Today we will cover the final top ten tips and best practices that were captured from the November 26 discussion with Barb and Dyna. The presentation is based on the Gold Quill Midas Touch PDF. Click here for the full PDF.
- Set the stage: Remind the evaluators what was going on during the timeframe of the project. Answer the questions: What challenges and what is the context of the challenges you faced during your project? What concrete factual events can you include that will give context? What did you learn? What problem solving was required?
- Results: Talk about unexpected consequences, most satisfying results, and show the strategy behind the results. Include an evaluation of your work. Include anecdotal results, as this will increase your score. Barb recommends that whenever possible, plan ahead to capture survey results before the project and follow up with a survey response during and after. This will provide you with statistics that you can then analyse and tie back to the level of engagement activity of your strategic plan. Barb also suggests using tools such as Survey Monkey, which is what she personally uses to secure strategic member engagement. Career tip: Management will support your work when they can see the strategy.
- Train yourself to think: Get in the habit of asking yourself how you can prove the effectiveness of your strategy. Ask yourself the question: What am I going to be measuring?
- Submission=Case study: Think of your submission as a case study for building the case for using your strategy as a template for future events.
- Work samples: The online submission tool allows up to 10 work samples to be uploaded.
- Easy for the evaluator: Make it easy for the evaluator to clearly see why you included this sample to demonstrate your objective. Remember, evaluators will only spend one hour reading and preparing their evaluation score and notes. You want to make the process as easy as possible for them to clearly see that you have hit all the Midas Points. Craft your submission with precise language and be as professional as you can.
- Suspense: Was there something that stood out for you while evaluating this project or during the process of implementing it? Create tension with regard to your feelings about how it would turn out to engage the evaluator.
- Essential to include: The most critical question to answer is: Did you do all you said you were going to do?
- Tips on getting started writing your submission: Power into it and write about 10 pages then start editing, nuance the greatest impact as you pare it down. The best plan is to start writing when you have the germ of the idea and start working on the project. Keep a file and add to it as you progress. You can easily spend up to 32 hours on preparation. This can more work than you realize so leave a lot of time.
- Performance reviews: You can weave your objectives into your performance review at work to make count for more than the awards submission.
The International IABC for the 2013 Gold Quill Program, which the 2014 Excel Awards Program is based on, provides two documents that are a great resource while preparing your submission. They are:
The Midas Touch – How to Prepare a Gold Quill Submission
This document clearly defines what the evaluators will mark for each section of the submission for an average score, as well as what will bring the score up and down. Click here for the fully document.
The Gold Quill Never Before Published Tips: How to Prepare a Gold Quill Submission in 24 Hours
This document shows what sections to pull from your Communications Plan for your project or campaign. If you don’t have a formal communications plan for your project, there’s a good chance it will take more than 24 hours to prepare. As noted in one of the tips from Barb and Dyna, give yourself a lot of time to work on your submission. While this document is very helpful, you might want give yourself a few weeks to take your time and carefully read over your work. Click here for the full document.