Categories

A few example entries from previous years are provided here.

In case you missed it on the home page, please refer to the judging criteria forms for Div. I Campaigns here and Div. II Tactics here to help you put together your entries. Download the entry form (Download: PDF or WORD)

2017 Golden Spike Awards Entry Categories

Division I: Campaigns

This division is for comprehensive campaigns or programs, typically involving multiple strategies and tactics. For each entry in this division, please include an “At-a-Glance” 100-word description, plus a TWO-PAGE summary.

1. Institutional Programs

A. For-profit companies
B. Government, Nonprofit organizations and associations

Programs that seek to improve an organization’s relationships or reputation (image) with its publics (or some of its publics).

2. Community Relations

A. For-profit companies
B. Government, Nonprofit organizations and associations

Programs that seek to improve relationships with (or win the support of) communities. “Community” refers to people united by common interests or situations and may include both geographically defined communities and other types of communities (e.g., an ethnic community or a community of people involved in the treatment of a disease such as AIDS or Alzheimer’s). However, this category is not for marketing campaigns seeking to sell a product or service.

3. Public Service / Advocacy

A. For-profit companies
B. Government, Nonprofit organizations and associations

Public service programs: joint ventures or partnerships that promote public understanding of a societal issue or concern. Advocacy: programs designed to influence public policy or affect elections, referenda, legislation, regulations, etc., for the benefit of the individual or organization funding the program. May be at the local, state, federal, or international levels. The goal should not be to enhance the image of a specific organization—those programs should be entered in Division I, Category 1: Institutional Programs.

4. Special Events

A. For-profit companies
B. Government, Nonprofit organizations and associations

Special events including openings, celebrations, observances, conferences, lectures or other special activities.

5. Marketing Products or Services

A. For-profit companies
B. Government, Nonprofit organizations and associations

Programs designed to create demand for (and support sales of) products or services. May include launches of new products/services, campaigns on behalf of existing products/services, consumer or business-to-business campaigns, etc. (This category is for entire campaigns. Specific advertising should be entered in Division II, Category 4).

6. Crisis Management

A. For-profit companies
B. Government, Nonprofit organizations and associations

Programs to manage a crisis affecting the organization.

7. Internal Relations

A. For-profit companies
B. Government, Nonprofit organizations and associations

Programs designed specifically for internal publics such as employees, trustees, volunteers, members, agents, affiliated dealers, franchisees, etc.

8. Social Media

A. For-profit companies
B. Government, Nonprofit organizations and associations

Programs designed around social media campaigns that use one, or a combination, of different social media platforms.

Quick Links

Entry Form (Download: PDF or WORD) | Example Entries

Division II: Tactics

This division is for individual tactics (or campaigns involving a single tactic) rather than comprehensive campaigns involving multiple strategies and tactics. For each entry in this division, please include an “At-a-Glance” 100-word description, plus a ONE PAGE summary. You do NOT need to include research in this section.

1. Publicity and Media Relations

A. For-profit companies
B. Government, Nonprofit organizations and associations

Projects or campaigns solely involving publicity or media relations. May include the publicity aspect of a larger campaign, responses to a media inquiry or crisis, an interview or media tour, etc. Submit press releases, media advisories, pitch letters, requests for coverage, etc., along with evidence of the resulting media coverage. TV coverage should be submitted on a DVD and radio coverage CD.

2. Print Communications

A. For-profit companies
B. Government, Nonprofit organizations and associations

Entries in this section may include:

  • Periodic newsletter publications designed to provide brief and timely information to target audiences. Electronically submit three consecutive issues.
  • Periodic magazine publications designed to provide in-depth information about an organization or topic on a regular basis. Electronically submit three consecutive issues.
  • Brochures, pamphlets, booklets or other small publications that inform a target audience about an organization, product, service, or issue. Electronically submit one copy of the publication.
  • Books
  • Annual Reports
  • Single-issue publications designed for a special purpose (that are not brochures, newsletters, magazines, or annual reports). May include newspaper supplements that are editorial or magazine-like in nature (not primarily commercial advertising circulars for retail stores, etc.). Electronically submit one copy of the publication.

3. Press Kits/Media Kits

Press kits/media kits or other collections of materials sent to the media to obtain publicity for an organization, product, service, or event. May include photographs and other materials. Submit one electronic copy of the press kit.

Note: Judges will evaluate the quality and results of the press kit (collected materials).

4. Advertising and Other Marketing Communications

A. Direct mail/direct response. Includes invitations, holiday cards, announcements, etc.
B. Print display advertising. Includes newspaper and magazine ads.
C. Television commercials—paid advertising.
D. Radio commercials—paid advertising.
E. Outdoor advertising (e.g., billboards—submit photo).

  • Paid advertising and other marketing communications designed to elicit a behavioral response from audiences.
  • May be a single communication or a series.
  • All pieces submitted must have been placed in the media or mailed. Creative concepts are not permissible.
  • Note: Judges will evaluate only the quality of the creative pieces, not the results of an entire campaign. Submit one electronic copy of the advertisement.

5. Videos

A. Internal audiences primarily (e.g., employees, agents).
B. External audiences primarily (e.g., consumers).

Entries may consist of edited or unedited video and sound bites. Submit them electronically.

6. Writing

A. News writing (brief factual, expository news articles), Feature stories (longer articles), News Releases and Media Advisories, Speeches and Presentations.
B. Editorials/op-ed columns/letters to the editor (opinion pieces), Advertorials (paid advertising written as editorial matter).

Entries must be written substantially by the entrant.

Note: Judges will evaluate on the quality of the writing as well as results. Electronically submit the text as well as documentation of publication or use.

7. Interactive Communications

A. Internal audiences primarily (e.g., employees, agents)
B. External audiences primarily (e.g., consumers)

Websites, online periodical publications (e.g., newsletters, zines, blogs), other applications of new interactive technologies (e.g., email, Web, video). Include “screen grabs,” electronic copies of sample Web pages as appropriate, or a location where they can be found online.

8. Creative Tactics

A creative or unconventional strategy or tactic used as part of a broader campaign. Electronically submit, if appropriate, a video or photographs. Describe how the tactic contributed to the results of the campaign.

9. Research

A. For-profit companies
B. Government, Nonprofit organizations and associations

A research project (e.g., research used to plan or evaluate a larger program or campaign).

10. Social Media

A. For-profit companies
B. Government, Nonprofit organizations and associations

A social media tactic as part of a social media campaign or as an extension of another campaign.

11. Photography and Illustrations

A. Photography
B. Illustrations

Artwork used in support of another communications tactic or campaign. Electronically submit a print or photocopy. Do NOT send original artwork because we cannot guarantee return of your entry.

Quick Links

Entry Form (Download: PDF or WORD)Example Entries