In-house entries have also increased year-on-year, according to joint awards organisers the IPR and Adline magazine.
Winners of the Northwest and Yorkshire and Lincolnshire events were announced last week, with five more events planned for the end of this year, and the beginning of next.
Signalling the rise of in-house participation, Yorkshire Water scooped 11 awards at the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire ceremony, walking away with, among others, PR Team Of The Year, gold for the Best Consumer Campaign, gold for the Best Low Budget Campaign and gold for Best Internal Communication.
The Northwest awards saw Manchester-based Communique PR, run by MD Paul Carroll, pick up awards including both the Grand Prix award and Best Integrated Campaign prize for its 'Hooked on Velcro' campaign for Velcro, alongside PR team of the Year.
Staniforth Communications' Manchester office won gold in the Best Charity/Non-Profit PR Campaign and Best Consumer Campaign categories for its relaunch of the Manchester Art Galleries.
The in-house team at The Co-operative Insurance Society took gold for Best In-House Campaign, for the CIS & The City PR programme.
IPR director-general Colin Farrington said the rise in entries was encouraging for the regional PR industry.
'Despite mixed messages about the state of the media and marcoms industries, this increase in entries in the NW Cream Awards is a promising sign, demonstrating how organisations, commercial or otherwise, recognise the added value effective PR brings to multinational businesses and SMEs,' he said.