South African winners of International Association of Business Communicators 2013 Gold Quill Awards were lauded at a celebratory function held in Pretoria on 17 July 2013. Of the 16 entries submitted by IABC Africa Region members to the prestigious international competition, half were recognised with either merit or excellence awards and one received a ‘Best of the Best’ award for scoring the highest out of all the winners in the Africa Region. This entry also scored the highest out of the more than 800 entries submitted to the competition.
The top scorer, Mari Lee of DevCom, a development communication consultancy, says: “It’s a great honour to be recognised for excellence in communication by one’s peers”. Mari’s entry showcased a successful stakeholder management campaign for the Timbali Technology Incubator, an agri-incubator setting up small scale farmers in their own sustainable businesses.
The local ceremony came after the winners had received their global awards at the IABC’s World Conference held in New York in June. At the celebration in Pretoria, they were presented with IABC Africa Gold Quill Excellence Awards.
LOCAL TALENT ON WORLD STAGE
Says IABC Africa Chairperson Sophia Dower: “A Gold Quill award is the highest accolade in the global business communication environment. It is resounding confirmation that the work the entrant has produced is among the very best in terms of quality and effectiveness, in the world.”
Of the eight African winners, four were from Anglo American subsidiary Kumba Iron Ore. Kumba Chief Executive Officer Norman Mbazima, who was keynote speaker at the Pretoria event says: “Participating in the Gold Quills forces communicators to look critically at what they do and how they do it. It’s not only about winning awards, it’s also about changing the way corporate communicators think, how they plan, and how they implement.
“It is a long-term investment in aligning what you as corporate communicators do to the business objectives of your companies and organisations; in setting clear and measurable objectives in support of these business goals; and in completing the loop with proper bottom-line research.
“Winning Gold Quills and proving that your efforts are world class, not only enhances the reputation of the individual who entered, and the whole team who contributed to the project or campaign, it also says a lot about the company or organisation they work for. To put it simply, a Gold Quill comes with serious bragging rights.”
A total of just more than 800 entries from across the world competed in the 2012 competition and 288 received either Merit or Excellence awards. Entries were scored by panels of trained evaluators, all of whom are IABC members and professional communicators. The panels met face-to-face in San Francisco, London, Toronto, Melbourne and Pretoria; and a virtual panel, including evaluators from Africa Region, scored online. The evaluators worked to a seven-point scale to ensure consistency across the board. Merit Awards were assigned to entries that scored a minimum of 5.25; and Excellence Awards went to entries that scored higher than 5.75.
Pretoria-based Communication Consultant Dr Amanda Hamilton-Attwell, who is the International Chairperson of the IABC Gold Quill Awards managed by IABC headquarters in San Francisco, says: “To put it into perspective, Africa outperformed Canada, IABC’s largest region after the US, in terms of the ratio of winners to entrants.”
Hamilton-Attwell emphasised that while the evaluation process takes communication outputs such as media and design into consideration, it focuses on the strategic impact the messages make to the sustained success of an organisation and the measurable business return delivered.
IABC GOLD QUILL AWARDS – AFRICA REGION WINNERS
On seven-scale, Excellence Awards = a minimum score of 5.75; and Merit Awards = minimum score of 5.25.
- Mari Lee, DevCom: Communication Excellence Delivers Agri-incubation Production Increase
Excellence Award, Internal Communication
- Madelain Roscher, PR Worx: Optimising Media Relations to mitigate crises
Merit Award, Multi-Audience Communication
- Ghrethna Kruger and Carla Pattison, Kumba Iron Ore: Preparation takes crisis out of crisis communication
Merit Award, Issues Management and Crisis Communication
- Ludwig von Benecke, Sasol; and Rick Mellvill, Unplugged: Team Sasol National
Merit Award, Safety Communication
- Lesmarie Bentley-Steyn, University of Johannesburg: Be Clear About Your Future
Excellence Award, Advertising Campaigns
- Tanya Aucamp, Kumba Iron Ore: A Real Mine Using Skateboarding to Make a Real to the lives of real people
Excellence Award, Corporate Social Responsibility
- Mooketsi Mocumi, Kumba Iron Ore: Envision
Excellence Award, Human Resources and Benefits Communication
- Nelmarie Schutte, Kumba Iron Ore: Using Kids to Manage Employee Fatigue
Excellence Award, Safety Communication
ABOUT THE GOLD QUILL AWARDS
Entry into the annual IABC Gold Quill Awards is open to IABC members and non-members alike worldwide. Entries are reviewed by panels of trained evaluators which sit in Pretoria, San Francisco, Melbourne, Toronto and London. There is also an online ‘virtual’ panel comprising evaluators from all over the world. Effort is made to ensure that panels evaluate entries from countries other than their own to avoid bias. There are 46 categories for entries, covering a broad spectrum of corporate communication elements, approaches and disciplines. The call for the 2014 Gold Quill Awards entries will commence in October 2013. Entrants have until March 2014 to submit their entries. Go to www.iabc.com for more details and start preparing your entry now.
The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is a global network of communication professionals committed to improving organizational effectiveness through strategic communication. Established in 1970, IABC serves more than 14 000 members in 70 countries. For more information, visit iabc.com.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Dr Amanda Hamilton-Attwell