Title Image

IABC/Atlanta’s Golden Flame Awards is your chance to gain recognition as one of Atlanta’s finest communicators.

What work is eligible?

  • To be eligible to win, all work must have been implemented, published or broadcast between January 1, 2021, and the day of submission.
  • If a long-term strategy was developed prior to January 2021 and hasn’t previously been entered, it is eligible for entry.
  • If you entered your work in 2021 and didn’t win an award, you may revise and re-enter your project.
  • Entries that have won a Golden Flame award in previous years may not be resubmitted.
See Divisions & Categories

The Rules

  • You must upload your entry and pay the registration fee before the deadline. Full payment must be received for all entries before or on the closing date to be eligible for evaluation.
  • Work plans for Divisions 1, 2 and 3 are limited to four pages using a font size no smaller than 10-point and margins no less than 0.5 inch (1.27 cm). A template is available on the Gold Quill Awards website.
  • For Division 4, Communication Skills, you will need to submit a brief entry form on the awards entry website.
  • Work done for IABC at the international level is not eligible for this program.

Read Carefully

  • The work plan exceeds four pages.
  • Any element of the project violates the IABC Code of Ethics.
  • It is obvious the entrant did not play a role in the project.
  • The entry depends mainly on syndicated, borrowed, reprinted or stock material.
  • If the electronic files contain viruses, if they disable or require disabling of any part of the computer system used during evaluation, or if evaluators cannot view work samples using the instructions provided.
  • You are a consultant submitting work done for a client without their express permission.
10 Great Reasons to Enter

  1. Learn to create a strategic entry demonstrating analytical thinking and creative implementation.
  2. Fine-tune your skills with expert feedback from senior professionals.
  3. Build a business case for an increase in your communications budget.
  4. Document a best practice.
  5. Build a portfolio of work that opens doors to job opportunities, new clients, and a stronger résumé.
  6. Inspire your team by bringing them together to produce show-stopping work. Then share the glory when it’s complete.
  7. Show your employer and client that your work is considered among the best in the region.
  8. Make a name for yourself in the communications profession and position your career for advancement.
  9. Build your personal reputation as a thought leader and open up speaking and publishing opportunities.
  10. Walk away with a trophy to proudly display and declare, “I’m an award-winning communicator!”

Only 4 Steps to Enter

  1. Choose the divisions and category combinations you want to enter. You may enter multiple categories within one division. And you may enter the same project, or parts of a project in different categories.
  2. Write your work plan (or fill in the online form, for Skills Division entries).
  3. Prepare your work sample.
  4. Review and submit your entry. You have the opportunity to revise your entry up until the deadline.

How Entries Are Judged

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.

  • Seven-Point Global Scale of Excellence

  • 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.

Scoring for Each Division

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.

Student Entries

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.

How to Enter

DIVISIONS 1, 2, & 3

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:

  1. Upload JPEG or PDF files. Maximum file size is 5MB per piece. A maximum of five pieces can be uploaded with your entry.
  2. Video attachments may be hosted on a video site such as YouTube or Vimeo.
  3. Provide website URLs to the publicly accessible campaign or active URL of a landing page. Please ensure any applicable user names and passwords are provided and active.
  4. Please do not upload any further written material as the judges will not consider it. The written component of your entry should be fully explained within the provided form fields.

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:

  1. Describe your organization.
  2. Why was this project undertaken?
  3. Who was the audience for this project? What do you know about the audience?
  4. List up to three key measurable objectives for the project. How well did the project meet the objectives?
  5. List up to three key messages for the project.
  6. Describe the resources (budget, time, other) available for the project and how effectively they were managed.
Entry Deadlines and Fees
Make sure you have paid and uploaded your entry by 11:59 p.m. EDT to meet the following deadlines:

Regular Entries Deadline

Friday, August 5, 2022

  • IABC Members
  • $100Per Entry
  • Non-Members
  • $125Per Entry
  • Student
  • $35Per Entry
Grant Me a Little Slack

Late Deadline

Friday, August 12, 2022

  • IABC Members
  • $150Per Entry
  • Non-Members
  • $175Per Entry
  • Student
  • $50Per Entry
Submission & Entry Payment

Please note that you will need to submit and pay for your entry using two different platforms!