The two public relations consultancies submitting the greatest number of entries from a single firm were Fleishman-Hillard South Africa
and Ogilvy PR Cape Town
"The overall standard of this year's entries is good," says Marilyn Watson, chief judge and a partner at Cinnamon Communication.
Fellow judge Sarel du Plessis, CEO of The Marketing Association of South Africa, adds, "There are some real gems that deserve accolades." Of the entries received in the new student category, he says, "there were really high quality and in many cases better presented and more creative than entries from some consultancies.""Benchmark set very high"
Hayley Kuhn, head of marketing and communication at Sanlam Sky Solutions, commented on the new categories, which include Community Relations and Communication Research, "The benchmark has been set very high. The entries are very well written and concise." She adds that in assessing the entries, she was exposed to a whole range of new and interesting changes and shifts in the communication environment.
A number of the new categories focus on social and other new media. "It seems that the use of social media is now a norm and not an add-on in the activation of campaigns," says Watson. "There also seemed to be a tightening of budgets allocated to campaigns."Key element
Having reviewed many of the entries this year, it is evident that entrants are not putting sufficient effort into qualifying their objectives with quantifiable changes or targets. For judges, this is a key element in the assessment of entries in the search for a winner.
Looking ahead to the 2013 competition, Watson advises entrants to include in their submissions a greater focus, detail on quantifiable objectives, ensure that they highlight the key insights generated from their research, indicate clearly how those insights informed the strategy that they adopted and how this contributed to achieving measurable change.
The awards ceremony takes place on 25 March 2012 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Johannesburg.