Enter Your Firm’s Best Work to Win a 2017 Thoth Award from PRSA-NCC

By: Jillian Cameron, News Generation, Inc.

The 48th Annual Thoth Awards, hosted by the Public Relations Society of America National Capital Chapter, recognizes and celebrates outstanding strategic public relations programs and components created in the Greater Washington, D.C. area.

Named for the Egyptian god of communication, the Thoth Awards (pronounced “tot”), is the National Capital Chapter of PRSA’s local version of the Silver Anvils. Previous winners include the National Education Association and Ogilvy Washington’s Bring Your Brave Campaign, among many others. The awards recognize work in public relations across 34 categories, ranging from public relations campaigns to tactics.

Entry to the 2017 Thoth Awards is open to both PRSA-NCC members and non-members, and will be open until Monday, June 24, 2017. But why should you apply to the 2017 Thoth Awards? As Raymond Crosby, President & CEO of Crosby Marketing Communications, puts it:

“The Thoth Awards are really worthwhile because the entries are judged by industry peers who know how to recognize great work that gets real results.  The greater Washington, DC region has a lot of high profile agencies and organizations that participate in this competition, so winning a Thoth says you’re the best of the best.”

This year’s Thoth Awards Gala will be held at the National Press Club on Thursday, October 12, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. Still not convinced the Thoth Awards are for you? Here are some more testimonials from leaders in the Greater Washington, D.C. area public relations community:

“The PRSA-NCC Chapter is the largest PRSA in the country. The communications work produced in the metropolitan D.C. area is national-caliber work. Therefore, to win a Thoth Award is truly a great honor.”

– Jeff Wilson, Vice President, Padilla

“At News Generation, personal interaction with our clients is a huge priority. Being a finalist for a Thoth Award is a great opportunity to invite your clients with whom you entered to spend the evening with you at the Gala. The recognition of being a finalist or a winner positions your client as a thought-leader in the industry in front of peers. It has been a great way for us to continue to grow our relationships with clients, and shows them that the value we are providing them is strong enough to be recognized on such a large scale.”

– Kelsey Pospisil O’Planick, News Generation, Inc.

“For me, as a federal government communicator, the Thoth Award was certainly about recognition, . but so much more, too. It was exhilarating and incredibly satisfying for the entire team at the US Department of Labor to not only “go up against” work done by major corporations, international PR firms and influential trade associations, but to actually win? That was amazing! I knew that our work was as good, or even better, than work done by more experienced and bigger (including budget) Washington area PR professionals. Winning a Thoth proved it. And it was an incomparable morale booster–team members walked a little straighter and held their head up a little higher for weeks after the award ceremony.

This part isn’t as glamourous or exciting, but I think it’s still very important: The application process is a very worthwhile endeavor. It is rigorous and time-consuming, there is no doubt about that. But it makes you think (and think hard); it makes you ask yourself tough questions about your program and its results; it makes you write, and rewrite and edit; and it forces you to defend your project. You can’t just say it was great, you have to prove it. Too often, we don’t have the time to “post mortem” a project (we’re on to the next crisis). Working on the Thoth application gives you an opportunity for serious reflection and professional introspection. Everybody needs to do more of that. Especially PR people!

There was an unexpected benefit of winning several Thoth Awards, as well as winning a PRSA Silver Anvil and Bronze Anvil: our shop became known as a real talent destination—and not just in the federal space, but throughout the Washington, DC public relations community. Recruiting talent became easier (and we attracted the truly best and brightest) because we were an award-winning shop, just as cool and creative and exciting as the boutique PR agency of the moment. The team was certainly proud of that, and applicants very much wanted to be a part of it.”

– Carl Fillichio, Weedmaps, formerly of U.S. Department of Labor

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See You on Stage!

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At Ogilvy, we view entering the PRSA-NCC Thoth Awards as an annual opportunity to showcase work that exemplifies our creed: ideas and solutions that make a real impact in fresh, original, and noteworthy ways.

Ogilvy Washington submitted entries to more than 20 categories last year and was recognized across nine– winning three Thoths and six Certificates of Excellence. The thrill of the evening was taking home our very first Best in Show award for “Kidney Sundays Help African Americans Understand Their Risk for Kidney Disease,” with the National Kidney Disease Education Program.

Entering the Thoth Awards offers your organization the chance to reflect on the work your team does throughout the year and be recognized for it. While winning is great, the pursuit can be just as satisfying. Of course the formula for winning Best of Show is a closely held secret of the Thoth judging committee, but here are a few helpful tips that helped us create winning entries in multiple categories:

  • It starts with the work: Great campaigns are rooted in solid research and deliver real results that make a positive impact for your client. Tell that story!
  • Every detail matters: Support your entry with meaningful data, detailed results and demonstrated success.
  • Enter in multiple categories, but tailor each submission to the language and requirements of each specific category.
  • Dare to take a fresh look at your campaign.It is likely that there is a supporting element of your campaign that deserves the spotlight. The Thoth Awards offer the opportunity to bring those elements to the forefront in the “Component” categories.  Don’t miss this chance to win!
  • Don’t be discouraged if you didn’t win last year – every new client campaign provides a new opportunity to be awarded for your work in partnership with your client.  The value of losing is in learning why you didn’t win. Request the score sheet to determine how you can refine and retool your campaign approach. We do – and we’ve learned a lot about our work in the process.

Think your work could be a winner – Enter it in this year’s Thoth

We are looking forward to a great Thoth Gala in 2013. See you (hopefully) in the winner’s circle!

Tiana Allen, Account Supervisor, Ogilvy Washington

Ellen Birek, Vice President External Relations, Ogilvy Washington