Top 10 Tips to Receive a Regional Emmy®

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Previous awards Co-Chair Jay Korff has received several Emmys® but also knows the feeling of submitting entries that don’t even receive a nomination. Throughout his 25 years as a reporter he’s picked up some tips that help him select and submit Emmy® worthy work. Following these tips does not guarantee an entry will receive an Emmy®.

10. Read the Call for Entries

It’s wordy. We know and we feel your pain, we’ve got to put it together each year. Knowing how the system works makes entering much easier. Don’t just read what only pertains to you – read the entire Call. Trust us; this will help you immeasurably.

9. What Wins?

Solid to above average work won’t cut it – you need outstanding! To hear your name called at the Emmy® Awards check off these two boxes: emotion and execution. If the judges feel something like sadness, outrage, or joy check off box #1. If the judges are blown away by the photography, editing, and writing check off box #2. Check off one box and you may get a nomination. Check off BOTH boxes and you may receive an Emmy®.

8. Don’t Double Dip

The rule is admittedly complicated. Basically, the same content can’t be used twice unless you have multiple job titles for said content. For example, if you shot and edited a story you can enter it in a news gathering category as the shooter and in a craft category as the editor. If you still have questions, please refer to tips 10 and 6.

7. Media Files: YES; Web Links: NO

You enter your work by uploading your video to Emmy® Express. When saving media files throughout the year keep these recommendations in mind so you won’t have to try and edit your file settings.

  • The video file size should not be larger than 2 GB for ease of uploading.
  • The video width should be 768 or larger for better viewing experience for the judge.
  • 1920×1080 or 1280x720p is recommended.
  • Videos must be saved as either a .flv (Flash video), .mp4 (MPEG-4, H.264 encoding), .vp6 (True Motion), or .mov (Quicktime MPEG-4, H.264 encoding) file type. There are a few noteworthy formats that are not supported: Quicktime (MOV) files that use the Apple Intermediate Codec (used in Final Cut Pro), DRM protected files from Microsoft (WMV) or the iTunes Store (M4V, MOV), WMV videos using the MSS2 video codec (for screencasting).
  • Videos must be encoded to support Adobe Flash Player 9.
  • If you are in control of the format, we advise you to always upload videos using: MP4 container format, H.264 video codec, AAC audio codec.
  • The player uses 4:3 aspect ratio. 16:9 aspect ratio video will be letterboxed in the player
  • Uploaded videos should never include letterboxing or pillarboxing bars.

6. Know your Team’s Emmy® Guru

Many news outlets have them: a point person or awards coordinator who knows the rules, categories, and how to enter and upload. Get their advice early and often. You won’t regret it.

If you don’t have or know an Emmy® guru and have a question about cost, deadlines, category choice, Emmy® Express, or membership please contact us as early as possible in the process. We are happy to help.

Questions about proper category or rules? Contact our Awards Committee Co-Chairs ([email protected]) Jason Gittlen or Amanda Zimmer: 703-436-0095.

Questions about membership or the entry process? Contact Chapter Associate Director ([email protected]) Ashlyn McKeithan: 703-234-4055.

5. Watch your Video

Imagine you’re a judge and you start a video and there’s no sound. There’s always a handful of videos that get submitted with some kind of technical issue that could have been avoided if the submitter watched the video. We require you to approve your video so take the extra time to watch it and make sure everything is in order.

4. Become a Member and a Judge

Membership saves you money. Big time. Judging is a requirement for entering but it also gives you critical exposure to the best work in the country. This will make you better at your craft and improve your entry submissions.

3. Start Early and Save Early

You just wrapped up the feature story of the year. Immediately write down key details like the story’s name, air date, TRT, and co-workers involved. Tracking down your best work a week before the deadline will drive you nuts. Don’t forget to put the media file on an external hard drive that lives in a safe place – not the run bag you take on hurricane coverage. By starting this process now you have more time to write, edit and upload your entries while avoiding the 11th hour technical glitches.

2. Review Saved Content

Every few months go over your best work. If you still love that fantastic feature story 3 or 6 months after you finished it, it’s probably worth submitting.

1. See Tip 10

We can’t stress enough the importance of reading through the entire Call for Entries!


Questions about proper category or rules? Contact our Awards Committee Co-Chairs ([email protected]) Jason Gittlen or Amanda Zimmer: 703-436-0095.

Questions about membership or the entry process? Contact Chapter Associate Director ([email protected]) Ashlyn Dixon: 703-234-4055.