By Julie Deering, AAEA Vice President
That’s exactly what Jamie Cole, Martha Mintz and Holly Spangler shared March 23 during the AAEA Young Professional Taskforce webinar on how to select that winning entry.
If you missed it, the recording is available at https://vimeo.com/209948679.
Cole of Red Barn Media says there are a couple strategies one can deploy when it comes to photography to try and win. One is to flood the category, especially if there’s a low barrier to entry. But the strategy he recommends is to “edit, and then edit again.” This means being selective and only entering one or two of your best.
To build his skill at selecting the best entries, Cole says he found it very beneficial to serve as a judge for other contests. This helps you build a critical eye, he says.
When it comes to the writing contest, Mintz of Corral Creek Communications says one of the first things she does is ask: “What do I want out of this?” The answer to that question helps determine what Mintz enters, and in what categories.
Next, she takes all her articles that would be eligible and reads through them. “Time helps you filter what is good and what is not,” she says. The other thing Mintz considers is the “wow factor.” Is it something that is unique and interesting? She also takes into consideration that some of the judges aren’t agricultural people and asks if the article would appeal to them.
Spangler of Penton Agriculture, too, says she doesn’t write for a category but sits down and reads through her material to see if and where pieces might fit. Spangler suggests that once you’ve narrowed your story selection down to run them by someone you trust for a fresh set of eyes.
It’s not just about winning. Spangler, Mintz and Cole say they really value the judges’ feedback and use it to better their work. Spangler says she loves to see who won with what and how they crafted their story.
The Communications Awards Contest is open, and entries are due April 30. What entry will you submit?