What the judges are looking for

Here are a bunch of quotes from our jury that give you an insight into the types of things they are looking for when they are judging your entries.

“A compelling story that resonates with the target audience and showcases the brand’s raison d’etre is a must. It’s about having a simple concept, brilliantly executed. Clear objectives and outcomes together with ROI will go a long way to securing a happy ending. Every story should have one.”

Bev Aujla, head of PR & policy, Kelkoo Group

“Standout campaigns are based on a key insight, put through a creative lens and delivered through razor-sharp execution. The outcome will meet the objective. As a judge, if the work stops me in my tracks, makes me pause for thought, raises a smile or more likely, a tinge of envy, then they’ve probably nailed it.”

Andrew Roache, head of corporate affairs, Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company

“Did you achieve what you set out to do? And was it ambitious and worthwhile? Getting close to something bold can be more impressive than smashing an easy target.”

Simon Enright, director of communications, NHS England and NHS Improvement

“2020 was a year like no other and I’ll be looking for campaigns that showed genuine empathy - not performative kindness, but a real understanding of what matters to people and makes a difference to their lives. And being an in-house person who signs off campaign budgets, I love creativity that drives brand loyalty and wins over new customers.”

Doyel Maitra, group communications director and board member, Hachette UK

“If you can sell your idea in a single sentence, you’re probably onto something. I would love to see original ideas that actually have an impact beyond vanity metrics. And ingenious creativity. The kind of creativity that makes you a bit jealous that you didn't think of it yourself. ”

Caroline Fisher, director PR & influencer, ASICS Europe

“I will be looking for 360 campaigns based on a storytelling format that creates measurable business results. And every story needs a hero, so I will be looking for that hero as well.”

Mattias Af Geijerstam, director of communications, TCS Europe

“I want you to make my head fall off, and not only wish I’d come up with your campaign – but that I could have your brain cos mine wouldn’t be capable of dreaming up something so fantastical. For me, a truly successful campaign is something real people talk about – which usually demands a combination of media cut-through, social talkability, and general ‘WTF?’ factor. Good luck.”

Lee Price, head of PR & mischief, Paddy Power

“I will be looking for campaigns that not only pack the kind of creative punch that gets them mentioned in other PR teams' brainstorms, but also the campaigns that managed to deliver excellent, measurable results in a time that was challenging, confusing and - dare I say - unprecedented."

Daria Gerasimova, head of PR, Chip

“I’ll be looking for campaigns that effortlessly engage an audience using clever creative and powerful brand storytelling to cut through. Think differently about your entry and make sure it’s as engaging and inspiring as your campaign was - clearly demonstrate the impact you made through relevant metrics and show us why and how you got everyone talking!”

Fiona Mills, PR brand communications manager, Greggs

“I am looking for a PR idea that not only feeds a single business need but one that also ladders up to a broader company objective. One-off stunts are great to drive immediate coverage, but what do they say more broadly about your brand and how do they change customer perceptions in a measurable and long-lasting way? Lastly, how does the idea play into the zeitgeist in a meaningful way? With 2020 having been such a seismic year for all of us, how have campaigns and ideas tried to make our lives more enriched and fulfilled as a result?”

Jay Ward, director, Ford of Europe product communications, Ford Motor Company

“The lines between our audiences are less defined than ever before. For me, winners will be thinking way beyond conventional PR coverage, finding innovative and creative ways to engage with multiple stakeholders. I’ll be shortlisting those who have created trailblazing content that sets you apart from the rest.”

David Macdonald, director of communications, Global Brands and Retail Pharmacy International, Walgreens Boots Alliance

“Although it's almost impossible to truly measure the feeling you get when you see a campaign that is brilliant, surprising and unmistakably human, I'm hoping the entries are able to do just that and make me wish I'd come up with the idea myself.”

Tobi Ruth Adebekun, communications, International, Snap Inc.

“For me, an award-winning campaign is one which goes way beyond column inches and brand mentions. It's got to be a campaign which clearly turns creativity into action, to help customers, employees and communities live their lives and ultimately prosper. The world has changed beyond recognition so this is particularly significant. Campaigns that put customers and people first will be the ones that stand out for me.”

Clemmy Stopford, senior communications manager, Xero

“Given the year we've had when most had budgets and resources slashed, I will be looking for how you maximised what you had to work with and levelled-up on creativity. If I had sat in your initial pitch, what did you convey that would have made me want to choose your approach over others and what set you apart.”