The Public Service Communications 2020 Awards

The Public Service Communications Awards is a programme with a proud history of recognising the achievements of communicators across the public sector. They are staged jointly by LGComms, the Government Communications Service (GCS) and the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA).

Each year, the awards celebrate teams and individuals who have delivered innovative and impactful communications, to support policy delivery at a national, regional and local level. 

This year, in responding to the coronavirus crisis, the public sector has demonstrated extraordinary commitment in the face of unprecedented challenges. Public sector communicators have been at the forefront of leading efforts to support and guide communities through the pandemic and we expect that these efforts will feature in nominations across all the awards categories.

We are inviting nominations for campaigns and communications of all sizes and budgets, including no-cost and low-cost communications, local, regional and national activity. This may be a communications campaign, a consultation, or another type of engagement activity. We will be judging all entries based on their impact, so whatever the scale of your initiative, please share your successes with us.

We look forward to hearing about the incredible work you have delivered, and celebrating this work at the awards ceremony, which will be held on Day 3 of this year’s Academy event, on 26 November 2020.

Information on applying

The Public Service Communications Excellence Awards 2020 are open to communicators working in the public sector in the UK and Ireland. For all categories, you can nominate either a team or an individual.

Across all categories we will be measuring nominations against the GCS OASIS campaign framework.

This means we will be looking for:

  • Smart objectives and evidence that measurement was considered at the outset
  • Defined audiences, use of data and research and application of audience insight
  • A value for money strategy with creative ideas
  • Innovative and appropriate channels of communication
  • A well-executed implementation plan, with partnership working across traditional boundaries
  • Successful engagement with the target audience
  • Evidence of objectives being met or exceeded and lessons learned.

The deadline to submit nominations is midnight on Sunday 1 November 2020.

Full details on each category can be found in the Entry Guidelines:

Public Service Communications 2020 Awards  – Entry Guidelines

We invite nominations to the Public Service Communications 2020 Awards for campaigns and communications of all sizes and budgets, including no-cost and low-cost communications, local, regional and national activity. This may be a communications campaign, a consultation, or another type of engagement activity. We will judge all entries based on their impact, so whatever the scale of your initiative, please share your successes with us. 

Winners will be announced at a special evening awards event and ceremony to be held on Day 3 of the awards on Thursday 26 November 2020

Eligibility

These awards are open to communicators working in the public sector in the UK and Ireland. 

Who can nominate / be nominated

Nominations will be considered against both the core and category-specific criteria. For all categories, you can nominate any public sector communicator or team, your own team or yourself. 

Core criteria

Across all categories, a panel of senior public service communicators will assess entries against the Government Communications Service OASIS (Objectives, Audience insight, Strategy, Implementation, Scoring) campaign planning model.

We will look for:

  • Defined audiences, use of data and research and application of audience insight 
  • A value for money strategy, with creative ideas
  • Innovative, appropriate channels of communication
  • A well-executed implementation plan with partnership working across traditional boundaries
  • Successful engagement with the target audience
  • Evidence of objectives being met or exceeded and lessons learned.

Category specific criteria

This year’s conference themes focus on the areas of professional practice that are most crucial for us to continue to be effective in future. These are:

Unified

Recognising those who have collaborated across traditional boundaries to deliver integrated campaigns and communications to their target audiences. 

We are looking for:

  • The development of integrated campaigns through collaboration across teams, departments or organisations
  • The delivery of effective partnership communications and campaigns
  • Successful realisation of the intended benefits to the public and the achievement of the objectives of all partners.

Digital 

Recognising those designing creative and accessible digital communications and celebrating people whose commitment to digital innovation delivers measurable outcomes. 

We are looking for:

  • The development of digital tools and communication that engage audiences to take measurable action
  • The delivery of accessible digital content and campaigns that take account of the needs of different audience and user segments
  • Successful in engaging diverse audiences to influence attitudes and / or behaviours.

Direct

Recognising those who have made a powerful connection with the public through direct communications channels and tools.  

We are looking for:

  • The development or use of direct communications channels to communicate with the public
  • The effective delivery of clear, impactful messaging directly to the public
  • Successful in building trust and increasing engagement with the target audiences.   

Data-Driven

Recognising excellence in the application of data to engage audiences, and celebrating people whose commitment to data-driven communications deliver measurable outcomes. 

We are looking for:

  • The application of data to developing insights that change attitudes and behaviours
  • The delivery of data-driven communications and campaigns
  • Successful engagement of target audiences through integrated communications and campaign.

Skilled

Recognising those who have gone the extra mile to professionalise, develop and future-proof their own skills and / or the skills of others in order to deliver stronger communications outcomes.

We are looking for:

  • The identification of development to meet identified gaps in skills, either needed now or in the future
  • The design or delivery of innovative and measurable communications development programmes
  • Evidence of increasing communications capability and raising professional standards within public sector communications.

Diversity and Inclusion

Recognising the commitment of individuals and teams to fostering diversity and inclusion and building community cohesion through inclusive communications. 

We are looking for:

  • The effective delivery of clear, impactful messaging directly to the public
  • Success in building trust and increasing engagement with target audiences 
  • The design of inclusive communications or campaigns that extend our reach into diverse audiences and / or build positive sentiment and increased participation
  • The delivery of communications initiatives that tackle sensitive issues to build trust
  • Measurable success in building community cohesion or reaching diverse audience segments to change attitudes or behaviours.