In News


Foxtel’s Fiona McGregor shares her key tips for Gold Quill entrants from the recent IABC Victoria Gold Quill round table.



It’s not a competition. It’s really not. But there are winners.

Being part of a global professional organisation is a pretty cool thing. We’re connected by the career path we have chosen and the skill of communicating effectively. As the IABC’s largest chapter outside of Northern America (go Victoria!) we already have a bit of a presence in this global network, but we want to make 2016 the year we really make a name for ourselves.

Over just the last two years, members of the Victorian chapter of the IABC have taken home a total of 18 Gold Quill Awards, one Special Award and two Best of the Best Awards. That’s pretty impressive. So here’s what you need to do to put the Au (that’s the period symbol for gold!) back in Aussie Aussie Aussie!

  1. Figure out which of the four Divisions you want to enter your project, initiative, plan, or program in:
    • Division 1: Communications Management – 18 sub-categories covering projects, programs and campaigns that are guided by a communication strategy, including the Internal Communications category, the Awards’ most popular section.
    • Division 2: Communications Training & Education – two sub-categories, recognising the importance of research and measurement as a foundation for strategic communication
    • Divisions 3: Communications Research – two sub-categories demonstrating the mentorship and education role of consultants and senior communicators in developing and delivering workshops, classes, seminars or training that educates an audience about any aspect of the communication profession.
    • Division 4: Communications Skills – six sub-categories recognising marketing and communication elements that showcase technical skills such as editing, writing, design and multimedia production.
  2. Check out the IABC’s dedicated Golden Quills website that includes templates, score sheets and webinar links that take you through drafting your own application. Hint – there’s a Gold Quill webinar on 3 November! This event is free to IABC members and will be happening at 8am local time on Melbourne Cup Day.
  3. Gather your evidence. Metrics, interviews, data. How will you demonstrate that you met the objectives of your project, initiative, plan, or program?
  4. WRITE IT OUT! Grab your headphones, open up an entry template and write.
  5. Find a friend to review your entry. Remember, someone from Durban, South Africa or Concord, New Hampshire could be judging your entry. Make sure you keep you language simple and easy to understand. Jargon and acronyms have no place in your entry unless fully explained. Could your granny understand what your entry is getting at? K.I.S.S.!
  6. Get your entry in on time. There are three deadlines for entering the Gold Quills, with a sliding scale for entry prices:
    • Early bird – 18 November 2015
    • Final deadline – 13 January 2016
    • Late deadline – 27 January 2016
  7. Got a question? We thought you might. Check out the FAQs section of the Gold Quill website, or drop us a line – we’re happy to help as much as we can, but most of the time we’ll refer you to the Gold Quill website, so check there first.


Fiona McGregor is a communicator who loves to write and enjoys the challenge of making even the dullest of topics engaging. Having started her professional life in banking, followed by insurance and investments, she now happily finds herself working for one of Australia’s biggest media companies, Foxtel.