The nominations deadline for this year’s Edurank awards is fast-approaching; you’ve only got until Wednesday 24 January to get your entries in! It would be great to pick the brains of one of the judges and understand what they’re looking for, wouldn’t it? Well, given that our editor-in-chief is one of those judges, you can!
It is a real honour and a privilege to be part of judging panel for this year’s Edurank awards – the first time where categories you can nominate your own work for have been included.
I have no doubt that all of the work and campaigns put forward will leave me and my fellow judges with some difficult decisions to make.
There are four categories in which you can put forward your university, college or school – best use of user-generated content, best social media campaign, best creative and best news coverage – and, as it’s nearly time to get judging, I’ve been thinking.
I’ve been thinking about the kinds of things I’m expecting to see and be blown away by. I also figured that anyone planning to enter the awards would find that useful too. So, here you go!
Best use of user-generated content
I’m a huge advocate of UCG and can only see its stock rising this year in the wake of the recent shake-up to Facebook’s newsfeed. I cannot wait to see how institutions have embraced the creativity and enthusiasm of their students to make something ace.
I want to see content that really shows off life at your institution, in a way that stuff created by your central marketing team can never quite match. Whether you’ve run a competition, had students take over one of your channels or simply asked for people to tag their campus porn with a simple hashtag, I can’t wait to hear about it!
Best social media campaign
Having great day-to-day social media is one (very commendable) thing, but a well-thought out and well-executed campaign is a thing of beauty.
I’ll let you in on a secret; I’m quite the geek when it comes to reporting and evaluation. I really like to see campaigns that have a very clear goal in mind or a problem to solve, and that can show how well they did afterwards. If they leave you with some lessons learned for next time too, even better!
So I guess that’s where my attention will be drawn in this campaign; not just marvellous execution (although, this will obvs help your cause) but a clear purpose and an even clearer picture of the results. As Pearl Jam once sang – “how much difference does it make?”
As humans, we’re visual beings. Things that look beautiful, that look striking or that can evoke an emotional response will always win.
As someone who dabbles in photography in my spare time, I’m looking forward to feeling inspired by the entries to this category. I want to see images and videos that will make me desperate to grab my own camera and out shooting. I want to see designs with style and fonts that I want to hunt down and install on my own computer.
In short, I want to be wowed – but it needn’t necessarily be high-end stuff. I love a good infographic as much as I love a glossy, cinematic video.
Best news coverage
When I was growing up, I always wanted to be a journalist – I even trained as one after university. I then changed lanes slightly and went into the world of communications and PR for the early part of my career. As such, I’m interested in the news and how you can find a different, unusual or interesting angle to a big piece.
Now, I’m talking about trying to shoe-horn in a link to your institution in any trending story here – much as I loved The North Wales Daily Post’s headline of ‘Former Anglesey helicopter pilot expecting third child’ for their coverage of the news that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting another baby.
I’m more interested in content and stories that can add value and offer a different perspective – the Channel 4 news coverage as opposed to the BBC’s I guess.
As inspiration, I want to leave with my favourite piece of journalism, ever; when the whole world was looking for a unique take on President Kennedy’s funeral in 1963, New York Herald Tribune writer Jimmy Breslin beat everyone with this wonderful profile of Clifton Pollard – the man dug Kennedy’s grave. It’s so good, I even wrote a mediocre song about it.
Hope that is somewhat useful – obviously, I can’t speak for my fellow judges. Also, the judging panel is definitely not open to bribery…well, probably not anyway 😉