How to enter

How to enter

1. Pick your category

There are seven categories you can enter, plus a chair’s award. Work must have been commercially released between 1 September 2019 and 31 January 2021 to be eligible, although it can also run either side of this period.

The Newsworks Planning Awards are free to enter and open to all agencies and brand owners, provided the work entered has run in one or more of the UK national news brands listed: The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent, Evening Standard, Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday, Metro, Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror, Sunday People, Daily Express, Sunday Express, Daily Star, Daily Star Sunday, The Sun, The Times, The Sunday Times, i, The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph. 

Best newspaper campaign

These entries should celebrate communication investment where print display ads played a significant role during the judging period.

Best news brand campaign (uses more than one platform)

News brands deliver value across many platforms today. Entries need to feature display advertising in at least two news brand owned platforms (e.g. print, mobile, PC, app, tablet).

Best digital news brand campaign – NEW FOR 2021

This category focuses on digital-only work and celebrates campaigns that use one or more digital news brand platforms in an innovative, impactful and engaging way.

Best topical campaign

News brands can be used powerfully and quickly for short-term and tactical objectives. Entrants must show the nature of the desired response and how the media placement boosted overall impact.

Best creative content partnership

These entries will capture work in sponsorships, native advertising, branded content, advertorials, promotions, prize competitions... and the many routes where brands can be integrated into the editorial fabric of news brands.

Best use of insight

This category recognises the importance and power of insight in news brand planning. It will reward cases that demonstrate the use of insight (based on original or published research) in developing a clear strategic role for news brands. It could be a statement focusing on what is driving consumer behaviour or a discovery about consumers’ underlying motivations, or encouraging a new way of viewing the world and challenging the status quo.

Effectiveness award

Newsworks’ research shows that news brands utilise both context and influence to deliver return on investment and maintain long-term brand health. Entries must demonstrate the role that news brands played in boosting results.

Chair’s award

Chosen by the chair of the judging panel, this award will recognise the entry which stands out the most.

2. Write your entry

Entrants should cover off six areas. Each paper will be marked out of a possible score of 42 points.

For the first time, bonus points will be awarded to submissions that have a sustainable element. To gain the extra points, campaigns either have to be sustainable in nature or must have made a concerted effort to reduce the campaign’s carbon output during its development.

At the start of your entry, write an executive summary of no more than 200 words summarising the background, objective, brief details of the plan, how the activity worked with other media and the results.

The main text of your entry should cover the following five areas and be no more than four sides of A4 or 1000 words. Entries should be written in Word and the word count added to the top of your submission. Images should be hi-res JPEGS and should include two high-res logos (one for the agency and another for the client) and a minimum of three campaign images to help tell the story of the campaign, including one of each news brand platform used.

Please note: Case studies will be published on the Newsworks website following the awards. If any of the information in the entry is confidential, please clearly highlight as “Judges’ eyes only”.


Key dates

1 February - Open for entries
5 March - Extended deadline for entries
26 March - Shortlist announced


Judging criteria

Background and objectives

Summarise the business, marketing and communications objectives behind the investment in news brands:

What was the specific role for news brands? What was the planning priority?

Choose from the following:

    • Fame and stature
    • Address an issue
    • Prompt action
    • Build trust
    • Enrich understanding
    • Change minds


  • What was it and how did you get there? Credit any other agencies/consultancies involved and their expertise.

The plan

  • Include detail here on how the idea was executed in order to engage your target market.
  • How did it make the most of news brands?
  • How did news brands interact with and complement other marketing activity?
  • Did you consider the environment during the development of the campaign?


  • Establish the link between the communication activity and commercial performance against the set objectives: Is it possible to isolate the specific impact made by news brands?
  • What happened as a result of the activity?
  • What have you contributed to learning about news brands generally (and remember that old learning reinterpreted can be as good as new)?
  • Include third-party verification where possible and please mark any commercially sensitive information “Judges’ eyes only”.

Client view

  • Include a quote from your client.


  • Was your campaign sustainable in nature – did it promote a sustainable brand or product?
  • Did you make a concerted effort to reduce the campaign’s carbon footprint during its development, for example working with media partners that have climate commitments? If so, don’t forget to mention it in your entry for extra points.

Scoring by category

Category Background/
Insight The plan The results Client view Sustainability
Best newspaper campaign 5 10 10 10 5 2
Best news brand campaign 5 10 10 10 5 2
Best topical campaign 5 10 10 10 5 2
Best creative content partnership 5 10 10 10 5 2
Best use of insight 5 20 5 5 5 2
Effectiveness award 5 5 5 20 5 2
Best digital news brand campaign
5 15 15 0 5 2





  1. The judges will reward the papers that most persuasively establish the link between objectives and commercial performance (the business results).
  2. Think hard about the essential bit from brief to plan. Telling this story well will be really influential.
  3. Beginnings and endings are very important. And so are the six entry criteria, which will be marked individually as chapters to your story: background and objectives, insight, the plan, results, client view.
  4. Get your client on board at the beginning, both to provide information on commercial performance and to add weight to your argument. Check your paper reads well and test it with a colleague before submitting it.
  5. Finally, proofread your entry. Don’t let a ‘smelling pistake’ or stray apostrophe or speech mark get in the way of top marks.

Also, check out Niki West's top tips for writing a winning entry.


3. Submit your entry

Your entry should include all of the below:

  • An executive summary of no more than 200 words summarising the background, objective, brief details of the plan, how the activity worked with other media and the results.
  • A main section, which clearly covers the five key judging criteria in under 1000 words. Please add a word count to the top of your entry.
  • All campaign images, videos and other material related to the entry must be uploaded.
  • Also, please be aware that by submitting an entry, you agree with our Terms & Conditions:
  • Please submit your entry at

Good luck! We look forward to receiving your entries.


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