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Record entry numbers for PR awards

14th June 2013

Entries to the PR Lions category at the Cannes 60th International Festival of Creativity is at a record high attracting 1,296 entries, up 15 per cent from last year. The PR category was launched in 2009 when it attracted 431 entries, the table below shows how these entries have steadily increased since then:

2009                 2010                 2011                 2012                 2013

431                   571                   819                   1130                 1296

This year, nearly 10 per cent of entries came from the US (207). The US had more than double the entries of the UK, which was the country with the second largest number of entries. The five countries with the most entries are listed below:

USA                 207

UK                    96

Brazil                92

Japan               63

Germany           61

Philip Thomas, CEO of Cannes Lions, describes how the PR Lions have grown in popularity: “The category was launched into the teeth of the worst financial crisis in modern times and garnered just 431 entries. PR specialists reacted in different ways. A few embraced it immediately, others peered from the side-lines with obvious curiosity, others are only now starting to engage. What they all seem to have agreed is that since the Lions represent the best creativity in the world, and that clients are watching the results like hawks, the PR industry needs to flex its creative muscles and position itself as the provider of truly innovative engagement for its clients.”

The rise in the number of entries to the PR category of these awards echoes an increase in entries to other key PR awards based in the UK.

For example, the CIPR Excellence awards have shown stable growth. Andy Ross, senior policy and public relations officer at the CIPR comments: “Over the past few years we have seen entries for the CIPR Excellence Awards steadily grow year-on-year, and we have seen greater growth for the CIPR PRide Awards in the same period.” Ross says that as well as an increase in entries from the UK, there is a big rise in entries from overseas, and adds: “On top of growth in number of entries, the standard of entries continues to improve year on year, demonstrating an increasingly vibrant public relations profession.”

The PRmoment awards that celebrate PR brilliance across the UK, the Golden Hedgehogs, are also attracting keen interest. There has been a substantial leap in entry numbers since they began in 2011, with over 400 entries last year. PRmoment publisher Ben Smith explains why he believes the PR industry is currently so keen on awards: "Good PR is difficult to see from the outside looking in. This is one of the reasons why PR agencies find it difficult to differentiate themselves from one another. The PR sector uses awards as a third party endorsement of their work. No awards ceremony should be treated as a scientific method of defining best practice, but in general they an effective way of sharing best practice, increasing standards and ensuring that good work is recognised."

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