2018 Webstar Magazine Media Awards Categories

Every year the MPA revisits the award programme and categories to ensure they reflect the evolving face of the magazine industry. It’s important that we look carefully at new trends, technologies and mediums to give the right people and brands their chance to shine.

For a downloadable table of all categories, weighting, and judging criteria click here 

For the first time, the 2018 Awards will be run through the Award Force online entry and judging portal. This change will significantly streamline the award entry and judging process for all concerned. Check it out here

SUBCATEGORIES

Webstar Best Magazine is separated into:

  • Consumer Special Interest – Titles with an editorial focus on a specific subject (excluding Home & Food).
  • Current Affairs & Business – Titles with an editorial focus on current affairs or specific types of business or profession.
  • Home & Food – Titles with an editorial focus specifically on home or food.
  • Lifestyle – Titles with a broad-based editorial focus on a range of lifestyle topics. Incorporates Mass Market Women’s – titles with a female-focused audience and/or editorial content with a celebrity or entertainment emphasis.
  • Trade – Titles with specific editorial content relating to trade and industry, as well as any associated services.

Best Cover, Best Designer, Best Editor, and Best Journalist are divided into the following four categories:

  • Consumer Special Interest – Titles with an editorial focus on a specific subject (excluding Home & Food).
  • Current Affairs, Business & Trade – Titles with an editorial focus on current affairs or specific types of business, profession, trade, or industry.
  • Home & Food – Titles with an editorial focus specifically on home or food.
  • Lifestyle – Titles with a broad-based editorial focus on a range of lifestyle topics. Incorporates Mass Market Women’s – titles with a female-focused audience and/or editorial content with a celebrity or entertainment emphasis.

The Best Columnist/Blogger, Best Digital Brand and Best Magazine Media Sales Person or Team awards are divided into the following two categories:

  • B2C – Magazine brands targeted to consumers. 
  • B2B – Magazine brands predominantly targeted to a business audience.

Best Photographer is divided into two categories:

  • Portrait
  • Feature

The Rising Star Award is divided into two categories: 

  • Editorial
  • Commercial

All other awards have one category.

2018 AWARDS CATEGORIES

The 2018 Webstar Magazine Media Awards categories are defined below. To enter, please click the links provided. 

Webstar Best Magazine

Awarded to a magazine that demonstrates consistent all-round publishing excellence and engagement with its community.

The winning entry must demonstrate that the magazine is a commercially sound publication, and the winner of each category becomes a finalist for Magazine of the Year.

Judging Criteria

Tell us about your magazine and why it is the best in its category by answering the questions below. Provide three issues which demonstrate your case. Judges will use the following weightings to determine the successful entry:

  • Provide evidence of clear editorial direction and the implementation of this (20%)
  • Provide evidence of engagement from the reader community and response to initiatives to deepen the brand community (20%)
  • Demonstrate overall craft including high standards of editorial/journalism, design and photography (20%)
  • Demonstrate competitiveness within segment including the success of brand initiatives (20%)
  • Demonstrate commercial success (20%)

Enter Webstar Best Magazine 

Best Cover

Awarded to the best example of a magazine cover within each category.

The finalists of each category for Best Cover go into the Magshop People’s Choice Award.

Judging Criteria

Tell us about this cover and why it’s a winning entry by answering the questions below:

  • The concept and why is it relevant to the target audience, the reasoning behind your choice of cover lines, images, typography, and design style and how cover lines, imagery and design support the concept and performance (50%).
  • Evidence of positive audience reaction including how this cover performed against average, the previous issue and or the same period the previous year. (If there were any promotions that would have lifted sales, please explain their impact). Include verifiable sales data to support your claims. If your entry does not rely on paid sales, please explain as best you can the impact of this particular cover on audience engagement and response (50%).

Enter Best Cover

Best Designer or Team

Awarded to a designer or design team who demonstrates excellence in magazine design.

Judging Criteria

Tell us why this is a winning entry by answering the questions below. Provide three issues that demonstrate your case. Judges will use the following weightings to determine the successful entry:

  • Overall craft, including creative use of imagery and typography, the role of photographic and visual material (commissioned or stock), how it aligns with the brand and connects with core target audience (75%).
  • Evidence of your understanding of the core target audience and how you work with editorial and advertising teams to achieve positive outcomes/audience engagement (25%).

Enter Best Designer or Team

Best Journalist

Awarded to a magazine feature writer or freelance writer who excels in producing articles that have impact, are thoughtful and inspire the magazine’s readers.

Entries may have been published by different titles, by different publishers or may all be from the same magazine. However, all articles must be within the same category. Editors are eligible to enter this award for their stories but not for their editorials.

Judging Criteria

Tell us why you are a winning entry by answering the questions below. Provide three articles to illustrate your work. Judges will use the following weightings to determine the successful entry:

  • Craft; please explain the story-telling technique you have used and why, how you got the story and what your verification process was, the methods of reporting and researching. Why do you think your three articles best represent your work? (50%).
  • Core target; please provide a statement from your editor explaining how your work enhances audience engagement and demonstrates your knowledge of the target audience (30%).
  • Explain your approach to working with your wider magazine team (20%)

Enter Best Journalist

NZ Post Best Editor

Awarded to the magazine industry’s best editor for their individual enterprise and performance in achieving outstanding success for their magazine.

The nominee must have been editor of the magazine for at least six months, and must have been editor of the three issues submitted.

Judging Criteria 

Tell us about why, as an Editor, you are a winning entry by answering the questions below. Provide three issues that demonstrate your case. Judges will use the following weightings to determine the successful entry: All questions are worth 20%

  • Evidence of clear editorial vision and how this informs decisions about content and design.
  • Evidence of your knowledge of and engagement with the reader community.
  • Evidence of effective team leadership and management of editorial resources
  • Evidence of innovation and creativity in a changing publishing environment
  • Competitiveness within segment, and how you have contributed to commercial success.

Enter NZ Post Best Editor

Adestra Best Digital Brand

This award recognises true excellence in the development of digital media brands and can include websites, apps, e-commerce platforms or social media pages. The judges will be looking for publishers that:

  • Serve their user communities engaging and relevant content.
  • Find new, innovative ways of distributing that content.
  • Experiment with creating content through a range of media channels.
  • Have commercialised their digital audience (through advertising, subscriptions, or some other means).
  • Ideally have succeeded in leveraging brands across multiple platforms.

Entries can be standalone products and do not have to stem from a printed product, though our judges will be looking for cross-platform integration. Brand-funded websites are also eligible for this category. The winner of each category becomes a finalist for Digital Brand of the Year.

Judging Criteria

Tell us about your Digital Media Brand and why it is a winning entry? Judges will use the following weightings to determine the successful entry: All questions are worth 25%

  • Strategy: What was the vision and objective? What research was used? What was the budget?
  • Design and execution: How did you create and serve your user communities engaging and relevant content? What was the rationale and concept? How did you ensure a good user experience? What innovative distribution methods and/or partnerships were used?
  • Results: What are the audience and engagement statistics? What was the advertiser response?
  • Commercial success: How have you commercialised your digital audience and found new business models, whether through advertising, branded content, subscriptions or some other innovative way?

Enter Adestra Best Digital Brand

Best Columnist/Blogger

Awarded to a columnist/blogger of a regular column or blog (or both) on any magazine platform who offers a point of view that may include personal reflection, editorial opinion and humour – with relevance to the target audience.

One columnist or blogger can enter using multiple examples from one title or examples from multiple titles, but all columns or blogs entered must be from the same category (i.e. B2C and B2B editorials are not eligible for this award). This can include online blogs which best serve their intended audience through commentary, opinion, or other interactive elements.

Judging Criteria

Tell us about your Column/Blog and why it’s a winning entry by answering the questions below. Provide three columns or blogs that illustrate your best work. Judges are looking for insights into:

  • The writing technique you used and why and any other reasons why you feel these columns/blogs represent your best work (75%)
  • The core target audience of the magazine and how your work demonstrates an understanding of what that audience wants and evidence (including the editor testimonial) that your work enhances audience engagement (25%)

Enter Best Columnist/Blogger 

Best Magazine Media Salesperson/Team

Awarded to a salesperson or sales team for outstanding performance in delivering commercial success to an individual magazine brand or cluster of brands.

Judging Criteria

  • Tell us how you have grown the business and used your commercial skills across all relevant platforms? Judges are looking for insights into: The challenge, the competitive landscape, the core target audience, and client. Your sales strategy and why this sales strategy provided the best solution for the client. Evidence of business growth across relevant platforms.
  • Tell us about your sales technique engaging with clients, agencies, or both? Judges are looking for: Evidence of research, innovation, solution selling, advertiser engagement. How the actions and influence of the salesperson met the client(s’) objectives.
  • Provide evidence of strong collaboration with editorial teams and publishers to deliver campaign ideas that achieve strong commercial revenue and add value to the audience?
  • What makes this a winning entry? Judges are looking for: Demonstration of clear improvement in commercial performance year on year. Evidence of market share gain, campaign successes, performance against budget and yields and total revenue growth.
  • Provide a written testimonial from a client or the publisher that supports your entry.

Enter Best Magazine Media Salesperson/Team

Best Photographer

Best Photographer – Feature

Awarded to the best photography for a feature story.

Judging Criteria

  • Tell us about craft – your photographic approach to the assignment, why you chose that approach, why it was appropriate for the subject and what challenges you encountered during production., Judges are looking for some technical detail, but also the journalistic considerations of story and subject. Who is the core audience, and how did you seek to involve them in the world you were covering as a photographer? Why is this your best work? (75%)
  • How did your photography contribute to the telling of the wider feature? Did your approach differ from that of the writer/publisher? And what did your photography communicate in this instance that the copy couldn’t or didn’t? (25%)

Enter Best Photographer Feature

Best Photographer – Portrait

Awarded for the best photography portrait.

Judging Criteria 

Tell us about your portrait and what makes this a winning entry by answering the questions below. Provide a single image and a PDF of the published work. Judges are looking for insights into:

  • Tell us about your subject, and how the photographic approach you employed was relevant in this case. How did the framing, light and lens contribute to the telling of the visual story? (75%)
  • What were you trying to communicate to your audience with this picture, and how did your framing or approach change how that individual might be perceived? (25%)

Enter Best Photographer Portrait

These awards can be entered by the photographer or a magazine publisher.

Webstar Rising Star

Awarded to a person new to the industry whose input has had an exceptional impact on their team or publication.

Nominees must have been in the magazine media industry more than 12 months but not longer than 36 months, and may be from any discipline. 

Judging Criteria

Tell us why this person should win the Rising Star Award. Judges wish to understand why this person has been nominated:

  • Tell us how they fit into your Organisation, role and responsibilities. Evidence of impact on team/publication. What sets this person apart from others? (30%)
  • Please give 2 examples of how this person contributed beyond expectations to your team/publication. Judges want proof on how this person has contributed beyond expectations: Evidence of initiative. (30%)
  • Outcomes -– commercial or editorial success. (40%)

Enter Webstar Rising Star

Best Content Marketing Campaign

Awarded to a publisher who has created and distributed the best content marketing campaign on behalf of an advertiser.

The judges will be looking for:

  • Content placed at the heart of the strategy.
  • Content that fits with the advertiser and magazine brand values while clearly addressing the marketing challenge.
  • Additional credit will be awarded for creative storytelling and tangible proof of success via engagement metrics.

This award includes content creation and distribution in magazines as well as via social media, web, events, eDMs, video/audio or any other mediums within earnt and owned platforms. 

Judging Criteria

Tell us about your Content Marketing Campaign and why it’s a winning entry by answering the questions below. Judges will use the following weightings to determine the successful entry: All questions are worth 25%.

  • Provide Evidence of clear vision and an understanding of the audience/client brand values and how that translates to content. Was this an idea based on a brief from an agency/client or a concept that was sold into the client/agency? What was the desired outcome? How did this align to the client’s marketing challenge? 
  • Relevance and originality of story-telling across multiple touchpoints. What was the creative thinking and how did this support the strategy?
  • Implementation excellence. What platforms were used and how were they leveraged?
  • Campaign outcome. How did this performance compare to agreed upon KPIs in terms of amplification, engagement, attitudinal/behavioural change, client feedback?

Enter Best Content Marketing Campaign 

Best Digital Design

Awarded to the magazine brand that best demonstrates excellence in digital design.

Judging Criteria

Tell us why this is a winning entry by answering the questions below. Provide three examples that demonstrate your case. Judges will use the following weightings to determine the successful entry:

  • Overall craft, including creative use of imagery and typography, the role of photographic and visual material (commissioned or stock), how it aligns with the brand and connects with core target audience (75%).
  • Evidence of your understanding of the core target audience and how you work with editorial and advertising teams to achieve positive outcomes/audience engagement (25%).

Enter Best Digital Design

Best Magazine 360°

Awarded to a magazine brand that demonstrates the vitality of their brand across the entire content ecosystem to connect with audiences via multiple platforms and touchpoints (i.e. total audience (both print and digital), website, eDM, social platforms, experiential, video and other).

Judging Criteria

Tell us about your Magazine 360° and why this is a winning entry by answering the questions below: 

  • Tell us what brand touchpoints you have and why they were chosen to engage with your brand audience. Judges are looking for insights into: The brand's audience strategy across the entire content eco-system to connect with audiences via multiple platforms & touchpoints. Demonstration of an integrated content flow across platforms and touchpoints that optimises the relative benefits, strengths, and complementary nature of each. (40%)
  • What has been the audience impact for the magazine brand over the period in question across all platforms and touchpoints? Judges are looking for insights into: The core target and how the different touchpoints have helped to grow and engage this audience. How it benefits the reader/audience and links back to the magazine brand. (30%)
  • What has been the commercial/revenue impact for the magazine brand audience over the period across all platforms and touchpoints? Judges are looking for: Demonstration of how the 360° approach has driven revenue opportunities across the platforms utilised and how this has enhanced commercial outcomes and profitability. The impact it has had on the commercial success of the magazine brand. How it benefits advertisers and/or audience. (30%)

Enter Best Magazine 360°

Best Owned Media/Custom Publishing

Awarded to a magazine that demonstrates consistent all-round publishing excellence and engagement with its community as part of a client-owned media strategy.

Magazines eligible for this category are those created and published exclusively for, and owned by, a client company, brand or association.

Judging Criteria

Tell us about your owned media project and why it is a winning entry by answering the questions below. Judges will use the following weightings to determine the successful entry: All questions are worth 25%.

  • Provide evidence of clear vision and the magazine’s implementation of this. What is the core target audience? What was the marketing objective of the client and how did the project link to this? What was the editorial and design strategy with respect to the marketing objective and what was the channel mix (print, digital etc.)
  • Provide evidence of engagement from the reader community. What were the audience and engagement statistics?
  • Demonstrate overall craft including high standards of editorial/journalism, design, and photography.
  • Demonstrate commercial success. Provide evidence of competitiveness within segment, the funding model (third-party advertising, circulation, client funded), returns for the publisher and the return on investment for the client.

Enter Best Owned Media/Custom Publishing

Best Use of Data and Insights

Awarded to the best use of research and insights to deliver commercial gain.

This category is designed to recognise smart thinking and sound strategy. The insight-led solution can be on behalf of an advertising category, an individual advertiser, an individual magazine brand or a publisher.

Judging Criteria

Tell us about your use of insights and why it is a winning entry?

  • What was the marketing challenge and insight? Judges are looking for: Explain the background to the business and marketing challenge? How significant was the challenge? Demonstrate clear understanding of the category/consumer/brand relationship that resulted in the development of a powerful/compelling insight to unlock business growth? (40%)
  • What was the strategy? Judges are looking for: What was the strategy and explain how it connects to the insight? What is the relationship between the insight, media strategy and creative solution - how does one enhance the other? (20%)
  • How was the strategy brought to life? Judges are looking for: How has the strategy influenced channel selection? Has the execution effectively delivered on the insight and the strategy? Is a role for each channel clearly defined and activated? Does the execution demonstrate innovation? Has the execution challenged partners and media owners? Does the execution make you think “I wish I had thought of that?” Does the use of insight enhance the campaign? How was the insight applied to execution? (20%)
  • What results did the campaign deliver? Judges are looking for: Media thinking that has significantly contributed to the overall success of the campaign. Quantifiable evidence of the success that can be directly attributed to the campaign? Do the results directly relate to the business and marketing challenge? (20%)

Enter Best Use of Data & Insights

Best Use of Technology to Grow Revenue and/or Audience

This award acknowledges the use of new technologies to enhance audience experiences, gain important new insights into audience behaviours. This could include virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), programmatic, and other technologies, to generate revenue and engage with audiences and advertisers. We understand that technology projects often span greater than the eligibly period and will except entries spanning greater than one year.

Judging Criteria

Judges are looking for a "wow" factor in the use of new technologies, including any tangible results or return on investment. Be visual with your entries.

  • Tell us about the technology and the rationale for implementing it into your business (25%)
  • Tell us about your implementation process, how the new technology sits with existing brands where applicable and how the new solution/technology was introduced to its audience (25%)
  • Provide evidence that supports the technologies impact on audience engagement and growth, and revenue growth (50%)

Enter Best Use of Technology to Grow Revenue and/or Audience

ICG Best Innovation

Awarded to a new initiative that demonstrates innovative thinking and execution for a magazine brand or brands.

This could be print, experiential, digital (including social, eDMs or other platforms or channels) or a combination of mediums. Additionally, it may be based on audience growth, advertiser growth, or both.

Judging Criteria

Tell us about your best innovation and why this is a winning entry by answering the questions below. Judges will use the following weightings to determine the successful entry: All questions are worth 25%.

  • Evidence Provide evidence of the publishing strategy delivering on a clear marketing objective.
  • Originality/complexity of the idea and implementation
  • Evidence of engagement with the core target
  • Commercial performance

Enter ICG Best Innovation

ICG Best Marketing Campaign

Awarded to the best marketing campaign or activation that promotes a brand’s commercial or audience growth through either an individual platform or a combination of platforms.

Platforms can include print (retail and subscriptions), web, eDMs, social, video, audio, experiential, brand, one shots or any other mediums.

Judging Criteria

Tell us about your Marketing Campaign and why it is a winning entry by answering the questions below. Provide relevant examples to allow the judges to assess the campaign.

  • How was the campaign activated, what sales and audience increases were achieved, what was the ROI? (50%)
  • Describe the innovation, creativity and excellence in execution of the campaign (40%)
  • Evidence of engagement with audience and enhancement of the brand (10%)

Enter ICG Best Marketing Campaign 

ICG Best Rising Brand

Awarded to the best rising print or digital brand that (1) can demonstrate innovation, and (2) has been able to find and appeal to new audiences and create new revenue streams (e.g. through a new brand launch or brand relaunch).

Judging Criteria 

Tell us about your rising brand and why it is a winning entry. Judges are looking for insights into:

  • Strategy- Evidence of a clear strategy for the launch/ re-launch outlining the background, target audience(s) and market opportunity covering the concept, content, design, and marketing. (25%)
  • Innovation – what new ideas were utilised that support the launch/ re-launch and why? (20%)
  • Growth- the identification of clear commercial revenue opportunities linked to target audiences and/or advertiser base and how this was exploited? (20%)
  • The results of the launch/relaunch. Judges are looking for insights into Brand success linked to the stated launch/re-launch strategic objectives. E.g. Market share gain, total audience touchpoint growth, new audiences and/or advertisers, change in market positioning, reader/advertiser engagement and feedback. Evidence of brand momentum and commercial success. (35%)

Enter ICG Best Rising Brand 

NZ Post Best Digital Editor

Awarded to the magazine industry’s best digital editor, based on their individual enterprise and performance in achieving outstanding success for their digital brand.

The nominee must have been the digital editor for at least six months, and all work submitted must fall within their time as editor.

Judging Criteria

Tell us about why, as a Digital Editor, you are a winning entry by answering the questions below. Provide three examples that demonstrate your case. Judges will use the following weightings to determine the successful entry: All questions are worth 20%.

  • Evidence of clear editorial vision and how this informs decisions about content and design.
  • Evidence of your knowledge of and engagement with the reader community.
  • Evidence of effective team leadership and management of editorial resources
  • Evidence of innovation and creativity in a changing publishing environment
  • Competitiveness within segment, and how you have contributed to commercial success.

Enter NZ Post Best Digital Editor

The Gordon & Gotch Magazine Retailer of the Year

The winner of this award is selected by Gordon & Gotch for retail sales performance and cannot be entered.

The Gordon & Gotch Newsstand Magazine Excellence Award

The winner of this award is selected by Gordon & Gotch for retail sales performance and cannot be entered.

Lifetime Achievement Award

This award is decided by the MPA Executive Board, and is awarded to a significant figure within the magazine media industry whose contributions have been outstanding.

The Magshop People’s Choice Award

The finalists for the Best Cover categories for Consumer Special Interest, Current Affairs, Business & Trade, Home & Food, and Lifestyle (incorporating Mass Women’s) will go into the Magshop People’s Choice Award. The public can vote for their top three covers using a voting gallery, and the magazine with the largest number of votes wins the Magshop People’s Choice Award.

People's Choice Voting will open at a later date.