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MCA Entry Criteria

Reminders for the 2024 MCA Competition

  • You can now add additional team members as collaborators to your entry submission. These individuals will have permission to access and edit your submission. Please note, that the individual listed as the contact on the contact information section for the submission will be the sole person contacted (via email) regarding the entry status throughout the program year.
  • Entries may be modified post-submission until the final deadline on March 22, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Entries submitted after February 15 at 11:59 p.m. ET will automatically be charged an additional $75 fee per submission.

Entry Completion Period: Materials completed between January 2022 and January 2024 will be accepted for the 2024 competition.

Important steps to ensure your entry is complete.

1.    Review Category Definitions to determine which category (ies) you would like to enter.
2.    Read the Judging Criteria and Awards to see the scoring criteria.
3.    Submit your entry and payment online at smps.org/mcaentry

Please note that failure to comply with submittal requirements can result in entry disqualification.

Instructions on submitting your entry

Contact Information-Page 1
To get started, log on to  smps.org/mcaentry. If you already have an account with our awards portal from a previous year you will be automatically logged in. If you have forgotten your password, click the “lost password” to reset your password.

Be sure to complete the contact information form with the name and email address of the contact person who will be responsible for accepting the notification of the results from the competition.

Entry Information-Page 2
Please complete the information regarding the entry on this portion of the form, once you have saved this form you can clone it and then update only the category and entry title for any additional entries you wish to enter.

  • Entry Title: Enter the name of your entry including your firm name. For example, ABC Construction Holiday Card
  • Completion Date of Project: All entry projects must be completed between January 2022 and January 2024.
  • Category: Select Category and then select from the drop-down menu below the format your entry was originally created in.

Print: Entries created specifically for print distribution. (Note: pdf copies of web pages do not qualify)
Digital: Entries created for viewing on electronic devices (computer, tablet, mobile phone)
Mixed Media: Entries that use a combination of both print and digital formats for marketing.

  • Enter Digital / Mixed Media URL: If your entry includes a video or web URL (ie. video or website entry) that is needed to be viewed by the jury panel, please include it here. You are required to enter one URL but have the option to list up to 3 additional URLs if needed.
  • Entry Image Upload: You are required to upload 3 images of your entry. Be sure to use lighting and setup that best displays your entry. You have the option of uploading 3 additional images if needed. Specifications: 300dpi, 3000 pixels for either width or height measurement. If you are using a copied or cloned form, be sure to delete the previously saved file and replace it with the new one. These images will be used for judging purposes. Make sure to upload only clean, clear images that best represent your entry. Use the fields below to upload additional images to best illustrate your entry.
  • Supporting documents may include marketing plans or any other documents that would support your entry.

Entry Questionaire required on the entry form
The following 6 questions are to be answered on the online entry form. The word count limit is next to each question. You may bullet your responses. You WILL be judged on your responses.

1.    Creative Brief (250 Words or less)

Please give a 250-word or less creative brief on your entry to convey to their jurors why your entry should win.

2.    Marketing Objectives (75 words or less)

Identify your marketing goals by answering the following questions:

•    What did your firm hope to achieve with the piece or program?

•    How did you plan to measure your results against your marketing goals?

Include the following:

•    Marketing objectives

•    Specify the time frame

•    Budget information

•    Methodology for collecting and evaluating results

3.    Target Audience (50 words or less)

Define the audience for this piece or program.

Answer the following questions:

•    Who was your target audience?

•    How many pieces were sent via mail or e-mail? If a website or video, what were your analytical goals?

•    Characterize the composition, size, and location of your target audience (example: 250 CEOs and senior managers of the top 500 leaders of the California high-tech industry).

4.    Research and Planning (100 words or less)

Describe the market research conducted prior to planning your piece or program. Summarize your marketing plan efforts. Explain the production and delivery method.

5.    Messaging (50 words or less)

What is the intended message of this entry?

6.    Results/Impact (100 words or less)

Please answer the following questions as thoroughly as possible based on the entry type:

•    What was the ROI, jurors are seeking a response to your marketing objectives that were stated earlier, did you meet your goals?

•    Which actions did the target audience take after receiving your materials (testimonials/feedback)?

•    What was your break-even goal for profit/loss, and did you achieve it?

•    Did you meet your specific sales/reach goals?

•    Did you gain new clients or leads as a result?

Award Information- Page 3
This form is to ensure all firm and entry information is correct for award notifications, press releases, and award engraving and for permission to share entry information if the firm is selected as a finalist. Firms are asked to submit their firm logo both print and digital formats. A team photo is also requested. This information is displayed in the MCA Gallery if an entry is selected as a finalist in the competition.

Entry Fee Payment

Entry Fees: Please refer to this page to determine the appropriate entry fees for your firm.  Visa, MasterCard, and American Express credit card payments are accepted.

Discounted Early Entry Deadline: Entries must be submitted online by February 15, 2024, by 11:59 p.m. ET, for the early discount rate to apply. New this year, entries may be modified post-submission until the final deadline on March 22, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Entries submitted after February 15 at 11:59 p.m. ET will automatically be charged an additional $75 fee per submission.

Refunds: No refunds for any reason after February 15, 2024.

Final Deadline: All entries must be completed in the system by March 22, 2024, by 11:59 p.m. ET to compete in the 2024 MCA competition. 

Questions? Contact Molly Dall’Erta, SMPS Headquarters, at molly@smps.org or 703.684.2270.