The 1998 PR Week Awards at Grosvenor House this week attracted a
record 666 entries and saw the launch of an important new category of
excellence, the Proof Award, for the organisation which demonstrates the
most effective use of research and evaluation in both setting its aims
and measuring its success.
Launched as part of PR Week’s high profile Proof campaign, the 1998
Proof Award went to British Airways for its ambitious programme of
ongoing qualitative research which it has used as a platform for
building and developing its employee television service BATV.
The quality of the two commendations and other shortlisted entries in
the Proof category was also very high, with entrants displaying a real
commitment to use of research and evaluation to properly plan campaigns
and tie results back to concrete business and strategic objectives.
The Proof Award is not, however, the sole PR Week award to count
research and evaluation among the key criteria for success.
Overall the entries this year displayed an inspiring level of
creativity, innovation and strategic thinking, but what a significant
number of them failed to produce was concrete evidence of the
effectiveness of campaigns, and proof that campaign objectives had been
The ability to set measurable objectives and a commitment to research
and evaluation remains a prerequisite for increased professionalism of
the PR industry. It is also a key judging criteria across the craft,
campaign, individual and consultancy categories. Entrants who provide
this proof will always stand a greater chance of walking away with a
coveted PR Week gong.