Shining Examples

Be inspired by these three stories of previous Bronze Quill Award winners, who explain why they entered the competition, and how the award can make a difference in your communications career.

Fame, fans and fortune: One winner’s top five reasons to enter the Bronze Quill Awards

By Bronze Quill Winner, Heather Prime, ABC

Fame? Check. Fans? Check. Fortune? OK, I can’t promise you that a Bronze Quill Award will make you rich, but I know from experience that entering the Bronze Quill benefits communicators of all levels. So, if you’re still wondering whether to participate, let me offer you my top five reasons you should enter today.

5. Sure, your number one fans (read: parents) don’t understand what your job is, but they’ll understand what “award winner” means.
4. I’ve won some and I’ve lost some, but I’ve always received valuable feedback from the evaluators.
3. Seeking buy-in for a project or budget? An award can’t hurt!
2. Your peers and colleagues will applaud you, and you’ll stand out from the crowd for promotions and new openings.

And my number one reason to enter the Bronze Quill Awards is:

1. Everyone can win. Because every entry is judged on its own merits, communicators of all levels have an equal opportunity of winning.

We Are All Meant to Shine

By Tracy Bains, Bronze Quill Winner

In 2011, I submitted my first application for a Bronze Quill Award after attending a workshop on how to prepare a winning entry. I approached it as a test—a test of my ability to put together a successful work plan as well as a rare opportunity to obtain feedback on our work at UBC’s department of Campus and Community Planning.

After a harried taxicab ride to deliver the completed application on the day of the deadline, I went on vacation to Jamaica.

When I returned, I was pleased that the application had earned an Award of Merit in the Community Relations category, recognizing our Transportation Consultation 2010 campaign.

It gave me a boost of confidence to find that I had produced a solid work plan. Hearing about what my peers were doing at the Gala also made me proud—of them and myself. To be recognized with the best forced me to stop diminishing my accomplishment and own it.

Now it’s time for you to shine—and I encourage you to make a submission. Celebrate your work so that we can shine a light on excellence in communications across BC.

So-and-so did it; so can you!

By Rosetta Cannata, ABC, Bronze Quill Winner

There are many benefits to submitting your work for a Bronze Quill that people talk about all the time, and they’re all true. It’s great to get validation for your work, internal and external. It’s wonderful when intelligent people you respect at work tell you they always knew your work was good, and they’re happy you got the external validation. That’s always nice to hear.

And yes, the trophy looks sharp in our awards cabinet in the office. At Vancity, mine is one of many, and it feels good to make a contribution. The IABC banquet afterwards is fun too, who doesn’t like to be feted and fed?  Your picture in the paper will make your mom and dad proud. And on a practical level, you get feedback on your work that’s invaluable, especially when you don’t win.

It’s all good, but the best benefit I can think of is to do it for others. Have you ever read about an award winner and thought to yourself, well heck, if so-and-so can find the time to submit something, surely I can give it a shot? Yes, you can give it a shot. And yes, you might win. So-and-so did. Everyone is meant to shine at something, and we never find that thing we’re supposed to excel at unless we try. So try it, you might just inspire someone else to do the same.

You’re shining, but are you showing it?

By Dana Bales, Bronze Quill Winner

To see a shining star you just need a dark sky and a craned neck. To see a shiny award in your office you have to enter.

A star has the luxury of shining while just carrying on. While it’s true you can just carry on doing good work, it’s also true that it only takes a little more effort to fill out an application and get recognized for it.

I entered the Bronze Quill Awards two years ago for the first time and won. It felt great because I’m part of a Communications team at the Law Society of BC that consistently strives for excellence. It was nice to hear a panel of evaluators thinks we hit the mark with our project.

You should enter because:

  • you’ve already done the work, and you might win;
  • it’s not like imitating a pop star while singing Karaoke – if it wasn’t good, there’s no room full of people telling you so with their eyes; and
  • you’ve nothing to lose – if you don’t win, you’ll get feedback so you can improve your skills.

So enter the Bronze Quill Awards and get recognized for being a star.

What Does It Take to Shine?

By Lori McGrath & Karin Basaraba, ABC, Bronze Quill Winner

Karin earned a Bronze Quill Award in 2011 in the emerging social media category for her work on creating ICBC’s Twitter program. She was vacationing in Thailand when we caught up with her for a quick interview:

Q: Karin, what does this award mean to you?
A: It’s sometimes hard to know if you’re on the right track when you’re creating something from scratch, which is what I did with ICBC’s Twitter program. The Bronze Quill was not only validation that I was on the right track, but doing it well, too – which was an amazing feeling!

Q: What did you learn from going through the award submission process?
A: When I started writing the communications plan before the project started, I thought about IABC’s awards work plan template. I knew that if I covered off all of the areas, I would have a stronger business case overall. It definitely helped me sell my proposal and gave me something to point to during the process when I was asked questions by senior management.

Q: What is your advice to those of us who haven’t entered yet?
A: Give it a shot! You might be surprised that you actually have all the elements there. Maybe they’re not neatly laid out, but I bet they’re in emails, scribbles on your notebook, or in notes in your iPhone. And in the end you will have some very valuable feedback to help you improve.

Words to live by: give it a shot! You’ve got what it takes to shine in the 2013 Bronze Quill Awards program.

Examples of award-winning work plans

Division 1: Communication Management (a_pdf 44.9KB PDF)

Division 2: Communication Skills (a_pdf 103KB PDF)

Division 3: Communication Creative (a_pdf 138KB PDF)