Event Wrap-Up: The American Advertising Awards: Setting the Stage for Success with Stefanie Brown

If you plan to enter the American Advertising Awards, it’s never too early to prepare. Stefanie Brown, who has won many American Advertising Awards and judged competitions across the US, graciously lead the discussion on how to be successful with your entries.

Why should you enter?


  • Build your resume and portfolio
  • Gain experience entering awards shows: documenting your entries, preparing the work for judging, and building the skills necessary to choose work that’s worth entering from work that’s not
  • If you win then your work is displayed to professionals in your entire market. Expect to get approached the night of the event for internship or job opportunities.


  • Build your resume and personal portfolio
  • Show off your self-promotion or public service work that came with fewer client restrictions


  • Add to your shelf of awards
  • Don’t think that your clients don’t care about awards. They do.
  • Reassure potential clients and new hires that you have the skills
  • Public recognition of your employees’ hard work: Submitting employee work lets them know you think what they are doing is awesome and award-worthy.


  • People outside the industry get to experience the rising stars and trends in advertising
  • Create opportunities for new business ventures

How to Stand Out


  • Don’t skimp on the production of your entry materials. Plain printer paper won’t cut it.
  • Choose only your best work.
  • Spend time creating high-quality supporting documentation.
  • Keep in mind the entries may be judged digitally only.


  • Enter your best work into as many categories as possible, breaking up the individual elements of the creative wherever you can.
  • Judges who see your work more than once in several categories become familiar with it and will continue giving it high marks whenever it’s seen.

Unique Ideas

  • Use this opportunity to show your creative thinking and enter non-traditional pieces like Christmas cards or responses to RFPs.



  • Judging is subjective. Each judge brings with them their own experiences, expertise, and biases.
  • Winning is cyclical. Winners can dominate for years until another set of creatives come along and bump them out.
  • Recycle your best ideas. Reuse or build upon your previous wins. There’s a new crop of judges each year who won’t remember or care what you entered previously.

We will have the portal to enter the 2019 American Advertising Awards open very soon. We will announce the call for entries and the theme for this year’s awards shortly. Stay tuned!

Event Wrap-Up: GDPR with Rachel Cain

Rachel Cain explained how the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) effects advertisers in the US who want to market to citizens of the EU. She walked us through how her team at Eastman prepared for GDPR, how they created systems to comply with the new regulations, and the challenges they overcame.

GDPR makes the case that data privacy is a human right. Companies who have personal data are compelled under this new law to handle private data carefully and create systems that keep that data private.

You can read more about the specifics in Rachel’s presentation, available here as a PDF:

Event Wrap-Up: Web Accessibility with Andy Didyk

Thank you so much to Ntara and Andy Didyk for leading our April lunch. Andy’s session communicated what makes a website accessible, why that’s important, and how accessibility is becoming so commonplace, it will soon be the norm in website design.

Organizations now have a corporate social responsibility to create and sustain an accessible digital brand experience, yet many are lagging behind. But in 2015, 70% of websites did not meet basic accessibility standards. Furthermore,

  • 22.9 million Americans are blind or visually impaired.
  • At least 7.6 million Americans with a hearing impairment are active online.
  • In the next 30 years, the number of consumers who are blind or visually impaired will double.

See a full video and transcript of his presentation on the Ntara blog: Accessibility First is the New Mobile First

His full presentation is available for download on Slideshare.

Want to connect with Andy? Check out his profile on LinkedIn.