Monika Lancucki is, without doubt, one of our most successful communicators. With one Gold Quill and three Bronze Quills already in her trophy cabinet, Monika is well placed to advise others on how to achieve Gold Quills success.
Hi Monika. What made you decide to enter the IABC Gold Quills multiple times?
My first Bronze and Gold quills were for the same submission in the Issues Management and Crisis Communications category. In an increasingly uncertain employment market, and one in which management and boards are increasingly seeking high-level generalist communications counsel rather than specialised tactical communications delivery, I thought entering in multiple categories would be a good opportunity to demonstrate expertise in a range of both strategic and tactical communications competencies and so improve my marketability and prospects of landing great roles down the track.
How did you go about selecting which of your completed projects to put forward?
They were kind of apparent: significant projects or transactions – for example my first attempt was for the communications strategy to support a major capital restructure. The others were discreet projects which were fairly straightforward to describe and evaluate.
How long did your submissions take to complete? Which resources did you find most helpful in supporting you in getting them done?
The submissions generally took about a day to write and then a few weeks to solicit and incorporate feedback, edit and refine. My mentor and feedback from other people who I asked to read the submission, the Midas touch presentation, judging scoresheet and GQ website were all very useful – as were prior years' submissions by other winners. These are available in the Discovery section of the IABC Global Website.
What benefits have you experienced from winning a Gold Quill?
Mainly recognition. It is hard to make the recognition directly referencable to any job opportunities – but winning has certainly expanded my network and adds to my credibility when seeking employment in what is a very tight employment market.
Was the feedback on your submission useful? Can you share any lessons you learned for the process?
The feedback was generally very useful. In terms of lessons:
- Make it easy for the judges – follow the prescribed headings and order and also consider using tables etc.
- Do not over-populate your work sample
- Do not over-complicate your submission – only use the most salient information
- Have a number of people review it before submitting
- Avoid jargon and parochial language – get someone outside your workplace/ industry/ country/ region to review it to identify any that may have slipped through.
- Take on board the feedback from prior submissions when preparing subsequent submissions
Would you do it one more time?
Sure – I'm working on one now!