About the Azbee Awards
Questions? Get answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the awards. Or jump to:
Magazine of the Year
Journalism that Matters
B2B Web Site of the Year
Multi-Platform Presentation of the Year
Stephen Barr Award
Lifetime Achievement Award
Young Leaders Scholarship
Tips on Winning Awards
ASBPE’s Azbee Awards of Excellence program is one of the most competitive there is for business-to-business, trade, association, and professional publications. The awards recognize outstanding work by magazines, newsletters, and digital media — Web sites, e-newsletters, digital magazines, and blogs.
The competition is open to all U.S.-based publications. Free ASBPE membership is not required for entry, but members receive a discount on entry fees.
Entries also compete against others in their own regions. The regions for the 2015 Azbees are as follows:
Young Leaders Scholarship
To help young editors who are just starting their careers, ASBPE started the annual Young Leaders Scholarship in 2001. The scholarship allows younger editors who might otherwise be unable to attend the ASBPE National Conference or Boot Camps. It is open to all business editors, including print and Web.
Scholarships pay the conference or boot camp and hotel room costs for up to five U.S. applicants and two international editors per year. (U.S. applicants or their publishing companies are responsible for transportation to and from the conference, any nonconference meals, and other incurred costs; international winners get a stipend toward travel expenses.) Scholarship recipients also receive a free one-year membership to ASBPE if they are not already members.
Qualifications for the scholarship include the following:
- Applicant must be 30 years of age or younger.
- Applicant must have worked at least two years as an editor of a business magazine or the magazine’s associated Internet publication.
- Candidacy must be sponsored by applicant’s chief editor.
- Applicant must plan to continue in the business press as a career.
- Applicant may not be a past ASBPE Young Leaders Scholarship winner.
Nomination forms go out around the beginning of each year.
Frequently Asked Questions
For answers to frequently asked questions about entries and the competition, please click here or contact:
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Experienced judges with background in business publications read each editorial, design, Web, newsletter, and Magazine of the Year entry. Their introduction to each entry is a required and important one-page cover letter of 250 words or fewer, describing the publication’s mission and readership and discussing both the work that went into the entry and its significance to readers.
The following are the general criteria for judging:
Editorial (and newsletter) judging — based on quality of writing, reporting and editing; development of the subject; presentation, and value to readers.
Design judging — layout and composition; use of typography, graphics and photography; content; originality; relevance to the related story or publication, and how easily the entry communicates useful information to the reader.
Previous Awards of Excellence winners
Top honors go to the Magazine of the Year in our two revenue divisions: Small Publications and Large Publications. The divisions are based on average revenue among all participating publications. (More on the revenue divisions.)
Judging is based on five criteria:
1) quality of writing, reporting and editing;
2) value and usefulness to the reader
3) editorial organization
4) interaction with readers
5) layout and design
Past winners include:
|Year||Small circulation||Large circulation|
|2013||Emergency Management||H&HN (Hospitals & Health Networks)|
|2012||Music Inc.||IEEE Spectrum|
|2009||The Scientist||Fortune Small Business|
|2008||The Scientist||Restaurants & Institutions|
|2005||CMO||Restaurants & Institutions|
|2001||Sales & Marketing
|2000||Meetings & Conventions||Selling Power|
|1997||Best’s Review||Selling Power|
Journalism That Matters Award
The Journalism That Matters Award was first presented in 2009. The award was inspired by ASBPE’s book of the same title, which features case studies of B2B journalists whose articles brought about change within their industries. Editors may nominate themselves or a deserving colleague.
The first winner of the Journalism That Matters Award was HSToday editor David Silverberg in 2009. Silverberg was honored for his criticism in the pages of his homeland-security magazine of the National Football League’s unwillingness to run advertisements mentioning terrorism, borders, and immigration. After the HSToday articles, the NFL changed its policy.
And in 2011, ASBPE presented its second Journalism That Matters Award to The Spine Journal, which took a major step toward protecting the integrity of all scientific publishing in its June 2011 issue. The special issue was devoted to “shining a critical light on the limitations of industry-sponsored research.”
Entries for the B2B Web Site of the Year category are judged on:
1. the quality of writing, reporting, and editing
2. value and usefulness to readers,
4. effectiveness in quick communication of information,
5. navigation ease,
6. interactivity and community,
7. use of Web technologies and graphic design to support and add usefulness to editorial,
8. legibility and readability,
9. clear distinctions between editorial and advertising,
10. depth of information, and
11) information architecture/editorial organization.
Past winners include:
|2004||Tie: PCmag.com and BusinessWeek.com|
The Multi-Platform (Print and Digital) category recognizes the coordination of print and digital media packages in the presentation of a single topic. It honors excellence in coordinating print with digital platforms, e.g. Web sites, e-newsletters, blogs, Webinars, or podcasts.
- coordination of print and digital media that makes excellent use of the qualities of both approaches
- the originality in using the print and digital forms
- the journalism
- design, information architecture/editorial organization
- other criteria mentioned in the Web Site of the Year category
|2013||Crain’s Cleveland Business|
|2012||Professional Builder/Professional Remodeler|
|2011||Today’s Garden Center, “Steal This Idea”|
|2009||Today’s Garden Center|
Stephen Barr Award
This “best in class” prize, which comes with a $500 cash award, goes to the individual writer whose work most reflects inventiveness of approach (and especially use of narrative style), insightfulness, balance in the presentation of a complex subject, depth of investigation, and impact among the community of readers.
More About the Barr Awards
Past ASBPE president Roy Harris reflects on Barr winners present and past, the judges, and the fun of giving out the awards in this blog post.
Those qualities are among the ones exemplified by Stephen Barr, a perennial ASBPE excellence-award winner in his role as senior contributing editor of CFO magazine. Stephen died in 2002, at age 43. The award is endowed by his family, and awarded through the ASBPE Foundation. Past winners include:
- David Hechler of Corporate Counsel magazine for his April 2013 article, “Lost in Translation,” which explained the legal developments surrounding Toyota’s problems with sudden acceleration.
- Burt Helm of Inc. Magazine for his November 2012 story, “After the Squeeze,” which examined the causes and effects of a bank-lending drought that has disproportionately hit the small-business people who are the publication’s main audience.
- Jenna Greene, for her article “Civil Inaction”, exploring the legal quagmire that has prevented victims of radioactive contamination near Washington State’s Hanford Nuclear Reservation from receiving justice, in the June 20, 2011 issue of The National Law Journal.
- Michael Peltz, for his article “Inside the Machine: A Journey Into the World of High-Frequency Trading,” in the June 2010 edition of Institutional Investor.
- Tom Zind, freelance writer, for his article “A Killer in the Ranks” in Electrical Construction and Maintenance (EC&M).
- Frank Lessiter, editor of American Farriers Journal, for his four-part series, “Soring,” from July/August to December 2008.
- David Cullen, for his role as coordinator of FleetOwner’s August 2007 feature “Fuel: Diesel and Beyond”
- David McClintick, for his feature article “How Harvard Lost Russia” in Institutional Investor January 2006
- Shabnam Mogharabi, for her feature series “Minority Report” in Aquatics International
- John Gibeaut, for two ABA Journal articles, “The Good Fight Gets Harder” and “Opening Sentences”
- Adam Minter, for his three-part series in Scrap magazine, “Scrap in China”
Contest entrants don’t compete directly for the Barr Award. Rather, a panel of judges will select the “best in show” among the top feature-writing categories, identifying the finest example of writing that displays the qualities Barr’s work exemplified:
- inventiveness of approach (and especially use of narrative style),
- insight and balance in the presentation of a complex subject,
- depth of investigation, and
- impact among the community of readers.
Our Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2000 to recognize editors who have made significant and lasting contributions to our editorial profession and to the industries their magazines serve. Recipients have included:
- Julia Homer, former founding editor of CFO magazine
- Abe Peck, Medill professor, writer, B2B editorial consultant
- Jan White, designer, teacher, and “visual journalist”
- Stan Modic, senior editorial advisor, columnist, Nelson Publishing
- Don Ranly, professor emeritus, University of Missouri School of Journalism
- Patrick J. McGovern, founder and chairman, International Data Group
- Dana Chase Jr., chairman, Dana Chase Publications, and editorial director of Appliance magazine
- Howard Rauch, editorial consultant
- Vernon Henry of Advanstar Communications
- Bernie Knill of Penton Media
To receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, a candidate must meet four requirements:
1) Significant involvement (25 years or more) with business publications. Nominees need not currently hold editorial positions, and may be retired, but ideally will have spent the bulk of their careers in senior editorial positions or will have served the industry in some significant way. Nominees need not be members of ASBPE. Past nominees not selected in previous years are encouraged to reapply.
Please provide the nominee’s current title and employer/business (if retired, please state such). Provide a brief description or résumé of the nominee’s job history. Include dates, job titles, magazines, companies.
2) A commitment to editorial excellence. This may be demonstrated by general reputation of their publication(s); industry-related awards (e.g., ASBPE Azbees, Neal Awards, Folio:, Tabbies); internal company awards; other forms of recognition or other valid measures of editorial success.
3) A commitment to the business/professional press. Nominees should be or should have been involved in lending their experience and time to benefit others in the business press. For example, this may be participation in local or national business press or related organizations; corporate or university teaching; mentoring programs; or significant research or publication of articles on business press issues.
4) A commitment to the industry(ies) the nominee’s publication(s) serve. Examples might include committee work with trade or professional associations or standards groups; frequent speaking engagements at industry events; significant research or publication of articles on industry issues; or significant advocacy work with government agencies.
The Lifetime Achievement Award winner will receive the award on the evening of the awards banquet, where the honoree also will receive a special tribute and will deliver the keynote lecture. The winner’s name will be announced to the public prior to the banquet.
A call for nominations goes out around the beginning of each year.
Want to know how some publications manage to consistently take home multiple awards? You can increase your chances of earning awards — either in the Azbees or other competitions — by proper planning and entry selection.
At a webinar in December 2007, attendees got the inside scoop on how to win an Azbee award from top editors at Hanley Wood and IDG, which have garnered numerous editorial and design awards.
The presentation included:
- How and why the editors chose the articles they entered;
- What the awards have meant to the winners’ careers and to their publications;
- How to build award potential into the articles you write and edit; and
- How to apply the standards of editorial competitions to your day-to-day work.
- Don Tennant, vice president and editorial director of Computerworld and InfoWorld.
- Boyce Thompson is the editorial director of the Builder, Multifamily, and Technology groups of magazines published by Hanley Wood, LLC.
ASBPE members may download presenter Boyce Thompson’s slides:
5.8MB .ppt file
2.9MB .ppt file
1.2MB .ppt file
2.9MB .ppt file
|Download zipped file of entire presentation. (11.3MB)|