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GTA Tips

You work hard all year on marketing communications projects to achieve the best results for your company and/or clients – why not get the recognition you deserve? Check out these tips for building and entering an award winning entry for the Golden Triangle Awards.

1. Think GTA All Year Long

Since electronic entries are now the norm, create a GTA folder on your computer. When you are working on a noteworthy brochure, report or media campaign, scan the printed material put an electronic copy of it in the folder so it is within easy reach when you’re ready to prepare your entry.

2. Become a Judge for Another IABC Chapter

Being a judge for IABC is great learning experience for seasoned professionals and novices alike. Take the opportunity to judge for other chapters and see how organizations outside of Pittsburgh approach writing Work Plans. Contact IABC/Pittsburgh’s Director of Judging if you’re interested in becoming a judge.

3. Select Your Categories with Care

An abundance of entries in any one category can cause highly rated entries to drop out of the top four winning spots, and not earn an award. Consider competing in less-popular categories to improve your chances.

4. Aspire to Enter the IABC Gold Quill Awards

While not identical, IABC/Pittsburgh’s Golden Triangle Awards are modeled after IABC’s Gold Quill Awards. Entrants are expected to follow many of the same rules and guidelines as the Gold Quill, yet some people put more time, effort and thought into their Gold Quill entry than their GTA entry. This year, try preparing your GTA entry with the same dedication and attention to detail and quality as you would with a Gold Quill entry. You’ll likely earn an improved score and positive comments from judges. Then, if you decide to “go for the Gold” after the GTA, much of the hard work will be behind you. Visit for more information on what makes an IABC Gold Quill Award winner.

 5. Ask to See Your Score Sheet

After the judging period is over (usually about a month and a half after the entry deadline), ask IABC/Pittsburgh’s Director of Judging to send you a copy of your entry’s score sheet. Judges are expected to give comments and constructive criticism, which may help you in preparing an even better entry for next year.

6. Become Familiar with the “Marks of a Winner”

Ever wonder what GTA judges expect to see in an “Outstanding” entry? Did your last GTA entry receive a score that you thought was too low, and you wondered why the judges didn’t appreciate its true merit? Whether you’re looking for ways to improve your Work Plan writing skills or just wondering what you could have done to make your entry more appealing overall, it is worthwhile to read IABC’s Marks of a Winner document – a comprehensive methodology for judging IABC’s award competitions. View a PDF of IABC’s Marks of a Winner.

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