Entrants and judges weigh in on the IABC St. Louis Quill Awards and offer these quick tips to entering and winning!
- Be clear. While the judges are communications professionals, they may not be in the same industry as your entry. Don’t make them guess at meaning, especially when it comes to acronyms and other abbreviations.
- Be concise. You only get three (3) pages for your Work Plan, don’t waste your precious space and don’t waste the judges time. If it’s a note that would be better expressed with an image or graph, save it for your Work Sample.
- Be complete. Include all things necessary to give the judge (who is completely unbiased and previously unaware of your organization and work) the whole picture. Even if there is a section of the Work Plan that you feel you don’t have anything information for—the budget section of an benefits change plan that was produced 100% internally say—you can still give color to the work done to budget hours and the human resources necessary to complete the materials on time.
- Provide an audience analysis. Give the judges some insight into your audience members beyond their demographics. Help them understand what they think, how they make decisions and why you chose them as your target audience(s).
- Know the difference between the goals and objectives sections.
- Goals should be the overarching themes, messages or emotions you want the audience to leave with.
- Objectives are the “SMART” (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based) strategies upon which your evaluation metrics should be based. Even entries in the Creative & Technical Skills division can outline and refer back to “SMART” objectives.
- Tie your evaluation results directly back to your “SMART” objectives. If it helps, re-list your objectives side-by-side with your results.
- Take the time to do it. If the information isn’t already in a project plan or creative brief, writing the Work Plan can take some time. Set aside and afternoon to get it done. Come back the next morning for edits, then pass it off to a teammate for further proofing.
- Ask for help. Entering the quills at any level (St. Louis locally, Silver for the region and Gold on the international stage) takes time, effort and can be arduous, especially for newcomers. We try to make the process as simple as possible, but—much like your soon-to-be, award-winning programs—we’re constantly evaluating and improving things. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have need clarification or have a suggestion. Mary C. Foshage can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lastly, have fun! This is your time to take a look back at last year and be proud of what you’ve planned, produced and published.
Resources for entering Presto! Celebrating Magical Communications, the 2016 IABC St. Louis Quill Awards, presented by Towers Watson:
- Casting a spell on your career: Why individual recognition matters
- Why industry recognition matters with Annie Rzepecki of Willis Towers Watson
- “A Tale of Sweet Success” recap, tips from the 2015 Best in Show winner: Tim Hortons with Common Ground PR
- Eligibility, deadlines, fees and more details
- Submission site