Association of online publishers Helping media owners build better digital business

What makes an AOP Award-winning entry?

With the entry deadline for the AOP Awards 2009 rapidly approaching on 20 March, we look at some of last year's winners, and ask: 'What should I be focussing on to maximise my company's chances of success?', 'what to include?' and crucially, 'what to omit?' from entries.

1. Keep it simple

Keep it clear and be specific. Judges will have many entries to review, so keeping below the word limit will work in your favour. Be sure your entry is easy to explain concisely, give some background, and outline your objectives and strategy. A great example of this is IPC’s ‘The Origin Panel Women’s Space’ winner of AOP’s Research & Insight Award 2008:

Criteria: Objective of research

When IPC Media started planning this project, research into women online was predominantly full of dry statistics and showed limited understanding of how women really used the internet. IPC wanted to provide a different view.

‘Women’s Space’ set out to:

  • Explore what defines women
  • Online and offline - their thoughts, feelings and attitudes
  • Understand where women were on their internet journey
  • Really get under the skin of women’s internet behaviour

Its key business objectives were:

  • To help generate digital advertising revenues
  • To open a dialogue with key digital advertisers
  • To raise the profile of IPC Media as an online publisher
  • To be recognised as the authority on women and the internet

To see more about this entry, read our case study.

2. Facts not fluff

Give specific examples. The more detail you can provide in terms of revenue and web traffic stats, the stronger your case for winning.

Our judges are each asked to sign a confidentiality form, so there is no danger of this highly sensitive data being used inappropriately. An excellent example of a winner providing detailed stats is Channel 4’s Ford Bite, which last year won the AOP Commercial Partnership Award:

Criteria: Success against objectives

Microsite Results

* Page Impressions: over 2.7 million
* Site Visits: over 1.3 million
* Unique users: over 890k
* Returning users (bite fans): over 420k
* Average time spend on site: 5.38 mins
* Video plays: over 2.2million
* Average dwell time: 5-6 mins
* Average play: 70-80%

Providing this much detail provides context and firm evidence to support your your entry, and hopefully, make it a success!

To find out more about this entry, read our case study.

3. Wow Factor

Ask someone with an objective view to read your entry. If they’re not impressed and don’t say ‘wow’, then neither will the AOP Award judges.

FT.com received a 'wow' from our judges with their entry for the AOP Use of Video Award for 2008: Comments from the judges who selected this as the winning entry for this category were:

"They have shown total commitment to putting video at the heart of their communication. With watchable video content that does more than simply extending their brand online, they have gone that extra mile, with an impressive ROI."

To see more about this entry, read the case study.

4. Proofread, proofread, proofread

Now the boring bit: proofread and then proofread some more.

It sounds obvious, but the more eyeballs you can get on your entry copy, the better your chances of submitting a strong, well argued, well worded entry.

5. Start Early!

Last, but definitely not least, start preparing your entries today! Don't leave it all to the last minute...

The more data, testimonials, relevant links, commercial results and traffic figures you can amass, which is relevant to the judging period of March 2008 to February 2009, the greater your chance of success.

The Deadline for entries is Friday 20 March // start writing your entries today!

Good luck!

The AOP Team

Join the AOP group on LinkedIn - open for all Members to join
Subscribe to AOP's e-newsletter.