Judging for Creative Awards

Since 1995, AMCP judges have earned a reputation for accuracy, fairness and credibility. A look at the list of winners is a who’s who of the industry. AMCP competitions are where professional organizations that run their own competitions enter their work.

In an effort to ensure fairness, consistency and timeliness, AMCP does not send out entries to various judges. All of the judging is done in the AMCP judging facility in Arlington, Texas. It takes about eight weeks of judging, eight hours a day to review all of the work that is submitted in each competition. AMCP recognizes that the time between submission and notification for most competitions is too long, so every effort is made to have the results ready within 45 days of the initial deadline.

Judges are senior-level, experienced professionals residing in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. They are free-lancers or own their own businesses. They are selected based on experience and availability. Judges can change from one day to the next, but the judging coordinator is there at every session.

Since there is a tremendous variance of resources from entrant-to-entrant, and piece-to-piece, perceived budget is taken into consideration in the judging. Based on their work experiences, judges have an expectation for each individual entry. A student-produced ad is not held to the same expectation as a piece produced by a Madison Avenue agency for a Fortune 50 company.

There is no preset number of winners in a category. Entries are judged at random and not directly compared to other entries in their category. The objective of the judging is to recognize and reward “creative” achievement. It is a subjective process based on learned perceptions of creativity as opposed to measured results.

The judging is designed to evaluate work solely on its own merit. That is why we do not publicize specific criteria and then let entrants spend a great deal of time and effort explaining how their project met that criteria. In reality, any work that any communicator produces will provide the intended audience with the same basic measurement used by the judges. What was the first impression? Was the work inventive? Artistic? Resourceful? To the point? Eye-catching? Colorful? Is there a theme? Is the company differentiated from others? Obviously, a black and white low budget annual report produced for a non-profit will not be judged in the same manner as an expensive annual report produced for a Fortune 50 company. Given its inherent limitations, the non-profit may have been done extremely well and despite the apparent glitter, the high dollar annual report may not have met the expectations of the judges.

Using a consensus method, judges verbalize their criticisms, compliments etc. and then agree on a score. Entries receiving scores between 90-100 points are top level winners. Entries with 80-89 points are second level winners. Entries scoring from 70-79 receive honorable mention designation.