Erin Milnes and her marketing material from Catchword Branding agency

Reflecting on the Creative Process with Erin Milnes, C2A Juror

Erin Milnes, a seasoned branding professional and creative director at Catchword Branding, serves as a juror for the Creative Communication Awards (C2A), bringing her expertise and keen eye to the evaluation process. Her reflections provide valuable insights into the criteria and considerations that shape the recognition of outstanding creative works.


1. As a juror for the Creative Communication Awards (C2A) 2023, what specific criteria did you find most essential in evaluating submissions, and how did these align with the overall goals of the awards?

Erin Milnes: As a branding professional with a writing background, creativity and originality are crucial in evaluating excellence. However, novelty for its own sake shouldn’t be rewarded. The key question is whether the work effectively and memorably conveys the brand to the target audience, aligning with C2A’s mission to promote creativity, excellence, and outstanding ideas.

2. In your opinion, how did the entries this year reflect current trends and shifts in the communication landscape, and were there any surprising or noteworthy observations?

Erin Milnes: This was my first year judging, so I can’t compare with previous years. However, in every competition I’ve judged, the over-reliance on imagery in case studies is striking. Words matter.

3. Being part of the judging process involves a deep dive into diverse creative works. What challenges did you face in evaluating the submissions, and how did you overcome them to ensure a fair and comprehensive assessment?

Erin Milnes: I focused on branding-related entries, my area of expertise. The challenge is separating subjective opinion from objective assessment. I engage the work from the viewpoint of the intended audience and remain vigilant about personal biases.

4. Outside of your role as a C2A juror, could you tell us about a current project or work you’re involved in, and is there something specific you’d like to share with our audience?

Erin Milnes: I’m currently a creative director at Catchword, working on a quick turn-around naming project in the fintech sector. The client needs a global name for its flagship platform in a crowded trademark space. Clear communication and expectation setting are crucial, even under tight deadlines.

5. Were there emerging trends or approaches in communication that you encountered during the judging process that you believe will have a significant impact on the industry in the coming years?

Erin Milnes: AI is beginning to impact the industry. The use of AI tools in submissions is not always clear, but it’s relevant for evaluating the ownership of the work.

6. As a seasoned professional, how do you see the role of awards like C2A in shaping and influencing industry standards and expectations in the field of creative communication?

Erin Milnes: Creative awards display what excellence means today and showcase the best work from seasoned professionals and emerging talent.


Erin Milnes’ reflections underscore the importance of effective communication and clear storytelling in the creative industry. Her insights from the C2A 2023 judging process highlight the evolving trends and the enduring significance of creativity and originality. As the industry continues to navigate new technologies and approaches, the role of awards like C2A in setting standards and celebrating excellence remains vital.

More about Erin Milnes:

Erin Milnes – C2A Juror

Catchword Branding:

Official Website

Other C2A Jurors:

C2A Jury Board