PRAU PRESIDENT: Cynthia Mpanga

All is set for the 6th Annual PRAU Excellence Awards that will be held this Friday at the Golf Course Hotel in Kampala. The awards, organised by the Public Relations Association of Uganda (PRAU), will award top PR agencies, professionals and corporations that have excelled in the execution of PR, digital and communications functions over the last one year.

THE AWARDS: The PRAU Awards to be given out on Friday.
THE AWARDS: The PRAU Awards to be given out on Friday.

This year the PRAU Excellence Awards have been organised under the theme ‘PR Excellence in a Competitive & Digital World’. The theme captures the current reality facing many public relations professionals and agencies that have found themselves in a very competitive environment given the harsh economic times companies are operating in as well as the fight for more customers by these same companies.

“We have witnessed increased competition in the public relations industry with more and more companies keen to sustain a good image in the eyes of their stakeholders. However company resources to support this has not come easily with more professionals citing budget cuts forcing them to scale back on public relations activities or cancel them all together,” said PRAU president Cynthia Mpanga.

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Digital media has also been on the rise affecting the way the public relations industry operates. With the proliferation of social media, a bad customer experience can turn into a full blown public relations crisis thanks to citizen journalism that has given more power to the public.

However digital media has also provided faster and cheaper alternatives in promoting various brands in a positive light and therefore this has worked in the favour of public relations professionals.

“Social media has been a double-edged sword within the public relations industry. It has been a challenge balancing the positives and the negatives that comes with new technology. However it is here to stay and the public relations industry needs to come to terms with that so that they can make the most out of it,” Paul Mwirigi, the PRAU PR director, said.

This year the PRAU Excellence Awards has received enormous support from a host of companies with twenty corporations providing in kind and cash support.

“In a special way I want to thank all PRAU members who have ensured their companies participate in the awards in one way or the other. You are heroes and our association needs each one of you. Please let’s all ensure we participate and attend the Awards Gala” Ms Mpanga said.

The 2016 PRAU Excellence Awards will be presented in the following categories: Category A: PR Campaign Category which includes Best Media Management Campaign, Best Event, Best Crisis Management Campaign, Best Corporate Social Responsibility Campaign, Best Public Sector Campaign, Best Not for Profit Campaign and the coveted Best PR Agency.

Category B: Supplementary Category which includes Best Corporate/Online Publication, Best Social/Digital Media Campaign and the Best Young Communicator of the Year. Finally the Category C which is an Honorary Category (awarded by the PRAU Governing Council) includes the PRAU Golden Honors & PRAU Sheppard Honors. The People’s Choice Award is an open category where the winner is voted through the public.

The 2016 PRAU Excellence Awards submissions, which were opened on 1st October and closed on 11th November, 2016, will be judged by an independent panel of senior practitioners who will deliver the results with clear explanations for each winner, making it one of the most credible professional awards in the region.

A host of artistes are also expected to perform on the night.