Fall – back to school, Halloween, and – preparing for communications competitions? Yes, if you’ve ever thought of entering an IABC awards competition, this is the time to start preparing for it.
Why start now? Because everything good starts with the planning. If you’re addressing a challenge or issue, in your workplace or a volunteer position, that communication can solve, take the time to create a solid communication plan. Clarify your goal(s) and specific objectives. Build in metrics from the start, so you can measure whether or not you achieve your objectives.
Keep copies (preferably electronic, so you don’t have to convert them later) of materials you create as you implement your plan. Make notes about how you deal with challenges that arise. And be sure to measure your effectiveness once you conclude the implementation.
Why enter communication competitions? Awards look great on your resume, and affirm that your peers view your work as extraordinary. All entrants gain valuable feedback through the improved evaluation process introduced over the past few years – feedback that will help you in your work as a communicator as well as in future award entries.
IABC offers three levels of awards programs:
- Bronze Quill: entry deadline in the late spring, covers all of BC
- Silver Leaf: summer deadline, covers all of Canada
- Gold Quill: early spring entry deadline, covers the globe.
You can enter any or all of them, in any order, but the feedback you receive from each entry can help you to improve it for further competition if you choose to pursue it.
Take a look now at the Call for Entries for last year’s Gold Quill Competition to see what evaluators look for in any IABC awards program. It can help you improve your communication planning regardless of whether you ever enter a competition.
And it might make you a winner, too!