The Warc Prize for Social Strategy - Why has Warc launched this prize?

"This is an exciting project to be involved with. Proving the link between social ideas, in all forms, and business results is one of the biggest challenges we face as marketers. The Warc Prize for Social Strategy fills a crucial gap in industry knowledge. It will move the industry forward by pulling together best practices from all over the world."

Prize chairman Pete Blackshaw, Global Head of Digital and Social Media, Nestlé

We know that ideas that drive 'buzz' can deliver broader business effects. (See, for example, the research by Les Binet and Peter Field for the IPA.)

We also know that there are more ways than ever to drive 'earned media', to gain reach, and to encourage consumers to share or participate in marketing or communications initiatives.

The question for marketers is how to make that leap: how do you turn 'buzz' into business results; what strategies and media combinations are most likely to deliver; and what metrics should you put in place, both in the short and long term?

That is the goal of this Prize. We are looking for case studies of strategic thinking that leads to both a social effect and a business effect. This prize will identify the best examples from around the world, and pull them together to form the next edition of Warc's Seriously Social report – a guide to getting the most from social investment.

We have decided to focus on 'social ideas'. These are strategies designed to generate 'earned media', in the form of conversation, participation, sharing or advocacy. They are at the heart of modern marketing and communications strategy.

To be clear, this is not a narrow competition for specialist social media campaigns. This is about any marketing or communications idea that can prove it has driven buzz, or got people involved, and can at the same time demonstrate that it has delivered on a client's business objectives. For this reason, the Prize is discipline-neutral and channel-agnostic. The focus is on the power of the idea, and the nature of the results it drives.

We're going to reward the best cases with a Prize fund of $10,000. We'll be awarding the $5,000 Grand Prix to the best overall paper, plus $1,000 each to winners of five Special Awards. There will also be a Gold/Silver/Bronze award system for the highest-scoring entries.

As with Warc's other prizes, this competition is completely free to enter. We want to make sure this Prize is genuinely open to everyone. The only barrier to entry is the power of your thinking. Simply use the entry form to tell the story of a social idea. Each campaign or initiative needs to be entered just once to be in line for all the prizes on offer.