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Glenn Halbrooks

It's Time to Prepare Your Media Award Entries

By January 17, 2013

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Most of us in media are looking ahead to the rest of 2013, but there's one key reason to remember 2012. This is the time to prepare your media award entries for work you performed last year.

A photo of an Emmy Award statuette
Who wouldn't want an Emmy Award statuette sitting on a shelf as recognition for excellence?
Photo © Getty Images
Take a look at some of the major media award competitions you can enter for outstanding performance in print, broadcast or online media. They each have their own rules and entry deadlines, but now is the time to go through last year's work to choose what's best.

Boost your chances of winning by knowing which types of content to enter. These selections are critical in bringing home a prize.

For those in news media, putting together an entry is similar to submitting clips of you work as part of a job application. But it's important to know what not to submit, especially because most competitions won't let you enter an unlimited amount of stories.

Here are a few basics. Don't enter the story you did on one of last year's presidential candidates coming to town. Chances are, your coverage looked identical to that of every reporter in America, because you were kept behind the rope line with the rest of the media and didn't get anywhere close to the candidate. Even if you got to talk to the candidate, there's probably little of news value that you uncovered.

Do include a story showing how you went beyond the obvious to dig deeper for information. That could be an exclusive investigative piece, or a story on an elderly fire victim searching for her cat, when every other reporter was interviewing the fire chief. Originality is important.

Submit a story that is easy to understand for judges in another part of the country. Look for stories with universal appeal. A story about a nuance in local government may have the judges scratching their heads because they don't understand it.

Finally, don't forget to pay strict attention to the rules and follow them closely. Some competitions make their rules unbelieveably detailed. You don't want to be disqualified for failing to label your entry DVD according to their standards.

If you win, it's a great item to include on your resume for your next job. If you don't, remember these contests are so subjective. A different set of judges might have thought your work was the best. Keep entering and maybe you'll win next year.

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