Entering the PRO Awards is a rewarding, yet time consuming task, and the importance of fully and carefully completing the process cannot be understated to ensure the best outcome for your work. To that end, I have developed these guidelines to assist you in the process.
But first, a reminder of what the PRO Awards is and why it’s so important for you to enter and be recognized and honored for your hard word. The 24th Annual PRO Awards is the most prestigious award program for promotion marketers; a venue that showcases the finest, most innovative promotion campaigns created and executed by top promotion professionals.
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
A hastily written or incomplete entry appears that way and will be reflected in your score. Before you begin the process, remember, you worked extremely hard concepting, developing and executing the promotion you are about to submit. Take your time, organize your thoughts, and speak with the program leaders to flush out all the details, chat with the client, and review all of the creative components and results. You can also read about the 2013 winners and finalists in our searchable campaign database and the 2013 Best Overall Promotion to get more tips.
Ask yourself a few questions: What elements of this promotion make it worthy of winning a PRO Award? Why did you choose this particular campaign? Was it the creative? The results? The theme? What’s different or unique about it? What made it successful? What will impress the judges (your peers)?
Carefully read the 27 category descriptions and then decide which category (or categories) best fit the overall promotion. Enter in as many categories as possible, but make sure it’s a good match.
DO NOT include the name of your agency in the write up, samples or video; you will be disqualified. Each entry reviewed and scored by the judges should be anonymous from the entrant’s standpoint. The one exception is if you are a brand submitting an entry, then it is fine to mention the brand name.
FILLING OUT THE ENTRY FORM
Make sure you answer completely all of the questions posed. Be concise and specific and adhere to the suggested word counts. Your entry will lose judges’ interest if they have to search for the important details or get bogged down trying to get through too many unnecessary words. Remember, the judges have many entries to review. A shorter explanation is sometimes better. The judges should have a clear picture of what this promotion was to accomplish, and the results should reflect that. Really cut loose with all of the exceptional details. Take the judges from start to finish, add color, interesting facts and other tidbits. This should be a powerful story. By the end of this paragraph, the judges should be shouting, “WOW!”
We can’t emphasize enough the importance of results. If you skip the results portion of the write up you will certainly lose points, which would probably knock you out of the running. The key here is to make sure the results match your stated goals for the program. For example, if the goal of the campaign is to increase sales volume by 4% and the results report that the promotion attracted 100,000 impressions, that will detract from your overall point score or possibly eliminate the promotion. If the goal is to build sales, supply a percentage increase in sales or comparative sales numbers. If the goal is coupon redemption, supply the amount of coupons distributed along with the redemption rates. Let the judges know how many samples were handed out, how many people visited your site, how many people attended the event, how many items were sold, etc. This is your only chance to give the judges enough information for them to gage the effectiveness of the promotion. Campaigns can sound and look terrific, but the results need to stack up. If you become a finalist or winner and have any issues with this information being printed our editorial staff will work with you on these details. It will be up to you, however, to contact us.
As all of us know, creative helps tell the story. Upload images that support the details in the campaign write up. Upload between five and six images in the order in which you would like the judges to view them. (Specifications can be found in the entry form). Video is great. If you have video as part of your promotion the judges we’ll love to see it. Keep the content under three minutes in length.
So get going. You still have time. The final deadline is April 22.
Patricia Odell is PRO Awards Director and Chief Marketer Senior Editor. She can be reached at email@example.com.