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The 2015 IABC Gold Quills Awards are coming to a close. But the good news is the deadline has been extended. You now have until 6.59pm on Thursday 29th January (Melb/Syd time) to get that award winning entry done.

This year's Gold Quills are bigger, bolder, more plentiful, more diverse and earlier than ever before.

If you are contemplating entering there is no time like today or tomorrow to prepare your submission.

We at IABC Vic are here to help. If you are toying with an entry but are in need of some guidance – be sure to get in touch with us for information and support (see below).

On a bright note the awards are now quicker and more streamlined to enter and there are now more ways to win an award than ever before – so don't hold back, enter and enter often. As well as the satisfaction of being the envy of your peers when you win, it will improve your organisation's eligibility for one of the new "best of" categories for companies and agencies.

 As flagged this year's awards feature a number of key changes and to help you navigate the process. Here they are "in a nutshell":


The categories

IABC has expanded the breadth of categories yet again with the launch of a suite of best practice winners. These are agencies and companies of various size who have snapped up the most number of Gold Quills and achieved the highest average score across all winning entries. Realistically an organisation would require 6 or more entries to snap up one of these awards but for those with sizeable and/or dynamic communications teams, it really is an opportunity to showcase your breadth of talent and cut it with the best in the world.


The process – skills division

The process for the skills division has also changed. Rather than submitting a workplan and work sample, entrants will this year be assessed on the work sample itself and its alignment to the responses given to the questions asked in the submission.


The word count/ length

At only two A4 pages, the skills division entry is half the length of what it used to be. There are 6 questions in all. Each response cannot be more than 600 words. The word length is set in the template and must be adhered to for the award sentry platform to accept the submission. Evaluation rubrics will be used for the first time to evaluate entries in the skills division introducing even greater consistency across the evaluation – but entrants will still receive written commentary by way of feedback as well as an overall score.



The committee has included templates for entries on the Gold quill website to help make like easier for entrants so be sure to use them.


The scale

Although entries will still be assessed using IABC's trademark protected seven point scale, the 0 option at the end of the scale has been removed making it just that little bit easier to get through and win a Gold Quill.

So there you have it. If anyone has questions about the program please email them to me at

Wishing you a peaceful and safe Christmas and lots of Gold Quill bling gracing the bookshelves of Victorian offices in the New Year.


What should you do?

Last year, IABC Victoria scooped the Quills pool by winning an astounding nine Gold Quill awards including three of the eight special awards.

If you’re planning (or thinking about) joining this elite group of communicators, there’s three things you can do:


Learn from the winners

Speaking of help, one of the best ways to make the most of your Gold Quills entry is to learn from those who have already been there. To that end, we have a wealth of advice for you, including:

Advice provided by our Gold Quill winners and Blue Ribbon judges at the recent IABC Victoria Gold Quills roundtable

Case studies to give you insights into winning best practices:

  • How Cabrini Health’s response to a new Government accreditation process led to international recognition through an IABC 2014 Best of the Best award.  
  • Telstra used words to connect its people and customers. Along the way, the team improved performance and earned an IABC Gold Quill 2014 Best of the Best award.
  • Transurban and VicRoads developed a clever approach to a major traffic snarl that earned them the coveted 2014 IABC Business Issues award.