Star Awards Rules

Good to Know

★ TSPRA uses an all-online submission and judging system. No mail-in entries will be accepted.
★ Register to enter online by creating a login or use the same login as last year. You may create one login that everyone in your department may use so that all entries may be on one invoice. This login may be different from the TSPRA member portal.
★ The criteria on what and how to submit may have changed from the previous year. Be sure to read the instructions!
★ You can stop and start the entry process and edit or delete entries waiting to be judged up to the time you send your awards in your cart to be finalized for payment.
★ Judges will judge and submit their evaluations online. The person who entered will be able to see the comments the day after the Star Awards banquet.
★ A link to an online gallery of the winners will be available. There will not be a Star Awards display with actual entries at the conference.

Gold, Silver and Bronze awards are announced on Tuesday – the first full day of the annual conference. Best of Categories, Crystal and Platinum Awards are announced at the Star Awards Banquet.
If you are unable to pick up your awards up at the conference you have two options:
1. Ask someone who will be attending the conference to pick them up for you. Email with the name of the person.
2. Contact Janet ( at the TSPRA state office and your awards will be mailed to you after you pay the shipping/handling fees.

Official Rules & Instructions

Who May Enter

• Only TSPRA members who have paid their dues by October 31, 2024 are eligible to enter and have their names on an award.
• Do not include any names of non-TSPRA members on entries.


• Entries will be submitted during a period starting Tuesday, September 3, 2024 and ending Monday, October 28, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. CST.
Everything must be submitted online. Do not ship or bring entries to the state office.

Invoices and Payments

• Invoices are created when you enter. Payment by check is due by Monday, December 2, 2024 or your awards will be forfeited.
• We do not accept credit card payments for Star Award payments.

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, 2023 through June 30, 2024 may be entered. If the entered work can not be evaluated because it was not completed during that time frame, for example a bond election, event, etc., then it is not eligible for an award. You may enter it next year after you can evaluate its success.

• Submit as many entries in as many categories as you wish. You may enter multiple entries in a single category. Some categories, like writing and video, do not allow you to enter the same entry in a different category.

• Submit each entry electronically using the online system, where you will upload files and/or submit URLs, depending on the category. Be sure to upload all required files in the proper file types in the fields.

• Submittal requirements vary depending on the category. Carefully read the individual category descriptions for details on what you need to upload. Keep a copy of the criteria handy while you are entering to be sure you have the files and links you need. Some categories require a certain number of pieces (image/identity category) or a certain number of jpegs or URLs (photo and video crystal entries). Some categories require the files to be uploaded as PDFs not links to Google docs. To to reduce your file sizes to make uploading faster.

• No entry that earned a Best of Category in the previous year is eligible to be re-entered 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, 2024. 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 new divisions are:

Serving less than 15,000 students
Serving 15,000 to 40,000 students
Serving more than 40,000 students

Crystal and Platinum categories are not judged by divisions.

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 for judging.

Types of Awards

• One Best of Category medal 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.

Bronze Star – for an entry that achieves its purpose with creativity, craft and skill.

Silver Star – for an entry that achieves its purpose with noticeable creativity, craft and skill.

Gold Star – for an entry that not only achieves its purpose with noticeable creativity, craft and skill, but, in the opinion of the judges, does so in an exceptional way.

Best of Category – for an entry that stands out from all the others in the same category and division for its exceptional creativity and quality.

Crystal Award – for a multifaceted promotional program or campaign employing a variety of media, occurring over a period of time and encompassing well-defined goals, strategies or activities; one award per category.

Platinum Award – TSPRA’s highest award for excellence in a total PR program; one award is given.

Objective Sheet

The Objective Sheet is 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 proven results.

All entries must:

  • Meet eligibility and deadline requirements
  • Be entered in the correct category, following the proper procedure. (Example: If the directions state it must be a PDF do not submit a Google Doc; If the directions ask for a URL do not direct the judge to Facebook reels where they will have to search for the video.)
  • Indicate what copyrighted materials you have used
  • If a judge questions your copyright statement, you will be contacted for proof of copyright

Entry Fees for 2024 Star Awards
These are subject to change when TSPRA determines its new budget in June 2024.

$40 Print Entries

$55 Video, Electronic, Web and Campaign/Event Entries

$70 Crystal Commendation Entries

$80 Platinum Entries