GWA 2021: Background and Frequently Asked Questions
Background to the gwa
What are the GWAs?
IPRA’s Golden World Awards for Excellence in Public Relations, established in 1990, celebrates each year the outstanding achievements of global communication professionals. The annual GWAs also bring together the profession and its practitioners and offer a platform for collegial exchange and learning.
Who is the organization behind it?
IPRA, the International Public Relations Association, is the leading global network for public relations professionals. Membership is individual not corporate. It aims to further the development of open communication and the ethical practice of public relations. IPRA fulfils this aim through networking opportunities, its code of conduct, and intellectual leadership of the profession. With 60 years of experience, IPRA, recognised by the United Nations, is now present throughout the world wherever public relations are practiced. IPRA welcomes all those within the profession who share its aim and who wish to be part of the IPRA worldwide fellowship. Through its networks, IPRA represents over 13,000 communications professionals around the world.
2021 Dates and Deadlines
Entries open Tuesday 23 February 2021.
Entries close Monday 10 May 17 May 31 May 2021.
An entry received after 31 May 2021 is ineligible.
The basic fee is £370 per entry. There is a discount for early entries and a penalty for late entries.
Early (Tuesday 23 February – Monday 22 March 2021) £340
Normal (Tuesday 23 March – Monday 19 April 2021) £370
Late (Tuesday 20 April – Monday 10 May 17 May 31 May) £400
Frequently Asked Questions
- Who can apply for the GWA?
The GWA is open to all communication professionals, from such diverse fields as public relations, corporate and internal communications, brand building, and reputation management. Companies, consultancies, associations, institutions, and NGOs can apply. IPRA encourages entries from governments, universities and educational institutions.
- What are the entry requirements and qualifying dates for entries?
Entries must be submitted to IPRA online at www.ipra.org . Entries must be for a PR Programme that "completed" before the start date of the annual competition. The Programme may have started one or more years before this. By "completed" we mean that you must have enough information to be able to answer criteria 6 "Outcomes".
- Agency or In-House?
If you enter as an agency you MUST go into the Agency type and fill in the field Client. Only enter In-house if you are a company, NGO, government or similar. Entries in the wrong type will be moved .
- How many entries may I make?
You may submit an unlimited number of entries. Each Entry attracts an Entry fee.
- How do I choose a Category and can I put the same Entry in multiple Categories?
IPRA has created an online Keywords GWA Category generator to help you choose the Categories for your Entry. Just tick as many Keywords as you like that are appropriate for your Entry and the generator will provide a set of Category options. It is a good idea to put your Entry into multiple Categories. This increases your chances of winning. Each Entry attracts a unique entry fee.
- What are payment methods for entry fees?
After Entry, you will be directed to a payment page with options to pay with a credit card. You receive an invoice link by email immediately after payment.
- Are there discounts?
Yes. By special arrangement with certain national organisations.
- Who are the Judges?
The IPRA GWA Judges are leading communications professionals from around the world, representing companies, agencies, associations, institutions, and universities. See the website for their profiles.
- Are Judges barred from entering the GWA?
No. However Judges are barred from judging an Entry in the Category they have submitted.
- What am I judged on?
Each Entry in Round 1 is judged on the basis of 6 criteria. The total number of words for all 6 criteria must be a maximum of 1800. Follow the word-length guidelines for each criteria. For the Round 1 entry summary the criteria are the following.
- Overview (100 words)
- Summarise the Programme as if you were writing a press release: Client (if applicable), problem or opportunity, creative execution, outcome.
- Problem or Opportunity (200 words)
- State your Organisation (and your Client if applicable)
- Problem or opportunity addressed
- Geographical area of the Programme
- Measurable objective by which success is to be evaluated.
- Research (300 words)
- To define the problem or opportunity
- To determine approaches for the Programme.
- Planning (400 words)
- Communications objectives and tactics planned
- Target audiences to be reached and actions desired of them
- Messages planned for target audiences.
- Execution (400 words)
- The key creative solution
- Implementation of the communications plan
- Difficulties encountered and adjustments made during implementation.
- Outcomes (400 words)
- Identification, analysis and quantification of results
- Tangible results which achieved the measurable objectives.
- How does judging take place?
Judging will take place in 2 rounds. After the deadline for entries has passed, our Judges will review the criteria in the Round 1 entry summary and by online voting, create a shortlist of Finalists per Category. The Round 1 entry summary identifies the Finalists who will be invited to upload the Round 2 supporting media. During a full-day Judges meeting (or online), Finalists are judged against the 6 criteria in the summary and the supporting media. In considering entries, the Judges may select one, several or no awards in each Category. The IPRA Grand Prix and the Global Contribution Award will also be selected by the Judges.
- What content is expected in the Round 2 supporting media?
In Round 2 supporting media, Finalists must upload:
- 1 Illustrated PDF
- 1 copy of your Organisation logo
- 1 copy of your Client logo (if applicable)
- 2 promotional images of your Entry.
- 1 link to a video.
- The text in the Illustrated PDF must repeat the text from the Round 1 entry summary (with a little more text if you like), and you should illustrate the PDF with images about the Entry and video links.
- PDF maximum size = 5MB and no more than 5 pages. Judges will penalise overly long entries.
- Images maximum size = 1 MB.
- Use the "Embedded Media" field to paste a URL of a Youtube or Vimeo video of your Entry. You cannot upload the video itself to IPRA.
- The Illustrated PDF will be used to judge the Winners.
- When do I hear about GWAs awarded?
The Judges' final selection in each Category will be announced after the judging in July. The Grand Prix and the Global Contribution Award will not be revealed until the GWA Gala towards the end of the year.
- What does the GWA trophy look like?
A custom-designed GWA trophy plate will be presented to all winners at the Gala. Winners may purchase additional trophy plates directly from IPRA.
- Are any special awards given?
Yes. There is a Grand Prix for the best PR campaign of the year. There is a special Global Contribution Award for an Entry with an objective of meeting one of the UN's 17 sustainable development goals.
- When are the awards presented to winners?
The Winners will be announced and presented with their Trophies at the IPRA GWA Gala which takes place in changing locations and venues around the world at the end of the year. You may also ask IPRA for a GWA winners logo to use on your website. And you may order extra Trophies to be sent after the Gala.
- What if I can’t make it to the Gala: how do I collect my Trophy?
Winners who are not at the Gala may order their Trophy from IPRA. You will only be charged for shipping.
- Can I get feedback from Judges on my Entry?
Due to the high number of entries, IPRA is not able to give individual feedback. However, each year there is a Judges Report on the trends of the year published in the Gala handbook.
- Can the Judges disqualify entries?
Yes. The Judges or Secretariat may disqualify an entry if the content could be challenged by the IPRA Code of Conduct, or if the rules and structure for an Entry are not followed.
- The language of the GWA
For clarity we define certain words as follows.
The International Public Relations Association Golden World Awards for Excellence in Public Relations.
The PR campaign that you completed.
The information on your Programme that you send to IPRA for the GWA.
Agency (entry type)
An Entry for a Programme conducted by a PR or communications agency for the objectives of its client.
Inhouse (entry type)
An Entry for a Programme conducted by the employees of an organisation for its own objectives. (If this information is sent in by an Agency, the entry will be moved to an Agency entry type.)
A series of 37 designations of PR.
Round 1 entry summary
A maximum of 1800 words divided into 6 Criteria. Text only.
A guideline of 6 divisions to help structure the Entry, submitted as the Round 1 entry summary.
An Entry that has been selected by the Judges on the basis of the Round 1 entry summary.
Round 2 supporting media
1 Illustrated PDF, 3 or 4 images, 1 video link: giving additional information on the Entry uploaded by Finalists.
An Entry that has been selected by the Judges on the basis of the Round 1 entry summary and the Round 2 supporting media.
An evening event with a dinner and entertainment held at the end of the year to celebrate Winners and present their trophies.
If you have any questions please email the IPRA secretariat [email protected]
The office is open Monday to Friday from 08.00 to 17.00 GMT.