ENTRY INFORMATION

The PPA Independent Publisher Awards recognise and celebrate exceptional individuals and companies within the UK independent publishing sector who have delivered standout work and made a difference in their sector over the last 12 months.

For the purpose of these awards, an independent publisher is one with an annual publishing turnover that is less than £10M.

Entry eligibility period:  1 August 2021 to 31 July 2022

What you need to enter:

Within each entry you will be asked to detail your success in 500 words, please ensure that you address each individual category criteria point within this written section, as this is what the judges will be scoring against.

You will have the chance to upload three supporting documents, which can include full editions where space permits (max 40MB per document). If you are providing links to information behind a data/pay wall, please make sure to include login details for our judges. The judges have a lot of entries to work through so please make sure these three documents best showcase the story within your entry.

Important note: when completing the section on your results, financial or otherwise, please make sure to give context by comparing to previous years, business plan, or to the rest of the market. Any results given without context are very hard to judge and weaken the entry.

All information submitted within an entry will remain confidential and will only be used for the purpose of judging. 

Judges may award both B2B and B2C winners in some categories

    How to enter:

    • Click to expand each award category below and view the criteria
    • Use the tick boxes to the right of the category name to select the categories you would like to enter, then select 'PROCESS'
    • Complete your entry via the online form and upload supporting material
    • You will only be charged for an entry once it is completed - it is free to create an account and look at the entry forms
    • Discounts will automatically calculate at payment which is stage 4 of the checkout process


    PPA Members get 50% off their entries with the code: PPAMEMBER22
    Member Price: £85 +VAT // Non Member Price: £170 +VAT

    OFFER: 5 entries for the price of 3

    Entry deadline: Friday 9 September at midday

    CATEGORIES & CRITERIA

    The best business publications are highly respected and trusted by professionals in their sector, who turn to them for insight and opinion that matters. This award recognises the title that has excelled in representing its sector and truly delivering value for its audience.

    Entries can be either print or digital titles which are published regularly.

    £ 170.00 +VAT (20%)
    Qty

    Entries should clearly demonstrate the following:

    • expertise in its core business area
    • editorial and visual that represents and enhances the brand
    • understanding the needs of its audience
    • a strong commercial performance
    • innovation and creativity in approach + a commitment to sustainability

    Results – what evidence and metrics can you share that show your publication has delivered on its KPIs?

    Smart thinking, audience insight and clear goals are key ingredients to highly effective campaigns. This award looks to recognise a business campaign with internal or external objectives that overcame challenges and embraced new approaches to deliver significant results.

    £ 170.00 +VAT (20%)
    Qty

    Entries should demonstrate:

    • performance against objectives
    • where the campaign sits within the context of the brand strategy
    • creativity, new approaches, and innovation
    • understanding the needs of the target audience
    • solid results

    Successful commercial partnerships thrive on commitment to a common goal and mutual success. This award recognises a successful collaboration between a publishing business and commercial partner(s) that has effectively promoted a product, service, or brand through any (or multiple) platform(s) delivering results for both parties.

    Hint: Structure your entry around: The Challenge / The Big Idea / Making It Happen / Results. Please include client testimonial(s) where appropriate.

    £ 170.00 +VAT (20%)
    Qty

    Entries should clearly demonstrate the following:

    • a mutually beneficial partnership to all parties
    • clear objectives and mutual goals, and how these were met
    • evidence of a collaborative and joint approach
    • a strong commercial performance
    • creativity and innovation which has generated significant traction among the target audience

    This award recognises a consumer publication that consistently gets it right for its readers. Featuring strong design and engaging editorial, this title really knows and understands its audience and what they are passionate about. It will demonstrate excellent performance in its field and use a combination of platforms and smart audience insight to deliver a market-beating performance.

    Entries can be either print or digital titles which are published regularly.

    £ 170.00 +VAT (20%)
    Qty

    Entries should clearly demonstrate the following:

    • understanding the needs of its target audience 
    • a strong commercial performance
    • editorial & design that represents and enhances the brand
    • a multi-channel approach which results in deeper audience engagement
    • innovation in responding to the changing dynamics of its market + a commitment to sustainability

    Note: publications do not have to exist in print.

    Great content can be thought provoking, inspiring or simply useful. It is credible, interesting and engaging, and provides a great user experience. This award is for a standalone piece of content that truly captures the attention of its intended audience. Submissions can include anything from a feature piece, report, film, podcast episode, or any other piece of content produced for an audience or community.

    £ 170.00 +VAT (20%)
    Qty

    Entries should clearly demonstrate the following:

    • excellent levels of engagement with its target audience
    • how it has changed or broadened the topic of conversation
    • a communication style that is appropriate to the relevant audience
    • originality, creative flair and an ability to captivate the attention of the audience
    • solid research to support the topic matter

    Standout covers can be headline grabbing, a piece of art, or simply capturing a moment or theme that makes the reader want to find out more. This award celebrates the best of those first encounters.

    £ 170.00 +VAT (20%)
    Qty

    Entries should clearly demonstrate the following:

    • an instant visual impact with imaginative use of design, photography, and/or illustration
    • cover lines that sell the content and changes the conversation
    • how the cover appeals to both new and core readers
    • supporting sales/readership figures
    • how the cover fits in with the overall brand positioning

    Note: brands/publications may enter multiple front covers

    A great designer really understands their audience and brings to life the essence and personality of their publication. This award is open to the very best Creative Directors, Art Directors or Designers whose vision and craft creates a product that readers want to engage with.

    £ 170.00 +VAT (20%)
    Qty

    Entries should clearly demonstrate the following:

    • evidence of how the design work has played a key part in the overall success of the brand or publication
    • excellent use of photography, typography and illustration
    • imaginative and creative designs which push the usual boundaries
    • an awareness of the needs of the target audience
    • how the design work translates across all platforms for the brand/publication

    Note: Individuals may enter this category once under one brand/publication only

    New products can be game-changing or simply make the life of the user better for existing. This award recognises the brilliant digital products created by media brands and publications that are content or data services led. Entries can include apps, research-based data products, digital magazine editions, archives or video.

    Note: there are separate categories for podcasts and newsletters

    £ 170.00 +VAT (20%)
    Qty

    Entries should clearly demonstrate the following:

    • innovation and creativity in approach
    • effective product development and/or use of data
    • impressive metrics and audience engagement
    • a strong commercial performance or evidence of the product’s success
    • how the product contributes to the brand/publication success

    Note: products do not have to stem from a printed product

    This award seeks to recognise media brands or publications that are elevating the important conversations around D&I within their business, or to their audiences. This may be via a product, campaign, brand extension, magazine, event, or anything which enhances or promotes D&I across the business and beyond.

    £ 170.00 +VAT (20%)
    Qty

    Entries should clearly demonstrate the following:

    • the values that underpin efforts to make either the sector you serve, or your own publishing operations, more inclusive
    • a set of goals and how these are being monitored
    • examples of collaboration with other businesses, individuals or networks
    • better outcomes in service delivery and internal policy (e.g. culture, mental health) as a result of this initiative OR how your actions have influenced change in the sector that you serve
    • how Diversity and Inclusion is part of the long-term business strategy

    Editors are the beating heart of a publication. This award recognises the editor of a media brand or title whose dedication, drive and vision has ensured that their content is a ‘must read’. They know their audience and deliver a high standard of content that is both trusted and welcomed.

    £ 170.00 +VAT (20%)
    Qty

    Entries should clearly demonstrate the following:

    • how their overall contribution has enhanced the success of the brand/publication
    • high quality journalism and trusted content
    • significant editorial developments and innovative approach
    • understanding of and engagement with the market and/or audience by providing relevant content
    • impressive results including audience reach and commercial performance

    Note: Individuals may enter this category once under one brand/publication only

    Events bring our brands to life, allowing interaction with customers and forging closer ties with key audiences. This award will recognise an outstanding event, either in-person, hybrid or virtual, that demonstrated strong results and commercial metrics.

    Entries can include but are not limited to an exhibition, awards, conference, experiential event, festival, celebration or anniversary, community event, or any bespoke event, at which the media brand or publisher brings together its target audience.

    The event can either stem from an existing parent brand or be a wholly standalone experience.

    £ 170.00 +VAT (20%)
    Qty

    Entries should clearly demonstrate the following:

    • evidence of innovation and creativity in approach + a commitment to sustainability
    • relevant event format and engaging content
    • significant audience reach or measurable results
    • strong commercial performance
    • deep levels of engagement with the target audience

    This new award is to recognise an individual who has made a significant impact within their business, the team, and the sector within which they work. Entrants from any job function or specialism are encouraged to enter (please note though that there are specific categories for creative directors and editors).

    £ 170.00 +VAT (20%)
    Qty

    Entrants should clearly demonstrate:

    • personal contribution to the overall vision and strategy
    • innovation
    • leadership/motivating force within the business (even if not in a leadership role)
    • knowledge of the market
    • understanding the needs of the audience

    Let’s hear it for the small but mighty independent publisher, a business that punches above its weight delivering an impressive performance that makes it sound out in its competitive set. This award is for the independent publishing companies with a publishing turnover of less than £3million per annum.

    £ 170.00 +VAT (20%)
    Qty

    Entries should clearly demonstrate the following:

    • knowledge of the market and understanding of the needs of its audience
    • a strong commercial performance
    • innovation and new developments which elevate the company above its competitors
    • ongoing commitment to its community, customers and/or audiences
    • how it adapts and responds to market changes + a commitment to sustainability

    This award celebrates the best of the best – an independent publishing company that has delivered a market-beating performance and is a true example of a business delivering at every level. Entries are open to businesses with an annual publishing turnover of between £3-10 million.

    £ 170.00 +VAT (20%)
    Qty

    Entries should clearly demonstrate the following:

    • knowledge of the market and understanding of the needs of its audience
    • a strong commercial performance
    • innovation and new developments which elevate the company above its competitors
    • ongoing commitment to its community, customers and/or audiences
    • how it adapts and responds to market changes + a commitment to sustainability

    Do you go the extra mile for your clients or do you work with a business that does this for you? This award recognises the suppliers to the specialist media industry with an exemplary record of customer service, who regularly over-deliver, ensure challenges are overcome with minimal fuss and proactively suggest initiatives that deliver.

    Entries are open to any organisation that supplies a product, platform or service to the industry can enter – from distribution and fulfilment to digital publishing, training, subscription management, printing, marketing, paper, event services and beyond.

    £ 170.00 +VAT (20%)
    Qty

    Entries should clearly demonstrate the following:

    • evidence of service levels
    • a genuine partnership with publishers
    • meeting or exceeding client objectives and expectations
    • innovation and creativity in finding solutions -
    • working towards sustainability alternatives and best working practices

    Specialist media businesses recognise a particular community or audience need for content and information. This award recognises the media brand or publication who has successfully created a product or brand to satisfy a gap in the market, delivering a strong commercial performance along the way.

    Submissions can be for a launch or relaunch during the eligibility period.

    £ 170.00 +VAT (20%)
    Qty

    Entries should clearly demonstrate the following:

    • measurable results detailing the success of the launch/relaunch
    • innovation and creativity
    • a strong commercial performance
    • how it meets the needs of its target audience or community
    • deep levels of engagement with its audience or community

    A great media brand stands head and shoulders above its peers. They produce content their audience wants, tackle important topics in their sector, inform their communities and have an authoritative voice in their market. This award is for a consumer or business media brand that has demonstrated exceptional performance in the market.

    £ 170.00 +VAT (20%)
    Qty

    Entries should clearly demonstrate the following:

    • understanding the needs of its target audience and adapting where multiple communities are being targeted
    • a strong commercial performance
    • innovation in responding to the changing dynamics of its market + a commitment to sustainability
    • a multi-channel approach that creates a deeper engagement with the target audience
    • leverage of the brand or extension within the market in which the product operates


    Member publications are at the very core of their communities. The winner of this award will be delivering exceptional industry insight and quality content to inform and update its readers.

    For the purpose of this award, a membership publication is a publication produced at least twice a year by or on behalf of an organisation to communicate with its members, be that in print or on a digital platform.

    £ 170.00 +VAT (20%)
    Qty

    Entries should clearly demonstrate the following:

    • how the publication meets the organisation's marketing and communication needs
    • how it has delivered against clear and specific objectives + a commitment to sustainability
    • how it adds value to the member’s relationship with the organisation
    • excellent editorial and design
    • how the publication sits within the wider organisational strategy

    Note: this category is open to both consumer-facing and business media titles and if the judges deem it appropriate, they may choose two winners; one for business/professional membership publication of the year, and one for consumer membership publication of the year.

    This category honours the brilliantly crafted newsletters that showcase a unique voice of a business or publication, providing an invaluable touchpoint with customers. From regular news digests, sharing ideas and insight, to delivering invaluable information and opinion, this award will recognise the creativity and engagement that comes from truly knowing your audience.

    Entries can be for newsletters created to complement existing brands or publications, to help launch new ones, or as a standalone product.

    Please ensure you provide audience metrics, open rates, etc.

    £ 170.00 +VAT (20%)
    Qty

    Entries should clearly demonstrate the following:

    • performance against objectives
    • excellent audience engagement and readership figures
    • innovation and creativity
    • content which meets the needs of the target audience
    • well researched topics and trusted content resources

    Truly great podcasts connect specialist media brands with their audiences and engage communities around topics they are passionate about.

    This award is for podcasts which are created in-house to complement existing brands or publications, or to help launch new ones. The podcasts can be produced in-house or using external production support.

    £ 170.00 +VAT (20%)
    Qty

    Entries should clearly demonstrate the following:

    • excellent audience engagement and listening figures
    • innovation and creativity
    • content which meets the needs of the target audience
    • a strong commercial performance
    • well researched topics and trusted content resources

    Successful subscription business models are at the core of many PPA Member businesses. This award recognises the teams utilising audience knowledge, smart thinking and clever use of data to deliver new customers and retain loyal ones.

    This new award looks to recognise a media brand, publication, campaign or portfolio that has maximised revenue through effective implementation of a new or enhanced subscriptions strategy. This can be focused on acquisition, retention, or both.

    £ 170.00 +VAT (20%)
    Qty

    Entries should clearly demonstrate the following:

    • innovation and creativity in approach
    • understanding of the target market
    • effective use of data to drive conversions
    • a strong commercial performance
    • deep levels of engagement with its audience or community

    Successful teams are goal-focused, communicate well and support each other to deliver on business objectives. Truly great teams have that bit of extra stardust and magic that sees them make a significant impact in their sector, working together to overcome obstacles and collaborating for the benefit of their organisation. This award recognises such a team or department that has truly excelled in making a positive and measurable contribution.

    Eligible teams include, but are not limited to: Content, Creative, Commercial, Marketing, Production, HR, Operations, Subscriptions, Business Development and Events.

    £ 170.00 +VAT (20%)
    Qty

    Entries should clearly demonstrate the following:

    • contribution to the overall company strategy
    • how the team has exceeded business expectations
    • creativity, new approaches, and innovation backed up with solid results
    • how the team has supported each other, shared learnings and embraced wellbeing as a priority
    • a collaborative approach towards working with other individuals or teams in the business, or external partners

    The best writers have a distinct voice, a unique style and an engaging way with words. For those who craft compelling copy that connects with an audience, this award is for you.

    £ 170.00 +VAT (20%)
    Qty

    Entries are open to anyone who writes for a media brand or publication across one or multiple platforms and should clearly demonstrate the following:

    • original, entertaining and/or engaging writing
    • well researched and credible journalism
    • content that is appropriate to the relevant audience
    • a distinctive personal style
    • an understanding of the audience

    Note: Individuals may enter this category once under one brand/publication only