Recommendations for the On Hold Messaging Association MARCE Awards

Recommendations for OHMA MARCE Awards

In January 2010, Mind The Gap submitted an on hold messaging production to the annual 2010 OHMA MARCE Awards competition. (You can click here to listen to our submission.) Even though we have been working in this industry for over 15 years, Mind The Gap is not a member of the OHMA. Regardless, we wished to see how our work compared to our peers.

MARCE AwardIn March, we received a letter from the OHMA advising us that we did not win a MARCE Award. In addition, it outlined the judges’ comments about our work and provided scores from each judge and an aggregate score. Even though it was expected that we’d receive notification of the result, we were surprised and thankful to see the judges’ comments and scores.

Overall, our score was poor, 35 out of 100, the latter being the highest rating. Judge #1 had the most favorable score, 62, and comment, “Script was fine. Messages were appropriate. It was well produced……” Whereas, Judge #3 had the worst, 17, and “no comment.” We figured Judge #3 thought it sucked.

I have been in the professional recording industry for 25 years and understand that there are many specialties involved in producing an excellent audio program. It includes the vocal talent and performance, music composition and production, copywriting and mastering. Each one of these specialties requires unique skills and years of experience. Typically, no individual can be an expert in them all.

Regarding the OHMA judges for the MARCE Awards, it appears they’re written on a whim with no reference to their expertise. Though there is a brief biography for each judge on OHMA’s site, identifying “who said what” and specifying their skill sets would lend credibility to their assessments.
With any competition, it’s important to augment subjective commentary with an objective criterion. Specifically, OHMA should have at least five key areas to reference:

  • Vocal Talent & Performance
  • Copywriting
  • Music Composition & Production
  • Technical Production
  • Creativity & Originality

Each one should be rated from a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. Now, there may be other areas to include or some to be replaced but at least these key areas and their ratings will serve as a frame of reference for each production and support the judges’ comments. In addition, these ratings should be added to each entry’s overall score.

Finally, in spite of these omissions and limitations, I think this competition is good for our industry and we look forward to participating in the future.