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Gold Quill Awards

Top Local Communicators Acknowledged through International Awards Programme

Several of South Africa’s top communication professionals were acknowledged for their innovative work at this year’s International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Africa Quills awards evening.

The Gold Quill programme is an international competition that reaches communicators across the globe through the IABC Chapters in various regions. Communication professionals are invited to submit their finest work for evaluation by their peers, by entering their communication project or product in one of 27 competition categories. The categories have evolved over a number of years and are designed to acknowledge excellence according to strict criteria within the three broad divisions of communication management, communication skills and communication creative. Amongst the judging criteria are strategic relevance of the communication project, sound measurement and successful implementation.

The first tier adjudication sees prominent industry role-players evaluating local entries according to the same criteria used by IABC Chapters worldwide. Those entries receiving a high score are awarded local Africa Quill status, and are also put forward to the second tier of adjudication, which is done at the IABC headquarters in San Francisco in the United States by a high-profile international delegation comprising the Blue Ribbon judging panel.

At the local awards evening, which took place at Investec Bank in Menlo Park, Pretoria on 27 March 2009, Corporate Affairs Divisional Manager of DaimlerChrysler and Gold Quill judge Sejamothopo Motau acted as Master of Ceremonies and along with local Gold Quill coordinator and IABC Chapter President for Pretoria, Mari Lee, presented awards to no less than six winners. Lee, who walked away with two International Gold Quill awards in 2008, reminded the audience just how prestigious the Awards are saying, “They are the mark of global distinction and represent the highest level of professional acknowledgment within business communication today.”

Such a programme reinforces the strategic and meaningful role that communication—as an art and a science—plays in modern organisations.

The winners represent several communication disciplines, from employee and multi-audience communication, to publications and publication design.

The 2009 African Quill winners are:

Amanda Hamilton-Attwell, Business DNA
Division: Communication Management
Category: Strategic Communication Processes
Project: Research – A dashboard for guiding quick decisions
Elizabeth Anne Florecio, Nedbank
Division: Communication Skills
Category: Publications
Project: 3sixty
Michael Mitchley, Sentinel Mining
Division: Communication Management
Category: Strategic Communication Processes
Project: Sound process drives management led communication strategy and change
SARS Communication team
Division: Communication Management
Category: Multi audience Communication
Project: Tax Season 2008
Ilze van der Merwe, DevCom
Division: Communication Management
Category: Member/Employee communication
Project: Become involved to Resolve
Sophia Dower, Word’s Worth
Division: Communication Creative
Category: Publication Design
Project: Standard Bank Small Capital for Africa

The Blue Ribbon results were also in by the time the African Quills event took place, and more good news awaited two of the local winners. Both Sophia Dower and Ilze van der Merwe were informed that their entries had also secured international Gold Quill awards. These are presented each year at the IABC Global Congress, and South Africans have picked up awards every year for the past nine years or longer. In fact, 2009 marks the fourth year that Dower has been acknowledged by her international peers.

South Africa clearly has a vast amount of talent to boast in the communication industry. The IABC Africa Region encourages communication professionals, regardless of whether or not they are IABC members, to submit their work to the 2009 competition to ensure our fine work receives the recognition it deserves.

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