What the judges are looking for

Here are a bunch of quotes from our jury that give you an insight into the types of things they are looking for when they are judging your entries.

“I’m looking for inspiring, authentic stories told well… and I want to know what happened next. I want to feel energised by the creativity, ideation and execution of the campaign and that sense of pride in a measurable outcome.”

John Thompson, head of communications, Actis

"I want three things from an award-winning campaign: 1. A solid understanding of the scale of the problem and what you are trying to achieve. 2. A beautifully simple, effective idea at its heart and 3. Proof that it had an impact."

Chris Blackwood, partner, Third City

“The thread that runs through the work is critical with ESG challenges. What data is informing the business need, the strategy and the ideas? What was the work and what difference has it really made? How has this impacted, changed or even instigated overall business strategy? And above all, what evidence do we have to show for that?”

Steve Earl, partner, BOLDT

“Evidence of action and real-world outcomes that have impact on delivery of the SDGs and that use recognised metrics and verification to indicate that impact. Also clever use of insights and creativity to engage often hard to reach audiences on sustainability issues.”

Chris Pratt, managing director, Better Impact, Hill+Knowlton Strategies

"I will be looking for creativity of solutions and campaigns that are strongly connected to the organisation’s business or sector and are clearly achieving target metrics for the appropriate SDG."

Sian Boisseau, corporate communications (EMEA), Santen

“I’m looking for brave work that not only aligns to the UN SDGs, but that has driven meaningful business and behaviour change by the organisations entering. This cannot be about virtue signalling, but also don’t confuse big budget campaigns as being more impactful than small community based actions. All entries are worthy based on their individual merits and impact.”

Charlotte West, executive director, global corporate communications, Lenovo

“ESG is everywhere and that means it’s often hard to see the wood for the trees. As such, I’m looking for entries that fully embrace ESG as part of a long-term strategic business priority, in whatever form that takes, and is not just a PR ‘tactic’ done to generate short term media coverage.”

Victoria Cross, managing partner, Instinctif Partners

“I’ll be on the lookout for an approach that combines credible reporting with outstanding storytelling, delivered in a way that demonstrates clearly what ESG means to the organisation. Alignment to a single SDG is one part of the story, so it’ll be really important that entries can stand up to wider scrutiny too.”

Luke Cross, director (London), Social

"Businesses have a key role to play in creating a more equitable and sustainable world. It is also a role that is inextricably linked to their licence to operate and the expectations of investors and consumers. I'll be looking for entries that are authentic and bold in their approach to tackling some of society's biggest challenges and delivering real and measurable change where it matters."

Bieneosa Ebite, head of corporate communications, Centrica

“Story-telling is important to bring a campaign to life, but it cannot cloud or mask the detail. So I will be looking for transparency and evidence of a genuine environmental or social impact. And, with collaboration recognised as the most effective way to deliver the UN SDGs, I would be really pleased to see any campaigns that build on effective partnerships.”

Rebecca Gudgeon, partner, Hudson Sandler and founder of HS Sustain

“We are living through a time of incredible economic, cultural and environmental change. I am looking forward to seeing how brands are cutting through the noise to deliver credible ESG campaigns that will resonate and have impact now and in the future.”

Simon Tiernan, associate director, corporate reputation, 3 Monkeys Zeno

“Businesses and leaders must be held accountable to enact real change and there is, quite rightly, more scrutiny than ever around business decisions relating to ESG. I’ll be looking to see campaigns that have not only generated top quality coverage, but align with the UN SDGs, and tangible business objectives in this space. To me, it’s important to see that a PR campaign isn’t just a vanity project.”

Sarah Kemp, group head of external communications, PageGroup

"When reviewing the entries, I’ll be leveraging both my background in communications, and the expertise of my current role in business and finance. ESG solutions must be bankable, scalable and replicable in order to reach the net-zero targets. By clear, honest and compelling story-telling we share the vision for others to join."

Helina Piik, global business development, Stronghold Global Finance

"The best campaigns have clear objectives and evidence delivery. I like good and creative ideas but I am a bigger fan of execution of the right ideas – the ones which make the most impact with the least (or right amount of) resource."

Danny Cox, head of external relations, Hargreaves Lansdown

“I am hoping to see some great examples of campaigns that have promoted climate action but also entries that can demonstrate real impact.”

Rebecca Blinston-Jones, UK head of marketing & PR, Justdiggit

“I’m looking for campaigns that are not only innovative but communicate its business’ sustainability objectives clearly. The impact of an organisation’s actions on people and planet is key to any sustainability business strategy. So, I’m keen to see how the campaigns are able to articulate the complex issues around the UN SDGs and how those businesses seek to tackle them meaningfully and effectively for today and if there are ambitions for continuous improvement for the future.”

Haw-Yan Man, strategic communications lead, UNDP SDG Impact

“I am looking for work that is industry defining. If it can achieve this, then it will be making a difference, and demonstrating tangible, measurable impact.”

Giles Peddy, CEO, Missive

“I’m looking for entries that understand the value of delivering real impact, impact not just in the short-term but that benefit people and the planet long term. I am looking for entries that reflect an honest, patient, realistic and, at the same time, ambitious mindset. It’s so easy to present work that looks good or only tells half the story, only to find out that it’s not actually doing good or creating real impact.”