This year has been a pivotal one for corporate communications with the speed of technological change and global economic turmoil. The work that came in from around the world to be judged at IABC headquarters in San Francisco reflected that turmoil. Crisis plans that managed H1N1, companies struggling to do more with less, non-profits getting amazing results with limited resources and the continued integration of social media characterized the work we reviewed. Work plans both challenged the judges to contextualize the results and to be critical where little strategy was in place and when excellence was found we celebrated. A cow bell from Vancouver was the sign of exuberance inspired by the world’s best communicators.
The judging panel was made up of some of the best minds in the communication business and the best personalities. We had representation from Russia, India, South Africa, Argentina, Australia, China, Belgium, England, Canada and the US. Collectively, we represented all aspects of the communication world from technical to written, and creative to management. Together, we looked for winning entries.
The IABC staff did a great job acting as a host and a resource. Thank you for your efforts and the instant creation of a spell checker (which I should always use).
One area that seemed be weak in many entries was the audience description. Note to all who enter in the future, everyone is not an audience you should program for. A great example of a description is one that lets us know the primary audiences demographic details, and provides an evidence based assessment of their behaviours and attitudes.
One trend was an increased number of entries for micro sites to support organizational programs. I am not sure if this was a reflection of smaller budgets or the ease of implementation when we do not have to attach our efforts to our corporate websites. I was surprised to note that many of these sites did not integrate social media options for feedback or sharing.
What a great time to learn and improve my own professional practice. To give you a flavour of the process above is a short video with Tim Buckley finishing strong with an original Gold Quill anthem.
A special thanks to:
Julie Freeman, ABC, APR for the use of her office.
Paul Matalucci, ABC for opening his home to us and being such a great host.
John Finney, ABC for his wisdom and good humour.
Stacey Thornberry for getting us there and making us feel so welcome.