Niagara Awards

Niagara Awards

View the 2023 Niagara Award winners here.

The PRSA/NWPA Niagara Awards are awarded annually to public relations and marketing communications practitioners who have successfully addressed a contemporary issue with exemplary professional skill, creativity, and resourcefulness. We have also created a competition for students attending colleges in Pennsylvania. Students or PRSA chapters may enter any program or project category.

The PRSA Niagara Awards recognize complete public relations or marketing communications programs and projects incorporating sound research, planning, execution, and evaluation. Winning entries must meet the highest standards of performance in the profession. A Best of Show Award will be given to the entry that stands out from the rest. All entries are judged by PR professionals outside of the Erie region.

Entries will open in late August 2024. The winners will be announced at the Niagara Awards Reception ‪on Thursday, November 21, 2024, at the Brewerie at Union Station.

If you have any questions about the awards, contact us at

Award Categories

1. Community Relations

Programs or projects that seek to win the support or cooperation of, or that aim to improve relations with, people or organizations in communities in which the sponsoring organization has an interest, need, or opportunity. “Community” in this category refers to a specific geographic location or locations (Campaigns designed to promote products should be entered in Marketing Consumer Products or Services).

2. Special Events and Observances

Events may be commemorations, observances, openings, celebrations, or other special activities and must occur within a time span of one week.

3. Public Service and Public Affairs

Programs or projects that advance public understanding of a societal issue, problem or concern (Similar programs, conducted principally to enhance an organization’s standing or to otherwise serve its interest directly, will ordinarily fall under Institutional Programs). Also includes programs specifically designed to influence public policy and/ or affect legislation, regulations, political activities, or candidacies at the local, state, or federal government levels so that the entity funding the program benefits. Include any print, TV, radio, or social media PSAs.

4. Marketing

Programs or projects designed to introduce new or promote existing services to a consumer or business audience. Include any corresponding print, TV, radio or social media campaigns.

5. Crisis Communications / Reputation Management

Programs or projects undertaken that enhance, promote, or improve the reputation of an organization in response to an event, issue, or market occurrence that has had or may have an extraordinary impact on an organization’s reputation.

6. Internal Communications

Programs or projects targeted specifically to special publics directly allied with an organization (e.g., employees, members, affiliated dealers, or franchises). 

7. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Any type of program (i.e., institutional, marketing, or community relations projects) supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

8. Integrated Communications

A program that employs the creative and effective integration and leadership of public relations strategies and tactics with other promotional marketing communications. It should demonstrate the integration of strategies, plus the budget and measurement of return on investment of the communications to any stakeholder group including employees, consumers, the media, and shareholders.

9. Interactive (Social Media) Communications

New, creative, or unconventional use of technology in a public relations program. Submit an entry form including Web address, objectives, target audience, techniques, budget, and results. Entrants should include “screen grabs” or print copies of key web pages in case connection with sites during judging fails.

10. Media Relations/Feature Stories

Dealing with the media regarding a specific product, organization, or service.

11. Publications (Print or Digital)

Any publication used for Public Relations or Marketing in either print or digital. These would be: Internal or External Newsletters; Magazine; Annual Reports; Brochures; Direct Mail/Direct Response.

12. Video News Release/Marketing Video

A program or project that uses creative content and/or innovative use of a broadcast, streaming, or other video content to enhance or entertain.

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