The 6th annual Diversity Distinction in PR Awards, sponsored by the PR Council in association with PRWeek, are now open. These awards honor excellence in promoting ethnic diversity within the PR sector. In addition, for the first time this year, we are encouraging organizations to enter applicable work related to LGBTQ staffing initiatives.

The Diversity Distinction in PR Awards reward and recognize individuals and organizations that play a key role in facilitating the recruitment, retention, and promotion of diverse PR practitioners. They similarly support and inspire professionals of diverse backgrounds as well as those who strive to encourage and strengthen diversity and inclusion across the PR workforce.

For 2016, award categories have been updated to encourage more participation by organizations of all types and sizes. In addition, Honorable Mentions will be awarded in all categories where judges determine there are entries worthy of such a distinction. And we bring back a category we introduced last year that is truly intended to honor new programs.

This year’s entire submission process is being done online – making entry easier than ever. For all the information and to enter today, go here.

Recognition will be awarded in four overall areas, with two of the categories rewarding winners in two separate divisions:

Best PR Firm Diversity Initiative – open to PR agencies only

One winner will be rewarded in each of these two categories:

1. Firms with $100 million or more in annual revenue

2. Firms with less than $100 million in annual revenue

•Best In-House Diversity Initiative – open to corporations, nonprofits, and any other non-agency organizations

•Best New Diversity Initiative – open to all organizations, including PR firms, corporations, nonprofits, and any other non-agency entities

•Diversity Champion – open to all PR professionals
One winner will be rewarded in each of these two categories:

1. Diversity Champion – PR Agency

2. Diversity Champion – In-House

Open to any individual from a non-PR agency environment (which includes corporate, nonprofit, academic, trade group, government, etc.)

Past Diversity Champion winners are not eligible.

In each of the six above categories, one winner will be rewarded. An Honorable Mention will also be awarded, pending judges’ determination that there is an entry worthy of the distinction.

The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, July 19, at 11:59pm EST.

Entry fee

Late entry period
There will be a late entry period from Wednesday, July 20, at 12am EST to Friday, July 29, at 6pm EST. (No entries can be submitted after that point.)

Late entry fee
$199 (includes a $50 late fee)

Email questions to

Judging of Awards
The panel of judges for the Diversity Distinction in PR Awards will comprise a diverse group of respected professionals who have all made noteworthy contributions to the communications industry at large, but also specifically to advancing diversity and inclusion in PR. The judging panel will be chaired by a senior editor of PRWeek.

Judging will take place on August 25 at PRWeek's offices in New York City.

Winning entries will be written up in a feature in the November issue of PRWeek and featured on Winners will also be honored at the PR Council’s annual dinner in New York City on Wednesday, September 21, the evening before the Critical Issues Forum.

Enter today!

This year’s Diversity Distinction in PR Awards entry system is completely online, making it easier than ever to submit your entries. For all the details and to enter today, go here.

2016 Judges

  • Lori Billingsley, VP of community connections, Coca-Cola North America

    • Paul Capelli, VP of communications, consumer health, Bayer

  • Pat Ford, vice chair and chief client officer, Burson-Marsteller

  • Rahsaan Harris, PhD, president and CEO, Emma Bowen Foundation

  • Hua Jiang, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Public Relations, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University

  • Arati Randolph, SVP, head of corporate news, enterprise content, executive comms, and new media, Wells Fargo

  • Trisch Smith, EVP and MD of diversity and inclusion, Edelman

  • Tonya Veasey, president and CEO, OCG PR