PRSA Boston Blog

This is a blog written by the PRSA Boston president (Tom Nutile for 2008) about events and activities involving PRSA Boston

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Committee declines to issue student award for 2008

Every now and again, an awards committee will decline to issue an award. It isn’t that the applications or the applicants themselves aren’t worthy of consideration. It’s simply that the level of excellence expected by the awarding body has not been met. It happens on occasion with the Pulitzer Prizes, considered the top awards in journalism. According to the plan of the Pulitzer Prize awards, "If in any year all the competitors in any category shall fall below the standard of excellence fixed by The Pulitzer Prize Board, the amount of such prize or prizes may be withheld."

After careful consideration, the PRSA Boston Scholarship Grant Committee has decided not to issue a PRSA Boston Scholarship Grant in 2008. The committee determined that the applicants, although worthy students of public relations no doubt, did not achieve the level of excellence in their grant applications that the committee has come to expect for a winner.

This is the first time in the eight-year history of the scholarship program that the committee has reached this decision.

In the words of the chairman of the Grant Committee, Art Dimond, the decision “was an extremely difficult one for us. Ultimately, we reached it because while we thought that each application had merit, we concluded that no one application had a special quality -- a spark, an originality -- that we have perennially sought.”

As someone who has competed for awards, both in public relations and, before that, when I was a daily journalist, for journalism awards, I can say that the times I did not win were as educational as the times I did win. I used the experience of not winning an award to examine my work, my application and the winners (either that year or in other years) and learn how to do a better job.

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