(Photo by Gage Skidmore via Creative Commons)

No matter how much we like to pretend we’re attending the Oscars when squeezing into our gowns and tuxes to attend a PR industry awards gala, it can be challenging to maintain the enthusiasm once we realize Cate Blanchett, Lupita Nyong’o and Matthew McConaughey won’t be showing up.

Our advice for combatting awards fatigue – especially when you’re 90 minutes into the presentation and the host is droning on about the “Communicator of the Year for a Midwestern Ag-Tech Company” is to conjure up some categories that really should have their own winners.

Here’s our list of 8 PR awards that will never be awarded.

  1. Overzealous Newsjacker Award – It happens all the time. Someone presses “send” on a poorly conceived attempt to jump into the news flow on a trending story before realizing their lapse in judgment.

  2. Custom App Budget Buster Award – The Washington Times has a brilliant “Golden Hammer” series that highlights bloated spending in government. What about those PR-funded mobile apps that cost six figures and result in zero ROI? Cha-ching.

  3. Team Behind the Meme – Grumpy Cat was a big win for Mashable and Buzzfeed, but started on Reddit. The Ice Bucket Challenge benefited ALS but wasn’t created by the ALS Foundation.  Those shadowy brainiacs behind memes need to get some PR love and share their secrets with the rest of us.

  4. Best Spewer of Superlatives – Some PR pros can’t simply pitch a story without emphatically stating it’s the biggest, game-changing, paradigm-shifting, most disruptive (insert topic) ever.

  5. Top Campaign for a Non-Disease – Big pharma has run out of blockbuster drugs so they’re turning to PR to help them make megabucks for inane conditions. Full Moon Drooling Syndrome (FMDS) ought to be worth a few million.

  6. Most Elaborate News Conference Attended by No One – The mayor and Betty White were there.  The live link to the International Space Station Worked.  But not a single reporter or blogger showed up.  Oops.

  7. Infographic that Crashed the Internet – Sometimes things just look better on the massive Mac belonging to your graphics person. Elaborate infographics that crash Firefox, cause Blackberries to lock up or, worse, get flamed on Twitter can be a PR downer.

  8. Sybil Tactics – It’s time to honor the snarky, self-proclaimed futurists who trash talk about legacy PR tools, lead with content marketing and social in their LinkedIn profile, and then run their clients’ press releases over a newswire and call it a day.