2021 Rules & Procedures


Through the SME Digital Awards, the Puerto Rico Sales and Marketing Executives Association recognizes best in class technology-based strategies and campaigns developed in Puerto Rico for local and International markets.  On a yearly basis, the committee reviews the guidelines in order to incorporate new areas.

For 2021, both local campaigns and campaigns developed in Puerto Rico for international markets, can compete across all the categories:

  1. Best 360⁰ Campaign
  2. Best Social Media Campaign
  3. Best Social Responsibility Campaign
  4. Best Online Promotion
  5. Best Mobile Execution
  6. Best UI and/or UX Designs
  7. Best Video Execution
  8. Best use of Data
  9. Best use of Content Marketing
  10. Best use of Influencer Marketing - New
  11. Best Innovative Business Transformation - New

At the SME Digital Forum participants will select the People’s Choice Award.


The SME Digital Awards are open to all local organizations and individuals such as: startups, technical platforms design firms, digital and advertising agencies, publishers and brands involved in the process of developing marketing, advertising or public relations campaigns running during the qualifying periods of January to December 2019 and January to December 2020 Campaigns or projects that started at the end of 2020 can provide results up to February 2021.  If it began in January 2021 save it for 2022!  Adaptations of Global Campaigns cannot be submitted. 


  • REGULAR ENTRY DEADLINE - March 26, 2021
  • SHORT LIST ANNOUNC- April 22, 2021 New date
  • AWARDS CEREMONY - May 13, 2021

Winning an SME Digital Award enables your company to stand out from peers in an increasingly crowded landscape and could be what twists the next RFP in your direction.



  • NON-MEMBERS - $125.00
  • SME MEMBER or Non-Profit Org.- $75.00


  • NON-MEMBERS - $150.00
  • SME MEMBER or Non-Profit Org.- $100.00


  • NON-MEMBERS - $175.00
  • SME MEMBER or Non-Profit Org.- $150.00

A campaign or project can only compete in a maximum of 3 categories and fees are payable for each category in which an entry is submitted.  Fees may be paid by credit card or check, and payment needs to be received before the local Jury starts to review the entries (April 14) or it will be disqualified.


  1. Since the 2020 SME Digital Awards were postponed due to COVID-19, we are allowing nominations from 2 years: 2019 & 2020. The work will be judged separately. - New
  2. Carefully review the categories taking in consideration those that best highlight the success of the work you are about to submit. Keep in mind that participating campaign or projects can only compete in up to 3 categories.
  3. Read the Rules & Procedures carefully and complete the template submitted by the SME corresponding to each chosen category. Make sure that all the requested information is included clearly and concisely to ensure you don’t lose marks by missing any key sections.
  4. Design the nomination template to reflect your brand’s entry, make sure to spell check and to erase all of SME’s instructions... this is what the Jury will see and review!
  5. Remember to get sign off and obtain key data from brands so you don’t miss the entry deadlines. Don’t wait to the last minute!
  6. Participants need to highlight what were the promotion, campaign or project's goal, timing, strategy and results. Required: follow the metrics and reporting guidelines along with the evidence of your project's success. Provide at least two screen shots of third-party analytics reports.
  7. In adition to the PowerPoint template, you will submit a one-pager summary of the nominations objectives, strategy, execution and results based on measurable KPI's. The purpose of the one-pager is to present the entry in "elevator pitch" format, as you would for example on a case study board.  Make sure to submit a one-pager of your case per category. - New
  8. The submitted entry package will be used for judging and for presentation purposes, no additional materials will be accepted afterwards. If selected as a finalist for the shortlist, you are required to submit an additional 2 minutes’ video for the SME Digital Forum. The video case study can be included from the beginning as part of the PowerPoint Template.
  9. Once you’re ready, fill out the entry form and pay the entry fee online: smepr.org
  10. Make sure to include links to all the requested information: PowerPoint template, videos and one-pager summary by midnight March 12, 2021 for the early bird fee or by midnight March 26, 2021 for the regular entry deadline. Entries made after this date will need to pay the Last Chance Entry Fee and have until midnight April 9, 2021 to qualify.
  11. If you confront any problems, contact [email protected]
  12. The SME's Digital Awards Committee reserves the right to disqualify incomplete applications. Judges reserve the right to reassign a submission’s category if needed.
  13. Winners will have the option of ordering copies of the Award for an additional fee.


  • Ensure you leave enough time for client sign-off and avoid those Last Chance fees.
  • Refer to your objectives and ensure that you’ve included how you met or exceeded them; this is a common error.
  • Clear results based on relevant quantitative or qualitative metrics are what the judges are looking for; don’t let them get lost in the submission.


Best 360º Campaign 

Campaigns integrating and using digital as a main campaign component complementing and leveraging the overall 360˚ strategy.

  • Integration is key, as digital gives you the opportunity to spark user interaction and create unique brand experiences. 
  • Special attention will be given to the uniqueness of the implementation and integration.
  • Campaigns that recognize this potential will score higher than those that simply transport offline messages to digital outlets.
  • Integration, consistency and use of digital across all platforms

Best Social Media Campaign

Marketing originally designed for social media platforms such as, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube.  The Jury will be looking for use of social that, for example, highlights:

  • Social Media Campaign
  • Community Building
  • Community Management
  • Social Data and Insight
  • Overall Social Presence
  • Social currency and commerce
  • Use of writing, photography or design
  • Conversion Strategies

Best Social Responsibility Campaign

Non-profit or Corporate Social Responsibility Campaigns, projects or promotions integrating and using digital as the main medium to rally support, communicate with advocates and inspire action.

  • We are looking for unique and creative uses of digital and social media to reach specific non-profit campaign goals.

Best Online Promotion

Campaigns promoting a product, contest or event during a limited period of time (maximum of 2 months) and using digital as the key element for the effort. 

  • Entries may include Websites, Apps, Microsites, Landing Pages, eCommerce, Games, Mobile if they have a set launch and termination date.

Best Mobile Execution

Most creative, innovative and engaging mobile and tablet experience. The Jury will be looking for campaigns or projects that, for example, highlight:

  • New Mobile App or innovations to existing apps
  • Mobile for Augmented Reality
  • New Game or use of Gaming for Brands
  • Mobile for Activation by Location or Proximity
  • Campaigns that the main focus was mobile devices
  • eCommerce
  • Use of Location data as part of the experience.

Best UI & UX Designs

The Jury will be looking for best in class projects or platforms that, for example, highlight:

  • User Experience (UX)
  • Interface & Navigation (UI)
  • New Website, Microsite, Web Service or App
  • Web based Game or use of Gaming for Brands
  • eCommerce

Best Video Execution

The Jury will be looking for the best campaigns that the main asset was a video

  • We are looking for video conversion campaigns
  • Unique use of video content in a social platform
  • Unique use of video content in a digital platform
  • Great use of 360º Videos or VR

Best use of Data

Data fuels performance and in many ways ensure market evolution. We are looking for data driven solutions that helped brands develop new services, improve operational performance, understand competitors, among others. The winning entries are the ones that show that data was the source or outcome of the solution.  Special emphasis will be given to strategic and intelligent creative uses of first, second or third-party data in order to drive customer acquisition, retention, engagement or any other defined KPI, aligned to brand objectives.

Best use of Content Marketing

The Jury will be looking for best in class projects or platforms that, for example, highlight:

  • Use of Co-Creation & User Generated Content  
  • Use of Video Content such as Webisodes, Branded Series

Best use of Influencer Marketing - New

The category focuses on awarding influencer-based campaigns or marketing programs. Special consideration will be given to effective use of influencer marketing that aligns seamlessly influencer style with the brand identity. Additional importance will be given to how the campaign improves baseline objectives and KPI’s. Broad Objectives: could include social visibility, ROI, engagement, increase market share, follower growth, conversions, creativity, drive sales, traffic or another internally agreed goal.

Best Innovative Business Transformation - New

The category will award businesses who have transformed, or pivoted, their way of making business using technology. Entries submitted should clearly highlight how the business was able to thrive under the “new normal.” Special attention will be given to ideas that helped businesses exceeded expectations by developing new ways of connecting with your audiences and generating successful outcomes. Some of these innovations could include:

  • Digitally centered executions that innovate and creatively push the boundaries to increase sales and/or reach new segments
  • New normal big ideas, whose product experiences solely depended on digital or technology solutions to connect to their audiences
  • Game changing, breakthrough ideas that open new doors, change the world of creativity and inform new ways of thinking

People’s Choice Award

On May 13, 2021 at the SME Digital Forum, participants will have the opportunity to select the People’s Choice Award within the 11 Category Winners. The voting process will be electronic.


The demonstration of a project’s success through metrics reporting will be a key indicator in the evaluation of the entry. In order to present the project’s KPI’s please consider:

  • Present project performance across the funnel stages, based on strategy. Pay special attention to bottom of the funnel (conversion) impact if it aligns with the project goal. 
  • Develop a simple and compelling narrative explaining how the project contributed both marketing and business success to the brand. Don’t just send screenshots for the jury to interpret.
  • Consider highlighting key indicators that demonstrate how the project helped the brand achieve important or never seen success.


Our panel of judges will carefully review and grade each submission on a point system based on the following criteria, as it applies:

  1. Strategy
  2. Originality and innovation
  3. Graphic design, functionality & usability
  4. Copywriting/content & message
  5. Results and impact to the strategic objective

Local and International Judges will be selected by the SME President and Digital Committee Chair, and should belong to the digital industry, academia, companies with digital experience, and advertising agencies with digital divisions. However, agency judges will not vote in categories where their clients or their client’s competitors are nominated.

Juror names and their professional background will be announced.

The SME’s Digital Awards Committee will review each entry to corroborate eligibility.  A Local Validation Jury will review entries in each category and select the shortlist that will be submitted to the International Jurors for evaluation. The Local Jury Chairperson will be included in the International Jury.  SME might assign more than one Jury to evaluate the 2019 and 2020 nominations.

No award will be issued if, in the opinion of the judges, no entry within a given category meets a high standard of excellence.

Both the Local and International Jury reserve the right to reallocate your entry if they feel an alternative category is more suitable. In this case we will contact you.


All entrants will be required to complete an entry template and a one-pager summary, which will be scored by our judges. When the shortlist is announced, campaigns that have been successfully shortlisted will go straight to the International judge’s evaluation.

  1. Judges will evaluate each case based on the Award’s criteria.
  2. The work eligible for each year (2019 & 2020) will be judged separately.  Due to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, this process will be carried out virtually.
  3. Awards will be presented as Gold, Silver and Bronze, if the International Jury determines that the finalist deserves to win Gold, Silver or Bronze.
  4. For each category, the video case summary of Gold winners will be presented to the audience at the SME Digital Forum, Silver and Bronze winners will be mentioned.
  5. People’s Choice Award will be chosen by the audience at the SME Digital Forum on May 13, 2021.  The audience will have the opportunity to select the People’s Choice Award within the 11 Category Winners. The voting process will be electronic.    


The following terms and conditions and the decisions of the judges are final on all matters pertaining to SME Digital Awards. By participating in this contest, entrants agree to abide by all federal, state, local, provincial and municipal laws and regulations that may apply. This contest is subject to the laws of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Though, it is highly recommended to be present at the awards ceremony, Winners of the SME Digital Awards who do not attend will be notified within approximately seven (7) working days after the event.

The SME reserves the right to use and publish entrants' proper names online, in print and in any other media in connection with the SME Digital Awards contest. Acceptance of an award constitutes permission for the SME to use winner's name and likeness and entry submission for educational, advertising and promotional purposes without additional compensation, unless prohibited by law. By entering, participants release and hold harmless the SME, its respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, employees and agents from any and all liability or any injuries, loss or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with participation in the SME Digital Awards. Contact information becomes property of the SME and will not be shared with or distributed to any third party.


Entries submitted become the property of the SME and cannot be returned. The SME retains entries for supplementing presentations to educational institutions, trade groups, advertising professionals and the general public. By signing this declaration each entrant specifically grants worldwide, royalty-free permission for the SME to show or play the entries at award shows, at SME sponsored or produced events, or in any other public or private, offline or online presentation with or without charge whenever and as often as the organizers see fit without compensation to the participants. The participant authorizes for such purpose that the SME use any trademark, animated character(s), animal(s), and merchandised item(s) included in the entries. SME may use entries or license entries or reproduce entries in perpetuity, without payment to participant, non-exclusively throughout the world, for use in telecasts, videotapes, DVDs, the Internet, exhibits, books, TV promotion, pamphlets and other such publications and media now known or hereafter created, including without limitation. Participants will fully defend, indemnify and hold the SME, its affiliated companies, assignees and licensees harmless from any talent or other residual charges due to the release of selected entries or any third-party claims against the SME, its affiliated companies, assignees and licensees resulting from the content of the entries and the intellectual property contained therein. The person submitting the entry form(s) certifies that he or she has full authority to approve the rights granted herein.     

Approved by the Board of Directors on January 19, 2021