Call for Entries

The Nashville chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is proud to issue its call for entries for the 2018 Music City Gold Pen Awards. The Music City Gold Pen Awards recognizes exceptional efforts of middle Tennessee communicators by highlighting best practices in business communications, management skills, thought leadership, and creativity.

Judged by other IABC chapters, a Music City Gold Pen is one of the most prestigious awards a communicator, designer or marketing strategist can earn.

IABC Nashville invites you to submit your best work to be considered for a 2018 Music City Gold Pen Award. Submissions must include work produced or completed between Jan. 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018.

Categories and divisions coincide with the Gold Quill Awards conducted by our parent association, IABC International. With four divisions and 28 categories, the awards represent a broad range of disciplines. Entering the Music City Gold Pen Awards this year means you’ll be prepared to make your mark at the Gold Quill Awards.

Due dates and fees
Member Non-member Student
Thursday, Aug. 2 Standard $80 $90 $30
Monday, Aug. 6 Late $100 $110 $50

 

Continue reading to learn more about what you will need to complete your entry into the 2018 Music City Gold Pen Awards.

 For additional assistance, please contact Tom Kenley (tkenley@gmail.com).

2018 Music City Gold Pen Award Entry Instructions

1.  Pick your category.

Review the Music City Gold Pen Award Divisions and Categories and pick the category that best fits your entry. You may enter the same project in more than one category; however, you must pay a separate entry fee for each entry. We also invite you to enter as many different projects as you like. (After selecting you Division and Category, you may want to go ahead and request a folder to be set up for your entry. See the first step under “4. Submit your entry”.)

2.  Prepare your Work Plan.

Your work plan is the key element of your entry that describes all the elements of your work. Entrants must demonstrate how their project applied planning and skills, including research and analysis. The work plan must be submitted in a PDF with minimum 0.5-inch margins and a minimum font size of 10 points and must not exceed four pages.

Complete the core elements of your work plan by providing the following information, using the sub-headings provided:

  • Business Need/Opportunity: What business need or opportunity did the entry address? How did it affect the organization? Clearly describe the issues the organization faced and outline any impact these issues had on performance, reputation, image, profits, participation, etc. Highlight any formal or informal research findings that support your analysis of the need or opportunity.
  • Intended Audience: Describe the intended audiences (primary and any other audiences) and specify the key characteristics (needs, preferences, demographics, etc.) which factored in developing the
  • Goals/Objectives: In responding to the need described above, what communication goals and objectives were articulated and how did they relate to the business objectives or strategies.
    • Goals describe what your communication project was designed to accomplish. Choose one or two key goals to describe in detail. These key goals should be oriented to your organization’s future Goals are not measurable, but often lofty and/or visionary.
    • Objectives should be realistic and measurable, and should examine outcomes such as quantity, time, cost, percentages, quality; a change in behavior (did your audience start doing something? Stop doing something? Or keep doing something?) or other criteria. How directly do the measurable objectives address the stated need?
  • Solution Overview: What solution was developed and why? Summarize the project, program or campaign and describe the rationale for the chosen approach. Describe the projected impact expected on the business need or opportunity. The solution should demonstrate your thought process, imagination and approach to problem solving. How effective was the program/campaign or project in meeting the stated business objectives? How effectively was the program implemented in terms of budget, time and other resources?
  • Implementation and Challenges: What challenges did you face? Describe how the project was implemented (include budget, time, technical equipment and other resources). It does not matter if the budget was small – show you made efficient use of money. Discuss timeframes and describe any limitation or challenges that you faced when selling and implementing your Judges are looking for flexibility and a capacity to resolve problems and negotiate solutions. Note any special circumstances and discuss how they were addressed.
  • Measuring/Evaluation: How did you measure your project’s results? Every result should be linked to one or more objectives. Results must be shown to be valuable, thorough, and convincing. Measurement should demonstrate outcomes, not outputs. What indicators were used to measure the project’s success in meeting its objectives? Measurements must be quantifiable and must be linked back to the objectives. How successful was the solution in meeting the business need or opportunity? What criteria were used to evaluate the results against the objectives?

3.  Choose your Work Sample(s).

 You can upload a maximum of five work sample files. Your work sample files must be in PDF, PNG, JPG, GIF, MP4, WMV, M4V formats. If you have more than five work plan files, please combine them into fewer PDF files. Each file is limited to 2 GB (2,000 MB) in size.

Work samples should include supporting materials illustrating the communication program. It can include the actual materials identified in the work plan, such as communications programs, publications, videos, photographs, etc.

Work samples should be submitted in formats easily handled and reviewed by the judges. Electronic and interactive work samples should be viewable on PC or Mac equipment and/or software. For websites, provide the URL or IP address of the site in your entry. For intranets or “limited, secured access” sites, provide instructions on how to register for the site, along with an account name and/or password. If access may be a barrier to evaluation or the site may change after submission, consider submitting a ‘tour of the work sample’ (five minutes or less).

  • For Communication Management entries, the Work Sample elements should be efficient – include only pieces that back up your submission such as printed pieces, photos of events, letters of endorsement and other key documents. It is not necessary to include minutes of meetings, memos, project plans, every media clipping etc. unless they specifically provide necessary proof.
  • For Communication Skills and Education entries, the Work Samples should illustrate tactics, show finished product and key documents that support the Work

4.  Submit your entry

New for 2018, the Music City Gold Pen Awards will be utilizing shared folders to upload submissions.

  • Step 1: Click here to complete this brief submission form. Within 24 hours, you will receive a confirmation email containing:
    • A link to the Google Drive folder you will use to upload your award submission assets
    • A link to use for payment
    • Key reminders of deadlines, the MCGP Awards event, etc.
  • Step 2: Upload Work Plan and Work Sample(s) to the shared folder before the deadline.
  • Step 3: Submit payment using link in the confirmation email before the deadline.

5.  Plan to attend the 2018 Music City Gold Pen Awards in September, watch for details!

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