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Criteria, Requirements and Incentives

The annual Mark of Distinction chapter recognition program recognizes the efforts of state/regional SPRA chapters in supporting NSPRA's mission to develop professionals to communicate strategically, build trust and foster positive relationships in support of their school communities. 

Expand each section below to review Mark of Distinction award criteria, requirements and incentives.

Section I: Membership Building

All chapters in good standing are eligible to enter for recognition under Section I: Membership Building, which focuses on building NSPRA membership at the state level. To be considered for recognition, a chapter must initiate and maintain a concerted effort to increase the number of chapter members who belong to NSPRA. 

Section II: Special Focus Areas

All chapters in good standing are eligible to enter for recognition in Section II: Special Focus Areas, but submissions are limited to one (1) entry per Special Focus Area. There are three special focus areas: 

  • Professional development/PR skill-building;
  • Special PR/communication program, project or campaign; and
  • Coalition-building/collaborative communication efforts.

Professional Development/PR Skill-Building
Chapter must plan and provide a variety of programs/activities throughout the year to support the professional growth, status and communication skills of members. (Examples: in-person or virtual conferences and workshops, chapter meeting programs, member mentor programs, PR counsel and crisis support efforts, contests and awards, activities to raise the visibility of the school PR profession)

Special PR/Communication Program, Project or Campaign 
Chapter must plan and implement a special PR/communication program, project or campaign—with a specific goal (e.g., education advocacy, communicating high-interest topics, develop a product for sale, public service campaign, special event)—that was underway for at least one year. It may be a:

  • One-time program, project or campaign completed within a single year;
    Continuing annual program, project or campaign that repeats each year but demonstrates new/improved/revised components; or
    Multi-year program, project or campaign with a defined start and end date (only enter once complete).

Coalition-Building/Collaborative Communication Efforts
Chapter must initiate or participate in a jointly sponsored project or activity with an education/business/community organization(s) to build support for public education (e.g., statewide advocacy or education funding campaign, community engagement effort, communication resources on a specific topic).

To be eligible to receive a Mark of Distinction, chapters must be in good standing with NSPRA. This requires that a chapter:

  • Meets at least once (virtually or in person) during the current fiscal year.
  • Submits a chapter cash flow report to NSPRA by Oct. 31 each year.
  • Submits a chapter membership list to NSPRA by Oct. 31 each year.
  • Submits chapter officer election results to NSPRA following each election.
  • Has at least 10 chapter members who are also current NSPRA members.
  • Adheres to all of its current chapter bylaws.

The Mark of Distinction online entry form requires submission of a summary of the programs/activities/efforts being entered (400 words max). In the summary, describe the goal(s), objective(s), target audience(s), timeline and outcome(s) as well as how effectiveness was evaluated. Explain how the programs/activities/efforts relate to NSPRA’s mission and goals.  

The entry form also requires attaching documentation of the programs/activities/efforts described in the summary. Some examples of documentation include a communication plan, promotional materials, presentations, print or digital publications, links to social media and website posts, media coverage, etc.


Incentives
Section I: Membership Building
If chapter achieves... Then chapter receives...
10% increase in chapter members who are NSPRA members in one year One (1) complimentary non-member registration for a PR Power Hour or Leaders Learn webinar ($89 value)
20% increase in chapter members who are NSPRA members in one year

One (1) complimentary professional-level membership  to NSPRA for a new NSPRA member ($295 value)**

PLUS... One (1) complimentary non-member registration for a PR Power Hour or Leaders Learn webinar ($89 value)

30% or greater increase in chapter members who are NSPRA members in one year

One (1) complimentary professional-level membership  to NSPRA for a new NSPRA member ($295 value)**

One (1) complimentary non-member registration for a PR Power Hour or Leaders Learn webinar ($89 value)

PLUS... One (1) $200 discount on NSPRA National Seminar registration ($200 savings)*



Section II: Special Focus Areas

Professional Development/PR Skill-Building

If chapter achieves... Then chapter receives...
Less than 50% of chapter members are NSPRA members

One (1) $200 discount on NSPRA National Seminar registration ($200 savings)*

One (1) complimentary non-member registration for a PR Power Hour or Leaders Learn webinar ($89 value)

One (1) digital copy of the latest issue of Rubrics of Practice and Suggested Measures ($20 value)

50% or more of chapter members are NSPRA members

One (1) $200 discount on NSPRA National Seminar registration ($200 savings)*

One (1) complimentary non-member registration for a PR Power Hour or Leaders Learn webinar ($89 value)

One (1) digital copy of the latest issue of Rubrics of Practice and Suggested Measures ($20 value)

PLUS... One (1) 50% discount on the APR Prep: Get Ready for Universal Accreditation pre-Seminar workshop (+$200 savings)*


Special PR/Communication Program, Project or Campaign

If chapter achieves... Then chapter receives...

Less than 50% of chapter members are NSPRA members

One (1) $200 discount on NSPRA National Seminar registration ($200 savings)*

One (1) complimentary professional-level membership to NSPRA for a new NSPRA member ($295 value)**

One (1) complimentary non-member registration for a PR Power Hour or Leaders Learn webinar ($89 value)

50% or more of chapter members are NSPRA members

One (1) $200 discount on NSPRA National Seminar registration ($200 savings)*

One (1) complimentary professional-level membership  to NSPRA for a new NSPRA member ($295 value)**

One (1) complimentary non-member registration for a PR Power Hour or Leaders Learn webinar ($89 value)

PLUS... One (1) $100 discount on NSPRA National Seminar registration ($100 savings)*


Coalition-Building/Collaborative Communication Efforts

If chapter achieves... Then chapter receives...
Less than 50% of chapter members are NSPRA members

One (1) $200 discount on NSPRA National Seminar registration ($200 savings)*

One (1) complimentary professional-level membership  to NSPRA for a new NSPRA member ($295 value)**

One (1) complimentary non-member registration for a PR Power Hour or Leaders Learn webinar ($89 value)

50% or more of chapter members are NSPRA members

One (1) $200 discount on NSPRA National Seminar registration ($200 savings)*

One (1) complimentary professional-level membership to NSPRA for a new NSPRA member ($295 value)**

One (1) complimentary non-member registration for a PR Power Hour or Leaders Learn webinar ($89 value)

PLUS... One (1) $100 discount on NSPRA National Seminar registration ($100 savings)*

* The Seminar registration discount may be used only at the time of registration and may not be combined with other special discounts other than those directly related to the registration time period (i.e., Super Early-Bird and Early-Bird offers). The discount applies only to the NSPRA National Seminar held in the year following the awarding of recognition, and it may not be deferred for use beyond that date. 

** All professional-level memberships to NSPRA that are awarded must be used for a new national member only and cannot be used for a national membership renewal. Membership incentive awards must be redeemed by December 31 of the year recognition was awarded.