ECHO - Jenny

We’re on the road to DMA2014! Each week, we’ll bring you new insights leading up to the big event in San Diego. This week, Jenny Abreu, Director, Awards & Recognition Programs, shares her enthusiasm for DMA2014 award programs, including old favorites like the International ECHO™ Awards Gala & Ceremony and new launches like the DMA President’s Award for Professional Development as well as the Mike Hughes Creativity Award.

1. How are candidates selected/nominated for the various DMA awards, like International ECHO Awards and Marketer of the Year?

We will present seven awards at DMA2014, and each of the awards will have had their own nomination and judging process. For the International ECHO Awards, we have a call-for-entry process that opens in early spring using direct mail, email, and social media to target domestic and international marketing and creative agencies. The ECHO competition requires an entry fee, and is the most rigorously judged marketing competition in three rounds, in three countries – Australia, Denmark and the U.S. – focused on three criteria: strategy, creative and result. We consider our ECHO judges an elite group of seasoned and senior-level client-side marketers, agency creative and account directors that represent cities across the U.S. and Internationally. Entrants compete for a gold, silver bronze and finalist status as well as 4 other special Awards like the Pitney Bowes Personal Connections Awards, the USPS Gold Mailbox Award, the prestigious Diamond ECHO Award to name a few and don’t know if they’ve won a trophy until the ECHO Gala that happens at DMA2014 – so imagine how special the Gala is to many of our finalists! ECHO entrants are not nominated, but are judged based on their entry form submission. However, other DMA awards, like Marketer of the Year and the DMA Hall Of Fame, have a nomination-based call for entry and nomination form, which we promote via email, social media and through other DMA marketing channels. Companies and individuals can submit nominations and there is no fee to enter these awards. The selection process for The Hall of Fame Award and Marketer of the Year because each has its own selection process. For the Hall of Fame nominations are submitted by a special Advisory Committee to the DMA Board of Directors and in turn the DMA Board selects the inductee(s), for the Marketer of the Year has a special Advisory Committee that will determine the winner(s) and both are presented at DMA2014.

It is important to note that these awards are not only to give our DMA members an opportunity to recognize the great work of their peers and industry colleagues but also a great way to engage with the DMA and maximize their membership value.

Each award mentioned has its own website and to learn more about each, visit the DMA Awards website.

2. Winning a DMA award is pretty special. How are some past awardees leveraging that recognition?

There are different ways for winners to leverage and benefit from winning, and it varies by award, but it is also important to note how we the DMA promote our winners. For example, winners leverage their winner status for business development, to highlight their achievements and successes, to build and/or strengthen their reputation which I often see through the distribution of press releases or by adding their winner status to their email signature. The DMA also promotes winners in marketing communications and on our websites to advertise future call for entries and the awards. Winners also have the opportunity to participate on DMA educational panels and can host webinars, again, way leverage their company products and services with their winner status. I’ve found that our award winners especially ECHO Award winners are very proud of their status and want to make sure that their achievement and recognition are known and they are not shy about it! In the end and in my opinion winners who leverage their winner status really do keep DMA as an organization and the awards alive in the industry. I really believe that awards are a great way to enhance member value and DMA is committed to and continuously creating those opportunities.

3. What are you most excited about for DMA2014?

For me, what’s MOST exciting about DMA2014 is the launching of two NEW awards – the DMA President’s Award for Professional Development and the Mike Hughes Creativity Award. The DMA President’s Award for Professional Development celebrates companies that exemplify best practices in the training and development of marketers. The Mike Hughes Creativity Award that will be presented at the International ECHO Awards Gala and pays homage to creative legend Mike Hughes (served as creative director for three decades and was the president until 2013 of The Martin Agency) who lost his battle with cancer last year. True to its namesake, the award recognizes the Agency that best embodies tenacity, passion, joy and of course, creativity in everything they do. So, as you can imagine I am so excited to see these new awards come into fruition – I think they will be a great additional to the DMA as far as recognitions are concerned.

I really think that the award ceremonies taking place at DMA2014 are the culmination of many months, days, hours and weekends of hard work I’ve put forth along with so many exceptional marketing professionals (who are also DMA volunteers) to select the best of the best in the marketing industry. Not to mention seeing the lights, camera, action, the rolling out of the red carpet, the receptions, the production, planning for the décor and menu and just seeing the work come to life will be satisfying – so yes! I really want October to get here soon!

If you’d like to be a part of Marketing’s Most Important Night – The 2014 International ECHO™ Awards Ceremony & Gala – the culminating event of DMA2014 taking place on October 28 at 6:00 pm at the San Diego Convention Center, purchase your ticket today for just $199 each (price increases onsite to $299) by visiting the DMA registration site.

We also encourage you to attend the other 6 recognition ceremonies throughout your time at DMA2014. To learn more about the award programs that will take place at DMA2014 go to, click on Conference and scroll over to Awards.

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