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Pinnacle Awards – FAQ

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When is a project eligible for submission?
All work must be implemented, published, or broadcast between January 1, 2023, and December 31, 2023. If a long-term strategy was developed prior to January 1, 2023, and hasn’t been entered in this competition, it is eligible for entry.

When are submissions due?

All professional and student entries must be submitted by the deadline of April 5th, 2024. The deadline was extended from March 29th, 2024 to April 5th, 2024.

Do I need to be a member to submit?

No, being a member isn’t required to submit. However, IABC NL members submission fee is lower compared to non-members.

How do I prepare my entry?
For information on preparing your entry, click here

Can I resubmit an entry?
Yes, as long as the following two conditions apply: your entry must not have won an award in the previous year’s program and work on the project and/or measurement must have extended into 2023.

Can I submit work produced prior to 2023?
The Pinnacle Awards program will not accept work produced prior to 2023. If the entry is a multi-year project or program, only the materials related to the measurable results documented in 2023 will be considered.

Can I submit the same entry in more than one category?
You may submit the same entry into any category where it fits the category description. For example, if you are submitting a multi-media campaign targeted at several audiences, you may enter it in Marketing Communication, Community Relations, Multi-Audience Communication and Customer-Member Relations. If you enter in multiple categories your work plan must be customized to that category description. You may submit elements of the campaign in different categories within Communication Skills. You must pay a separate entry fee for each category you enter and provide separate supporting documents with each entry.

To pay entry fees, visit:

Can I enter several different projects?
You may submit as many entries as you wish. If you are entering several different projects, submit a separate entry form, work plan and work sample for each entry.

If my project was created by a team, which name do I use as the entrant’s name?
The entrant should be the person who is principally responsible for the development, management and execution of the entry. If you want to recognize your team, submit the entry form and the work plan with your name and refer to the team, such as Jane Doe and Team Honeywell. The name on the entry form must match the name on the work plan.

If a project was created by an agency and a client, who should enter it?
Either one can enter, as long as the entrant includes a letter of consent acknowledging the different roles in the project, and written permission to disclose corporate information as part of the entry requirements. If the material is proprietary, be sure to clearly indicate this on your entry and entry form. Entries that do not include this letter of permission will be disqualified.

How are entries evaluated and awards determined?
IABC award entries, accreditation portfolios and exams are scored using a seven-point global scale of excellence as a guide. All marks start at four, which represents a fully competent approach to communication planning and execution. Work is graded up or down, depending on the content. Marks of seven, one or zero are very rare.

The 7 Point Global Scale of Excellence

7 | Outstanding: an extraordinary or insightful approach or result

6 | Significantly better than average: Demonstrates an innovative, strategic approach, takes all elements into account and delivers significant results

5 | Better than average: Demonstrates a strategic approach and aligns the communication solution with the business need to deliver meaningful results

4 | Average: Competent approach or results, professionally sound and appropriate

3 | Somewhat less than satisfactory: Several key elements that are critical to the strategy or execution are missing, incorrect or under-represented

2 | An inadequate approach or result: A significant number of critical elements are missing

1 | Poor: Work that is wrong or inappropriate

0 | No answer or totally inappropriate: Work that is completely off base or the question isn’t answered

Entries must receive 5.25 to receive a Merit Award. Entries scoring 5.75+ receive an Award of Excellence.

How are entries evaluated?
Entries are reviewed by trained senior evaluators using the seven-point global scale of excellence. Winning entries must demonstrate that they met clearly stated objectives, show originality and demonstrate results based on measured outcomes. Evaluators consider how well a program was conceived and executed, how appropriate the chosen strategy and objectives were for the desired results, and how the outcomes are measured and achieved.

For Communication Management entries, 50 per cent of the score will be based on the work plan and 50 per cent on the work sample. For Communication Skills entries, 35 per cent of the score will be based on the work plan and 65 per cent on the work sample.

Sample Communication Skills Score Sheet

Sample Communications Management Score Sheet

Do entrants receive feedback?
For each entry submitted, entrants receive a comprehensive evaluation with scores and comments from evaluators.

How are winners notified and recognized?
Award-winning entries are typically notified in May of each year, following the evaluation of all submissions and are recognized at the Pinnacle Awards Gala held in June. Watch for details.