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Creating an exceptional Golden Post Awards entry

Jan 20, 2023

Contributed blog by Kristen Waggener, GSM Membership Council President & Awards Committee Co-Chair

Government Social Media’s annual Golden Post Awards highlights the most innovative, creative and well-executed social media by local, state and federal governments. 

But each year, only a handful of agencies can win. So, the Awards Committee has put together a few quick tips to help you craft your best entry.

First, make sure you review all the details about this year’s Golden Post Awards here.

Strong entries are key

The single best thing you can do to have an exceptional entry is to choose a strong entry. Each agency is allowed to submit one entry per category, and up to three entries in the competition. When you’re looking at your agency’s social presence, look for the accounts or posts that stand out for one reason or another. Ask yourself: 

  • Does your entry have documented success both online and in-person? 
  • Does your entry showcase exceptional strategy and brilliant tactics? 
  • Does your entry showcase original ideas, creativity or outside-the-box thinking? 

The best entries have one more of these attributes and often have all three. 

Take your time

The Golden Post Awards are your opportunity to brag on yourself and your work throughout the last year. So, take your time when putting your entry together to make sure you’re showing your work in the best light. Judges are reviewing entries in the same category next to each other, and a well-put-together entry can make you stand out. 

Answer each field completely and thoroughly. Explain to the judges what you did, why you did it, and how it was successful. Spell out your goals, tie your strategies and tactics to your goals, and explain your specific results. 

Give the judges as much information as you can and present it in a visually appealing way to show why your entry should win. 

Document, document, document

The best entries are the ones that can show the impact they’ve had – both in the real world and online. And the judges want to see those results! Quantitative results are always great, but sometimes results aren’t always measurable. 

When you’re putting together your entry, consider including screenshots of the following as part of your additional documentation: 

  • Analytics from social networks or social media management tools
  • Collections of comments on social posts
  • Examples of great customer service/responsiveness
  • Kudos or Thank You emails 
  • Website traffic analytics directed from your entry
  • Pictures of real-world impact resulting from your entry

Don’t forget to censor usernames and other identifying information in your screenshots, to protect privacy. 

If you need some inspiration, check out last year’s finalists and winners to see what made them stand out. 

Want to learn more about how to create an exceptional award entry and what the judges are looking for? Check out this webinar where we go over tips more in depth and answer agencies’ questions.


If you’re ready to get started on your entry, head over to the Golden Post Awards home and get started! Once you create an account, you can save your submission and come back to it later. You have until  11:59 p.m. PT on Tuesday, January 31, 2023 to enter. 

Passionate judges needed! 

One big change this year is that judges are now allowed to enter the Golden Post Awards in any category they aren’t judging, so we’re putting a call out to the GSM community for passionate judges. Once the entry deadline has passed, we’ll be leaning on judges to review every entry, and identify the best of the best in government social media. 

If you’re a socialgov expert and are interested in being on the judging team, send an email to [email protected] with your name, title, agency, and which categories you might be interested in judging. 

Meet the author


Kristen Waggener

Marketing Communication Manager, City of Arlington, TX

Awards Committee Co-Chair and GSM Membership Council President Kristen Waggener has more than 10 years of government communications and government social media management experience. During her tenure in local government communications, she led her teams to setting records for the number of awards received in state and national competitions. She was also the recipient of Government Social Media’s 2020 Social Media Professional of the Year Award.


Best communicate with the public you serve and get connected with fellow socialgovs by registering for the 2023 Government Social Media Conference happening in Reno-Tahoe, Nevada! Join our free network for bi-weekly Government Social Media Chats or professional association for member-only webinars. Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest updates on training, events and more.

We support the largest network of government social media professionals in the U.S. by guiding government agencies through complex social media issues. Government Social Media helps you successfully communicate with the public you serve, protect your agency and keep public trust while finding your support community. 


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