Can Small Businesses and Freelancers Really Win a MarCom Award?

MarCom Awards - International Competition for Marketing and Communication Professionals

If you’ve checked out the list of past MarCom Award recipients, you’ve seen an impressive array of talented creative professionals. If you’re a smaller shop or freelancer, you might wonder if you have any shot of earning a MarCom Award when you see the names of the most prestigious firms and companies in the world.

Here’s the good news: If your work is creative, you have a chance.

The Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals was formed in 1994 to recognize excellence by creative professionals. Our stated mission was to create an inexpensive, independent competition on an international level that would be fair, respected and open to everyone.

To create a level playing field, MarCom entries are judged on creativity. It doesn’t necessarily take money, time or resources to be creative. While some firms have earned the luxury of travelling the world producing glamorous projects, most communicators are faced with the daily challenge of dressing up the company newsletter, or trying to find imaginative ways to make information more understandable and compelling. And the reality is, most of us are being asked to do more with less on a deadline that was yesterday.

To make our competition fair to everyone, work is not directly compared to other entries in the same category. For example, all of the brochure entries are not laid out on a table and judged against each other. Judging is random and ongoing. It starts as soon as the entries begin coming in.

Judges base their decisions on their own personal work experiences. They form an expectation for each entry based on the entrant, client and perceived budget. For instance, a brochure produced by a major design firm for a Fortune 500 company would not be compared to a brochure produced by a graphic designer for a local company with an obviously limited budget. Judges are looking for creative work that under the circumstances, they would be proud to be associated with.

AMCP does not have a quota of winners in each category, which means there can be multiple winners in a category or no winners. In most categories, entries should be able to speak for themselves and don’t require lengthy essays. For strategic communications, we are not looking for you to do a lot of work for us. If you have materials, plans, reports etc. that you produced for your client, we would like to see that. If necessary, you can include a summary of objectives, challenges, and solutions.

So, what does it take to win a MarCom Award? Two words: creative excellence.

The MarCom Awards are open every fall for entry. For deadlines, details on the easy registration process and eligibility of work, visit