Plan to ensure PR Award entries shine

In a special Gorkana webinar this week, Red Consultancy MD Emily Morgan and Gorkana’s head of insight Paul Hender explained how to write a prize-winning AMEC Award entry ahead of the final entry deadline on 26 February.

In order to write a ‘killer’ campaign entry for AMEC, Morgan and Hender believe it’s important that PRs don’t leave the process as an afterthought, are sensitive to the needs of the judges, and “ruthless” in campaign selection and execution of the brief.

In the webinar, which was moderated by Barry Leggetter, CEO of AMEC, the panellists also highlighted the importance of context. Entries should define the circumstances under which the campaign was launched – “the judges don’t know your particular marketplace”, explains Morgan. Ideally they should present statistical output against external factors. Hender adds: “You shouldn’t measure PR activity in isolation.”

The discussion highlighted three key points which should be of universal relevance, but especially to AMEC Award entries:

  • Don’t leave your entry as an afterthought
    Hender emphasised the importance of effective “planning and putting resources in” ahead of any award application, citing Gorkana’s internal four month award selection process ahead of the AMEC Awards deadline, called ‘Panning For Gold’. Morgan added that Red’s application for awards typically involves getting several members of the team to write the entry; someone covering the detail of the campaign, the “big picture” edit and “beautification” from the designer.
  • Make the campaign shine
     “I’m not saying fictionalise – add an element of interest to them”, urges Morgan. The judges are typically “ordinary people” who are giving over their spare time to assess entries. It’s the duty of the applicant, says Morgan, to “add emotion, warmth and wit” to the entry, and not let the quality of your campaign work down with a dull application. She also noted the importance of the edit, adding that the more you can cut down and hone, the stronger the entry will be as you “get to the nub of what you want to say”.
  • Be ruthless in your campaign selection
    Both Morgan and Hender emphasised the need to find a good starting point or benchmark to explain why you are championing one campaign other any others. They highlighted AMEC’s own framework for measurement in PR as a good way to assess whether targets were quantifiable and hit. For Hender, an award-winning entry should “demonstrate the value of comms back to business.” Morgan added campaign work should be chosen based on outcomes: “If we can’t prove something real happened then it’s not worth going there.”


The 2016 AMEC Awards early bird deadline is 12 February with the final application deadline on 26 February. The AMEC Awards are, CEO Leggetter reminds us, “the only international awards scheme for communications measurement.”

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