The Annual PenSPRA Symposium Request for Proposals

March 26-27, 2020

This year's PenSPRA Symposium is focused on trauma-informed communication and will feature two exciting keynote speakers, Communications Contest award presentations and networking opportunities with fellow communications professionals. In addition, the Symposium Committee is seeking to round out the conference line-up by featuring workshops designed and conducted by current Pennsylvania school PR practitioners and we would like you to consider being a presenter at the Symposium.

The following form will review presentation requirements and ask for information regarding your potential presentation or presentation idea as well as general contact information. All presentation proposal submissions will be judged by the Symposium Committee and those who submitted will receive a response as to whether or not their presentation has been accepted by February 3, 2020. 

The deadline for proposal submissions has been extended! Submissions must now be received by January 1, 2020

For any questions regarding your submission(s), please contact info@PenSPRA.org.


PenSPRA 2019 Excellence in Education Communications Contest 

PenSPRA provides an opportunity for school district communication professionals to be recognized in the annual Excellence in Education Communications Contest. The contest runs through February 3, 2020. Enter for your chance to be honored in this statewide contest! 

Entries will be accepted in a number of categories to reflect the scope of work undertaken by communications professionals.

This year's categories are:

  1. Graphic Design: Illustrator, Spark, InDesign...oh my! We’ve all had to learn how to become graphic designers. So what have you designed lately? Submissions will be judged on the overall unification of the design, such as: color, font, imagery, creativity, photos, importance and clarity of message. Submission examples: infographics, flyers, logos, promotional ads and posters. 
  2. Photography: A picture is worth a thousand words! Do you have an amazing photo that tells a story? Submit your best photos for consideration. Submissions will be judged on the quality of photography, subject matter, angles, depth and ability to tell a story. You may submit a portfolio of up to three photos for every one entry in this category.
  3. Publications: Whether printed or digital, we use a variety of publications to convey information to our various stakeholders. Show us how you have taken these school PR must-haves to the next level! Submissions will be judged on content, layout, use of imagery, readability, consistency and effectiveness of the publication. Submission examples: newsletters (print or digital), annual reports, calendars, printed programs, newspapers, brochures, and other specialty publications.
  4. Social Media: #whatsyourbrand? Submit your social media content created to support your district/IU’s presence or events on one or multiple digital media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc). Submissions will be judged on creativity of content, effective storytelling of a campaign or hashtag and use of the platform/tool. Submission examples: social media campaigns, social media accounts/pages, social media event promotion and social media branding (such as hashtags, filters and logos). 
  5. Special Purpose Projects: We’re no strangers to special projects…and these projects can often take a lot of time and effort to produce. Why not try and get some recognition for that work! Submissions will be judged on content, project components, clarity, execution/delivery and overall message/goal. Submission examples: communications plans, crisis communication plans, presentations/slide deck, campaigns and special events. For special events, please include a detailed description of the process, including an event debrief, photos and any supporting materials.
  6. Videos: Lights, Camera, Action! Do you have an audio/visual project or projects that deserve some time in the spotlight? Share them with PenSPRA! Submissions in this category will be judged on audio/visual components, including: video quality; sound quality; transitions; design; and, effective storytelling and messaging. Submission examples: video interviews, animated short videos, marketing or promotional videos, and explanatory and informational videos. 
  7. Website & Apps: Digital presence is extremely important for establishing your brand or promoting services. Does your school district/IU have a strong digital presence or are you proud of the story your website tells? Did you create an innovative app that helps your students and families? Submissions will be judged on design, appropriate content, branding elements, ease of use and navigation. You may submit a specific section of your website, your entire website or an app. 
  8. Writing: Extra! Extra! Read all about it...new category added to recognize PR writing! Submissions in this category will be judged on technical writing, style and story elements. Submission examples: press releases, media advisories, feature stories, articles, and speeches. 

Eligibility: The contest is open to all public school districts and IUs in Pennsylvania. Materials must have been produced between January 1, 2019, and December 31, 2019.

Judging: Judging is conducted by a panel of independent professionals who will provide all contestants with feedback after the contest has concluded.

How to Enter: Contestants should click on the submission form below and upload their content files or links through the website. You will be asked to sign in or create a Submittable account prior to being directed to the submission form. If your printed publication is not available as a digital file, you may still enter by mailing two copies to: PenSPRA Communications Contest, c/o Chester County Intermediate Unit, 455 Boot Road, Downingtown, PA 19335. Entries must be uploaded and/or postmarked by January 31, 2020. 

Entry Fees and Payment: 

  • PenSPRA Member Fee: Initial entry fee is $50; each additional entry fee is $20
  • Non-Member Entry Fee: Initial entry fee is $50; each additional entry fee is $50

Click here to pay online with your credit card or mail a check (payable to PenSPRA) to PenSPRA Communications Contest, c/o Chester County Intermediate Unit, 455 Boot Road, Downingtown, PA 19335. 

Awards:

  • Award of Excellence will be given to the top entries in each category.
  • Award of Honor will be given to those entries that deserve special recognition in each category.

An e-mail notification will be sent to contest winners by March 15, 2020. 

For any questions regarding your submission(s), please contact info@PenSPRA.org.


PenSPRA Scholarship Guidelines

History: 

Each year, the Pennsylvania School Public Relations Association (PenSPRA) has announced that it will present two one-year scholarships. PenSPRA, founded in 1967, is one of the largest state chapters of the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) and is the recipient of more than eight Blue Ribbon Awards. PenSPRA is divided into two regions, East and West, and has more than 150 active members across the state. PenSPRA is governed by an Executive Board. The organization has several purposes: to support student achievement through responsible school and community relations, to foster the continual development of its members and to strengthen the leadership role of the school public communications professional. 

Description: 

The award consists of two one-year scholarships worth $1,000 each. Scholarships will be awarded to one public school student from each of PenSPRA’s two regions. 

Criteria: 

A scholarship will be awarded to two (2) qualified Pennsylvania public high school seniors who plan to pursue a career in a communications field (i.e. journalism, English, public relations, advertising, graphic arts, etc.). The candidates should have maintained at least a 3.0 GPA and already been accepted at or applied to a two- or four-year college, vocational-technical school or other institution of higher learning. 

Procedure: 

Completed applications for the scholarship must be submitted by Friday, March 6, 2020. Incomplete applications will not be considered. The recipients will be announced in April 2020.

Manner of Selection: 

1. Each application must be accompanied by: 

  • A transcript that includes the student's GPA
  • Two recommendations from teachers, administrators, coaches, sponsors or community members 
  • A 250-500 word essay explaining why he/she has chosen to pursue a career in the communications field  

2. The awardees will be chosen by a committee consisting of three or four members of PenSPRA whose school districts have no applicants for the scholarships. 

3. If there are no applicants or qualified candidates in any given year, the Selection Committee shall not award the scholarship that year. 

4. A check in the amount of the scholarship will be mailed to each recipient’s high school. 

5. It is the intent of PenSPRA to release the name of the scholarship winner(s) in time for that school district's award assembly. 

Please note that incomplete applications or packets received after the deadline will not be considered. 

For any questions regarding your submission(s), please contact Sarah Welch, PenSPRA Scholarship Chair, at welch@kosd.org.

A scholarship will be awarded to two (2) qualified Pennsylvania public high school seniors who plan to pursue a career in a communications field (i.e. journalism, English, public relations, advertising, graphic arts, etc.). The candidates should have maintained at least a 3.0 GPA and already been accepted at or applied to a two- or four-year college, vocational-technical school or other institution of higher learning.

Completed applications for the scholarship must be submitted by Friday, March 6, 2020. Incomplete applications will not be considered. The recipients will be announced in April 2020.

For any questions regarding your submission(s), please contact Sarah Welch, PenSPRA Scholarship Chair, at welch@kosd.org.

Pennsylvania School Public Relations Association