Q. What is the deadline for entries?
A. The deadline for entries in 2017 has been extended to Friday, October 13.
Q. What are the entry fees?
A. The base fee to enter an annual report is $135, and the base fee to enter a CSR report is $165. There also are optional categories for consideration, with fees of $25 to enter the Front Cover design category and $35 for each of the other categories (Letter to Shareholders/Stakeholders, Photography and Design, Narrative, Financial Presentation, and Interactive Online Experience). Organizations that enter both an annual and a CSR report, however, receive a 20 percent discount off their total entry fees. For example, an organization that enters both an annual and a CSR report and decides to enter the optional Letter to Shareholder/Stakeholder categories for each would have entry fees of $370 minus 20 percent for a total entry fee of $296.
Q. I work for a design firm, PR or other agency that develops annual and CSR/sustainability/citizenship reports for our clients. Can I enter the competition on their behalf?
A. Absolutely! Many of our entries come from creative firms on behalf of their clients. And many of our honorees through the years have come from such entries.
Q. My organization publishes an annual sustainability/citizenship report, which is similar to but can be different from other organizations’ CSR reports. Are we eligible to enter?
A. Definitely! We use the term “Corporate Social Responsibility” as a general catch-all for the variety of publications by which for-profit, civic and not-for-profit organizations report on the ways they are impacting the communities they serve and the wider world. Whether you call your report a CSR report, a sustainability report or a citizenship report, it’s eligible to be entered as a CSR report for the purposes of our competition.
Q. When will the honorees be announced?
A. Participants will be informed whether or not their entries have been selected in the second week of November.
Q. What do honorees receive?
A. All “Best of” category winners receive a plaque to commemorate their accomplishments. Judges also may choose to honor additional exemplary entrants with either an ASPC Colonial Award for Excellence or an Honorary Mention.
Q. If my agency enters on behalf of a client and our entry is selected, whose name appears on the award?
A. That is up to you! When we contact you in November to inform you that you, we will let you know for which category/categories your entry was selected, and we will ask you at that time to confirm exactly how you would like the award to read. In all cases, we include the name of the organization whose report is being honored, but we also are happy to include the name(s) of agencies and/or individuals who may have been instrumental in the production of the report(s).
Q. If we win an award, can we get duplicates for multiple people and/or locations?
A. Absolutely! When we contact honorees in November to confirm the names that should be on the awards, we will provide an option to order duplicate awards or even to order custom variations as you may like.
Q. Who are the judges?
A. Our judges are professional communicators from across the private and public sectors, all of whom have at least a decade or more of experience producing annual and CSR reports.
Q. How does someone become a judge for one of your competitions?
A. In most cases, we have reached out to past participants and other highly respected veterans in the field of professional communications. And in other cases, folks have reached out to us and expressed an interest in participating as a judge. We’re always looking to broaden our slate of qualified competition judges. So, if you think you might like to serve as a judge of a future competition, please send us an email at AR-CSR@asprocomm.com with a bit of information about your professional communications experience, your particular experience with annual and/or CSR reports, and let us know that you’d like to be considered.
Q. May judges and the organizations for which they work also participate as competition entrants?
A. Yes … though we work very diligently to ensure no judge is ever in position to influence the results of judging for any category where there might be a conflict of interest.
Q. What is the benefit of ordering an optional written critique when entering the competition?
A. Our written critiques offer unique, customized insight into your report that you just can’t get anywhere else. In every critique, you’ll find an evaluation of the elements that either make yours successful or in which it may be lacking. Your entry will be compared against current trends in reporting and long-established best practices. In 10 pages (minimum, some critiques run longer), we will deconstruct the design, writing and structure of your report, and we’ll make recommendations tailored to your organization and industry about how to elevate your report development next year.
Q. How many participants request the optional written critique each year?
A. Through the years, approximately 25 percent of our entrants have participated in the written critiques program. And we are very pleased to report that we have never had a single entrant complain that they didn’t feel the critique they received was worth the price. Having said that, as our awards program has grown in scope in recent years, we have had to cap the number of critiques we would produce each competition season in order to keep the program manageable and to ensure its high quality. And so, through time, we would expect that the overall percentage of entrants who participate in the critique program will come down from that 25 percent number. Best advice if you want to make sure you receive a written critique is to submit our entry early, before we sell out.
Q. How do you ensure that ordering an optional written critique doesn’t influence judging?
A. While some of our judges do produce our written critiques (we also have a roster of very experienced professional communicators who develop critiques for this service but do not participate as judges), we are very diligent about ensuring that no entry is ever assigned to a judge for a written critique in the same revenue or category class that he/she may be judging. Furthermore, judges are not told which entrants in the revenue or category class they are judging have even elected to receive a critique. So, we can confidently state that participating (or not) in the written critique program does not in any way affect an entrant’s chances of earning an award in the competition.