Crafting a winning entry

Crafting a winning entry


While we are not prescriptive about the format that an entry must take, they must include the information as required by the entry criteria of the relevant category.

Many people will choose to present this information via the traditional two-page written summary, but others are free to use Powerpoint or similar. You can even provide us with a video if you think that gets your story across in the most compelling fashion.

Whatever format you choose, the summary should be organised to present your case according to the relevant entry criteria.

Supporting documents can be used to provide examples of campaigns and work, including (but not limited to) printed materials such as white papers or company publications; links to online content such as websites and videos; sample ads, infographics or web pages; mobile applications. Content may be uploaded via our APACD Awards website, or linked to in the summary. 

What we care about....

Most awards competitions look for the same things—big, bold creative ideas; flawless execution; an impact on business results. We value those things too, but the APACD Awards judges will focus on specific areas as they review your entries:

  1. Details of team structure and duties

  2. Evidence and analysis of business objectives & team performance

  3. Evidence of strategy & achievements

  4. Evidence of campaigns/work that support the entry

  5. Details of responsibilities and duties

  6. Evidence of career progression & approach to work

  7.  A short testimonial from at least one senior executive

Please refer to the categories for the specific entry criteria.

In addition, there are some specific elements which we feel are common to excellence in in-house communications performance:

  1. Bravery. Courage comes in many forms—admitting a mistake, fighting for an unpopular principle, taking a creative risk, breaking a taboo.
  2. Authenticity. How well does the team or professional reflect the organization’s mission, its vision, its values? Does the explicit or implicit story it tells about the company fit with the way customers, employees and community actually experience the company and its brands?
  3. Engagement. In the past, it might have been enough to deliver a message. But the best in-house departments and professionals today go beyond that, prompting engagement, encouraging stakeholders to respond both emotionally and in some tangible way: joining the conversation, participating in the debate, offering feedback, getting involved in a cause or issue.
  4. Innovation. What evidence is there that the in-house department or professional developed new approaches or solutions that delivered tangible results? This could be a change in strategy, a focus on a particular area, or even a willingness to experiment with specific tactics and executions.    
  5. Thought Leadership. What kind of impact has the in-house department or professional had on their stakeholders, and how lasting has that been? How have they been able to change minds and demonstrate that their thinking drives measurable outcomes?
  6. Ethics. Honesty has always been important. It is even more important today, because in an age of radical transparency any dishonesty—and manipulation or deceit—will be discovered so much more quickly and punished so much more severely than in the past.
  7. Outcomes. There are two ways in which good in-house communications departments and professionals can change behavior. The first is by affecting the behavior of the audience (employees, consumers, voters, communities) so that they are more supportive of an organization’s objectives. Less common—but often more meaningful in terms of long-term relationship building—is behavioral change of the organization and its management, bringing it into alignment with stakeholder expectations. Great in-house practitioners may do both.