Reflections on the 2014 Sally Logan-Milne Young Practitioner of the Year entries from lead judge Tracey Bridges, FPRINZ.

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In anticipation of the 2015 PRINZ Awards, Sally Logan-Milne Young Practitioner of the Year head judge Tracey Bridges, FPRINZ, shares some insight into the judging of last year’s award.

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From Tracey’s 2014 Awards night speech: “The entrants gave the judges a very difficult task. The following questions – and their answers – shed some light on this awards category, the depth of entrants we received, and show how hotly contested this is becoming.

The first question is, it’s a big age range – can someone at the beginning of their career win against someone who can demonstrate a longer list of career achievements?

Second, if a candidate doesn’t win one year, is it possible for them to enter – and even win – in a subsequent year?

And lastly – are the “old school” values that this award represents relevant to the modern practice of public relations – and can someone working, for example, in the digital field achieve highly in the category?

The answer to each of these questions is a resounding yes.

With this award we set a very high bar, but any young practitioner who can demonstrate a personal philosophy for our practice, who has a passion for learning, a commitment to problem solving and who can demonstrate measurable results against clear objectives can win, regardless of whether they’re very new in our profession, whether they’ve had a bash at winning before, or whether they’re working in digital communications or some other branch of our profession.

The trick, of course, is to demonstrate these things to a higher standard than the other entrants.

We had some outstanding entrants, with different backgrounds, strengths and achievements.

This means the unsuccessful candidates can hold their heads up high, and the successful entrants can be doubly proud.”

The 2014 winner of the Sally Logan-Milne Young Practitioner of the Year award was Erin Roberts and the highly commended recipient was Cindy Bangs.

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The 2015 PRINZ Awards Facebook live chat, held 17 February, featured a Q&A on the Sally Logan-Milne Young Practitioner of the Year category, read on for the questions and answers.

Q: Do the judges prefer the five focus points for the Young Practitioner of the Year category to be explicitly addressed? Or can the entrant generally cover the five points?

A: Don’t leave it up to the judges to second guess, provide as much relevant detail as possible within the word count. Be sure all questions are covered in your essay.
Q: Do the judges use a point weighted system for the Yong Practitioner of the Year category like the others? E.g. is one of the focus points “worth” more?

P: The four assessment areas are equally weighted – see here.
Q: Do the seniority of the references you provide matter in the judging process for Young Practitioner of the Year? Or is the interest more in what’s said?
A: What the referee says is important and judges will pay this close attention, however judges would expect the referee to be a manager or team leader, rather than a peer. The criteria says: Submit written references from two people who are clients for your work (either internal or external to your organisation), attesting to your personal and professional attributes.

The details

 The Sally Logan-Milne Young Practitioner of the Year award celebrates the achievements of one outstanding young practitioner. The Award is run as part of the annual PRINZ Awards and is open to any practitioner under the age of 30 at the time of entry close (March 12, 2015).

Each entrant must submit an essay of up to 1200 words telling the story of their career in public relations and include two references to attest to their personal and professional attributes. The award is named after the late Sally Logan-Milne.

The winner receives $500 from the Sally Logan-Milne legacy fund, a framed certificate and the chance to access short term mentoring with a PRNZ Fellow.  Entries are open now and close on 5 March, with an extended entry period of one week and a higher entry fee ending 12 March 5pm. If you have any questions about the PRINZ Awards email Simone (simone_bell@prinz.org.nz) or call 09 358 9804.

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