Apollo Group, headquartered in Phoenix, AZ, is a winner of the prestigious 2012 Gold Quill Award of Merit in business communication, presented by the International Association of Business Communicators. The award-winning project entitled, “Apollo Group Benefits Enrollment Campaign,” won in the Human Resources and Benefits Communication category.
IABC’s annual Gold Quill Awards program honors the best of the best in business communication, offering professional communicators an opportunity to have their work evaluated by expert judges. The winners represent excellence in organizational communication and their work plans serve as best practices for professional communicators across communication disciplines.
This year’s competition was sponsored by Towers Watson and received nearly 700 entries from 23 countries. Of these, 78 were selected to receive awards—24 Awards of Excellence, 53 Awards of Merit and one Student Award. The winners will be honored at the Gold Quill Awards gala dinner on June 25 at the IABC 2012 World Conference in Chicago. Visit the Gold Quill Awards web site to see the complete list of this year’s award winners.
The following Q&A with Apollo Group award winner, Joe Riccardi, ABC, shares his insights on earning this professional accomplishment.
What is a brief description of your award-winning project?
The Apollo Group had an important benefits enrollment that required all employees to take action. The Internal Communications team developed a creative and fun, multi-tactical campaign that brought energy and humor to the content. The result was 100 percent participation and rave reviews from employees.
Besides the sense of accomplishment, what is the value to entering IABC awards competition?
At this stage in my career, recognition is not as important to me. However, members of my team are earlier in their careers and winning a Gold Quill is very exciting and, most importantly, validates our work. It confirms we are using the right approach to solving communication challenges. It also builds morale and motivates the team to keep striving for excellence. Even if you don’t win, you receive valuable feedback on your entry that you can learn from and apply to the next project.
What are important tips that you can offer to others who want to submit an award entry?
If you’re going to go through the effort, make sure you can meet all the criteria the entry requires. While criteria varies for different categories, the basic elements include a demonstration of strategic planning, setting clear objectives and having solid measurement to determine if your project met its objectives. I would also recommend doing research on past winners to gain a better understanding of what makes a winning entry.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I think it’s important that entering an award competition is a by-product of great communications work. In other words, don’t approach a communications challenge with an award in mind because it might affect how you approach the project. Focus on what’s important, including the communication objective, your client’s needs, how the audience is impacted and meeting the stated objectives. If the result is a project that has award-winning potential, that’s icing on the cake but shouldn’t be your end game.