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Destiny and Mercury Award-Winning Tips and Best Practices

Tuesday, May 9, 2023
feature blog graphic Presented by The ESTO Team

Brad Dean receiving an award

Missed the webinar? Catch up on the blog to learn tips and tricks from some of our ESTO 2022 Destiny and Mercury Awards winners, Nebraska Tourism Commission (Winner of the Mercury Award for Integrated Marketing and Messaging Campaign: State Marketing Budget Less than $10 Million) and Visit Sonoma (Winner of the Destiny Award for Digital Campaign).

Tip 1: ID the business problem(s) you’re trying to solve

When Nebraska wanted to boost their visitation, they had a tough task at hand: Changing consumer perception. Research originally showed Nebraska as the state least likely to be visited, but this State Tourism Office took the data as a challenge and created opportunity with value-based positioning, honesty and transparency that packed a punch.

Nebraska awards submission


Tip 2: Win with your opening summary

Visit Sonoma vouched that their opening summary positioned them as an award winner and finalist in two categories. Try writing your summary first before anything else in an engaging narrative format. Outline the situation in an honest way, present the solution and highlight the impact of the campaign.

Sonoma award entry


Tip 3: Show the results

Help put the pieces together by providing deeper context to any study or research that went into the creation of your campaign. Numbers speak volumes—don’t be scared to show off where you were and how far you’ve come.


Tip 4: Think like a Judge

Our judges are recruited from a number of industries that don’t necessarily use the same jargon. Avoid niche terms that may be hard to understand from an outsider's perspective, know what your story is and tell it concisely. Innovation is key and so is showing campaign ROI clearly and succinctly.


Tip 5: Check your work

Finally, and most importantly—check your work! One way to get your entry easily dismissed is by having grammar or spelling errors that detract from your entry. Be sure to dot those I’s and cross those T’s.


Good luck to the 2023 applicants!