By Jessica Clark
More often than not, Image entries often lose points or are disqualified for not following the entry criteria. The very last thing you want is to have an award-worthy project fail to win or, even worse, be disqualified all together, because you did not follow the directions.
Image guidelines are very specific. There are guidelines for what should be included and how things need to be formatted, and those guidelines should not be ignored. Since projects are different, there must be a uniform approach to presenting an entry so that judging can be fair and impartial. And remember, PR professionals are sticklers for details and they are the ones who judge your entries.
Put most of your effort into the two-page summary. Seventy percent of the scoring is based on the summary of your project that sets out the reason and need for development of the public relations program or tool, how it was implemented and the results. Make sure you address five elements – Research, Objectives, Implementation, Evaluation and Budget. And it should be clear, concise and factual – not just creative.

The judges then review support materials for professionalism, innovation and design to score the remaining 30 percent of the entry. Please think about what you can include to help the judges understand or appreciate your project. Don’t lose valuable points by failing to include support materials that detail what you have presented in the summary.

And last, but not least, please, please proofread your final summary. Check, not only grammar and punctuation, but general typos that could cost you an Image award.