Entry Information

Home » Awards » GSA Entry Information

2023 Golden Spike Categories


This year, we have a number of different award areas, subdivided into campaigns and tactics.

Categories include both internal and external audiences for tactics, and sectors that include for-profit, non-profit, government, and association work for campaign entries. There should be something for everyone to show off their biggest wins and best ideas.

Entry Process

To help keep things organized, we ask that you submit one project per form submission and payment. And please, watch the deadlines carefully to ensure your entry is accepted early or on-time.

You can also nominate individual(s) for our professional awards categories. These include young-, mid-level- or professional of the year awards, and a category for "excellence in communication."

Check out how it feels to win!

Entry Fee Schedule

Entry Fee: $70 before Sept. 8th | $85 between Sept. 8th -Sept. 15th

For Student Fees, please email prsaslc@gmail.com.


Community Relations

Includes programs that aim to improve relations with, or seek to win the support or cooperation of, people or organizations in communities in which the sponsoring organization has an interest, need or opportunity.

Institutional Programs

Programs designed to enhance, promote or improve the reputation of an organization with its publics or key elements of its publics.

Public Service/Advocacy

Includes programs that advance public understanding of societal issues, problems or concerns. Also includes programs designed to influence public policy and/or affect legislation, regulations, political activities or candidacies.

Social Media

Social media and influencer marketing campaigns designed to help an organization reach its publics or key elements of its publics. Also includes strategic programs for creating and distributing valuable online content to attract, acquire and engage a target audience or audiences.

Crisis Communication

Includes programs undertaken to deal with an unplanned event that required an immediate response.

Special Events

Includes programs or events, such as commemorations, observances, openings, yearlong anniversaries, celebrations or other special activities.


Interactive Communications

External Audience, Internal Audience

Use of a website, app, blog, or other digital platform as part of a communications, public relations or content marketing program.

Photography and Illustrations

Innovative photography or illustrations (hand-drawn or digital) used as part of a public relations program.

Print Communications

Internal Audience

Use of a print newsletter, magazine, annual report, brochure or other print piece as part of an internal communications, public relations or content marketing program.

Print Communications

External Audience

Use of a print newsletter, magazine, annual report, brochure or other print piece as part of an internal communications, public relations or content marketing program.

Publicity and Media Relations

Tactics, programs and events driven entirely by media relations. Submit press releases, media advisories, pitch letters, requests for coverage, etc., along with measurable objectives and results.


Research that provides a meaningful contribution or input to a public relations program, or an evaluation documenting the value or benefit of a public relations program or tactic.

Social Media

External Audience, Internal Audience

How did you use Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, LinkedIn or any other online social platform to share your message and engage your external audience? How did it enhance your overall communication plan?


External Audience, Internal Audience

Pre-produced videos used to inform external, target audiences of an event, product, service, issue or organization. The summary should include quantified measurement to support stated objectives.

Writing – News

Submit published news stories, feature stories, etc. along with measurable objectives and results

Creative Tactics

Innovative, unconventional, creative tactics or approaches used as part of a public relations program. Documentation of how the tactic specifically contributed to the measurable results of the campaign should be included.

Entry Must-Knows & FAQs

  • All entries and entry materials must be submitted online.
  • Entries produced in part between November 1, 2022 and September 30, 2023, are eligible.
  • A summary and supporting documents (including links, photos, etc.) must be uploaded to the entry form as a single PDF file.
    • There are several free online PDF merging programs you can use to merge multiple PDF documents into one, if you need to (PDFJoiner.com is one).
  • Judges will evaluate campaigns based on RPIE — research, planning, implementation, evaluation; and supporting materials/project content. Format your submission to match these sections.
    • We strongly suggest that campaign summaries follow this structure, and that they be as close to one page as possible. They may not exceed two pages in length.
    • Supporting materials and content might include creative assets, imagery of physical assets, or links to digital assets; if applicable, we suggest you include these. Hyperlinks to hosted assets, such as video, are preferred.
  • Judges evaluate tactics based on four criteria: objectives, creativity/quality, execution, results/evaluation, and supporting materials. Format your submission to match these sections.
    • Within these areas, the summary should include measurable objectives, target audiences, budget and any other relevant information.
    • Results — qualitative, quantitative or both — should provide evidence of how the stated measurable objectives were met, and are important judging criteria