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MPC Students Display Excellence in Communication as IABC 2020 Gold Quill Award Winners

Master of Professional Communication (MPC) students Ambika Agarwal, Kirstin Corbett, Harleen Dhami, Marisa Samek, and Zaeem Siddiqui will be honoured on June 16 at the IABC 2020 Gold Quill Awards
May 21, 2020

Toronto, Ontario, April 2020 – The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) has announced the award winners of the 2020 Gold Quill Awards program (#IABCGQ). Our MPC students Ambika Agarwal, Kirstin Corbett, Harleen Dhami, Marisa Samek, and Zaeem Siddiqui were given the Award of Merit for their submission to the division of Communication Management in the category of Nonprofit Campaigns. For more than 40 years, IABC’s Gold Quill Awards have recognized excellence in strategic communication worldwide and are acknowledged as one of the most prestigious awards programs in the industry.

IABC GoldQuill Banner

“This project was so fulfilling to complete! It challenged and gave me the opportunity to work with a real organization. We decided to submit for the Golden Quill Award because we were proud of the work we did as a team.”

Ambika Agarwal

About the project

As part of PC8005 The Virtual Organization, taught by Wendy Freeman, students worked with an external client throughout the semester to develop a content strategy on how to enhance their website and social media channels. In the Fall 2019 semester, when this project took place, students worked with the Toronto Writers Collective: a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering underserved populations through interactive and engaging writing workshops.

To develop the project, the students had two consultation periods with the client during classes, which provided an opportunity to ask questions or seek clarification on what it was about certain parts of their communications strategy that they wanted to improve. Preliminary group brainstorm sessions were held outside of class time to identify the audiences and objectives of an updated website and social channels. The student also conducted an audit of the TWC’s current content on both their website and social media. This data was then leveraged to inform the overall communication strategy.

“Knowing this strategy has the potential to impact so many key audiences—whether that be writing workshop facilitators or the communities that the TWC (Toronto Writers Collective) directly serves—was a big driving factor for me when developing this. It was extremely fulfilling and humbling to be able to work on a project of this scale for an organization that is bringing real change to the creative landscape.”

Harleen Dhami

About the Gold Quill Awards

In total, the IABC awards committee selected 258 entries as world-class. Winners come from all over the world, representing a cross section of public and private sector organizations, both large and small. The field was very competitive this year, with almost 700 entries.

“Only exceptional work earns an IABC Gold Quill Award,” said Cindy Schmieg ABC, IABC Fellow, chair of the awards committee. Each entry is rigorously reviewed by multiple experienced communicators from around the world who are trained in applying IABC’s Global Standard of the Communication Profession. The award winners represent our profession of ethical practitioners contributing to organizational outcomes.”

“We congratulate all the Gold Quill Award winners for their work and dedication to excellence in strategic communication,” said Stephanie Doute, CAE, executive director of IABC. “Their success is a testament to the fact that professional communicators create solid business outcomes for their organizations.”

The awards will be presented at the Excellence Gala, external link, opens in new window, held on Tuesday, 16 June, as part of IABC’s World Conference. For more information on the Gold Quill Awards, including the full list of winners, on the Gold Quill Awards website, external link.

The business case is described exceptionally well with linkages to the client's strategic intent, gaps in performance, and a clear view of the risks of not fulfilling its intent.

IABC Evaluation Team