THE DEADLINE TO ENTER HAS PASSED.
★ TSPRA has moved to an all-online submission and judging system. We began accepting entries on October 3, 2017.
★ No more mailing in entries and last minute overnight shipping fees.
★ Register to enter online and you may create one login that everyone in your department may use so that all entries may be on one invoice.
★ Since everything is submited electronically, the criteria on what and how to submit has changed. Be sure to read the instructions!
★ Stop and start the entry process, edit or delete entries waiting to be judged up through the deadline.
★ Judges will judge and submit their evaluations online where you will download them later.
★ There will not be a Star Awards display at conference. A gallery of Gold Star winners and Crystal and Platinum entries will be available as a video display at the conference and you may also view them on a computer, laptop, iPad or phone.
★ There are a few new categories this year. Entry fees have not changed.
Official Rules and Instructions
Who may enter
Only TSPRA members who have paid their 2016-2017 dues are eligible to enter and have their names on an award.
Entries were submitted during a five week period starting Monday, October 3, 2016 and ending at 11:59 p.m. CST Monday, November 14, 2016.
Do not ship or bring entries to the state office. Everything must be submitted online.
Invoices and Payments
Invoices are created when you enter. Payment is due by November 30, 2016 or your awards will be forfeited. We are not accepting credit cards at this time.
What to submit
• Work that fits the category criteria and was produced and used by an educational institution (district, association, foundation, university, education service center, etc.) between July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016 may be entered.
• Submit as many entries in as many categories as you wish. You may enter multiple entries in a single category.
• Submit each entry electronically using the online system where you will upload files and/or submit URLs, depending on the category.
• Submittal requirements vary depending on the category. Carefully read the individual category descriptions for details. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS
• No entry which earned a Best of Category in the previous year is eligible to be re-entered again this year. By that, we mean that it can not be substantially the same entry. For more information, contact the TSPRA State Office.
• Judges may re-categorize an entry. Entries that fail to follow guidelines may be penalized or disqualified by the judges. All judges' decisions are final.
Print, Video, Electronic and Campaign categories are judged in three divisions. Divisions are based on the number of students a district, foundation, service center or organization serves as of May 1, 2016. TSPRA affiliate members who are private consultants and/or their companies that do work for a district, foundation or education association, will base their entry's division size on the number of students served by their client. The divisions are:
• serving less than 10,000 students
• serving 10,000 to 30,000 students
• serving more than 30,000 students
Crystal and Platinum categories are not judged by divsions.
NOTE: If there are less than three entries in a particular category's division, those entries will be moved to the next higher or lower division.
Types of Awards
One Best of Category medallion may be awarded in each of the three divisions in a category selected from the highest scoring Gold Star awards.
Unlimited Gold, Silver and Bronze Star awards may be awarded in Print, Video, Electronic and Campaign categories.
Only one Crystal Commendation and Platinum award per category will be awarded.
At the judges' discretion, Certificates of Merit may be awarded to worthy runners-up in the Crystal and Platinum categories.
Crystal and Platinum Awards are sponsored by:
The Objective Sheet is now a series of online questions. You can prepare these answers and copy and paste them into the fields. This information is extremely important to the judge since your work is evaluated not only on creativity and skill but on its success at achieving your stated goals and results.
All entries must:
meet eligibility and deadline requirements
be entered in the correct category, following the proper procedure
indicate what copyrighted materials you have used. If a judge questions your statement, you will be contacted for proof.
Entry Fees for 2016 Star Awards
★ $35 Print Entries (Categories 1-27)
★ $50 Video, Electronic, Web and Campaign/Event Entries (Categories 28-45)
★ $65 Crystal Commendation Entries (Categories 46-54)
★ $75 Platinum Entries (Category 55)
1. Look at the categories and criteria for entering. Then gather your work and prepare your electronic or URL entries, following the category instructions.
2. Get all the information needed for each entry: contact name and email; division size; name of entity for the award; title of the entry for the award; names of TSPRA members for the award.
3. On October 3, Set up login and password for the award site.
4. Follow the online entry process.
If you need assistance, please call the TSPRA office at 512-474-9107.
TSPRA has moved to a new online submission system.
We no longer accept entries mailed to the office.
Please read the category and instructions carefully.
CATEGORY INFORMATION FOR ENTRIES
• Review this information carefully and select the best category for your entry.
• The numbers of some categories have changed. There are a few new categories.
• If you are unsure about the correct category, call the TSPRA office at 512-474-9107. Judges may re-categorize an entry if they believe that category is not correct.
• When you have decided on the categories for your entries, then read the information about setting up a profile on the new Star Award submission website and begin entering. You can set up a profile that all your members may use to enter have them all on one invoice. You may start and stop and edit an entry.
★ CATEGORIES ★
Judges may re-categorize an entry if they feel the work has been entered in an incorrect or inappropriate category or division.
★ PRINT ★
E-published newsletters fall under separate categories and should be submitted there.
Printed newsletters that are published more than once a year. Newsletters are judged by their appearance, editorial quality, usefulness of information, design, originality, readability and other criteria.
Submit one PDF copy of up to three issues. (Only three file uploads allowed.)
Multiple issues are submitted as a single entry and will be judged for their overall quality and value as a group. Only one award will be earned.
If your printed newsletter won a Best of Category last year you may still enter it this year since the content will be different.
1. Printed Internal Newsletter: printed for a specific audience (i.e. teachers, staff, parents, donors, partners, etc.)
2. Printed External Newsletter: printed for the general public, not exclusively for a specific audience
★ SPECIAL PURPOSE PUBLICATIONS
3. Flyer: special purpose publications using a single sheet, unfolded, printed on one or two sides, for any purpose; submit a PDF of the flyer
4. Brochure: special purpose publications using a single sheet, folded, for any purpose; submit a PDF of the brochure
5. Booklet: special purpose, bound publications, for any purpose; submit a PDF copy of the booklet; you may also upload jpegs of any specific pages or distinctive features you would like brought to the attention of the judges
6. Calendar/Planner: calendars or planners using any printed format may be submitted; submit a PDF copy; you may also upload jpegs of distinctive features you would like brought to the attention of the judges.
7. Program: any printed program format with any number of pages, for any purpose may be submitted; submit a PDF copy of the program.; you may also upload jpegs of any specific pages or distinctive features you would like brought to the attention of the judges
8. Invitation/Announcement: any printed invitation or announcement for any purpose may be sybmitted; submit a PDF copy of the invitation or announcement; you may also upload jpegs of any specific or distinctive features you would like brought to the attention of the judges
9. Poster: large, printed placards, bills, or announcements, created to advertise, publicize or promote something; a series of posters may be submitted as one entry and judged as a whole earning one award or individual posters may be submitted as separate entries, each eligible for a separate award; a fee will be charged for separate submissions; submit PDF or jpeg copies of the poster(s)
10. Holiday/Commemorative: any printed piece relating to a holiday or commemorative event may be submitted, such as greeting cards, party handouts, event flyers, holiday appreciation gifts, etc.; submit a PDF copy of the holiday or commemorative piece
11. Non-English Speaking Audience: any printed piece, for any purpose, in a foreign language may be submitted; the entry may be a dual lanuage piece in english and the second language; submit a PDF copy of the non-english speaking audience piece
12. Annual Report: printed multipage annual reports that provide the public with statistical and financial information, as well as accomplishments of the organization for the previous year may be entered here; submit a PDF copy of the annual report; you may also upload jpegs of any specific pages or distinctive features you would like brought to the attention of the judges
13. Communication Plan: all types - general, crisis, marketing, special event, etc.; the plan formally defines who should be given specific information, when that information should be delivered and what communication channels will be used to deliver the information; submit a PDF copy of the communication plan.
14. Handbook/Manual: multipage, general information publications regarding policies, procedures, etc. may be submitted; submit a PDF copy of the handbook or manual; you may also upload jpegs of any specific pages or distinctive features you would like brought to the attention of the judges
15. Magazine: bound periodicals containing feature length articles with one or more issues printed and mailed between July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016; multiple issues may be submitted and they will be judged as a single entry
16. Image/Identity Package: packages are based around visual devices, used within a set of guidelines that administer how the identity is applied throughout a variety of mediums, using approved color palettes, fonts, layouts, measurements, etc.; these guidelines ensure that the identity is kept coherent, which allows the brand as a whole to be recognisable; the logo is the identity and brand combined into one identifiable mark that is the symbol of the organization as a whole.
Your image/identity package must first include an image (logo) and then three or more other items that use that logo in a variety of sizes and ways, such as stationery, marketing materials (flyers, brochures,etc.), apparel, signage, advertising, messaging, promo items and products.
Submit your package as a PDF portfolio or as individual PDFs and jpegs.
★ WRITING ★
Written and published stories, articles, speeches, etc. judged on their own merit, not by the publication’s design.
Submit a Microsoft Word document of your writing and proof of publication. Proof of publication may be a PDF copy of the cover and page of the printed publication or a screen shot for web published stories.
You may not submit the same written article in more than one writing category.
17. Writing: an article, report, brochure, newsletter piece, speech, blog, guide or script, or other internal writing may be entered; may be published in print or an electronic medium.
18. Published News or Feature: a written and published news or feature story, as in an in-house or local media publication; 100% your work/words may be submitted.
19. Published News Release: a printed news release, press release, media release, or press statement that is a written communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something newsworthy may be submitted here; published and edited by a local media publication; submit copies of the original news release and the edited/published article for comparison
20. Specialty/Novelty Writing: as in social media, poetry, greeting cards, or writing for special events
★ PHOTOGRAPHY ★For photos published in a newspaper, magazine, newsletter or on a web site. These are not photo collages or photos that have been given an artistic treatment. Upload a 5” x 7” high resolution, 300 dpi, photo quality jpeg.
Include documentation of when and in what publication/medium the photo appeared. The photographer may include camera information and settings.
21. Photo - Sports Subjects
22. Photo - Academic/Classroom Subjects
23. Photo - Other Subjects
★ GRAPHICS ★
Art and designs judged on their own merit, apart from text or quality of the printed materials
24. Logo, Trademark, Symbol: submit artwork and at least three sample of how this art was used
25. Original Art: covers or interior art, photoshop collages, using your original art or graphic devices (text only, etc.); no clip art or purchased templates are allowed to be used in this category
26. Published Print Advertisement: as published in a newspaper, magazine, newsletter, etc.; submit your advertisement artwork and also include a jpeg of the cover and page of the publication where the ad appeared
27. Advertisement - Other: non-published ads such as doorhangers, tabletents, billboards, banners, exhibits, etc,; submit jpegs or PDFs of the original art that was used to print the piece; also include a jpeg of the ad while in use, such as hanging on a door, a photo of the billboard, the banner on display, the exhibit set up and in use, etc.
★ VIDEO/CABLE TV ★
Entries will be evaluated on the basis of creativity, production values, storytelling and overall effectiveness.
You will submit your entry as a URL address. Be sure that the site you are directing the judge to is not password protected and that the video will be readily available for viewing from November 14, 2016 through to February 24, 2017.
NOTE: With your entry, submit one still shot in a jpeg format, that can be used should your entry win Best of Category.
Judges will watch at least 3 to 5 minutes of the entry. They are not required to watch the entire entry although many do.
You may edit your presentation to the best 3 to 5 minutes.
The entry must clearly state the status of the music used in the video. Is it copyright free? If not, list your ASCAP/BMI or other license number as well as the name of the song(s) and artist(s).
Although the entry may fit into more than one category, please submit it only once and only in a single video category.
28. News/Information: edited newscasts or news programs, not live; submit only a single episode
29. News Package: a video version of a press release about people or events, but not a special feature; typically shot, edited and posted within 24 hours; no canned music; intros, bumpers and tags are fine; does not need to be in compliance with news standards; should be 1:30 to 3:00 minutes in length
30. Documentary: a broad category intended to document some aspect of reality; should be scripted, using a narrative or interview track; includes visual images and an effective soundtrack
31. General Interest/ Feature Story: may provide an in-depth, visual analysis of a topic or person, including opinion and interpretation, unlike news stories, which simply provide facts; may include human interest stories, personal profiles, video essays using personal narratives, humor pieces that add a funny twist to a story, competition/game show formats; may inform, entertain and persuade; unlike video news which can quickly go out of date, video features have a more general focus and do not go out of date after a few days
33. Training/ Instructional: designed to teach its audience; advice on how to do things; stimulating, interesting, and should engage the learner in the subject matter; may be interactive, include animation and other video devices
34. Live Sports Event: although not required, editing to show the best section of a lengthy, two to three hour sporting event would be effective since the judges are not required to view the entire event
35. Live Event Non-Sports: submit live newscasts and other live events here; although not required, editing to show the best section of a lengthy, live event would be effective since the judges are not required to view the entire event
★ CRYSTAL COMMENDATIONS ★
46. Video Portfolio: Submit URLs for a sample of work from at least four (4) of the seven (8) video categories: News/Information, News Package, Documentary, General Interest/Feature Story, Promotional/ Marketing, Training/ Instructional, Live Sports Event or Live Non-Sports Event. Your portfolio should include any written information that provides documentation of the research, planning, production, post production/editing, presentation and evaluation of the work submitted.
47. Photography Portfolio: Submit between 5 to 8 images including sports, classroom, and other subjects that show the quality and depth of photo coverage that was provided to your school district, organization or foundation. More than one photographer's work may be included in the portfolio. Include information on cameras, settings and use of the photos in support of your organization's communications program.
48. Bond Election: Submit a PDF Portfolio detailing your multifaceted bond election/campaign that employed a variety of media, occurring over a period of time, that encompassed well-defined goals, strategies and activities. Include information regarding measurable goals, overall theme, frequency of contact with your target audience, time frame for the campaign, methods used to track data, and what were your results?
49. Parent Involvement/Volunteer Program: Submit a PDF Portfolio detailing your multifaceted parent involvement/volunteer program that employed a variety of media, occurring over a period of time, that encompassed well-defined goals, strategies and activities. Be sure to include information on whatever tangible outcomes resulted from your specific volunteer/parent-based strategies.
50. Staff/Student Recognition: Submit a PDF Portfolio detailing your multifaceted staff/student recognition plan that employed a variety of media, occurring over a period of time, that encompassed well-defined goals, strategies and activities.
51. School/Community Partnership: Submit a PDF Portfolio detailing your multifaceted school/community partnership that employed a variety of media, occurring over a period of time, that encompassed well-defined goals, strategies and activities. Include marketing materials, reports, programs, surveys, photos and any information that can illustrate your partnership. Include information on your planning, goals, objectives, and what you learned from this partnership.
52. District/Association Special Event/Celebration: Submit a PDF Portfolio detailing your District/Association Special Event/Celebration that employed a variety of media, occurring over a period of time, that encompassed well-defined goals, strategies and activities. The Special Event/Celebration could have been held for any reason. Include marketing materials, reports, programs, surveys, photos and any information that can illustrate your event. Include information on your planning, goals, objectives, and what you learned from this event.
53. Foundation/Partnership Special Event/Celebration: A Foundation/Partnership Special Event/Celebration is a special fundraising event to support a group's mission. It gives supporters something to do while supporting a good cause. The event/celebration can be used as a way for your group to let donors put a face to your organization and for you to interact with the donors personally. Submit your Foundation/Partnership Special Event/Celebration entry as a PDF Portfolio. Include marketing materials, reports, programs, surveys, photos and any information that can illustrate your event. Include information on your planning, goals, objectives, how the event/celebration may have increased giving, and what you learned from this event.
54. Foundation Annual Campaign: A Foundation Annual Campaign is a set of strategies conducted for the purpose of raising money to assist in paying a foundation’s expenses for any purpose. The annual campaign is usually a primary source of unrestricted contributed income. The campaign will usually consist of many efforts which concern donor stewardship and solicitation. The Annual Campaign allows the foundation to connect donors to their clients, their programs and their mission.
The goals of the annual campaign should include:
1. Stimulating contribution to unrestricted funds
2. Raising an awareness of the foundation and improving its public profile
3. Developing a base of knowledgeable volunteers
4. Cultivating future prospective givers
Submit your Foundation Annual Campaign entry as a PDF Portfolio. Include marketing materials, reports, memos, clippings, surveys, photos and any information that can illustrate your campaign. Include information on your planning, goals, objectives, how you tracked giving, how giving was increased, ratio of the cost of campaign to the amount given, and what your foundation learned.
★ PLATINUM ENTRY ★
55. Platinum Award
The Platinum Award honors a year-long project that exhibits the highest standards of excellence according to research, analysis, communication and evaluation.
A few examples of possible entries are:
- how you attacked a perception/image problem or built a program for public support for marketing your district, foundation or association
- how you created a year-long anniversary celebration
- how you planned and launch a new project
Submit your Platinum entry as a PDF Portfolio. Include reports, memos, clippings, surveys, photos and any information that can illustrate your comprehensive public relations program.
Include two-page summary answering the following questions:
- What objective was your year-long project designed to accomplish?
- How did you research and define the issue and analyze available data in order to formulate your objectives and decide on the best approach?
- How did you implement your approach?
- How did you evaluate your program’s effectiveness & monitor its success?
- What did you learn from this?
If you have any questions regarding entries call the TSPRA office at 512-474-9107.
Crystal and Platinum Awards are sponsored by
CALL FOR NOMINATIONS for TSPRA's 2017 Professional Awards.
Please read this information and submit your nominations using this online form.
There are five awards:
• Professional Achievement The recipient shall be a person employed full time in the field of school public relations, hold professional membership in TSPRA for at least ten years and during that time exhibited a creative, dedicated, and professional approach to school communications.
• Most Valuable Member The recipient shall be a member of TSPRA who has contributed significantly to the improvement of the association.
• Rookie of the Year The recipient shall be employed full time in the field of school public relations, hold professional membership in TSPRA, and exhibit a creative, dedicated, and professional approach to school communications. This person shall be a member of TSPRA and shall not have been employed in school public relations for more than 36 months at the time of the nomination deadline.
• Bright Idea This award shall go to a TSPRA member and/or TSPRA nominee for outstanding ideas, strategies, projects or programs designed to promote public education in Texas through effective communications. To be considered for the award, an entry must be creative, unusual, effective, and adaptable.
• Media Award To be given to a a media professional who has contributed significantly to the public understanding of public education in Texas through print or broadcast media. Consideration should be given to a nominee who successfully explains complex educational issues, presents issues in an unbiased manner, and who initiates stories that promote the mission of public education.
Any TSPRA member in good standing may submit nominations.
Award winners will be announced during the TSPRA Annual Conference February 20-23, 2017 in Galveston.
Nominations must be submitted online by 5 p.m. CST, Thursday, December 15, 2016.
Please follow all form instructions carefully. Only complete nominations will be accepted. So before you start the nomination form be sure to have prepared your supporting document, of up to 3 single sided pages, detailing why you think this individual is worthy of an award [.pdf or .docx]
Northside ISD's Pascual Gonzalez
named TSPRA’s 2014 Key Communicator
TSPRA President Denise Blanchard presents Pascual Gonzalez with his 2014 Key Communicator Award at a Northside ISD board meeting.
2014 Key Communicator Award
SchoolMessenger's Nate Brogan (right) and TSPRA president Denise Blanchard present the 2014 Key Communicator to Northside ISD superintendent Brian Woods, who accepted on behalf of Pascual Gonzalez at the 2014 TASA/TASB Convention.
See Pascual's video acceptance speech below, or scroll to the bottom to watch the entire 2014 Key Communicator presentation.
The Texas School Public Relations Association has named Pascual Gonzalez, Executive Director of Communications for Northside Independent School District in San Antonio, as the recipient of the association’s 2014 Key Communicator Award. Gonzalez receives the award in recognition of his continuing contributions as a spokesperson, mentor and leader for public education and the school public relations in the state of Texas.
Gonzalez will receive his award, sponsored by SchoolMessenger, from TSPRA President Denise Blanchard at the 2014 Texas Association of School Administrators/Texas Association of School Boards Convention, to be held in Dallas from September 26 through 28, 2014.
“TSPRA is delighted to be able to honor one of our own as the 2014 Key Communicator,” said TSPRA President Denise Blanchard. “Pascual’s devotion to public education and school communications throughout his career at Northside ISD is without parallel.”
Gonzalez has spent his entire career in Northside ISD, beginning work in 1976 as an English teacher before serving as Assistant Director of Public Information for ten years before becoming Executive Director of Media and Technology Services.
Since Gonzalez took over as Executive Director in 1998, Northside ISD has grown by more than 50,000 students, from 61,330 to an expected enrollment of 103,500 in the 2014-2015 school year. During that time period, the district has passed six consecutive bond issues totaling more that $2.5 billion and opened more than 50 new schools.
“A district of NISD’s size presents huge challenges for administrators, but Pascual has done a magnificent job of both advocating for its students, teachers and staff, as well as keeping the public informed of their great accomplishments,” said State Senator Leticia Van de Putte.
Gonzalez is known both throughout the San Antonio area and statewide as a go-to source for explaining complex educational issues in a voice that’s clear, knowledgeable and professional.
“I can say absolutely unequivocally that Pascual Gonzalez is the most impressive communications professional and spokesperson I have ever worked with,” said Jenny LaCoste-Caputo, Executive Director of Public Affairs for the University of Texas System and a former education reporter and editor at the San Antonio Express-News.
Gonzalez also uses his experience and insight in his role as a mentor to many of the school public relations professionals across the state. Whether new to the profession or a veteran communicator, colleagues from throughout Texas know they can turn to Gonzalez for input and advice on the issues facing their district.
“Everyone seems to have Pascual on speed dial. From members of the media, to his colleagues at other school districts to our principals and key staff, when an issue arises or advice is needed, Pascual is the one we call upon,” said Northside ISD Board of Trustees President Robert Blount, Jr. “We value his experience, rely on his superb judgment, and admire him for his ability to share the messages of Northside ISD and public education to our audiences.”
A longtime TSPRA member, Gonzalez has been a presenter at the TASA/TASB Convention, TASA Midwinter Conference and Summer Leadership Institute. He served as president of TSPRA from 2004-2005, has been honored as Public Relations Professional of the Year by the San Antonio chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and was awarded a National PTA Life Membership by the Northside Council of PTAs.
"Pascual represents all that is good and right about school communications,” said Jon Dahlander, Executive Director for Communications Services at Dallas ISD. “He is the leader of a tremendous team and a role model for our profession.”
For the fourth consecutive year, SchoolMessenger is serving as the Key Communicator Award sponsor. SchoolMessenger is a strong supporter and valuable tool for school districts throughout Texas, and TASA/TASB conference attendees are encouraged to visit their booth at the Dallas Convention Center in September.
Brian Morris of Lubbock ISD chairs TSPRA’s 2014 Professional Awards Committee, which includes Tim Carroll, Allen ISD; Lynda Queen, ESC Region 16; Mark Kramer, Channelview ISD; Kristyn Hunt, Port Arthur ISD and Adam Holland, Longview ISD. For more information, contact Linsae Snider, TSPRA executive director, at 512-474-9107.