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Publications and Digital Media Excellence Awards

 

Entry deadline: April 4, 2022  Winners will be notified in June 2022.
Fee per entry: $85 for members, $125 for non-members
Submission portal: www.nspra.org/award-apply

 

NSPRA’s Publications and Digital Media Excellence Awards recognize outstanding education publications, e-newsletters, digital media programs, radio/TV/video programs, social media, infographics, blogs and websites. View a list of past Publications and Digital Media Excellence Award winners.

Winners will be recognized nationally at the NSPRA 2022 National Seminar in Chicago and receive an award certificate by mail.

 

 

What programs/projects/campaigns are eligible for entry?

 

Following are the categories for submissions in the Publications and Digital Media Excellence Awards program.

 

Publications

  • Annual Report — Published yearly to summarize goals, activities and achievements.

  • Calendar — General information and specific dates for school/district activities and events.

  • Excellence in Writing — One article from a newsletter, newspaper op-ed piece, editorial or speech. Length of 500 to 5,000 words. Submit only the relevant article, not an entire publication.

  • Finance Publication — Information about tax levies, bond issues, budgets and other financial topics. Single or series of publications accepted.

  • Handbook — General information about policies and regulations, issued to students, parents and staff.

  • Infographic — Visual representation of important content designed in a quick, impactful way.

  • Magazine — News and feature articles, issued periodically. Submit one issue per entry.

  • Marketing/branding:

    • Branding/Image Package — Logos, banners, stationery and other graphic treatments for a package of branded materials. Submissions must include three or more separate branding/image pieces in one package for entry.

    • Marketing Materials (Printed Publications) — Brochures, flyers, newsletters, promotional packages, ads, etc., designed to market a program, school or the district to potential families, students, staff or business partners. 

  • Newsletters:
    • E-Newsletter — External or internal, published periodically. Two different issues of the e-newsletter must be submitted to qualify as one entry.

    • Print Newsletter/Newspaper — External or internal, published periodically. Two different issues of a newsletter must be submitted to qualify as one entry.

  • Special Purpose Publication — External or internal booklet, brochure, poster or material not included in other categories. One item per entry.

Digital Media

  • Blog — General or special-focus blog posted regularly (at least monthly) that supports district/school communication efforts. Include a one-page explanation of how and why the blog is being used and the outcomes achieved. Submit at least three consecutive postings. Provide a URL for Internet access.

  • Infographic — Visual representation of information or data designed in an impactful way.

  • Internet/Intranet Website —Existing internet website if not previously entered in awards program, website redesign project and special purpose or short-term project website. Intranet website entries must include password or other login information so judges can access the site. Provide a URL  for internet access. Limit to one website per entry.
  • Marketing Materials (Digital Media) — Digital media designed to market a program, school or the district to potential families, students, staff or business partners (e.g., videos, CD/DVDs, movie/TV/radio ads, mobile apps). 

  • Podcast/Audio — Podcast or audio such as a public service announcement. Include a one-page explanation of how and why the podcast/audio is being used and the outcomes achieved. Provide a URL for internet access. Limit each entry to a single episode/program/presentation.

  • Social Media — Communication campaign using social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or other social media outlets. Include a one-page explanation of how and why the social media is being used and the outcomes achieved as well as at least three relevant postings. Provide a URL for internet access.

  • Video —A video recording or live broadcast designed for a website, video channel, special event, etc. Videos can be submitted as a MP4 file, but if the file size is larger than 25MB, provide a link to the video from a website, YouTube, Vimeo, Google drive, etc. Include a one-page explanation of the video’s purpose, where and when it is being used, the target audience, how it is supporting effective communication, and outcomes achieved. Provide a URL for internet access. One linked video may be submitted per entry fee paid.

Student-written and/or produced newsletters or other publications and audio/visual media are not eligible to enter.

 

 

How should entries be organized?

 

Follow the category-specific entry guidance above and also:

  • Enter only materials produced since March 2020. Previous entries may not be re-entered.
  • Enter an item only in one category (exception: Excellence in Writing entries).
  • Upload summary sheets for blog, podcast/audio, social media and video entries. Entries in the other categories do not need a summary sheet.
  • Provide a URL for internet access for blog, internet/intranet website, podcast/audio, social media and video entries. 
  • Include two different issues to qualify as an entry in the e-newsletter and print newsletter/newspaper categories.
  • Include three different posts/pieces to qualify as an entry in the blog and branding/image package categories. 

 

How are entries judged?

 

Entries are judged within an entry category only against those from organizations of a similar type and size. Each entry is judged on the overall excellence of the entry as well as its quality compared to other entries in the category. The top award in each category is the Award of Excellence. Awards of Merit and Honorable Mentions are also given in each category.

Criteria for All Entries

Following are elements that judges look for in all entered publications and digital media:

  • Target audience is defined or clearly implied.
  • Key messages related to the district/school/organization are included.
  • Content clearly expresses and executes the product’s purpose.
  • The presented information is clear and easy to understand, and overall, it evokes a positive response.
  • The district/organization brand identity is portrayed clearly and reinforced consistently.
  • Language is free of grammatical, spelling, punctuation and usage errors.

Excellence in Writing Criteria

Following are additional elements that judges look for in Excellence in Writing entries:

  • Language and writing style are appropriate for the context and audience.
  • The content is well-organized.

Publications Criteria

Following are additional elements that judges look for in publication entries:

  • Language and writing style are appropriate for the context and audience.
  • The content is well-organized.
  • All type is easily readable, and the design is aesthetically appealing.
  • Graphic elements enhance layout.
  • Publication length/size is appropriate for purpose and target audience.
  • Cover/front attracts the reader’s attention.

Social Media Criteria

Following are additional elements that judges look for in social media entries:

  • In the one-page summary, it is clear how and why the social media is being used as well as that desired outcomes were achieved.
  • Profile options are filled out and informative.
  • There is a posted policy for how the district will handle inappropriate comments by followers.
  • The district uses a platform-appropriate voice in its social posts on different platforms.
  • Posts include a photo, graphic or video.
  • Photos are high quality and convey the school/ district in a positive way.
  • Post content is accessible to all audiences.
  • The amount and frequency of posts, including pre-scheduled vs. in-the-moment/live posts, reflects today’s best practices.
  • Posts promote target audience engagement/participation, and the level of audience engagement with posts is reasonable based on industry averages.

Video Criteria

Following are additional elements that judges look for in video entries:

  • The purpose of the video is clear, and that purpose is achieved.
  • The video tells a story that engages the viewer.
  • Video transitions are smooth, and editing complements the flow of the content.
  • The video in its entirety was in focus.
  • The audio used in the video is clear and at a consistent volume. Music doesn’t overshadow when people are talking in the video.
  • Lighting applied in the video (manmade or natural) is used to enhance the visuals.
  • Graphic elements enhance the story told in the video.
  • The video includes closed captioning.

Website Criteria

Following are additional elements that judges look for in internet/intranet website entries:

  • The overall website design is aesthetically appealing and enhances readability.
  • Navigation throughout the site is easy and intuitive.
  • The website uses effective, appropriate and welcoming images that reflect a variety of grade levels and the district’s diverse demographics.
  • The website is mobile responsive.
  • The website is accessible. It uses alt tags for photos and graphics, screen tips for hyperlinks and closed captioning for embedded videos. It doesn't use inaccessible documents.
  • Content is engaging for readers and an appropriate length to reduce excessive scrolling.
  • Content is up to date and seems to be updated on a regular basis. 

 

How should an entry be submitted?

 

Publications and Digital Media Excellence Awards must be submitted ‚Äčat www.nspra.org/award-apply

  • Fee: $85 per entry for members, $125 per entry for non-members
  • Deadline: Entries must be received by April 4, 2022.

 

 

What happens after entries are judged?

 

NSPRA staff will notify Publications and Digital Media Excellence Awards entrants as to the status of their entries via mail in June. 

Each winning entry will receive a certificate suitable for framing. Winners also will be:

  • Invited to attend the Annual Meeting and Celebration of Achievement held on Sunday afternoon during the NSPRA National Seminar. 
  • Recognized in a digital display at the Member Center in the Marketplace of the NSPRA National Seminar.
  • Recognized on the NSPRA website.

View a list of past Publication and Digital Media Award winners.