The 2017 Gold Quill Awards are now calling for entries! So what makes a Gold Quill entry really shine? Multiple Gold Quill winner and 2016 Gold Quill Chair, Monika Lancucki, shared her insights at our Round table event on Wednesday 5 October.
Here’s Monika’s top tips to preparing an outstanding entry:
- Pick the right project – is it worthy of an award of excellence? Does it have a clearly defined strategy, goals, did it meet or surpass its measurable objectives, does it have measurement and evaluation? In short – did it matter? Make a difference?
- Pick your timing – has some component of the project been completed within the past 18 months? Have you completed the measurement and evaluation component?
- Choose the category carefully – is this the best category for this project? Is there another category which also applies? Should I enter in one or both?
- Plan and gather resources early – deadlines are over Christmas and people may be away or have other commitments. Writing time should not be long – but you will need time to plan and think. Allow plenty of time to gather the research, evaluation and results. And to get feedback/mentoring.
- Use the available resources – visit the Gold Quill website to see the Midas Touch presentation, case studies, scoresheets, entry form preview, templates
- Describe your audience – include relevant demographics and psychographics to paint a picture of your audience. Who are your primary and secondary audiences?
- Include SMART objectives – (Specific; Measureable; Attainable; Relevant; Time based). Measure the things that matter – the outcomes, not just activity or outputs.
- Identify clever solutions – the real chance to shine is in your ability to be creative, innovative and come up with clever solutions.
- Align goals and measurement to objectives – if you mentioned a goal, make sure you include your measurement of that goal.
- Know who you are writing for – your judges could be from anywhere in the world and work in any industry. Don’t assume knowledge about industry, market or even local geography. Don’t try to cram as much text as possible into 4 pages. Use tables for objectives and results. Be selective and targeted about your work sample.
- Get a mentor and proofreaders – get as many people as you can to read it. Not only colleagues, but also people who have nothing to do with your work to proofread and critique it. If they don’t get it or don’t hold some of the assumptions you have made – chances are the judges won’t either. IABC offers mentoring for first time entrants – make the most of that support.
Earlybird deadline: 16 November 2016
Deadline: 11 January 2017
Late entry deadline: 31 January 2017
Full details on the Gold Quill website
If you’re a first-time entrant and would like mentoring from a previous winner, contact Cerise Paul-Igai, IABC Victoria, Education Chair.