Marketing Communications Awards FAQs

The 40th Annual Marketing Communications Awards program.

How to Enter

To enter into the MCA Awards Program, click here. You will automatically establish an account when you create a basic profile. You may save your work and return to the submission site as often as needed as long as you complete and submit all parts of the entry submission by the due date.

Entries must be prepared and formatted per each category submission requirement. For details on category requirements, please click here.

How to Enter Multiple Entries
Once an application is completed for a particular entry, that entry submission may then be copied for submission to another category without any key re-entry or re-uploads. Example: You submit a project to the Advertising category. If you then wish to submit another project to the Video category, you would return to the submission portal, log in to your account, select your previously submitted entry, copy it, and then enter the name of the new video entry, select video category and then save and submit.

If submitting multiple entries, before checking out, be sure to place all entries in the same “cart” and  so they show on the same invoice. This is a must for the multi-entry discount to apply correctly.


  • Eligibility and Definitions
  • Entry Fees
  • Deadlines
  • Preparing My Entry
  • Notification and Winning Entries

Eligibility and Definitions

Q: Who can enter the SMPS Marketing Communications Awards Program?
A: The competition is open to both SMPS members and nonmembers working in U.S. and international professional services firms. Any firm may enter this competition, there is no pre-qualification or preliminary process require to enter.

Q: In what time frame must the communications project be completed in order to be eligible?
A: All entries must have been created and completed between January 2015 and December 2016 for the 2017 competition.

Q: Is there a special category for small firms?
A: No, there is no longer a separate category for small firms. All firms will compete together no matter the size firm. However, small firms do benefit from discounted entry fees. Refer to this chart for details.

Entry Fees

Q: How much does it cost to enter?
A:  Please refer to this page to determine the appropriate entry fees for your firm.


Q: What is the entry deadline?
A: The discounted early-bird deadline is for entries postmarked by March 27, 2017. Final submissions must be received (not postmarked) by SMPS no later than April 3, 2017, along with an additional $75 fee per entry.

Q: What is the final submission deadline?
A: Final submissions must be received by SMPS (not postmarked) no later than April 3, 2017. Entries postmarked by March 27, 2017, may be entered at the discounted early-bird entry fee. Entries postmarked after March 27, 2017 are subject to an additional $75 fee per entry.

Preparing My Entry

Q: What happens if I don’t follow the submittal requirements?
A: Entries that fail to follow submittal requirements will be penalized. Jurors’ decisions are final.

Q: Do I really need to show results?
A: Yes, results count toward your total score. Just as your firm expects you to show ROI for your marketing efforts, so do the jurors for MCA.

Q: The submittal requirements asks for budget and cost information to be included, I do not want to share this information, can I still enter?
A: Only the jury panel will be viewing this information and if you would like to keep it confidential, you can clearly note that on that part of the response. It is important for the jurors to have this information when judging your entry.

Q: What kind of folder should I use?
A: A plastic 8.5 x 11 standard size folder with 3-hole fasteners to hold entry form and sample/exhibits. Clear plastic folders that have a pocket in the front so that invoice can be slipped in the front for easy viewing.
Q: Do I need to create a cover sheet for the folder?
A: No, only the entry form and payment receipt and a copy of your check (if paying by check) need to be in the front inside pocket. You may incorporate a cover/title sheet inside the folder, in front of the table of contents, but this is not required.

Q: What if my entry is too big to fit in a folder?
A: Use large metal binder clips or rubber bands to attach items (e.g., book, magazine, etc.), to folder. Any materials that cannot be placed in a folder (e.g., clothing, hard hats, etc.) must be illustrated with a photograph. Inclusion of such materials in their actual form is elective, not mandatory.

Q: To whom do I make the entry fee check payable?
A: Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS)

Q: Where do I send my entries?
A: Send your entries to SMPS Headquarters:
123 N. Pitt Street, #400
Alexandria, VA 22314

Q: What if my submission doesn’t make the March 27 deadline?
A: Entries postmarked after March 27 require to pay the final entry fee which must accompany the entry. Final submissions must be received by SMPS (not postmarked) no later than April 3, 2017.

Notification and Winning Entries

Q: What happens to my entry—will my materials be returned?
A: Materials will not be returned. All entries become the property of SMPS and may be utilized in future MCA promotions or displayed during SMPS and industry educational events as examples of best practices in marketing communications.

Q: How are winners notified?
A: In May, a notification letter will be emailed to the contact listed on each entry form explaining the status of the entry. Winners will be notified of the categories in which their respective firms placed. Rankings within each category will be announced at the SMPS Awards program on July 13, held in conjunction with Build Business, the SMPS Annual Conference, in Indianapolis.

Q: What is expected of my firm if it wins?
A:  Winning entries will be displayed during Build Business, the SMPS Annual Conference, July 12-14, 2017 in Indianapolis. Participating firms are strongly encouraged to send at least one representative to the conference to capitalize on exposure at the SMPS Awards program on July 13. For more information on Build Business, visit

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