Categories for the 2018 Excellence Awards

Publication Categories

*A Note on Circulation categories: We ask all publishers — print only, digital only or digital and print publishers — to analyze their print and/or digital circulation. The circulation class you select should reflect the higher of either the publication’s print circulation or average unique monthly visitors to the publication’s primary website, whichever is higher.

GENERAL INTEREST

A general interest publication is defined as any publication that is distributed either free or for cost to the general public, and that covers a variety of subjects or interest areas. This category includes consumer, not-for-profit, and custom-published magazines. 

Circulation categories: Over 60,000 and Under 60,000.

SPECIAL INTEREST

A special interest publication is defined as any publication that is distributed either free or for cost to the general public, but covers a single specific-interest topic, avocation, sport or recreational activity (examples would be cooking, fishing and gardening). This category may include consumer, not-for-profit or custom-published magazines.  

Circulation categories: Over 60,000 and Under 60,000

BUSINESS/TRADE

A business or trade publication is defined as any publication distributed either free or for cost to business people or to participants in a specific trade or industry. Business magazines may be available to the general public while trade magazines generally are not. 

Circulation categories: Over 30,000 and Under 30,000.

EDUCATION

An education publication is defined as any publication for which more than 50 percent of its circulated copies, whether free or for cost, go to students, faculty, alumni or other allied professionals of a Minnesota college, university, technical school or other public or private educational institution. Publications produced by colleges and universities that cover general happenings at those institutions and/or activities performed by their students and/or alumni belong in this category.

Circulation categories: Over 30,000 and Under 30,000.

ASSOCIATION

An association publication is defined as any professional or association publication for which more than 50 percent of its circulated copies, whether free or for cost, go to members of an association, organization, club or society. 

Circulation categories: Over 30,000 and Under 30,000.

NOTE: Circulation categories refer to the circulation of your magazine — not the membership of your association. MMPA reserves the right to adjust category inclusions depending on the number of entries.


General Categories

(ALL PUBLICATIONS & CIRCULATIONS)

Entries in the general categories will be judged for their combined editorial and design qualities, including editing/writing/reporting, layout and design, organization, and value to audience. See specific categories for additional criteria.

OVERALL EXCELLENCE

Criteria: This entry must present a strong and consistent publication package. The publication must demonstrate that it is targeted to the audience it serves and that it fulfills its mission. It must be written clearly and authoritatively. The content-driven design must be clean and consistent. 
Limitations: This category may only be entered once by each publication.
Submit: Three physical copies of three different complete issues. One PDF representation of entry AND full-color JPG/PNG for use in awards presentation.

DIRECTORY

Criteria: This entry is for an annual supplement that is a directory of suppliers, entertainment venues or members, or another list pertinent to the parent publication’s mission and audience. A directory may be either a stand-alone supplement or an issue in which the directory comprises at least 50 percent of the editorial content. Judges will consider attractiveness of design and layout, ease of use, consistency of presentation and clarity of information. 
Limitations: Publications may enter this category multiple times. 
Note: This category has only two circulation classifications: over 60,000 and under 60,000.
Submit: Three physical copies of the directory or three copies of the complete issue in which the directory appears. One PDF representation of entry AND full-color JPG/PNG for use in awards presentation.

SINGLE-TOPIC ISSUE, SPECIAL SECTION, OR SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT

Criteria: A single-topic issue is one in which at least 50 percent of the issue’s editorial content is a clearly defined and labeled editorial-driven single topic. 
A special section is an editorial-driven, clearly defined and labeled consecutive group of articles and related material (sidebars, callouts, etc.) of any length focusing on a single topic. 
A special supplement is a separately published, editorial-driven single-topic publication packaged or mailed with a regular issue. 
Limitations: Publications may enter this category multiple times.
Note: No advertising special sections or “advertorials” will be accepted. 
Submit: Three physical copies of the single-topic issue, three copies of the complete issue in which the special section appears or three copies of the special supplement, including the issue it accompanied. One PDF representation of entry AND full-color JPG/PNG for use in awards presentation.

USE OF DATA VISUALIZATION/INFOGRAPHIC

Criteria: This entry will demonstrate skillful design that tells a data-driven story, summarizing a more complex concept using any combination of photos, video or text in a single cohesive graphic presentation. Print and digital visuals and/or infographics accepted.
Limitations:  Publishers may enter this category multiple times.
Note: This category includes both B-to-B and B-to-C entrants.
Submit: Link or screenshot to source where infographic was displayed. Or PDF and JPG of print version.

MULTI-MEDIA STORYTELLING

Criteria: This entry is for a single subject-related package that includes any combination of the following: text articles, blogs, columns, videos, graphics/infographics, social media posts, photos, photo galleries, podcasts, webinars. Packages must clearly reflect a single cohesive editorial subject with all elements published in the same time period. Entries will be judged on the clarity and effectiveness of the cross-platform integration as well as the quality of the content.
Limitations: Do not enter a subject-related series published over successive issues or an extended time period.
Note: This category has only two circulation classifications: over 60,000 and under 60,000. 
Submit: Any examples of text articles, blogs, columns, videos, graphics/infographics, social media posts, photos, photo galleries, podcasts, webinars that support one subject matter. One PDF representation of the entry AND full-color JPG/PNG for use in awards presentation.


Editorial Categories

(ALL PUBLICATIONS & CIRCULATIONS)

Entries in the editorial categories will be judged primarily on the quality of the reporting, writing, and editing; development of the subject; and suitability and service to the audience. Presentation will play a factor. See specific categories for additional criteria.

PRINT OR ONLINE FEATURE ARTICLE

Criteria: This entry is a feature story, unique to the publication in which it appears, that treats a subject, idea, event or trend with imagination, originality and stylish writing.
Limitations: Publications may enter this category multiple times.
Note: Do not submit profile articles in this category.
Submit: PDF of one article per entry.

PRINT OR ONLINE PROFILE ARTICLE

Criteria: This entry is a feature article that profiles an individual, organization, company or other entity pertinent to the publication’s area of interest. Article should bring the subject to life with depth, originality and stylish writing.
Limitations: Publications may enter this category multiple times.
Submit: PDF of one article per entry.

EDITOR'S OR PUBLISHER'S EDITORIAL OR LETTER TO THE READERS

Criteria: This entry is a single editor's or publisher's editorial or letter to the readers that demonstrates intelligence, wit (where appropriate), stylish writing and connection to the readers on a topic pertinent to the publication's mission.
Limitations: Publications may enter this category multiple times.
Submit: PDF of one letter or editorial per entry.

PRINT OR ONLINE REGULAR COLUMN

Criteria: This entry is a short feature that appears with predictable frequency and that comments on or interprets issues of interest to the publication’s audience. The column or blog should incorporate strong reporting, commentary or criticism and demonstrate intelligence, stylish writing, a clear purpose and connection to the readers.
Note: Author may be on the publication's regular staff or not, but no syndicated columns or blogs will be accepted. DO NOT submit the publisher's or editor's editorial or letter to the readers in this category.
Limitations: Publications may enter this category multiple times.
Submit: A PDF of one column.

PRINT OR ONLINE TECHNICAL ARTICLE

Criteria: This article focuses on science, technology or industry-specific developments and combines theory, methodologies, analysis and discussion of relevance to the publication’s readers. Judges will also consider documentation. 
Note: Do not submit general business articles in this category.
Limitations: Publications may enter this category multiple times.
Submit: PDF of one complete article per entry.

PRINT OR ONLINE HOW-TO ARTICLE

Criteria: This article provides clear steps to perform a specific activity, presented in an interesting manner with or without illustrations. 
Limitations: Publications may enter this category multiple times.
Submit: PDF of one complete article per entry.


Design Categories

(ALL PUBLICATIONS & CIRCULATIONS)

Design entries will be judged on layout and composition, use of illustrations or photos, typography, image quality, originality and effectiveness in helping the article or publication convey its message. See specific categories for additional criteria. All design categories will be judged through the digital online entry system. Physical copies are not required for any design category.

OVERALL DESIGN

Criteria: This entry should demonstrate not only how the publication’s design and graphic elements flow together to create a consistent, inviting and stimulating overall look, but also how effective graphic design enhances the value of the information. 
Limitations: One entry per publication.
Submit: Three high-res PDFs of three different issues. One full-color JPG/PNG for Gala

COVER DESIGN

Criteria: This entry should represent the best use of design, typography, information and photo or illustration to both entice the reader into the issue and reflect the publication’s mission. 
Limitations: Publications may enter this category multiple times.
Submit: One high-res PDF of entry only AND full-color JPG/PNG for Gala

TYPOGRAPHY

Criteria: This entry will demonstrate skillful design expression through typography. Entries will demonstrate the use of typography to reinforce and illustrate the editorial intent while communicating the content clearly. Typography will be judged for full article, not just headline or title treatment. 
Limitations: Publications may enter this category multiple times.
Submit: One high-res PDF of entry only AND full-color JPG/PNG for Gala

SINGLE PAGE OR SPREAD DESIGN

Criteria: This entry will be a well-designed example of a one- or two-page design. A successful design will have a clear point of entry (a focal point) and visual elements that strengthen and clarify the editorial content. The entry may open an article or be an interior page. This category is not judged on an entire article; it will be judged as a standalone spread or one page. 
Limitations: Publications may enter this category multiple times.
Note: Do not submit an entire article only upload the single page or spread.
Submit: One high-res PDF of the entry only AND full-color JPG/PNG for Gala

FEATURE DESIGN

Criteria: This entry will demonstrate the skillful design of an entire magazine feature. Judges will take into account how the design elements (typography, images, color, layout, callouts, sidebars, etc.) combine to communicate the meaning of the story. 
Limitations: Publications may enter this category multiple times.
Submit: One high-res PDF of the entry only AND full-color JPG/PNG for Gala

*NEW* BEST USE OF PHOTOGRAPHY

Criteria: This entry is for the use of original photography for digital or print use. All photos must accurately reflect the subject matter as it appeared in the viewfinder. Normal processing of RAW image files and minor adjustments to color and contrast are acceptable, as is minimal cropping. HDR and focus stacking are permitted as long as all manipulation is disclosed upon entry. Entrants must not infringe on the rights of any other photographer or person.
Limitations: Publishers may enter this category up to three (3) times.
Submit: Save photos as low-resolution RGB ".jpg" files that are no smaller than 500KB at 72ppi. Sizes will vary and should be about 1000-2000 pixels on the longest side. Submit one PDF representation of the entry for use in awards presentation.


Digital Media Categories

(ALL PUBLICATIONS)

Entries in the digital media categories will be judged for their editing/writing/reporting, usability and how well they convey or complement the publication's editorial mission. Entries must provide content that is of value to the reader and may not have the sole purpose of advertising products. See specific categories for additional criteria.

BLOG FOR PUBLICATION

Criteria: This category is for a blog produced for a publication. The blog should incorporate strong reporting, commentary or criticism and demonstrate intelligence, stylish writing, a clear purpose and connection to the readers.
Note: To be considered for this award, the blog's link and linked content items must be live (or archived and accessible to the judges and MMPA) through November 1, 2018. If access to the blog is by password or subscription only, provide information that will allow the judges access. 
Limitations: Publishing companies may enter this category once for each different blog. 
Submit: In the online editorial profile box, enter the blog's URL, along with a description of its editorial goals or mission, including how it supports the parent publication's editorial mission. One PDF representation of the entry for awards presentation.

E-NEWSLETTER

Criteria: This category is for an email newsletter produced for a publishing company and delivered on a regular basis. Entries should demonstrate compelling execution and clear purpose and will be judged on how the e-newsletter is used to drive readers to the publication and its website (through links, video, photo galleries, etc.).
Note: DO NOT enter websites in this category. To be considered for this award, the e-newsletter's link and linked content items must be live (or archived and accessible to the judges and MMPA organization) through October 6, 2017.
Limitations: Publishing companies may enter this category multiple times. 
Submit: In the online editorial profile box, enter a link to one issue of the e-newsletter, along with a description of its publication frequency and its editorial goals or mission, including how it supports the parent publication's editorial mission. One PDF representation of the entry for awards presentation.

OVERALL WEBSITE DESIGN/FUNCTIONALITY: DIGITAL-FIRST PUBLICATION

Criteria: This entry will showcase a digital publication’s website. Judges will look at how the variety design and functionality (layout, typography, headlines, photos, infographics, video and audio delivery, ad and sponsorship placements, general content organization) integrate to reach a target audience in a cohesive, consistent overall package.
Limitations: This category may only be entered once by each publication brand.
Note: This category is open only to digital publishers who did not originate from a print publication.
Submit: Links to website and PDF and JPEG representation of the website

OVERALL WEBSITE DESIGN/FUNCTIONALITY: PRINT-FIRST PUBLICATION

Criteria: This entry will showcase a print publication’s website. Judges will look at how the variety design and functionality (layout, typography, headlines, photos, infographics, video and audio delivery, ad and sponsorship placements, general content organization) integrate to reach a target audience in a cohesive, consistent overall package.
Limitations: This category may only be entered once by each publication brand.
Note: This category is open to print publishers.
Submit: Links to website and PDF and JPEG representation of the website

OVERALL EXCELLENCE: DIGITAL-FIRST PUBLISHER

Criteria: This entry will showcase a publisher’s website, branded social media channels and e-newsletters. Judges will look at how the variety of digital channels used by the publisher complement one another and support the brand; also how content formats (text, photos, graphics, video and audio) integrate to reach a target audience in a cohesive, consistent overall package
Limitations: This category may only be entered once by each publication brand.
Note: This category is open only to digital publishers who did not originate from a print publication.
Submit: Links to website and social media channels (including login information, if needed), and screenshots of e-newsletters.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Criteria: This entry is for use of one or multiple publisher-branded social media channels for a single strategic outcome. Entry will be judged on a combination of content quality and measurable results.  Content will be for one or a series of social media posts and will be judged on engagement and shareability characteristics and fit with the overall content mix regularly provided by the publisher.  Measurable results will not be judged on any one metric, but by an informed description of metrics showing how the social media effort compared to the desired outcome.
Limitations: Publishers may enter this category multiple times.
Note: This category includes both B-to-B and B-to-C entrants.
Submit: Links to and screenshots of relevant social media posts; if video, than links to actual video content. A description of the desired outcome for the social posts, defined by metrics of entrant’s choosing, and the related results.

VIDEO STORYTELLING

Criteria: This entry is for a single, original video or video series, produced by a digital and/or print publisher and delivered by that publisher via its branded website or any of its branded social media channels. The video will have a clear, purposeful storyline that fits with the overall content mix regularly provided by the publisher. As such, the video content will reinforce the publisher’s position in the market it serves.
Limitations: Publishers may enter this category multiple times.
Note: This category includes both B-to-B and B-to-C entrants.
Submit: Link or links to the videos; screenshot(s) of the video(s) as presented on the website or social media channel; a brief description of the video(s) storyline and how it supports the publisher’s editorial mission.