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What's New, Rules & Information



Important Information!

 TSPRA has an all-online submission and judging system. No mail-in entries will be accepted. 
Register to enter online by creating a login or use the same login as last year. You may create one login that everyone in your department may use so that all entries may be on one invoice.
Since everything is submited electronically, the criteria on what and how to submit has changed. Be sure to read the instructions!
★ Stop and start the entry process, edit or delete entries waiting to be judged up to the time you send your awards in your cart to be finalized for payment.
★ Judges will judge and submit their evaluations online, where you will be able to download the day after the Star Awards banquet. 
★ A gallery of Gold Star winners and Crystal and Platinum entries will be available as a video display at the conference, and you may also view them on a computer, laptop, iPad or phone. There will not be a Star Awards display with actual entries at the conference.
★ There are no new categories this year. The entry fees have not changed.

Official Rules and Instructions

Who may enter

Only TSPRA members who have paid their 2019-2020 dues by October 31, 2019 are eligible to enter and have their names on an award.
• Do not include any names of non-TSPRA members on entries.


• Entries will be submitted during a period starting Monday, September 23, 2019 and ending Monday, November 4, 2019 11:59 p.m. CST. 
Everything must be submitted online. Do not ship or bring entries to the state office.

Invoices and Payments

• Invoices are created when you enter. Payment is due by December 12, 2019 or your awards will be forfeited.
• We do not accept credit cards for Star Award payments.

What to submit

• Work that fits the category criteria and was produced and used by an educational institution (district, association, foundation, university, education service center, etc.) between July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019 may be entered. If the entered work can not be evaluated because it was not completed during that time frame, for example an bond election, event, etc., then it is not eligible for an award. You may enter it next year after you can evaluate its success.

• Submit as many entries in as many categories as you wish. You may enter multiple entries in a single category. Some categories, like writing and video, do not allow you to enter the same entry in a different category.

• Submit each entry electronically using the online system, where you will upload files and/or submit URLs, depending on the category. 

• Submittal requirements vary depending on the category. Carefully read the individual category descriptions for details on what you need to upload. Keep a copy of the criteria handy while you are entering to be sure you have the files and links you need. Soem categories require a certain number of pieces (image/identity category) or a certain number of jpegs or URLs (photo and video crystal entries).

• No entry, which earned a Best of Category in the previous year, is eligible to be re-entered this year. By that, we mean that it can not be substantially the same entry. For more information, contact the TSPRA State Office.

• Judges may re-categorize an entry. Entries that fail to follow guidelines may be penalized or disqualified by the judges. All judges' decisions are final.


Print, Video, Electronic and Campaign categories are judged in three divisions. Divisions are based on the number of students a district, foundation, service center or organization serves as of May 1, 2019. TSPRA affiliate members who are private consultants and/or their companies that do work for a district, foundation or education association, will base their entry's division size on the number of students served by their client. The divisions are:

• serving less than 10,000 students 
• serving 10,000 to 30,000 students 
• serving more than 30,000 students

Crystal and Platinum categories are not judged by divisions.

NOTE: If there are less than three entries in a particular category's division, those entries will be moved to the next higher or lower division. 

Types of Awards

• One Best of Category medal may be awarded in each of the three divisions in a category selected from the highest scoring Gold Star awards.

• Unlimited Gold, Silver and Bronze Star awards may be awarded in Print, Video, Electronic and Campaign categories.

• Only one Crystal Commendation and Platinum award per category will be awarded.

• At the judges' discretion, Certificates of Merit may be awarded to worthy runners-up in the Crystal and Platinum categories.

Bronze Star - for an entry that achieves its purpose with creativity, craft and skill

Silver Star - for an entry that achieves its purpose with noticeable creativity, craft and skill

Gold Star - for an entry that not only achieves its purpose with noticeable creativity, craft and skill, but, in the opinion of the judges, does so in an exceptional way

♦ Best of Category - for an entry that stands out from all the others in the same category and divsion for its exceptional creativity and quality

♦ Crystal Award - for a multifaceted promotional program or campaign employing a variety of media, occurring over a period of time and encompassing well-defined goals, strategies or activities; one award per category

♦ Platinum Award - TSPRA's highest award for excellence in a total PR program; one award is given

Crystal and Platinum Awards are sponsored by:
Intrado SchoolMessenger color large

Objective Sheet

The Objective Sheet is now a series of online questions. You can prepare these answers and copy and paste them into the fields. This information is extremely important to the judge, since your work is evaluated not only on creativity and skill but on its success at achieving your stated goals and proven results. 

All entries must:

  • meet eligibility and deadline requirements

  • be entered in the correct category, following the proper procedure

  • indicate what copyrighted materials you have used.

  • If a judge questions your statement, you will be contacted for proof of copyright.

Entry Fees for 2019 Star Awards

 $35  Print Entries (Categories 1-27)

  $50  Video, Electronic, Web and Campaign/Event Entries (Categories 28-45)

  $65  Crystal Commendation Entries (Categories 46-55)

 $75  Platinum Entries (Category 56)


1. Look at the categories and criteria for entering. Then gather your work and prepare your electronic or URL entries, following the category instructions.

2. Get all the information needed for each entry: contact name and email; division size; name of entity for the award; title of the entry for the award; names of TSPRA members who worked the entry.

3. Set up login and password for the award site OR if you entered last year, use the same login.

4. Follow the online entry process. Stop and start as you need to.

5. Submit all entries no later than 11:59 p.m., Monday, November 4, 2019. Pay for all entires by December 12, 2019.

If you need assistance, please call the TSPRA office at 512-474-9107.