Keystone Categories

2023 Keystone Categories

Below are the Category Numbers and Names:

  1. Written Communications Piece
  2. News Release/Public Service Announcement
  3. Newsletters
  4. Magazines or Periodicals
  5. Brochure
  6. Annual Report
  7. Media/Press Kit or Online Newsroom
  8. Media Relations/Media Placement
  9. Marketing Communications Program
  10. Overall Public Relations Program
  11. Multicultural Communications Program
  12. Government/Public Affairs Program
  13. Corporate Branding
  14. Creative Communication
  15. Crisis Communications
  16. Internal Communications
  17. Website
  18. Digital Public Relations
  19. Video Communication
  20. Special Events and Observances
  21. Community Relations
  22. Student Project


  1. Written Communications Piece

For published pieces, submit a scanned tear sheet or editorial or a link to the online publication.

1a. Speech

1b. Op/Ed

1c. Feature Story

1d. White Paper or Technical Report

1e. Special Publication Booklet (one-time publication not included under “Creative Communication”)

  1. News Release/Public Service Announcement

A news release or PSA that results in placements and/or coverage of your news or event. Include the release or PSA and any clippings.

  1. Newsletters

A publication designed, written, and published periodically to provide timely information to target audiences while supporting an organization’s overall communications objectives. Please submit at least 3 consecutive issues. Newsletters can be internal communications or for external audiences.

  1. Magazines or Periodicals

Publications designed to provide in-depth information about an organization or topic on a regular basis. Entries must include two consecutive issues.

  1. Brochure

Pamphlets, tri-folds, or other small publications designed to inform a target audience about an organization, product, service or issue. Please submit a PDF of the piece.

  1. Annual Report

A publication that reports on an organization’s annual performance. Please submit a PDF of the Annual Report.

  1. Media/Press Kit or Online Newsroom

Include PDFs of all materials provided to media, including news releases, video/photos, and fact sheets. You may also include hyperlinks to an online newsroom.

  1. Media Relations/Media Placement

Media relations efforts focused on gaining placement or coverage of a product, service, or idea in order to enhance overall awareness, providing education/professional development or other media relations objective. Must include clippings to show the media placement.

  1. Marketing Communications Program

A program designed to introduce, publicize or promote products, services or ideas. Campaigns that successfully create buzz and brand recognition.

  1. Overall Public Relations Program

A comprehensive and/or ongoing PR program with multiple deliverables.

  1. Multicultural Communications Program

Campaigns or programs, of any kind, strategically targeted to a cultural group.

  1. Government/Public Affairs Program

Campaigns or programs that communicate an organization’s position to a government entity or other public audience, or that seek to influence a defined audience or a governmental decision-making process.

  1. Corporate Branding

A program using public relations tactics to support the launch of a new company or product, to rebrand a company or product, or to drive greater awareness of a corporate brand.

  1. Creative Communication

This category is for a onetime communication project such as calendars, posters, bill stuffers, logo design, etc. All the judging elements of a program are still considered in this category.

  1. Crisis Communications

15a. Crisis Response: implementation of a communications strategy in response to an organizational crisis.

15b. Crisis Plan: development of a crisis plan

  1. Internal Communications

Programs to improve internal relations in an organization through communications tactics or programs impacting relations with employees/staff.

  1. Website

17a. Internet

17b. Intranet

  1. Digital Public Relations

A strategic campaign or ongoing program utilizing one or more digital platforms or channels such as social media, websites, landing pages, e-mail, mobile, blogs/vlogs, webcasts, webinars, phone or tablet apps, podcasts, etc. Submissions should explain why this medium was selected and demonstrate how the campaign strategy, research and execution successfully worked to reach and influence the target audiences.

  1. Video

A video that entrant produced, directed and/or scripted.

  1. Special Events and Observances

One-time program of limited duration designed to generate awareness with key audiences. Includes product launches, openings, celebrations, premieres, anniversary celebrations, kick-offs or other special observances.

  1. Community Relations

A community relations or Corporate Social Responsibility program aimed at improving relations with special interests, a local community nonprofit, or another organization within the industry or community where the sponsoring organization has an interest, need or opportunity.

  1. Student Project

Undergraduate or graduate students, individually or in teams, may submit a project done for a public relations course as long as it includes a fully developed public relations project. i.e., press kit, campaign proposal, special event proposal, etc. Submissions will be judged on how well the project uses the four-step process of public relations in its development.