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Annual PenSPRA Symposium Rescheduled (Again)

It is with great disappointment that we have once again found it necessary to reschedule the annual PenSPRA Symposium. The Symposium scheduled for October 1 and 2, 2020, is now being rescheduled (again) for April 15 and 16, 2021.

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Excellence in Education Communications Contest

Each year, PensSPRA provides an opportunity for school district communication professionals to be recognized in the annual Excellence in Education Communications Contest. 

Entries are accepted in a number of categories to reflect the scope of work undertaken by communications professionals. 

The contest categories are:

  • Graphic Design: Illustrator, Spark, InDesign...oh my! We've all had to learn how to become graphic designers. So what have you designed lately? Submissions will be judged on the overall unification of the design, such as: color, font, imagery, creativity, photos, importance and clarity of message. Submission Examples: infographics, flyers, logos, promotional ads and posters.

  • Photography: A picture is worth a thousand words! Do you have an amazing photo that tells a story? Submit your best photos for consideration. Submissions will be judged on the quality of photography, subject matter, angles, depth and ability to tell a story. You may submit a portfolio of up to three photos for every one entry in this category.

For questions regarding your submission or the contest, please contact: 


For all other questions, please contact:

Mary Jeanne Curley

Executive Director


Christa Fazio

Contest Chair


  • Publications: Whether printed or digital, we use a variety of publications to convey information to our various stakeholders. Show us how you have taken these school PR must-haves to the next level! Submissions will be judged on content, layout, use of imagery, readability, consistency and effectiveness of the publication. Submission Examples: newsletters (print or digital), annual reports, calendars, printed programs, newspapers, brochures and other specialty publications.

  • Social Media: #whatsyourbrand? Submit your social media content created to support your district/IU’s presence or events on one or multiple digital media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc). Submissions will be judged on creativity of content, effective storytelling of a campaign or hashtag and use of the platform/tool. Submission Examples: social media campaigns, social media accounts/pages, social media event promotion and social media branding (such as hashtags, filters and logos)

  • Special Purpose Projects: We’re no strangers to special projects…and these projects can often take a lot of time and effort to produce. Why not try and get some recognition for that work! Submissions will be judged on content, project components, clarity, execution/delivery and overall message/goal. Submission Examples: communications plans, crisis communication plans, presentations/slide deck, special events (please include a detailed description of the process, including an event debrief, photos and any supporting materials) and campaigns.

  • Videos: Lights, Camera, Action! Do you have an audio/visual project or projects that deserve some time in the spotlight? Share them with PenSPRA! Submissions in this category will be judged on audio/visual components, including video quality, sound quality, transitions and design, as well as effective storytelling and messaging. Submission Examples: Video Interviews, Animated Short Videos, Marketing or Promotional Videos and Explanatory and Informational Videos.

  • Website & Apps: Digital presence is extremely important for establishing your brand or promoting services. Does your school district/IU have a strong digital presence or are you proud of the story your website tells? Did you create an innovative app that helps your students and families? Submissions will be judged on design, appropriate content, branding elements, ease of use and navigation. You may submit a specific section of your website, your entire website or an app.

  • Writing: Extra! Extra! Read all about it...new category added to recognize PR writing! Submissions in this category will be judged on technical writing, style and story elements. Submission Examples: press releases, media advisories, feature stories, articles and speeches.


The contest is open to all public school districts and Intermediate Units in Pennsylvania. Materials must have been produced between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019.


Judging is conducted by a panel of independent professionals, who will provide all contestants with feedback after the contest has concluded.

How to Enter

Contestants should click on the submission form below and upload their content files or links through the website. You will be asked to sign in or create a Submittable account prior to being directed to the submission form. If your printed publication is not available as a digital file, you may still enter by mailing two copies to: PenSPRA Communications Contest, c/o Chester County Intermediate Unit, 455 Boot Road, Downingtown PA 19335. Entries must be uploaded and/or postmarked by January 31, 2020.

Entry Fees and Payment

  • PenSPRA Member Fee: Initial entry fee is $50; each additional entry fee is $20
  • Non-Member Entry Fee: Initial entry fee is $50; each additional entry fee is $50


  • Award of Excellence will be given to the top entries in each category.
  • Award of Honor will be given to those entries that deserve special recognition in each category.

Contest winners will be notified by an email notification.

c/o Chester County Intermediate Unit

Downingtown, PA 19335

Phone: 484-237-5731

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