Judging Criteria



CAPIO’s Awards of Excellence focus on recognizing excellence in government communications. Entries are judged on a 100 point scale with points given to the following categories.  


  • How thorough and valuable was the research that was conducted?
  • Was the situation adequately and accurately analyzed?
  • Were the research methods appropriate for the situation, budget or time constraints?
  • Did the research help define who did you want it to reach?
  • Did the research define what you wanted the audience to do?
  • How as research collected?
  • What type of research was used?
    • Primary – Survey, focus groups, interviews, communications audit, etc
    • Secondary – Historical research, internet research, etc
    • Formal – Survey, content analysis, etc
    • Information – Phone interviews, tracking calls, observations, etc
    • Qualitative/Quantitative
    • Scientific Method


  • Does entry display understanding of goals, audience objectives, strategies and tactics?
  • Do objectives focus and define the behavior, attitude or opinion you would like to achieve?
  • Are objectives SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused and timely)?
  • Is the budget clearly noted and broken down to show per piece/per person cost (when appropriate)?
  • Did the budget clearly outline internal and external costs, including staff hours, hard costs, consultant and production fees?


  • Does the submission identify how the plan was developed and executed?
  • Does the plan note staff and/or consultants roles?


  • Are the results of the program noted in this section measured against the objectives noted in the “planning” portion of the entry?
  • What methods of evaluation were used?
  • How successful was the organization in achieving its objectives?