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New York School Public Relations ASSOCIATION

This is your time to shine!

Enter the 45th Annual NYSPRA Communications Awards and be recognized for your efforts to enhance education through effective communication. Submit your best work and compete with professional school communicators for awards that recognize the highest standards of excellence in the field of school public relations. You can also nominate a colleague for Communicator of the Year!

ClICK HERE TO enter the 2024 Communications contest

Scroll until you find the 2024 New York School Public Relations Association (NYSPRA) Communications Contest.  

What do you need to know about the 2024 Communications Contest?


All entries must be received by 5 p.m. on August 16, 2024, to be considered.


  • All entries submitted in the 45th Annual NYSPRA Communications Awards must comply with the guidelines as outlined below.
  • Non-compliant entries will not be considered for an award. Entry fees will not be refunded.
  • All entries shall become the property of NYSPRA and may be displayed and/or shown and filed in a NYSPRA library.


  • All work must have been produced between July 1, 2023, and June 30, 2024.
  • T-shirts, buttons and apparel are not eligible for this competition.
  • Student-written and/or produced publications are not eligible for this competition.
  • No single publication may be entered in more than three categories.


  • All entry forms must be completed online on the entry site.
1. Name
  • All entries must be in the name of the school district or BOCES for which the work was produced.
  • Provide the name of the BOCES only if the BOCES is submitting the entry produced by the BOCES (either on behalf of a district or for the BOCES itself).
  • School districts represented by a BOCES, P.R. consultants or agencies must have a membership in their own name[s], or enter in the non-member category.
2. Entry title
3. Summary paragraph
  • All entries must include a summary paragraph stating the purpose of the entry and the target audience.
  • The summary paragraph will factor into the scoring of each entry. Additional information regarding the evaluation of your entry’s effectiveness is optional and will be used only to provide clarification for judges.
4. Entry Fee
  • Entries accompanied with an incorrect entry fee will not be considered.
Member entries: $30 each

Entries submitted at the member entry fee must be submitted in the name of the member on the entry form.

To qualify for the member entry fee, membership dues must be up to date. Membership requests can be submitted by clicking here. Membership is from July 1, 2024, to June 30, 2025. You MUST fill out the membership application, please do not just include it on your invoice  

Non-member entries: $40 each

Non-member entries must pay the non-member entry fee.

Payment methods
  • Purchase orders, checks and credit cards are accepted. Purchase orders and checks must be made payable to:

New York School Public Relations Association
c/o Bonnie Russell
School Information Officer
300 Sanderson Drive
Camillus, NY 13031

  • Payment by check:

Check numbers/amounts should be noted on the online entry form.

Business and personal checks will be accepted; official name of district, board or BOCES should be noted on check/check stub.

Checks should be mailed to the address listed above.

  • Payment by purchase order:

Purchase orders (if used) must be submitted online with entry. Purchase order numbers, and an electronic copy, must be uploaded to the entry site.

  • Payment by credit card:
A credit card may be used for online payment. A link for payment can be found on the entry site. Please indicate the district/board/BOCES name in the reference field.


Contact Kiana Racha at with any questions.


  • All entries will be submitted online this year via Open Water. 
  • Credit card payment is available this year.  
  • Award certificates will be in the name of the school district/BOCES for which the entry was produced.

  • Additional certificates can be requested at a cost of $5 each.

Competition Categories

Awards of Excellence, Honor and Merit will be given in each category to those entries that earn the requisite number of points. 

  • Annual Report
  • Budget/Bond Newsletter 
  • Calendar
  • Community Newsletter

Each entry must include two different issues (i.e., two different months, editions, etc.)

  • Electronic Newsletter
  • Excellence in Writing

Entry must be a single article; a series of articles/stories submitted as a single entry will not be considered for an award. Entry must have been published in print or online. If published entry does not have a byline, include an electronic copy of a news release or other documentation showing proof of authorship.

  • Overall Graphics & Design
  • Photograph
Submit a digital photo and a scanned document or URL to show proof of publication.
  • Poster

Minimum size of 11" x 17".

  • Social Media

Communication efforts or campaigns using Facebook, Twitter or other social media, such as blogs. In addition to the summary paragraph, please explain how social media has affected your school district/BOCES. Include a PDF of at least three consecutive postings and include the account URL.

  • Special Purpose Publication
  • Strategic Campaign
Entry should consist of three or more coordinated pieces in any medium. “Campaign” includes a variety of topics. For example, crisis management, event planning or any type of planned and coordinated strategic effort is eligible.
  • Video
Maximum 30 minutes in length. Provide the URL to a streaming video online. 
  • Website

Public websites only; Intranets are not eligible. Include URL.

Judging Criteria

Entries in this year’s competition will be judged by school communication colleagues from other states, along with communications, marketing, writing and public relations professionals from throughout the United States.

Judges will rate entries according to the criteria listed below, as applicable. The decisions of judges are final in every case, and NYSPRA will not discuss or comment on the judges’ decisions.

Purpose and Effectiveness
  • Clear purpose and target audience defined
  • Overall effectiveness in meeting stated purpose
  • Overall readability and quality of writing (clear, concise, accurate and error-free)
  • Correct and consistent use of grammar and syntax; superior proofreading
  • Relevance of copy to intended message/stated purpose
  • Effectiveness of content in capturing reader’s interest (unique, creative, active writing)
  • Completeness, informative value, relevance of topic choice(s)
  • Timeliness and relevance of content
  • Appropriateness of writing style to audience
  • Quality of headlines
Design and Production
  • Overall production quality
  • Creative use of design and layout
  • Effectiveness of design in conveying intended message or supporting stated purpose
  • Appropriateness/attractiveness of design, including photos, graphics, artwork and typography
  • Good use of color and white space
  • Ease and consistency of navigation
  • Effective, appropriate use and integration of online technological features
  • Quality of video editing; variety of footage used
  • Effective and appropriate visual presentation of topic/subject matter
  • Aural quality of narration and/or music
  • Overall quality and composition
  • Effectiveness/quality of cropping, sizing and choice of angle
  • Attractiveness, eye-catching appeal of photo
  • Creative, appropriate choice of subject
  • Effectiveness in complementing accompanying text/publication
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