Judging criteria for Totem Awards

Judging criteria

Each entry will be judged by at least two PR professionals from a partner PRSA chapter. If the judging scores vary by more than 12 points, a third judge will be brought in and the scores averaged.

The research and evaluation portions of the entries carry the most weight. Entrants are encouraged to describe the research and evaluation phases as fully as possible to earn the score their work deserves.

Each entry is judged on its own merits. You're only competing against yourself, except in the categories for "Best in Show" and "Young Professional" awards. There can be multiple Totem Awards and multiple Certificates of Excellence awarded in each category - or none.

Point system for judging

Entries in both the Program Category and Component Category are scored on a point system with a maximum of 100 points.

Program category

Program Category entries are judged on the basis of research, planning, execution and evaluation, as presented in the PRSA universal accreditation program.

Points are awarded as follows:

  • 20 points for research
  • 30 points for planning
  • 20 points for execution
  • 30 points for evaluation

Component category

Component Category entries are judged on the basis of research/planning, implementation/execution and evaluation. Public Relations Components are individual program tactics that will be judged primarily on effectiveness in supporting a program goal or communicating a program message.

Points are awarded as follows:

  • 25 points for research/planning
  • 50 points for implementation/execution
  • 25 points for evaluation


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