The magazine industry, like all other 'traditional' media, is adapting to a very different environment. And so are the magazine industry's awards, with The Magazine Publishers Association (MPA) adding new categories, simplifying entry, changing the judging process and renaming it the Magazine Media Awards for 2015.
Pip Elliott, who was recently appointed as the MPA's executive director after departing Roy Morgan, says the awards have been set up to inspire excellence and the updated name— Magazine Media Awards—and the 44 award categories "reflect the ever-evolving role of magazines and the diversity of magazine media offerings".
As such, it's added a few new categories: best owned media/custom publishing brand (which is a big growth area in the magazine industry), best retail/subscription campaign, best sales solution and best brand community (which focuses on the fact that many magazine brands now span print, digital and experiential).
"We've run a successful awards programme for many years. But what we wanted to do was recognise different categories and the diversity of our business. The trade, niche and business titles serve very important roles to their audiences. So we wanted to separate those categories out to see what's in those groups."
- Check out last year's winners here.
A team of more than 50 industry leaders have been selected as judges and Kim Mundell, director of Mandeville Limited, returns to the role of judging convener. Elliot says it has tried to get judges who are either working in the industry or have a deep understanding of the industry and the changes currently taking place so that the right winners are picked.
"It's important that the awards have credibility," she says.
Entrants are also being made aware of what the awards are being judged on, which allows the judges to give feedback on why a particular entry won so that the knowledge can be used to help improve the industry long after the awards are over.
Elliot says the entry process has also been made simpler in an effort to get "those nuggets of gold" from the industry and the response from members to the changes has been very positive so far.
All award categories, entry forms and criteria can be found on the MPA website. Deadline for entry is Friday, July 3, 2015 at 4pm. Finalists will be announced in early August, with tickets for the awards ceremony going on sale at the same time.