Why Enter
Charting the future of public relations

Why enter the SABRE Awards?

Because the SABRE Awards recognize campaigns that demonstrate the highest levels of strategic planning, creativity and business results, a SABRE trophy in your reception area or a SABRE logo on your marketing materials can indicate to clients that your work is well planned and executed, and delivers against objectives.

Because public relations firms today face more competition than ever, from advertising agencies and digital specialists and even management consultancies, and they need to demonstrate that they are capable of conceiving and executive campaigns that are both creative and effective, cutting through the clutter and achieving measurable business impact.

Because winning programmes from the SABRE Awards competitions are automatically entered into the Global SABRE Awards designed to identify the 50 best public relations programmes in the world. The global awards will be presented at the Global PR Summit in Miami each October. And because winning SABRE Awards helps agencies earn a place in our Global Creative Index.

Because the SABRE Awards attract more entries from around the world than any other PR awards program, winning campaigns can honestly claim to have been measured against—and triumphed in competition with—the best public relations campaigns in the world.

Because SABRE Awards judges are drawn from the most senior ranks of the PR industry—both from agencies and from the client side of the business—the third-party endorsement that results from an exhaustive peer review judging process has real credibility and speaks volumes about the standard of winning work.

Because the SABRE Awards are presented at the industry’s premier gala event, they present an unparalleled opportunity to celebrate the work of your employees and provide them with the kind of morale boost that comes from beating the competition and basking in the spotlight of the entire industry.

What we care about....

Most awards competitions look for the same things—big, bold creative ideas; flawless execution; an impact on business results. We value those things too, but the SABRE Awards judges will ask several additional questions as they review your entries:

  1.  Did your creative solution take courage? Was the agency brave to suggest the strategy it did? Was the client brave to agree to it? Courage comes in many forms—admitting a mistake, fighting for an unpopular principle, taking a creative risk, breaking a taboo.
  2. Was it authentic? Did the core creative idea seem to arrive organically from the DNA of the company? Was it a true reflection of the organization’s mission, its vision, its values? Did the explicit or implicit story it told about the company fit with the way customers, employees and community actually experience the company and its brands?
  3. Was it engaging? In the past, it might have been enough for a public relations campaign to deliver a message. But the best campaigns today go beyond that, prompting engagement, encouraging the audience to respond both emotionally and in some tangible way: joining the conversation, participating in the debate, offering feedback, getting involved in a cause or issue.
  4.  Was it shareable? Public relations campaigns have always been about persuading people to share information. In the past, it was typically a journalist sharing with his or her readers. But today it can involve almost any audience—bloggers, influencers, opinion leaders, ordinary people—sharing with their friends, via social media or good old-fa
  5. Was it sticky? Did the campaign lead to a single transaction or did it contribute toward a lasting relationship? Some campaigns are fleetingly amusing, a momentary distraction; others leave a lasting impression about the company or the brand, usually by making an emotional connection, convincing stakeholders that the company genuinely cares about something close to their hearts.
  6. Was it ethical? Honesty has always been important. It is even more important today, because in an age of radical transparency any dishonesty—and manipulation or deceit—will be discovered so much more quickly and punished so much more severely than in the past.
  7. Did it change behavior? There are two ways in which good public relations campaigns can change behavior. The first is by affecting the behavior of the audience (employees, consumers, voters, communities) so that they are more supportive of an organization’s objectives. Less common—but often more meaningful in terms of long-term relationship building—a good PR campaign can change the behavior of the organization and its management, bringing it into alignment with stakeholder expectations. Great campaigns may do both.

 ...And what we don’t

We have always taken the view that great work can originate anywhere. Big ideas don’t necessarily originate with big agencies, or for big clients. And they don’t necessarily require big budgets.

Over the 25 years of the SABRE Awards, we have seen plenty of work from giant multinational agencies, tiny boutiques, and in-house teams. We have seen great work designed to promote blue-chip consumer brands and obscure business-to-business companies that few people had even heard of—before someone had a great marketing or PR idea.

And in the digital and social media age, the playing field is more level than ever. It doesn’t matter where a great idea originated; how big the budget was; who the client is; or whether the agency working on the business defines itself as a PR firm, an ad agency, or a digital and social specialist—all that matters is the quality of thinking, the thoroughness of the execution, and the ultimate outcome.