Gold Medallion Award

The Gold Medallion is NSPRA's top program award, recognizing superior educational public relations programs. Entries may come from public and private schools; vocational-technical schools or community colleges beyond 12th grade; state/national education groups; and public relations agencies, consultants or private businesses serving such schools and colleges. Judging is against criteria as well as other entries - highly competitive. Winners receive medallions at the NSPRA National Seminar.

Gold Medallion Award logoGold Medallion Award

NSPRA’s Gold Medallion Award is the top competition recognizing superior education public relations programs, projects and campaigns in North America. This award is highly competitive.

Eligibility and Awards

Entries may be submitted by: public school systems; private/charter schools; education service agencies/intermediate units/BOCES; vocational/technical centers and community colleges; education associations; state/county offices of education; and any agency, consultant or business in partnership with any of the above education entities.

Each entry is judged on the overall excellence of the entry as well as its quality compared to other entries in the category. One Gold Medallion will be given for each winning entry (additional medallions may be purchased). Winners will be recognized nationally and presented with their Gold Medallions at the 2018 NSPRA National Seminar in Anaheim, California.

Please Note: Entries that are not awarded the Gold Medallion may elect to be entered for Golden Achievement Award consideration at no additional entry fee by checking the box on the entry form.


Gold Medallion entries will be considered based on the specific categories listed below. Judges may select more than one winner or no winners in a category.

  • Comprehensive, Strategic, Year-Round Communication Programs

  • Public Engagement/Parent and Community Involvement Programs and Initiatives

  • Bond/Finance Campaigns (Note: When election results will not be available until after the Gold Medallion Award deadline, the campaign is eligible for the next year’s award program.)

  • Crisis Communication and Response

  • Marketing/Branding Campaigns
  • Special Communication Projects/Campaigns (i.e., education advocacy, school closings/consolidation, boundary changes, health initiatives, cultural diversity, environmental campaigns, etc.)


  • Submit a detailed description and thorough explanation of the program/project/campaign. Include links to supporting materials, websites, and examples that outline the program/project/campaign process from start to finish. Information should be organized using the four-step public relations process — Research, Analysis, Communication and Evaluation.

  • Entries will be judged on: clarity of concept; research and planned goals, objectives and strategies; successful implementation and communication effectiveness; demonstrated outcomes and measurable results; evidence of objective evaluation of the project/program/campaign; and good writing. Entries are judged by experienced school public relations professionals. Each entry is judged on the overall excellence of the entry as well as its quality compared to other entries in the category.

  • Read the Award Rules carefully. If you fail to follow the rules and guidelines, points will be subtracted during judging or your entry may be disqualified.

Award Rules

  • All Gold Medallion Award entries must be submitted electronically. Compile all application materials into a single PDF document (multiple support materials will not be accepted). Submit the completed entry form information with payment separately.

  • Programs/projects/campaigns must have been underway or completed between March 2017 and the contest deadline of March 12, 2018. Note: For submitted Bond/Finance Campaign entries, all election results need to be final by the deadline to be eligible for an award this calendar year.

  • Guidelines — Total entry is limited to no more than 26 pages and must include:
    1) Cover page with entry form information
    - include name/title; district/org name, address, phone, email; entry category and title of entry; number of communication staff; size/type of district/org.
    2) Synopsis of the program/project/campaign that provides a clear, concise overview (maximum 350 words)
    3) Summary (not to exceed 6 pages) of the Program/Project/Campaign - the summary should include links to any key support materials (document PDFs, websites, videos, social media, etc.)

    Additional support material demonstrating the RACE PR process steps outlines below may be included (but may not exceed the 26 page total). Samples or brief synopses of support materials are sufficient (i.e., it is not necessary to include complete survey results or reports). Organize the summary carefully around the four-step PR process and clearly describe each component. Please do not include large jpg photo files that make the entry difficult to transmit.

The judges will evaluate on a point scale and are looking for strategic quality, not mass quantity of examples/materials.

  • Research — provide a careful analysis of the need for the program/project/campaign; include stated goals and measurable objectives.

  • Analysis/Planning — describe planning and development of the program, campaign or activity including: how target audiences were identified; the specific roles of key leaders and their related responsibilities; how communication vehicles were selected/created; and outline the specific budget and resources that were determined and set.

  • Communication/Implementation — outline the specific timelines (i.e., start and end dates, key target dates, etc.); describe the strategies/activities, communication components carried out; provide examples of the quality of written and graphic materials; and demonstrate how key messaging supported goals.

  • Evaluation — explain how the assessment component was included and implemented. Clearly state measurement indicators of success and include demonstrated evidence of effectiveness of strategies/messaging. Explain how improvements/changes/revisions/additions and next steps were identified and incorporated into future planning.

  • All entries become part of NSPRA’s resource files. All materials submitted may be reproduced, displayed, referenced or summarized in any NSPRA publication, website or other resource.

  • Entrants may request a summary of the judges’ comments, which will be provided in late August/September.

  • Fee: $159 per entry for NSPRA members; $215 per entry for non-members. Send a check or money order payable to NSPRA, or pay by credit card. You can also choose to pay via PayPal. Payment must accompany all entries. Purchase orders or vouchers cannot be accepted.

  • Complete the entry form and mail it with payment to NSPRA, 2018 Awards Program, 15948 Derwood Road, Rockville, MD 20855. You can also submit an electronic copy of the entry form with your entry to and choose to pay using PayPal.

  • Email the entry PDF file with subject tag “2018 Gold Medallion Award” to

  • An email confirmation will be sent once the entry is entered into the contest database.

  • Winners will be notified by phone in May.

  • Deadline: March 12, 2018.

    View a list of Gold Medallion winners.