The 2019 District VIII Communications Awards Program will honor entries in nine categories. Work produced between July 1, 2017 and August 1, 2018 is eligible for submission. Read more about submission guidelines and how to enter. Click on the sub-category titles to get started on your entry nominations.

PLATINUM CATEGORIES
These are the CASE International signature awards, recognizing the overall best in class program in each respective field. Judges will look at 360˚ perspective of programs. Both input and output will be taken into consideration. In addition to giving a concise entry summary using the standard fields, entrants should also provide supporting materials to illustrate successes.

Alumni Relations
Recognizes exemplary programs, projects and initiatives in alumni relations that serve as models for other institutions, provide a successful solution to overcoming challenges, reflect strategic use of resources, achieve significant results and/or utilize innovative practices. These may include a new twist to alumni programming; engaging emerging constituents with a goal toward improving diversity and inclusion; integrating multi-media into reunions and other alumni events; or innovative ways to engage or re-engage alumni.
Recognition: Finalists and Platinum

Communications and Marketing
The award seeks to recognize the best overall communications and marketing program in the given fiscal year. Keeping in mind institutional size, judges will consider inputs such as budget and staff size, and outcomes such as results and the efficient use of resources. Entrants should use the best practices tab to explain why their communications and marketing operation is best in class. Supporting materials might include marketing and communications plans, budgets, goals, and a list of notable achievements in the past twelve months.
Recognition: Finalists and Platinum

Fundraising
Recognizes exemplary programs, projects and initiatives in fundraising that serve as models for other institutions, provide a successful solution to overcoming challenges, reflect strategic use of resources, achieve significant results and/or utilize innovative practices. These may include putting a new twist on a senior gift program, getting grandparents to give, increasing corporate sponsorship and creative approaches to major giving. Entries can be in any area of fundraising and development. Recognition: Finalists and Platinum

Diversity Programs
Recognizes programs, projects and initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion in educational advancement hiring and retention; including student programming aimed at developing a diverse pipeline for the profession. Also eligible are programs designed to educate and support staff in engaging diverse constituents and those that contribute to an organizational climate committed to diversity. Eligible programs may come from any area of institutional advancement (fundraising, alumni relations and communications and marketing, talent management/human resources).

Digital Communications
Recognizes programs, projects and initiatives utilizing digital communications within both new and established programming. Eligible programs may come from any area of institutional advancement (fundraising, alumni relations or communications and marketing). Programs may be ongoing or new, but must have been in place long enough to have produced well-documented results. Each program constitutes a single entry. Submit your entry with attachments through our online entry process. Make sure URLs or other information listed on your entry form is correct.
Recognition: Finalists and Platinum

Advancement Services
Recognizes exemplary programs, projects and initiatives in advancement services that serve as models for other institutions, provide a successful solution to overcoming challenges, reflect strategic use of resources, achieve significant results and/or utilize innovative practices. Entries can be in any area of advancement services including information systems, gift reporting and prospect research. 
Recognition: Finalists and Platinum

Excellence in Photography
Recognizes the best black-and-white and/or color photography produced by a single staff or freelance photographer for use in an institutional publication or periodical or for some institutional purpose such as on a website, an exhibition, or advertising. An entry includes a portfolio of 5-10 representative photographs.
Recognition: Finalists and Platinum

Best Article of the Year
Your article may cover any subject matter but must have appeared in a periodical published by your institution. Articles by freelance, staff, and non-staff writers may be submitted here. Speech summaries, question and answer stories and materials reprinted from other sources are not eligible.
Recognition: Finalists and Platinum


ALUMNI, STUDENT, DONOR AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT CATEGORIES

Alumni Publications
This award concentrates on a single alumni publication and how well it complements the overall alumni relations program. Examples might include a reunion program, career networking event, alumni club chapter organization, etc. Will be judged based on the stated goals of a program and how successfully those goals were met.

Viewbooks and Prospective Student Publications
Recognizes outstanding work on an individual student recruitment publication. Will be judged on quality of writing, use of photography and design, effectiveness, and overall excellence.

Alumni & Donor Brochures, Direct Mail and Event Materials
The award will recognize outstanding work producing recruitment brochures, direct mail pieces and event materials for alumni and donors.

Advertising for Student Recruiting
Recognizes outstanding work in print or digital advertising for student recruitment. Will be judged on quality of writing, use of photography and design, effectiveness, and overall excellence.

Branding and Image Development/Identity Programs and Projects
Awarded for excellence in branding and image development/identity programs and projects. Will be judged on creativity, appropriateness, and overall effectiveness.

Special Events
This award is for a special event designed to introduce or support a specific university program or event, or institutional priority. It is intended to recognize an event organized by the institution's communications and marketing team.

Innovation in Alumni, Student, Donor and Community Engagement
This award recognizes original, experimental, unconventional and innovative work in the areas of alumni, student, donor and community engagement.

FUNDRAISING, SPECIAL EVENT AND OTHER COMMUNICATIONS CATEGORIES

Fundraising Publications 
A single print or digital publication for fundraising purposes. Examples may include (but are not limited to) a case statement, proposal, informational packet or brochure. Please note that fundraising videos and dedicated fundraising websites have their own categories in the Electronic and Digital Media division.

Fundraising Brochures, Case Statements, Fliers and Packets (suite of related pubs)
A suite of publications for fundraising purposes. Examples may include (but are not limited to) a case statement, proposal, informational packet or brochure. Please note that fundraising videos and dedicated fundraising websites have their own categories in the Electronic and Digital Media division.

Annual, Semiannual or Biennial Reports
This award recognizes overall excellence in fundraising using annual, semiannual or biennial reports.

Direct Mail and Advertising for Fundraising
This award recognizes overall excellence in direct mail and advertising used for fundraising.

Special Event, Invitations and Collateral Materials
This award recognizes creative and innovative use of invitations and other materials for special events.

Diversity Programs
This award recognizes programs, activities and communication efforts that enhance diversity at an institution. Diversity-oriented activities and programming conducted to increase the participation of underrepresented diverse populations in volunteer and leadership roles and other alumni activities and programs may include, but are not limited to, homecomings and reunions, clubs/chapters and other constituent/affinity group programming, awards, international alumni programs and parent/grandparent programs.

Low Budget Publications
The main consideration in this category is the efficient and innovative use of limited resources. You must include a statement as to why you consider your entry to fit into this category.

Other Special Purpose Publications
This award will recognize excellence in one-time publications created to build institutional reputation or promote or describe a particular program, facility, or event; or any one-time publication created for a purpose not covered by other categories. Publications produced on an annual or regular basis do not qualify.

Innovation in Fundraising, Special Event and Other Communications
This award will recognize original, experimental, unconventional and innovative work in the areas of fundraising and special events.


MAGAZINE CATEGORIES

Print General Interest Magazines - Circulation less than 29,999
Institutions with magazine circulation of less than 29,999; four or two-color. Please submit two different issues from your institution's current year publication cycle. Judges will consider staff size and budget, so you should write about this in the "Describe the process of creating the entry" field.

Print General Interest Magazines - Circulation less than 30,000-74,999
Institutions with circulation between 30,000-74,999; four- or two-color. Please submit two different issues from your institution's current-year publication cycle. Judges will consider staff size and budget, so you should write about this in the "Describe the process of creating the entry" field.

Print General Interest Magazines - Circulation greater than 75,000
Institutions with circulation greater than 75,000; four or two-color. Please submit two different issues from your institution's current-year publication cycle. Judges will consider staff size and budget, so you should write about this in the "Describe the process of creating the entry" field.

Magazine Special Issues
This award recognizes outstanding special issue magazines. Judges will consider writing, editing and design.

Magazine Improvement (print only; any audience)
This award recognizes print magazines and the improvement of those magazines. You must submit a link to a pdf or viewing app for the previous magazine and the improved magazine.

Special Constituency and Research Magazines
This award will recognize overall excellence in special constituency and research magazines.


VISUAL DESIGN CATEGORIES

This division recognizes imaginative, original approaches and excellent execution. Essentially this division judges exemplary design in print and digital media. Entrants are advised to read the descriptions for each category before deciding which is most appropriate for their entry.

Multi-Page Print Design
This award recognizes visual design excellence for single-bound publications, including brochures, viewbooks, annual reports, magazines and editorial spreads. Will be judged on concept, overall design, use of photography and typography.

Single-Page Print Design
Excellence in visual design for single-sheet print publications, including folded and single-sheet flyers, print ads and promotional or informational materials. Will be judged on creativity, overall design, use of photography and typography. Posters should be entered in the Posters category.

Cover Design
Awarded for excellence in cover design for print publications, including magazines, brochures, newsletters, bound books and viewbooks. Will be judged on creativity, overall design, use of photography and/or illustration and typography.

Posters
Recognizes visual design excellence for posters and poster series of all sizes. May include printed and digital posters. Will be judged on creativity, use of photography and/or illustration and typography.

Logo and Brand Identity Graphics
Awarded for excellence in visual design for identity development. May include single logos/marks or brand identity graphics. Will be judged on creativity, appropriateness, and overall excellence.

Design Improvement (Print or Identity)
Recognizes demonstrated improvement in visual design for print or identity projects. Judged on creativity and overall design improvement.

Specialty Piece
This award will recognize graphic design work for projects such as calendars, invitations, etc.

Print Design: Series of Related Publications
This award recognizes design excellence of a series of bound and/or folded print publications, including student recruitment materials, fundraising campaigns and alumni campaigns. Will be judged on creativity, continuity of design, use of photography and typography.

Environmental Graphic Design
Awarded for visual excellence in banners, signage, outdoor advertising, wall wraps and other exterior or interior installed graphics. Will be judged on overall design, creativity, and visual effectiveness.


PHOTOGRAPHY AND ILLUSTRATION CATEGORIES

Individual Photographs
This award recognizes excellence in photography for a single image used in a print or publication. May be color or black and white. Will be judged on technique and creativity.

Series of Related Photographs
Awarded for excellence in a series of related photographs used in a print or digital publication. May be color or black and white. Will be judged on effectiveness of storytelling, technique and creativity.

Individual Illustrations/Photo-Illustrations
Excellence in single original illustration created for the cover art, as the primary illustration for a feature story or to serve as a thematic illustration in a print or digital publication. May be any medium, including photo-illustration. Will be judged on technique, creativity and appropriateness to topic.

Series of Related Illustrations/Photo-Illustrations
Recognizes a series of original illustrations created for a feature story in a print or digital publication. May be any medium, including photo-illustration. Will be judged on technique, creativity and appropriateness to topic.


WRITING CATEGORIES

These awards recognize exceptional staff-written (permanent institutional employees at the time of publication) projects. Entrants should submit PDFs of the work, and use the summary tab objectives and results fields to support their entry. Entrants may answer "not applicable" in the method, resources and budget fields.

Editorial Shorts
This award is for published editorial pieces, print or web, less than 1000 words.

Development Writing
This award is for the successful writing of major gift proposals, written to an individual, corporation or foundation, and both public or private grant programs. Criteria will include the overall impact of the resulting program on the associated institutions, students and/or community. 

Public Relations Writing
This award is for public relations writing by a staff writer/s. Examples might include press releases and a comprehensive package of information used to pitch a story to media outlets. Note that it is the copy that will be assessed, not how good a package looks. In the results field, please state media outlets that picked up the story and use the URL link fields to link to resulting media hits.

Scriptwriting/Speechwriting
This award is for a single speech written by a staff writer. In the objectives field, please describe the event at which the speech was given.

Feature Writing
This award is for a single feature article written by a staff writer and published in print or on the web.

Writing for Fundraising
This award is for the copy in fundraising materials, such as direct mail solicitations, campaign case statements, fundraising emails etc. Entrants may include up to three examples of work that all pertain to a single project. For example, three related direct mail appeals, or three pieces related to a single campaign.

Writing for the Web
This award is for the copy used on institutional websites or microsites. Entrants may include up to three examples of work that all pertain to a single project. For example, three related web pages that share a common purpose.


ELECTRONIC AND DIGITAL MEDIA CATEGORIES

Judges will look for excellence in design, content and implementation. Emphasis will be placed on usability, aesthetics, creativity and technical expertise as they relate to stated objectives.

Overall Website
Content is paramount. However, in addition to content, of particular importance are usability, including structure, navigation and functionality, as well as the aesthetics and creativity of the interface. Please note that this category is intended for primary institutional websites.

Alumni, Fundraising or Student Recruitment Sub-site or Section
Content is paramount. However, in addition to content, of particular importance are usability, including structure, navigation and functionality, as well as the aesthetics and creativity of the interface, as well as budget and staff resources.

Other Sub-site or Section
This award will recognize excellence in other sub-sites or sections within a website.

Electronic Blogs, Newsletters and Magazines - External Audiences
This award recognizes excellence in blogs, newsletters and magazines targeting external audiences. Criteria include quality of written and graphic content, overall creativity and effectiveness.

Electronic Newsletters and Blogs, Internal Audiences
This award recognizes excellence in blogs, newsletters and magazines targeting internal audiences. Criteria include quality of written and graphic content, overall creativity and effectiveness.

Best Uses of Social Media (social media, apps, etc.)
Awards will be given to recognize best practices using social media within new and established programming. Programs may be ongoing or new, but must have been in place long enough to have produced well-documented results. Judges will be looking for strategies and their resulting campaigns that are targeted, focused, measurable, memorable, engaging, appropriate and profitable.

Innovation in Web or Social Media (efficient and innovative use of limited budget/resources)
This category recognizes original, unconventional and innovative use of digital/electronic technology


VIDEO AND MULTIMEDIA CATEGORIES

Advertising Spots and Public Service Announcements
This category recognizes single advertising spots or public service announcements that are creative, memorable and demonstrate technical excellence. Results tied to stated objectives, as well as budget and staff resources, will be taken into consideration.

Marketing & Branding Video
Judges will look for entries that are simple, relevant, distinct, focused and memorable in advancing overall institutional awareness and reputation. Quantifiably appropriate results tied to stated objectives are important in this category, as well as budget and staff resources.

Student Recruitment Videos
Judges will look for entries that are simple, relevant, distinct, focused and memorable. Quantifiably appropriate results tied to stated objectives are important in this category, as well as budget and staff resources.

Fundraising or Alumni Relations Videos
Judges will look for creativity and imagination as well as excellence in design and implementation and quantifiably appropriate results tied to stated objectives. Outcomes and assessments are important factors in this category, as well as budget and staff resources.

Multimedia for Special Events
This category recognizes excellence in multimedia projects produced for special events. Please include a description of how the multimedia supported achievement of the overall objective(s) of the event for which it was produced.

Innovation in Video or Multimedia
This category recognizes original, experimental, unconventional and innovative use of digital/electronic technology in supporting university initiatives. Include testimony as to the innovative aspects of the work along with the normal criteria.