Of which project are you most proud? Which was the most effective? Marketing communications projects completed between January 2012 and December 2013 are eligible for entry in the 2014 MCAs. Can’t decide? Enter multiple projects and categories!
March might seem far away at the moment, but you want to make sure you have plenty of time to prepare. Early-Bird Deadline: March 3, 2014 Postmark your entry by this date and enjoy a discount on the entry fee. Final Deadline: March 17, 2014 Your entry must be delivered to SMPS Headquarters by this date in order to compete in 2014.
Step 3: Decide in which category to enter your project.
There are 21 categories. Here’s the full list: 1. Advertising12. Newsletter-External 2. Annual Report13. Newsletter-Internal 3. Book/Monograph14. Promotional Campaign 4. Brochure15. Recruitment & Retention 5. Corporate Identity16. Social Media 6. Direct-Mail Campaign17. Special Event 7. Feature Writing18. Specific Project Marketing 8. Holiday Piece19. Tradeshow Marketing 9. Internal Communication20. Video 10. Magazine21. Web Site 11. Media Relations Campaign
Once you’ve decided which categories to enter, check the MCA page on the SMPS web site for submittal requirements, which vary by category. www.smps.org/Recognition/MCA/2014-Category-Definitions/ The requirements have been updated for 2014. Even if you’ve entered before, please read the submittal requirements, because we’ve made some changes.
To print your entry form, go here: www.smps.org/MCA/www.smps.org/MCA/ Fill out one entry form for all submissions from your team. Is more than one team entering from your firm? Each team should complete its own entry form. The completed form must be included in your binder, so please keep it handy.
Step 6: Get a binder and clear plastic sleeves.
Your entry must submitted in a standard 8.5-x-11-inch, three ring, view binder. A separate binder is required for each entry.
Your 8.5-x-11” three-ring view binder must include the following: Entry form, Entry Fee, Table of Contents, Clarification Statement, and Exhibits/Samples All materials, including samples, must be inserted into clear plastic sleeves. Are your samples too large to fit into the sleeves? If so, please use rubber bands to secure the items to your binder. Items such as clothing or hats that can’t fit must be photographed and the photograph needs to be included with your entry. Please note: A separate binder is required for each entry.
Step 7: Put the entry form & entry fee into the binder.
After you complete the entry form, it’s time to make a copy. You’ll need to include two copies with each entry. They’ll go in the binder like this: 1)One copy of the completed form inside the clear cover of the binder. 2)Second copy with the fee* in an envelope, then the envelope goes inside the binder’s front pocket. *If you’re paying by credit card, fill out the card information on the entry form. If you’re paying by check, enclose the check in the envelope with the second copy of the entry form.
Preparing the table of contents is easy. You just need to include two titles/descriptions on the document: 1) Clarification statement [these exact words] 2) Name of the marketing material you’re entering. Don’t forget to put the table of contents in your binder!
Clarification statements require careful attention. So, please make sure you read Submittal Requirements. You’ll find detailed guidelines and information about what should be included. In general, each clarification statement should have: 1) Marketing Objective3) Content Deliverable 2) Content Messaging4) The Results To get detailed information about the clarification statement, visit: http://www.smps.org/Recognition/MCA/2014-Submittal-Requirements/ http://www.smps.org/Recognition/MCA/2014-Submittal-Requirements/ Don’t forget to put the clarification statement in your binder!
Step 10: Prepare exhibits/samples of projects entered.
Now’s the time to prepare your marketing piece*. If the entry was produced as a hard copy, like a brochure, include the sample as a hard copy. If the entry was produced as a digital piece, like a Web Site or video, include the sample on a CD/DVD. When submitting a digital piece on a CD/DVD, please make sure it’s viewable using Windows Media Player or Internet Explorer 9. And, please test the files prior to submitting. *Some categories require more than one sample. Please review category requirements for quantity. Also, check the SMPS Web Site for instructions on how to label your CD/DVD. Don’t forget to put the samples in or attached to your binder!
It takes a lot of work to put together your entry, so it’s important to check it against submittal requirements. We hate to say it, but failure to comply with requirements could result in disqualification. We don’t want that to happen. So, please take your time and review everything before sending it to us.
Congratulations, you’re almost done! Once you’re sure the binder is ready, it’s time to mail it out. Send your submission to: SMPS MCA Entry 123 N. Pitt Street, #400 Alexandria, VA 22314 If you’re entering more than one project, you can mail all binders in one package or box.
Important dates to remember: March 3, 2014: Early-bird discounted entry. March 17, 2014: Final entry deadline. April 4-5, 2014: Judging weekend. July 31, 2014: SMPS Awards Gala to honor all finalists. All participants will receive a letter in May letting them know where they stand in the competition and if they’re a finalist in a category.
MCA Entry Checklist: Think about your marketing projects. Check the MCA deadlines. Decide on categories to enter. Read submittal requirements carefully. Download and complete your entry form. Get binder and clear plastic sleeves. Insert entry form [both copies] into the binder. Prepare table of contents and insert it into the binder. Prepare clarification statement and insert it into the binder. Prepare exhibit/sample and insert it into the binder. Check your binder to make sure you’ve followed submittal requirements. Mail entry to SMPS no later than March 17, 2014 [March 3 for early-bird discount]. You’re done! Grab a coffee, or treat yourself to some ice cream.
Clarification statement in clear plastic sleeve. Marketing piece (brochure) in clear plastic sleeve. Sample binders.
If you have any questions, visit the MCA FAQs page on the SMPS web site or contact Molly Dall’Erta at email@example.com or 800.292.7677, firstname.lastname@example.org For inspiration, check out the 2013 MCA winners on Pinterest: pinterest.com/smpsnational/2013-marketing-communications-award-winners/ Good luck! And, thanks for participating. 37 th Annual Marketing Communications Awards