The link between the PILOT Innovation Challenge participants and judges is established through the judging criteria. Having a common understanding of what is expected in entries and how to evaluate them is critical. Many of the questions we get about the challenge are related to criteria.
When ideas are submitted that answer the challenge prompt, “What is an unconventional way broadcasters and other local media could serve communities?” it must pass two screening questions.
- Is the idea relevant to local media?
- Does the idea demonstrate service to community?
Is the idea relevant to local media?
This is a broad screener because broadcasters and other local media do so much every day — such as providing news, entertainment and social connections. They raise money for community causes, and they warn people in time of emergencies. They provide a connection to and with people in their communities, and they entertain them. Ideas should relate to how local media companies might provide service and connection to communities.
Does the idea demonstrate service to community?
Related to the first screening question is the second. Ideas must demonstrate a benefit to communities. That could be an idea that makes information more accessible or understandable. It could be an idea that is innovative in how news is uncovered or how people interact with it. It might be an idea for a new technology which makes someone’s life easier. Ideas must show value to someone.
These two questions are in place to screen out irrelevant ideas and allow judges to focus on those with the most potential for addressing the challenge question. I’m surprised by many ideas that get tossed around that aren’t relevant. Don’t get me wrong, an idea for a new medical procedure can obviously be innovative, but it would be a quite a stretch to make it relevant to local media and service to the local communities.
After the screening questions, the three judging criteria are originality, desirability and the plan.
Key judging criteria
- Originality (50%) – How original or unique is this idea? Has this already been tried?
- Desirability (15%) – How desirable is this idea? Is this an idea that is clearly needed or desired by someone specific? If it comes to fruition, would it be valuable to someone and is that someone clearly defined?
- Plan (35%) – How clear, logical and likely are the steps outlined in the submission to demonstrate the potential of the idea?