How to win an Azbee Award (and what’s new for 2019)

ASBPE’s annual Azbee Awards contest opens for entries on November 1st, and we’re all excited to see the amazing work business publications did and are doing in 2018. It has been a dynamic year for many of us and the contest will highlight the best articles, issues, and content you and your colleagues created. We can’t wait to celebrate your hard work.

Azbee Awards Open November 1st

This year, we have a brand-new division. We are looking for judges and getting ready to launch the contest on November 1st, so keep reading for basic information about the competition as well as a short introduction to what’s new with the Azbees.

Whether you’re new to the Azbees or you’ve won a dozen times, you can win an award this year and show off your publication’s greatest work from 2018.

Azbee Basics

The Azbee Awards recognize the best work in the industry. You’re competing against your colleagues for a coveted regional or national award within a particular category. You can enter more than one category, improving your odds of being the best.

So, essentially, all you need to do is enter your best work from the year. “Best” can mean a lot of different things to different people. This is somewhat subjective, but most publications can readily call out their most popular or important work. Your best content might be an article that received a large number of shares on social media, a feature that your readers told you was particularly relevant, or a website redesign people are raving about.

The online entry process is an easy-to-use form that collects your materials together and provides them to ASBPE’s volunteer judges. Judges are your peers – other editors, designers, writers, and freelancers who generously volunteer their time to score entries in each category. ASBPE recruits volunteer judges every year with each new awards season, and some judges are veteran volunteers.

To impress these judges and win an award (or more than one), your entry needs to stand out from the rest.

Winning the Azbees

Now that you know the basics, you need to win big. Improve your odds with one of these winning strategies:

  • Controversy: Have a controversial story that generated a lot of feedback, discussions, and reactions? Enter it. These stories take guts to publish. Real journalism isn’t afraid to challenge the status quo–and real journalism wins the Azbee Awards.
  • Focus on Popular Headlines: If you have content that ties-in with popular news, use it. Your industry’s spin on the major headlines carries a broader appeal and can help your work connect well with the judges.
  • Serve Your Readers: “What’s in it for me?” should be the driver behind every publication’s content. How you provide value and what you offer your readers can help you win the Azbees. If you have an article or other content that went above and beyond for your readership, then share it.
  • Find the Outliers: The best design, writing, and ideas from your year make for great entries. Pick something that stands out to you and enter it in the contest.

Now, the basics of winning haven’t changed, but there are a few new changes for the Azbees this year.

What’s New for the Azbees

We’re making a few changes to reflect transitions we’ve seen in the industry. In the past, we’ve had Print, Online, Design, and Overall Excellence divisions. We think it’s time to make a change, since not all articles and content you publish is cleanly “print” or “online” anymore.

A New Division, “All Content”

This year, we’re introducing a new combined division called All Content. Here’s why – we know journalism is changing and no longer exists in silos.

ASBPE has created this new Azbee Awards division to reflect your reporting work in print, online, and other digital formats. Much of our work is no longer separate. We don’t just write articles for print anymore; we create stories that live in multiple formats – sometimes for different audiences. The following awards categories have been combined into this new division:

  • Company Profile
  • Data Journalism
  • Enterprise News Story
  • Online Q&A
  • Original Research
  • Trade Show/Conference Coverage
  • Government Coverage
  • Humor

If you plan on entering one or more of these categories, you’ll be entering this new All Content division – so keep that in mind when you’re picking a category to enter.

Win The Azbees In 2019

We’ll start accepting entries on November 1st, so now’s the time to start planning and preparing your materials. On our website, you can find information about each division and category – see what you need for entry and what the basic criteria are. If you have questions about the contest, take a look at our website FAQ or read about our judging process to see if we’ve already posted answers. You also can contact our office if you don’t see your question addressed online.

Once the competition is officially open, you can begin your entries online and save them for later. There’s no need to have everything ready or answer every question at once.

Remember, ASBPE members get a discount on their entries. If you’re not a member, consider joining ASBPE.

Please consider volunteering to judge, too. We’re looking for qualified volunteer judges to help us make this year’s Azbees successful. We’re excited about this contest, and thankful to have so many great people participating. Thank you!