Totems FAQs


Karla Slate, APR


Who can enter?
The Totem Award program is open to all public relations and marketing professionals in the greater Puget Sound region, PRSA members and non-members alike.

Where can I find entry forms?
The Totem Award Entry Forms are now online.

How do I pick the proper category?
You should pick the category that best represents your entry. If you cannot find a proper place for your entry, place it in the category that you feel best matches your entry. Your score will not be effected if you choose the "wrong" category. If judges feel that your entry doesn't fit the category, they are able to move it to the category they feel is best.

What is the difference between a Totem Award and a Certificate of Excellence?
Totem Award trophies are given to honor the best entry in each category. Totem Award trophy winners will have earned 85 points or above by the judges. Entries that score 75-84 points earn a Certificate of Excellence.

Will we be notified if we win and, if so, when?
All award-winning entrants will receive an email notifying them of a win, although the exact award won will be kept confidential until the Totems Celebration Event in March. Please be sure the contact information on your entry form is accurate. If you would like to verify the status of your entry, please contact us after January 15.

Who are the judges and what are their qualifications?
Judges of the Totem Awards are experienced public relations professionals from another comparable PRSA chapter. 

Will we get to see the judges scores?
Judges scoring and comments will be made available to entrants.

Can I dispute the results?
No. The Totem Awards program is a volunteer program and judging is subjective. All scores and decisions are final.

Does my project have to have occured within a certain time frame?
The time frame requirements for submitting an entry state that entries in the programs category may span 2016 and 2017 to allow time for effective evaluation and entries in the components category should have occured largely in the 2017 calendar year, or after the previous year's entry deadline (November 2016). Projects already submitted in previous years may not be submitted again.

What payment methods do you accept?
Entry payments are accepted via credit card or check, Credit card payments will be accepted online when you submit your entry. Checks should be made payable to PRSA Puget Sound and sent to PO Box 58530, Seattle, WA 98138-1530. Questions? Contact the PRSA Puget Sound Administrative Office at (206) 623-8632.

How do you ensure fair scoring?
Two experienced public relations practitioners judge each entry. If the two scores differ by more than 12 points, a third judges is brought in. Scores are tallied and re-tallied prior to notification of winners. Sometimes mistakes do occur in calculations, however, your Totems committee makes every effort to minimize such an occurrence.

How do I buy tickets to the Totem Celebration Event?
The Totem Awards Celebration that will be held sometime in March 2018. Tickets for the Celebration Event will become available in January 2018 and will be announced via e
mail and on the PRSA Puget Sound website.

Have a question not discussed here? Contact a Totems committee member (listed above).


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