The inaugural categories cover annual reports and bespoke publications.
CIPR deputy director Ann Mealor said neither last year's in-house nor consultancy winners made the shortlists for these categories this year, due to the strength of entries.
'The line-ups of finalists for the in-house awards in commercial and public sectors show the industry is thriving,' she said.
The Outstanding PR Agency award is a five-way fight between Taylor Herring Public Relations, Shine Communications, Octopus Communications, Fishburn Hedges and Blue Rubicon.
For the in-house gong, Firebox.com is shortlisted alongside Shell Chemicals, HBOS and npower's renewables arm.
Financial specialist Lansons Communications is shortlisted in a new healthcare category for its work with solicitor Irwin Mitchell, which represented Ann Marie Rogers in her high-profile fight for Herceptin.
The winners will be announced on 3 July.