectives. Please also include what was offered to the influencer(s) (e.g., product, payment, etc.)

Micro Influencer
A program developed to leverage the authority and sway of micro influencers, who have between 10k-75k followers in total across their media platforms (blog UVM included) This program would target a specific demographic or audience and would generate results (perhaps better results) than a program developed with “traditional” influencers or other media. Content secured can include paid and/or earned media and should achieve the stated objectives. Please include why you decided to utilize micro influencers as part of your strategy and how it was effective. Please also include what was offered to the influencer(s) (e.g., product, payment, etc.)

Nano Influencer
A program developed to leverage the authority and sway of nano influencers, who have fewer than 10k followers in total across their media platforms (blog UVM included) This program would target a specific demographic or audience and would generate results (perhaps better results) than a program developed with “traditional” influencers or other media. Content secured can include paid and/or earned media and should achieve the stated objectives. Please include why you decided to utilize nano influencers as part of your strategy and how it was effective. Please also include what was offered to the influencer(s) (e.g., product, payment, etc.)

Viral Marketing
An initiative or activities developed to generate awareness in unique and unconventional ways. This category includes activities such as street branding, flash mobs, etc. Explain how the initiative was evocative, and include the results it produced. Include video and other materials that illustrate your campaign, such as logos, photos (high resolution: 300dpi), graphics and screenshots. Video resolution should be at least 720p; file extension (container/type) should be .mp4, and codec: h.264 video. 

Superior achievement in research & planning
Conducting original research and using modern data and analytics should be the crux of submissions for this category. Explain how your PR campaign used formal planning techniques and research to develop strategy and execute a successful campaign.

External Spokesperson
A campaign that leverages the reach, influence and authority of an external third-party spokesperson (paid expert, celebrity, or partner organization – NOT a social media influencer). Content can include paid, earned, shared, and/or owned, and should achieve stated objectives. Please also include what was offered to the spokesperson (e.g., payment, trade, partnership agreement).

Higher Education Marketing
A campaign developed to drive brand awareness, and ultimately enrollment and/or donations, for a private high school, college, or university. Demonstrate how the execution met the campaign’s stated objectives.

Nonprofit Communications
A campaign designed to generated media and/or donor attention and visibility among target audiences for a non-for-profit organization.

Cause Marketing
A campaign designed to increase brand sales or consumer engagement and link the brand to an important issue or cause, producing mutually beneficial results for both parties.

Public Affairs
A campaign designed to create public awareness or to persuade people to act on an issue relating to political, governmental, environmental or socioeconomic conditions and/or policies.

Crisis Communications
A program that mitigated a potentially damaging situation, or communicated with stakeholders and/or the public during or after a disaster or emergency. We will make every effort to keep the information confidential.

Investor/Financial Relations
A program developed to explain an organization’s fiscal profile and promote favorable relations with stockholders, financial analysts, local business community and/or the general public.

Content Marketing
A campaign that cohesively integrates different forms of owned media to accomplish stated objectives. The campaign may also include all or some mix of paid, earned, owned, and shared media, and should detail the strategy behind the original content creation. This campaign may also include initiatives designed to increase SEO and can include strategic brand/media partnerships. Include screenshots or URLs and metrics on traffic and leads generated.

Corporate Culture
An internal program developed to improve and enhance employee relations.

Agency Marketing
An campaign designed to help an agency raise its profile, thought leadership, recruitment and/or overall business development efforts. Explain how the campaign elevated the brand message of the agency and helped it achieve objectives. This may include leveraging paid, earned, shared, and owned tactics as part of the overall campaign.