2020 NJSPRA’S SCHOOL COMMUNICATION AWARDS

 

OVERVIEW

NJSPRA’s School Communication Awards recognize outstanding print and electronic collateral material in New Jersey educational communications programs. The primary role of the professional school communicator is to disseminate important information about schools and school districts to all constituencies. NJSPRA developed the School Communication Awards competition to recognize professional school communicators and other school leaders managing communications for 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.

HOW TO ENTER

Simply click on the category name(s) below to open the entry form for the respective category.

CATEGORIES

  • Electronic Newsletter This category includes newsletters directed towards internal or external audiences, published periodically and disseminated electronically to the intended 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.

  • 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: PDFs of three or more individual pieces

  • Media Relations – Human Interest This category focuses on the human interest side of media relations. Entries must have been published in at least one news media outlet between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020. Press releases alone do not qualify as entries, but may be submitted with the published story. Submission: Link or PDF file of published articles. 

  • 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

  • Podcast (NEW!) This category includes commentary from district leaders and others on topics relevant to internal and/or external audiences. Entries are judged for professional quality, sound, content. Include an explanation of how and why the podcast is being used and the outcomes achieved including downloads and subscribers. Submission: URL for Internet access or audio file (up to one GB max); Limit each entry to a single audio file.

  • Social Media This category focuses on the strategic use of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter 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. Submission: Screenshots of three relevant postings; An explanation (up to one page) and relevant analytics must be included in one PDF file.

  • Special Interest Publication This category includes 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 creativity, consistency, unity, graphic design and clarity. Submission: PDF of single publication

  • Video This category includes videos that were produced for internal or external use in promoting the district or communicating a specific message. Entries will be judged for professional quality, sound, color, motion and content. Videos produced by students are not  eligible. Submission: Video file upload (up to one GB) or link to video   

  • Website This category is based on content, clarity, appropriateness and freshness, graphic design, usability, functionality and overall depth of information. 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.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

  • Entrants may submit each entry electronically through August 15, 2020. 

  • NJSPRA members may submit up to two entries at no charge. Members may submit additional entries for a fee of $40 per entry. Enter only materials (excluding websites) produced between July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020. NJSPRA will invoice for the fees associated with additional entries. Previous entries may not be re-entered. 

  • NJSPRA non-members may submit up to one entry at no charge. Non-members may submit additional entries for a fee of $40 per entry. Enter only materials (excluding websites) produced between July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020. NJSPRA will invoice for the fees associated with additional entries. Previous entries may not be re-entered. 

  • 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.

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

 JUDGING

  • 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.
  • Winners will be notified in advance of the Awards Ceremony so they can plan to attend. Specific awards are announced at the ceremony and not prior.

HAVE A QUESTION? Email us at njspraschoolcommawards@gmail.com