Entries are scored using the same Seven-Point Global Scale of Excellence as the IABC Gold Quill Awards. All marks start at four, which represents a fully competent approach to communication planning and execution. Work is graded up or down, depending on the content and execution of the project. Marks of one or seven are rare. Half points may be awarded.
7 — Outstanding — An extraordinary or insightful approach or result.
6 — Significantly better than average — Demonstrates an innovative, strategic approach, takes all elements into account and delivers significant results.
5 — Better than average — Demonstrates a strategic approach and aligns the communication solution with the business need to deliver meaningful results.
4 — Average — Competent approach or results, professionally sound and appropriate.
3 — Somewhat less than satisfactory — Several key elements that are critical to the strategy or execution are missing.
2 — An inadequate approach or result — A significant number of critical elements are missing.
1 — Poor — Work that is wrong or inappropriate.
Division 1: Communication Management, Division 2: Communication Research, and Division 3: Communication Training and Education
Judges score both the work plan and the work sample, which are weighted 50% – 50%. For student entries, the weight is 35% work plan and 65% work sample.
Division 4: Communication Skills
Judges score the work sample in three sections representing alignment, creativity and professional execution, which are weighted equally.
Download and review the score sheets to make sure your entry addresses all the judging criteria.
• Communications Management, Research and Education Score Sheet
• Communication Skills Score Sheet
You will receive valuable feedback from judges, whether or not you qualify for an award.
A student or a group of students may submit entries. At the time the work was created, the student must have been attending school full-time or part-time, working toward a degree at a college, university or other educational institution. Entrants who were enrolled as a student but have professional communication experience or are employed in the communication profession must submit their entry as a professional member or nonmember.
Work produced for educational courses, a club or volunteer association, an internship, or commercial or noncommercial activities, including work for an IABC chapter or region, is eligible for submission.
If the assignment was not fully implemented, please make note of this to the evaluators. It will not be a disadvantage to your entry, but you must show how the program would have been evaluated, had it been implemented in practice.
Professors, lecturers or advisers may not enter on behalf of a student.
Include the two key elements to your entry: the work plan and the work sample.
The work plan is an executive summary of your communication strategy. It can be no more than four pages. Edit your plan to ensure it’s clear and concise. Bullets, tables and lists might help you save space.
If you’re entering the same program or elements of the program in multiple categories, be sure to tailor your work plan so it fits each category. The work plan should:
• Describe the context for your program or project.
• Clearly state the communication challenge or opportunity.
• Provide an analysis of your target audiences.
• Demonstrate high-level goals and measurable objectives stated as outputs or outcomes.
• Provide insight into your strategic approach.
• Highlight your budget.
• Provide an abbreviated tactical execution plan.
• Discuss any challenges that you faced during planning and execution.
• Demonstrate collaboration with stakeholders, if appropriate.
• Provide measurable, meaningful results that are aligned with your stated objectives, and audience and business needs.
• Ensure your work plan refers to your work sample and assists the evaluators in navigating through your entry and finding the examples that best illustrate your work.
The work sample is the supporting material that illustrates how you planned and implemented your communication program. It can include video and audio files, Word documents, PDFs, magazines, brochures and website links.
Material may be supplied as follows:
Your work sample should represent the full scope of your work – evaluators are looking for actual, real examples of the work you did. However, bear in mind that evaluators have limited time to review your submission.
A well-organized work sample that demonstrates the very best of your efforts will score higher than an overwhelming number of items that evaluators can’t easily sort through.
Organize and condense your work sample to showcase a representative overview of your project. Pick examples (clips, photos, etc.) that best support your work plan and represent your strategy. Be creative in demonstrating how the elements of your work sample are aligned with the business needs and audience preferences. Include your research, too.
Also keep in mind that large files are difficult to upload and download, so please condense the file size as much as possible. The maximum file size is 5MB.
However you present your work sample, please ensure it is readable!
You do not need to complete a detailed work plan for the Communication Skills division. Instead, you will need to complete a brief entry form on the awards entry website and submit it along with your work sample. The work sample should represent the full scope of your work.
The Skills division entry form has six questions: