Being a Gold Quill Awards Evaluator
Since joining IABC in December 2021, I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of the judging panel for the 2022 Gold Quill Awards.
The experience embodied the dictum “Give, and ye shall receive!” I learned that by investing time to participate and volunteer in IABC’s activities, you receive much more.
Being an evaluator was highly satisfying and rewarding. It allowed me to take a step back from managing my day-to-day communications portfolio and advance the profession, review inspiring award entries and engage with a wider community.
I also made a strong connection with my co-evaluator, as we spent a significant amount of time discussing the entries and reconciling our scores to arrive at a fair decision.
Going through the rigorous evaluators’ training and studying the guides renewed my knowledge and passion for strategic communications. The process of providing constructive feedback for each section of the award entry also gave me a platform to mentor practitioners and hone my leadership skills.
Pointers for Evaluators
The Gold Quill Awards program is the gold standard for evaluating the work done by communication professionals globally.
- Being an evaluator needs time and commitment. The process involves undergoing training, understanding the guides, evaluating the entries against established criteria and reconciling scores with a co-evaluator. By setting aside sufficient time in your calendar, you will enjoy the journey as well as immerse yourself in the learnings that come out of it.
- Take time to give specific, kind and constructive feedback. Feedback is a gift that helps practitioners improve their work and serves as an invaluable professional development opportunity.
- As you go through the entries, make comprehensive notes on your observations, as well as whether the rubrics were fully adhered to. This will remind you of the entries’ details later when you go through an in-depth reconciliation discussion.
Pointers for Entrants
The Gold Quill Awards recognize excellence in strategic communications — unlocking a massive opportunity for practitioners to reflect on their work, grow and get recognized.
- Submitting an award entry requires extensive time, rigor and focus. Set aside sufficient time to carefully study each of the sections in the application and carefully frame your responses. Make an effort to adhere to the guidelines, as they are the criteria that the judges refer to during the evaluation process.
- Articulate a clear narrative. Write an easy-to-understand and low-on-jargon entry, and thoroughly review it before you submit it. This will allow the judges to fully appreciate the context, strategic approach and outcomes.
- Demonstrate strategic thinking and creativity. Keep in mind, entries that present a groundbreaking approach receive the highest awards. Strive for gold and stretch to produce compelling communications that show a new direction.
Congratulations to the 2022 Gold Quill Award recipients! Celebrate the recipients at the IABC World Conference 2022, and check back with IABC later this year to find out how you can follow these steps to create an award-winning entry in 2023.
The views expressed are solely those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or views of the organization she is employed with.
An award-winning technology communications leader, Aarti Sabhaney heads enterprise communications for Asia Pacific and Japan at Dell Technologies. She enables technology companies to optimize reputation management, employee adoption, customer experience and sales. With a consistent track record of serving as a trusted advisor to the senior leadership team, she contributes to high-performing teams and builds strong cross-functional relationships while working in fast-paced environments. She has served as a judge for industry communications awards including PRWeek Global Awards and IABC Gold Quill Awards. She has also been an academician and journalist. A strong advocate of women in STEM, Sabhaney has written a paper on the underrepresentation of women in engineering and AI. She is a founding member of the Women in Tech group within the Singapore Business and Professional Women's Association. She actively mentors women in the tech sector across geographies. She has two master’s degrees, including an executive master’s from INSEAD Asia. She has lived in Indonesia, India, and is currently based in Singapore. Her interests include writing, traveling, swimming and yoga.