The Jury
Charting the future of public relations

The In2 SABRE Awards - North America Pointers From The Judges

This is a summary of pointers from Innovation SABRE judges - past and present - on what they look for in award-winning entries. 

Bob Finlayson
Brian Nelson
Danielle Yango
Diana Wong
Eric Brown
Hadley Wilkins
RedPoint Ventures
Kyle Arteaga
Bulleit Group
Leslie Campisi

Mike Santoro
Walker Sands
Paulo Simas
W2O Group
Stefanie Grossman
Terra Carmichael
Yasmin Hosseinzadeh

Here are a few pointers — guidance from recent judges — on what compels them to advocate for an entry during the judging process: 

"I look for teams that have mastered the ability to track and measure the success of their campaigns meaningfully." - Angela Martin, West Coast Communications at Bloomberg

"[I look for] well-documented cases of how practitioners are pushing the boundaries of PR by exploring new and innovative ways to engage with a target audience. Make the cases fun to read/view/listen to." - Burghardt Tenderich, University of Southern California 

"Entries that make me smack myself in the head and say, 'why didn't I think of that first?!' Programs that push the boundaries of what qualifies as PR and result in laughter either through their humor or from a sense of awe." — Brandon Borrman, Twitter

"Entries that show how the campaign connected, resonated and engaged an audience – what action did it inspire and did I have a similar intended response." - Diana Wong, RSA Security 

“I’m interested in seeing how companies have transcended the transactional and struck an emotionally resonant chord with their audiences. To see how authentic connections have compelled people to engage with content and share it." -Elizabeth Owen, Levi Strauss & Co

"As a former journalist I'm excited to see entries that are setting a high bar for branded editorial content." - Jessica Shambora, Quora 

"In most cases, I read the results section first. If that doesn't impress me, it's very hard for that entry to make my shortlist." - Ken Shuman, Pindrop

"Think carefully about how your entry looks– its layout on the page, the charts, graphs and photos you use to illustrate it, even the typeface you select." - Stephen Astle, Text 100 
"More is not better; imagine judges combing through dozens of entries and wishing they could see a nasty, brutish and short entry that tells them everything they need to know almost by telepathy." - Stephanie Losee, Visa 
"This is the opportunity to showcase it so don’t be shy. If you have all of your plans and results lined up already, the time commitment can be as little as a few hours. In fact, shorter submissions that get to the point quickly do better when being reviewed. Plus, the exercise of putting the submission together - reflecting on the program, the results, the impact -  can help with team morale and help you to merchandize the work for new business efforts. Especially for PR teams, this is a chance to dispel the notion that there is a lack of creativity and bold thinking in the industry. The size of the agency didn’t matter, it was the big and bold idea we were looking for. - Christian Averill, BitTorrent