View from a judge’s chair

The team of judges are busy reading and assessing each of the award entries. We know what it’s like entering awards. You spend a lot of time and effort, drawing on all the expertise you can to put together a ‘winning’ entry. It’s hard work, sometimes just to get the sign off! Then off it goes, finally submitted and you’re a little lost without it, and you’re left waiting…  Waiting to hear if you’ve been shortlisted.

So we asked one of our judges to write a post from their point of view (anonymously of course). We hope the below post fills the gap between submitting your wonderful work and hearing about the shortlist…


Over to our friendly judge:

It’s noon and I’m about to take a break from my morning judging some of the CIPR Inside award entries. But before I get a sandwich and carry on, I thought I’d write this short blog entry. There’s some mystery around what happens between submitting award entries and then hearing whether you’ve been shortlisted or not. This post aims to dispel some of that mystery, so you know what the process is and how the judging works.

I’ve been asked by CIPR Inside to judge two award categories and am honoured to do so. The standard and quality is extremely high and I’ve been impressed by the variety of the entries and examples of effective internal communications I’ve been reading through.

This is the first year the CIPR Inside awards have taken place and they focus on internal communications. It’s a tough job to choose who is the best because there are some strong ideas, campaigns, strategies and results. However, there is a structure to judging and choosing, and I’ll tell you more about that in a moment. Reading through, I’m impressed by the hard work, effort and creativity on display.

Internal Communications professionals have been creating effective channels for their employees and audiences and I can only imagine the positive feedback you’re getting. In fact, some of you have included snippets of feedback in your entries, where appropriate and asked for, so I don’t have to imagine, I can see for myself.

How does the judging work?

I was approached by CIPR Inside and asked to judge two categories. Having accepted, I was sent the award entries via Dropbox – no couriering here, it’s all digital.

I’ve signed a non disclosure agreement, as is standard, to promise that I won’t share your content with anyone, which I have duly signed and returned.

I have a judge’s scoring sheet to mark your entries against. It has been created based on the criteria in the call for entries, so I’m looking to see evidence of the information that was requested.

Having downloaded the ones I am to judge from Dropbox, I’m able to work through them with the criteria firmly in mind in order to provide a fair and consistent way of marking. All the other judges have the same for their categories.

I read through the evidence provided by each company and have been making notes as I go, based on what I’ve read, heard and seen in the entry. Each submission requires 100 words or less summary on my marking sheet as well as my scores. I’m finding that capturing my impressions as I go provides a comprehensive overview that I can input at the end.

What happens next?

Details for the 2015 awards can be found here.


The shortlist will be announced on Friday 25 January 2013 and the awards evening is on Thursday 28 February 2013 at The Hospital Club, in the heart of Covent Garden, from 7pm-11pm.

Early bird tickets are available at £75 each instead of the standard ticket price of £100 each. Full information here:

I’ve heard whispers about the entertainment, it looks set to be a good night and I will be there in person.

Who am I? I can’t reveal that as there is still an air of mystery to the awards despite being transparent about this process. Good luck to everyone who has entered, and if you’re not shortlisted this time, do consider entering in future, as next time it could be you.

I’m off to get my lunch before carrying on judging…

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