Judging a Book by its Cover

Judge Health Education MaterialsRecently I had the opportunity to participate as a judge in a media awards event.  This was my first time doing this and wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The materials, both print and video, were submitted by consumer health professionals who work in consumer health education fields.  Content, format, success in reaching the targeted audience and overall quality were the criteria used in determining their score.

There were hundreds of entries from vendors across the nation. From a simple credit card sized immunization schedule, to an elaborate worksite wellness kit that included a DVD, t-shirt and poster. I judged disease and injury prevention information, patient education information, consumer decision-making information as well as other miscellaneous health information.  I reviewed so much information that by the end of the day I could identify most vendors with a blink of an eye.

Some of the entries were excellent, some were good and some were average. The ones that scored excellent had well written- easy to follow format and clear content. Most importantly, they provided a compelling cover or tagline, one that engaged me from the start- I didn’t have to think about what it was they were trying to convey.  I knew what I liked almost immediately and spent more time reviewing those in particular than those with less appealing covers.

Let’s face it, we all buy with our eyes first, or judge books by their covers.  To prove this, think about the last time you bought a car.  You didn’t begin your search by looking at the interior.  You began your search looking at the outside.


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