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NJSPRA Annual Communications Awards
Deadline: August 12th

NJSPRA’s School Communication Awards recognize outstanding print and electronic collateral material developed by New Jersey school districts who continually strive to disseminate important information to all constituencies. NJSPRA developed the School Communication Awards competition to recognize school districts for managing communications and developing tools that go above and beyond in disseminating important messages to their publics. Winning entries may also serve as best practices for other districts to benchmark against and emulate.

    Guidelines for Submission

    • Deadline for entries for the 2022 - 2023 school year is August 12th. Enter via the links for each category in box at right.

    • NJSPRA members (for the 2022-2023 school year) may submit up to two entries at no charge. Members may submit additional entries for a fee of $40 per entry. 

    • NJSPRA non-members (for the 2022-2023 school year) may submit entries for a fee of $40 per entry. 

    • Enter only materials (excluding websites) produced between July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023.

    • Uploaded files must include the name of the district. For example, "SouthernTownshipSchools.PDF"

    • Previous winning entries may not be re-entered. 

    • There is no limit on the number of entries. Any one item may only be entered into one category (e.g., not the same publication in both Newsletter and Special Purpose Publication).

    • NJSPRA will invoice for the entry fees on Monday, August 14th. Payment or a Purchase Order for entries must be received by September 12th or the entry will be disqualified from the contest. 

    • Successful submissions will be confirmed with an email confirmation. Any entries not meeting the submission requirements will not be considered and fees for the entry will not be returned.

    • All material submitted becomes the property of NJSPRA and may be reproduced, displayed, referenced, or summarized in an NJSPRA publication or other resource.

    • Submission of any entry shall constitute the entrant's representation that all material is original and/or free from unauthorized use of copy, design, art, and/or photographs from other sources.


    • Entries are evaluated by a non-biased panel of public relations and school public relations professionals. Each award entry is judged on its own merit in terms of how it meets the award criteria and follows entry rules.

    • NJSPRA may also opt to issue no awards if no entries are deemed worthy of recognition. Individual judging assessments are confidential and will not be released.

    Awards Ceremony

    • This year’s awards will be presented on Monday, October 23rd, at the NJSBA Workshop in Atlantic City. Specific location in the Convention Center and time is to be announced.

    • Winners will be notified on or about September 19th of the Awards Ceremony so they can plan to attend. Specific awards are announced at the ceremony and not prior.


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    2022 Award Winners

    Electronic Newsletter
    1st Place – Plainfield Public Schools
    2nd Place – Perth Amboy Public Schools 
    3rd Place - Westfield Public Schools

    Marketing, Branding, Image
    1st Place – Lumberton Township School District
    2nd Place – New Brunswick Public Schools
    3rd Place – Randolph Township Schools

    Media Relations - Human Interest
    1st Place – Paterson Public Schools
    2nd Place – Randolph Township Schools
    3rd Place – Toms River Regional Schools

    1st Place – Freehold Regional High School District
    2nd Place – Lawrence Township Public Schools
    3rd Place – Toms River Regional Schools

    Social Media
    1st Place – Freehold Regional High School District
    2nd Place - Laura Bishop Communications on behalf of NJCCVTS
    3rd Place - New Brunswick Public Schools

    Special Interest Publication
    1st Place – Ramsey Public Schools
    2nd Place - Freehold Regional High School District
    3rd Place – Lawrence Township Public Schools

    1st Place – Newark Board of Education
    2nd Place – Bound Brook School District
    3rd Place – Summit Public Schools

    1st Place – Spectrum 360
    2nd Place – NJ Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools
    3rd Place - Randolph Township Schools

    Submit Entries Via Links Below

    • Newsletter  This category includes newsletters directed towards internal or external audiences, published periodically and disseminated via print/mail or digital media to the intended audience. Entries will be judged for overall design, content, clarity, quality of writing, and relevance to the audience.  Entries must include two (2) different issues (e.g., two different months, quarters, etc.) to qualify as an entry. Submission: PDFs or web links of two (2) issues; Student written and/or produced newsletters or other publications not eligible. Entry Form

    • Marketing, Branding, Image  This category includes all branding collateral material, such as logos, stationery and other graphic treatments; advertisements and promotional products; brochures; signage; and items that communicate a district’s special qualities to potential constituents. Entries will be judged for creativity, consistency, unity, graphic design, clarity and overall image and brand. Submission: One PDF file containing three or more individual pieces. Entry Form

    • Media Relations – Human Interest  This category focuses on the human interest side of media relations and will be evaluated based on story message and interest level. Entries must have been published in at least one news media outlet between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023. Press releases alone do not qualify as entries, but may be submitted with the published story. Submission: Link or PDF file of published articles. Entry Form

    • Photography This category focuses on promoting education in New Jersey schools through the use of effective photography. Entries will be evaluated on creative content that evokes emotion or portrays action, balance, composition, framing, use of light, etc. Submissions may depict success stories in public schools, equity in education, social/emotional learning, health and safety, or other relevant themes. Entries must have been published in either a district publication, website, social media or news media and must be the original work of the photographer/contestant. Submission: Photo in JPG or PDF file format together with representation of where published. Entry Form

    • Social Media This category focuses on the strategic use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to engage stakeholders and communicate district information. Entries must include an explanation of how and why the platform is being used and the outcomes achieved. Entries will be evaluated based on creativity and content of posts relative to goals, and corresponding analytics. Submission: Screenshots of three relevant postings and relevant analytics must be included in one PDF file. Entry Form

    • Special Interest Publication This category includes single publications that fall outside of the other categories, e.g. brochure, employee recruitment publication, handbook, general district information, infographic, annual report, calendar, finance publication, poster or signage, etc. Entries will be evaluated based on clarity of information, creativity, consistency, unity, and graphic design including the use of photographs, fonts, color and white space. Submission: PDF of single publication. Entry Form

    • Video This category includes videos that were produced for internal and/or external use in promoting the district or communicating a specific message. These can include, but are not limited to, marketing and enrollment, staff and student successes, health and safety updates, leadership messages such as a new strategic plan, etc. Entries will be judged for professional quality including content, script, lighting, sound and music, motion, editing, and relevance to the audience. Videos produced by students are not eligible. Submission: Video file upload (up to one GB) or link to video. Entry Form

    • Website  This category is based on the overall impression derived from the website, including content, clarity, appropriateness and freshness, graphic design including the use of color, fonts and photographs/videos, usability, functionality, navigability and overall depth of information. Entries may be for an entire district site or for a site created for a specific initiative such as a bond referendum or complex special project. Intranet (limited access) sites are not eligible. Submission: Website address with brief description of the focus and functionality; Previous winners may not be submitted unless significant changes were made since last submission and must be outlined in accompanying description. Entry Form 

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