Gold Quill now includes social media

If you’re an IABC member, you’ll likely have received by now the brochure about this year’s Gold Quill Awards, the annual international competition to identify and recognize the best communication work.

My copy arrived in the post this morning, and a sumptuous-looking brochure it is: beautifully printed with a nice feel to the paper.

(My immediate reaction, incidentally, on seeing the brochure was to wonder when the time will come that communicating such events is wholly online. Or at least, in digital form rather than print – save money and be environmentally aware – as IABC does with materials for the international conference. The Gold Quill Awards website looks to contain all the content of the print brochure including PDFs you can download and print. So what’s the point of a print brochure sent through the mail? I wonder.)

A notable addition to the competition this year is a new category – Social Media. It’s excellent to see this category now; I would think there will be less chance of confusion with the existing Electronic and Digital Communication Category #16: it’s not the same thing at all.

More importantly, it gives clear recognition of social media as a legitimate and valid element in organizational communication.

Paul Matalucci, ABC, the 2009 Gold Quill Chair, says this about the new Social Media category:

[…] Communicators are still learning how and when to use this technology. Metaphorically speaking, the concrete has not yet solidified. What better time to participate and influence the shape of this communication phenomenon? As chair, I’m looking forward to the discussions ahead regarding social media and how it can be used in the hands of expert communicators.

Judges for this category will be drawn from among the leading practitioners of social media technology. As with all Gold Quill entries, they will be looking for effective applications of the technology to changing human behavior and delivering business results.

That makes things quite clear. So what’s the bet that we see quite a few entries for this new category?

It would certainly be a great pool of best practice and case studies, something of value to everyone.

On a related note, the next episode of Cafe2Go, IABC’s monthly podcast, will include an interview with Paul Matalucci about the Gold Quill Awards. I’m producing this episode for IABC; the podcast should be published later this week.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

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