Every Virtuoso Awards entry must include at least one work sample. Preparing a work sample is like preparing a portfolio. Work samples are supporting material that illustrate your work, including how you planned and executed your communication program.

A maximum of five (5) work samples can be included with each entry. A common approach is to combine your work sample files into a single PDF with an executive summary and links to any websites, videos, etc.

Divisions 1-3: Communication Management, Research and Education

In the Communication Management, Research and Education divisions, the work sample should include a representative sample of all project elements so that evaluators can review the material and determine how well it’s aligned to the work plan. This might include a summary of the research, the strategic plan, tactical implementation plan, budget, measurements or evaluation, and sample material such as brochures, ads, media clips, screen captures, links to websites, PowerPoint presentations, scripts, publications or specific material referenced in your work plan.

Materials in the work sample(s) should be organized and presented to complement the work plan. Referencing the samples in the work plan or providing an explanation of the chosen samples ensures evaluators have context.

Work samples count for 50 per cent of your score in Communication Management, Communication Research, and Communication Education and Training. The work sample scoring is split into four sections:

  • Stakeholder alignment and impact
  • Alignment with objectives and strategy
  • Professional execution
  • Overall quality

We recommend reviewing the How-To Guide for IABC Awards: The Midas Touch Divisions 1, 2 and 3 and the scoring sheets for Divisions 1, 2 and 3 to help create a targeted work sample.

Division 4: Communication Skills

Communication Skills entries are more tactical in nature. As such, samples should include a copy of the product entered in the program and any supporting information such as research, media plans, scripts, creative rationale, focus tests, post-campaign tracking information or other elements.

Work samples count for 65 per cent of your score in the Communication Skills division.

We recommend reviewing the How-To Guide for IABC Awards: The Midas Touch Division 4 and the scoring sheet to help create a targeted work sample.


Be creative in demonstrating how the elements of your work sample are aligned with business needs and audience preferences. Ask yourself:

  • If you were a member of the target audience, would the work sample capture your attention?
  • Is each element of the work sample relevant, meaningful and memorable?
  • Does your work sample portray the solution you described?

Consider including:

  • Work samples that are specific to the category entered and that showcase the material produced such as, but not limited to, media clippings, scripts, brochures, emails, presentations, ads, video presentations, writing samples, photographs, publications and other communication or marketing vehicles as appropriate
  • An executive summary that demonstrates how the project was measured and provides any key results

Most entries simply provide the creative samples. While that’s okay, your score depends on your ability to demonstrate your strategic planning and execution skills.

Review the How-To Guide for IABC Awards: The Midas Touch Divisions 1, 2 and 3 and/or the How-To Guide for IABC Awards: The Midas Touch Division 4 to learn more on how work samples are scored for each division.

Rules and Specifications

You may upload a maximum of five (5) work sample files for each submission. Your work sample files must be in PDF, PNG, JPG, GIF, MP4, WMV or M4V formats. If you have more than five (5) files, please combine them into fewer PDF files. Each file is limited to 5 MB in size.

We recommend combining your work sample files into a single PDF with an executive summary and links to any websites and videos. There are no limits on the number of items in a single work sample file, as long as they fit within the size specifications (5 MB). However, we recommend organizing and condensing your work to showcase a representative overview of the project.

Work sample files should be saved using the following naming convention: WorkSample#_Div#Cat#Lastname(ProjectName).

  • Electronic/Digital/Interactive Elements: Electronic, digital and interactive work samples should be viewable on both Windows and Mac devices and/or software.
  • Websites: Provide the URL of the site in your entry, as well as representative screen captures in your work sample.
  • Intranets or Limited, Secured Access Sites: Provide instructions on how to register for the site, and an account name and/or password. If access is a problem or there’s a chance that the site may change after submission, consider submitting a link to a video tour of the work sample.
  • Displays, Billboards or Sculptures: Include colour photographs in your work sample ensuring that the final file size doesn’t exceed 5 MB.
  • Publications: For periodicals, submit three consecutive issues as a single entry. For semi-annual publications, submit both issues. For annual publications, including annual reports, submit one issue. Indicate the frequency of the publication in your work plan.
  • Photography: Submit your entry in the context in which it was used. For print media, submit the spread or story in which the photograph(s) appeared.
  • Writing Samples: Provide evidence of where the sample appeared. For recurring features or columns, send three different samples as a single entry. For scripts, submit typed entries on 8.5 x 11-inch paper.
  • Video or Television: While MP4, WMV and M4V videos are accepted, maximum file sizes make them difficult to submit. We therefore recommended including links to any videos in your work sample.
  • Audio or Radio: Must be a link to a file and be accompanied by a script.
  • Magazine, Newspaper Ads, Direct Mail, Brochures and Flyers: Submit a PDF or link to an online file within your work sample.