It’s Pinnacle Award season at AMA Omaha, which is always an exciting time of the year as we prepare to honor local businesses, agencies and individuals for their outstanding marketing campaigns and projects.
We are now accepting submissions for the 2024 AMA Omaha Pinnacle Awards. Winners will be announced at the 2024 AMA Omaha Pinnacle Awards Gala, a premier event set to take place on April 24, 2024, and promising to be a dazzling showcase of the city’s finest marketing achievements.
The Pinnacle Awards emphasize and prioritize metrics and measurable tactics over creativity, so we’re looking for results-based achievements in marketing. Submissions are judged by other AMA chapters throughout the United States to ensure that every entry is judged fairly and objectively.
Exciting new categories
To keep the Pinnacle Awards competition dynamic and reflective of industry trends, the 2024 Pinnacle Awards introduce several new categories, as well as two new awards to recognize individual marketers:
- New Kid on the Block (for first-time entrants)
- Influencer Marketing Campaign of the Year
- DEI Campaign of the Year
- Grassroots Marketing Campaign of the Year
- Creative of the Year
- Student Marketer of the Year
Here’s your chance to shine
When you visit the Pinnacle Awards submission portal, you’ll create an account or log in if you’ve entered in the past. Once you’re logged in, you’ll see the submission dashboard, with all the categories you can enter. Click the Enter button for the category you wish to enter and complete the entry form.
In the “Entry title” field, the campaign name is a good option, and you can also use the campaign name when submitting individual campaign elements, e.g., “Black Friday Campaign Video” or “Holiday Campaign Social Media.” The rest of the entry form asks for standard contact information.
Next is the entry summary, where some strategic thinking and smart copywriting can really zhuzh up your submission. For the AMA Omaha Pinnacle Awards, the entry summary requires responses in four fields: objectives, execution, results, and a 100-word summary. There’s also a field to discuss any unusual circumstances that contributed to the success of your marketing plan.
Best practices for submitting AMA Omaha Pinnacle Award entries
I’ve written summaries for around 50 award entries during my career, and I’ve judged creative work and results-based campaigns for a few industry competitions. Over the years, I’ve developed some best practices for submitting a winning entry, and I’m happy to share them with our AMA Omaha audience:
1. Enter work that delivered results.
The AMA Omaha Pinnacle Awards (and many other industry competitions) are results-based, not design-based, so I look at our three or five top-performing or especially disruptive or innovative campaigns. Of those, I enter the two or three that performed best and have the strongest design/creative. My rationale for this approach is if another campaign has equally good results, then a superb creative or innovative approach might make your entry stand out.
2. Start with a Word document.
Draft all sections of the entry summary in a Word doc first; then, once it’s perfect, paste the content into the online entry form. This allows you and others to easily proofread and revise the content without any accidental or lost submissions.
3. Repurpose your creative/campaign briefs.
If you use creative briefs or campaign briefs when developing campaigns, then most of the hard work of entering an awards competition is done. Start by copy-pasting relevant content from the brief, freshen it up, and you have most of the entry summary content you need.
4. Paragraphs or bullets?
If you are or have access to a copywriter who can craft a story of the campaign, then writing the summary in paragraph form can give the judges a little more insight for added impact. However, there’s no disadvantage to submitting bulleted points versus a paragraph. In fact, unless crafting a compelling, yet concise story is your specialty, bullets are the perfect format.
5. Weave your strategy throughout the entry summary.
Doing so helps the judges understand why you took a certain approach or went a certain direction. Even if your campaign didn’t achieve phenomenal results, some of your competitors could enter campaigns with similar results, and some judges might balance outcomes with consideration of an especially novel approach or strategy.
6. Don’t let typos tarnish your work.
After you draft your entry summary, reread what you’ve written, and ask someone to proofread it. You’re submitting your best campaign or work, so submit a well-written entry summary that will make it shine.
7. Upload the campaign elements, as well as snapshots of them.
This is a new requirement for Pinnacle Awards entries. If the campaign elements are concrete, you can set them up on a table and take photos. An easier option in most cases is to create thumbnail images of the campaign elements and arrange them into a landscape image that will fit on a PowerPoint slide.
8. The more you enter, the better your chance of winning.
Increase your chances of adding an award to your shelf by entering multiple campaigns in a single category or in multiple categories, as well as entering the same submission in multiple categories.
Key dates & entry submission rates
- Dec. 1, 2023 — Call for entries
- Dec. 22, 2023 — Early-bird submission deadline
- Jan. 31, 2024 — General submission deadline
- April 24, 2024 — 2024 AMA Omaha Pinnacle Awards Gala
- AMA Members Early-bird* — $90
- AMA Non-members Early-bird — $105
- AMA Members — $105
- AMA Nonmembers — $130
- Students — $35
* Early-bird pricing ends Dec. 22, 2023
Good luck submitting your entries to this year’s AMA Omaha Pinnacle Awards! We’re excited to see the hard work you’ve invested in your marketing efforts.
Thank you to the sponsors of the 2024 AMA Omaha Pinnacle Awards
The success of the AMA Omaha Pinnacle Awards is made possible by the generous support of sponsors, including Ervin & Smith, Interstate Printing Company, Eleven Twenty-Three, and Design 4. Their commitment reflects the shared dedication to recognizing and celebrating marketing excellence in Omaha.
By Amy Goldyn, Vice President, AMA Pinnacle Awards