2024 Azbee Awards Now Open for Entry
The American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) accepts entries for its annual Azbee Awards of Excellence from Nov. 1 through mid-Jan. each year. The Azbee Awards are highly competitive and celebrate the highest quality reporting, editing and design in business-to-business, trade, association and professional publications. The awards honor all types of publications including magazines, newspapers, e-newsletters, websites, and social media. Take a look at the 2023 winners gallery for inspiration.
About the Azbee Awards
ASBPE’s Azbee Awards of Excellence program is one of the most competitive there is for business-to-business, trade, association, and professional publications. The awards recognize outstanding work by magazines and digital media — websites, e-newsletters, digital magazines, social media and blogs.
The competition is open to all U.S.-based publications. ASBPE membership is not required for entry, but members receive a discount on entry fees.
The top entries nationwide receive national awards across 63 categories, from our All Content, Design, Online, Print and Overall Excellence divisions.
Entries also compete against others in their own regions for regional awards. The regions for the Azbees are as follows:
For more information about judging the Azbee Awards, please visit out About Judging page.
Previous Azbee Awards of Excellence winners coverage
Overall Excellence Categories
Magazine of the Year
Top honors go to the Magazine of the Year in each of our two publication frequency groups: 12 or More Issues per Year and 11 or Fewer Issues per Year. Judging is based on: 1) quality of writing, reporting and editing; 2) value and usefulness to the reader; 3) editorial organization; 4) interaction with readers; and 5) layout and design, in regard to the flow and style of individual issues, as well as across three consecutive issues.
Digital Magazine of the Year
Introduced for the 2022 Azbee Awards, Digital Magazine of the Year honors the best of flipbook-style digital publications. Judging is based on: 1) quality of writing, reporting and editing; 2) value and usefulness to the reader; 3) editorial organization; and 4) layout and design, in regard to the flow and style of individual issues, as well as across three consecutive issues.
Website of the Year
Entries for the Website of the Year category are judged based on quality of writing, reporting, and editing; value and usefulness to the reader; layout and design, especially consistency in style throughout the website; use of web technologies; and interactivity.
Multi-Platform Package of the Year
The Multi-Platform Package of the Year category recognizes the clear coordination of multiple platforms for a single topical package. Entrants submit a package containing examples from at least three platforms. The category is judged on the ability to use the best qualities of each platform to create a stronger, more cohesive package that is more impactful than each platform would be on it’s own. Prior to the 2021 competition, the category was called Cross-Platform Package of the Year and required a print component as part of the topical package.
Social Media Account of the Year
The Social Media Account of the Year category recognizes well-thought-out and executed social media efforts within a single social media account. The category was introduced in 2021 and allows entrants to document and celebrate their most effective programming and events, audience reach and participation, community influence, and traffic brought to their website.
Other ASBPE Awards
Journalism That Matters Award
The Journalism That Matters Award was first presented in 2009. The award was inspired by ASBPE’s book of the same title, which featured case studies of B2B journalists whose articles brought about change within their industries. Editors may nominate themselves or a deserving colleague. Because of its high bar, the award has been given to only three journalists since it was created.
The first winner of the Journalism That Matters Award was HSToday editor David Silverberg in 2009. Silverberg was honored for his criticism in the pages of his homeland security magazine of the National Football League’s unwillingness to run advertisements mentioning terrorism, borders and immigration. After the HSToday articles, the NFL changed its policy.
And in 2011, ASBPE presented its second Journalism That Matters Award to The Spine Journal, which took a major step toward protecting the integrity of all scientific publishing in its June 2011 issue. The special issue was devoted to “shining a critical light on the limitations of industry-sponsored research.”
In May 2018, the ASBPE Foundation recognized the nonprofit VTDigger, an online publication covering Vermont business and government, for its investigative reporting. In 2014, VTDigger uncovered possible financial improprieties by one of Vermont’s most prominent business people, Bill Stenger, and his partners in an investment firm developing Jay Peak, a winter recreation resort near the Canadian border. As a result of several years of reporting, led by founding editor Anne Galloway, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission launched an investigation and later brought charges against Stenger and his partners.
Watch ASBPE.org news for information about future calls for nominations.
Stephen Barr Award
The winner of the Stephen Barr Award — the only Azbee Awards honor presented to an individual journalist rather than a news organization — is selected by a panel of judges from among the overall work submitted each year. The journalism produced by the winner represents the “best-in-show” among the top feature-writing categories: work that displays the qualities of inventiveness in the reporting approach; insight and balance in the presentation of a complex subject; depth of investigation; and impact among the community of readers.
Those qualities are among those exemplified by Stephen Barr, a perennial Azbee Award-winner in his role as senior contributing editor of CFO magazine. Stephen died in 2002, at age 43. The award was endowed by Stephen’s family and is administered through the ASBPE Educational Foundation. Past ASBPE and ASBPE Educational Foundation president Roy Harris reflected in his blog post on Stephen Barr Award winners present and past, on the judging, and on the fun of giving out this special award.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Our Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2000 to recognize editors who have made significant and lasting contributions to our editorial profession and to the industries their magazines serve.
To receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, a candidate must meet four requirements:
- Significant involvement (25 years or more) with business publications. Nominees need not currently hold editorial positions, and may be retired, but ideally will have spent the bulk of their careers in senior editorial positions or will have served the industry in some significant way. Nominees need not be members of ASBPE. Past nominees not selected in previous years are encouraged to reapply. Please provide the nominee’s current title and employer/business (if retired, please state such). Provide a brief description of the nominee’s job history or a resumé. Include dates, job titles, magazines, companies.
- A commitment to editorial excellence. This may be demonstrated by general reputation of their publication(s); industry-related awards (e.g., Azbee Awards, Neal Awards, Folio, Tabbies); internal company awards; or other forms of recognition or other valid measures of editorial success.
- A commitment to business/professional media. Nominees should be or should have been involved in lending their experience and time to benefit others in the business press. For example, this may be participation in local or national business media or related organizations; corporate or university teaching; mentoring programs; or significant research or publication of articles on business media issues.
- A commitment to the industry(ies) the nominee’s publication(s) serve. Examples might include committee work with trade or professional associations or standards groups; frequent speaking engagements at industry events; significant research or publication of articles on industry issues; or significant advocacy work with government agencies. The Lifetime Achievement Award winner will receive the award on the evening of the awards banquet, where the honoree also will receive a special tribute. The winner’s name will be announced to the public prior to the banquet. A call for nominations goes out around the beginning of each year.
Other ASBPE Recognition Programs
Young Leader Scholarship
To help young editors, freelancers, designers and videographers who are just starting their B2B media careers, the ASBPE Educational Foundation created the annual Young Leader Scholarship in 2001. The scholarship allows younger professionals — who might otherwise be unable — to attend ASBPE’s National Conference.
Scholarships pay the cost to attend the national conference, including registration fees and hotel room costs, for up to five U.S. applicants. Transportation, non-conference meals and other incurred costs are the responsibility of the winners or their publishing companies.
Qualifications for the scholarship include the following:
- Applicant must be 30 years of age or younger (as of the application deadline).
- Applicant must have worked at least two years in a B2B media role for a business-to-business publication.
- Candidacy must be sponsored by applicant’s chief editor.
- Applicant must plan to continue in the business press as a career.
- Applicant may not be a past ASBPE Young Leaders Scholarship winner.
Watch ASBPE.org news for information about future calls for applications, or visit our Young Leaders Scholarship page.
The ASBPE Diversity Fellowship, which debuted for 2021-22, is designed to aid in developing a more diverse corps of journalists and leaders within the community of business-to-business (B2B) specialty publications and to enhance overall awareness of career opportunities in the sector. The fellowship provides expenses-paid participation in ASBPE’s national conference, networking and personalized mentoring opportunities.
An applicant for the ASBPE Diversity Fellowship must be a person of color, member of the LGBTQ+ community, someone with a disability or otherwise from an underserved ethnic community. Among the eligible professions are editor, reporter/writer, art director, designer, social media manager and multimedia storyteller. B2B freelancers and students in related curricula are eligible. Preference will be given to applicants with experience in — or at least a demonstrated interest in – B2B journalism who have not attended an ASBPE national conference in the past five years.
Watch ASBPE.org news for information about future calls for applications, or use our contact form to email the Diversity Committee with questions.