2017 Music City Gold Pen Award Categories

 

MC-Gold-Pens

 

DIVISION 1: COMMUNICATION MANAGEMENT

The Communication Management division covers project, programs and campaigns that are guided by a communication strategy. Entries to this division can be submitted by any type of organization, from governments to retail companies to services such as utilities and healthcare. Entrants must demonstrate how their project applied a full range of planning and management skills, including research, analysis, strategy, tactical implementation and evaluation. Entries may include a wide range of communication materials. (NB: A single tactical execution element that formed part of a communication program may also be entered in the Communication Skills division.)

Category 1: INTERNAL COMMUNICATION

  • Programs or strategies targeted at employee or member audiences
  • Includes programs that create awareness and influence opinion or behavioral change, including those focused on ethics, morale, internal culture or change management
  • May involve improving employee understanding and alignment with business direction, improving face-to-face communication, preparing employees for change, integration of organizational cultures caused by an acquisition or downsizing, an internal brand ambassador program or a program to inspire pride in the organization

Category 2: EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT

  • Local, regional, national or international programs or strategies that profile the role of strategic communication as a driver in improving employee engagement
  • Entries must focus on the communication elements of these programs, which could include contribution to program development and promotion through various communication vehicles and channels
  • May include employee recognition and employee volunteer programs, including programs that benefit charitable or philanthropic causes, or that recognize employees’ organizational contributions or achievements in the organization

Category 3: HUMAN RESOURCES AND BENEFITS COMMUNICATION

  • Programs or strategies targeted at internal audiences that relate to communication of health and welfare, savings and pension, stocks and compensation, or recruitment and retention initiatives

Category 4: CHANGE COMMUNICATION

  • Communication strategies that support organizational change
  • May be directed at internal or external audiences, or both

Category 5: SAFETY COMMUNICATION

  • Programs or strategies that focus on improving awareness, understanding and behaviors related to safety issues within an organization

Category 6: LEADERSHIP COMMUNICATION

  • Programs or strategies that help leaders become more effective communicators, improve the quality of leadership communication within an organization, or improve leader knowledge
  • and the ability to use communication as a business driver
  • Tactics may include tool kits with speaking notes, games or other tools that help leaders communicate a specific topic, and special publications with information and support for leadership communication

Category 7: MARKETING, ADVERTISING AND BRAND COMMUNICATION

  • May include various activities designed to sell products, services, destinations, organizations or ideas to external audiences, and is generally delivered through a variety of
  • communication vehicles and channels
  • Strategies for new brands and the repositioning of existing brands in relationship to internal and external audiences
  • May include brand characteristics and attributes, changes to corporate identities and design solutions that address the challenges of brand communication (must be more than a logo redesign)
  • Strategic advertising campaigns designed to build brand awareness, influence opinion, motivate audience behaviors, or sell products and service

Category 8: CUSTOMER RELATIONS

  • Strategies or ongoing programs targeted at customer audiences that educate, inform, engage or otherwise connect the organization and its employees to the customer
  • Programs may influence reputation, brand awareness and loyalty, and market position
  • May include relationship management, experience standards or appreciation programs, but must be focused on communication and marketing elements

Category 9: MEDIA RELATIONS

  • Strategies or ongoing programs that use the news media as the primary channel to reach target audiences and seek to influence awareness, understanding and opinion or motivate action
  • Should demonstrate the quality of media coverage and its impact on the organization—quantity of media stories alone is not considered a valid measurement in this category

Category 10: COMMUNITY RELATIONS

  • A one-time or an ongoing program that enhances stakeholder understanding of issues affecting business operations within the community served
  • Seeks to build trust and credibility with stakeholder groups generally through consultation and other communication-based activities
  • Tactics and supporting strategies may include formal and informal meetings, town hall discussions, workshops, presentations, open houses, and electronic or printed material

Category 11: GOVERNMENT RELATIONS

  • Short- or long-term programs that influence the opinion or actions of government bodies or agencies
  • May seek to create awareness, or influence the attitudes and behaviors of decision-makers toward the organization or industry

Category 12: FINANCIAL COMMUNICATION

  • Entails strategies, tactics and tools used to share financial data and recommendations with investors and other interested parties
  • Includes investor relations functions that integrate finance, communication, marketing and securities laws compliance to enable effective two-way communication between a company, the financial community, and stakeholders

Category 13: ISSUES MANAGEMENT AND CRISIS COMMUNICATION

  • Programs targeted at external and/or internal audiences that address trends, issues or attitudes that have a significant impact on an organization, such as labor relations, crises, mergers, acquisitions, public policy or environmental concerns
  • Programs may demonstrate proactive planning and preventative action during an extraordinary event, or show the actions taken to address trends, issues and interest group attitudes that have a major impact on an organization

Category 14: CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • Programs or strategies that communicate social responsibility and encourage positive actions while building awareness and reputation and positioning the organization as a good corporate citizen
  • May be targeted to multiple audiences and influence share price and customer loyalty, retention and recruitment, operational efficiency and increased sales
  • Generally long-term and focused on enhancing the well-being of communities and populations through causes such as the environment, energy sustainability, food safety, economic stability, employment, poverty reduction, literacy, education, health, cultural preservation, and indigenous and heritage protection

Category 15: SOCIAL MEDIA PROGRAMS

  • Engages internal and external audiences in conversation through social media
  • Encompasses tools and practices that allow individuals and groups to collaborate and share knowledge and experiences online
  • May use conversation-enabled publishing platforms such as blogs and podcasts, social networks such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, democratized content networks such as wikis and message boards, content-sharing sites such as YouTube and Flickr, and virtual networking platforms

Category 16: GOVERNMENT COMMUNICATION PROGRAMS

  • Programs and strategies specific to government organizations at the municipal, state, provincial, regional, federal, national or international level
  • May be targeted to one or more audiences, and include internal, external or integrated communication strategies or programs

Category 17: NONPROFIT CAMPAIGNS

  • Programs recognizing the particular challenges of the nonprofit sector
  • May include multiple internal or external audiences
  • Promotes nonprofit organizations or causes
  • May be paid projects or pro-bono projects donated to the client by an organization, agency or consultancy; entries will generally have a small budget or none at all.

Category 18: COMMUNICATION MANAGEMENT, STUDENT ENTRY

  • Entries to any category in this division submitted by a student.

 

DIVISION 2: COMMUNICATION RESEARCH

Entries in this division recognize the importance of research and measurement as a foundation for strategic communication work and a competency that’s integral to success throughout the career of a communication professional.

Category 19: COMMUNICATION RESEARCH

  • Formative research conducted during the initial stages of the strategic communication planning process that benchmarks internal audience opinions or behaviors, profiles the marketplace or internal communication environment in which the organization operates, aligns best practices against organizational needs or informs strategic direction for internal communication programs
  • May include audience analysis, competitive benchmarking, secondary research related to best practices, program or product test markets, and reputation or brand studies

Category 20: COMMUNICATION RESEARCH, STUDENT ENTRY

  • Entries to any category in this division submitted by a student.

 

DIVISION 3: COMMUNICATION TRAINING AND EDUCATION

This division recognizes the mentorship and education role of consultants and senior communicators in developing and delivering workshops, classes, seminars or training that

educates an audience about any aspect of the communication profession. This division includes all communication disciplines and professional competencies.

Category 21: COMMUNICATION TRAINING AND EDUCATION

  • Training or educational programs delivered to an internal or external audience that help to improve their communication competencies
  • For internal audiences, this may include supervisor/manager/leader training in communication skills, presentation skills and employee ambassador development, in addition to media training, speaker’s bureau training, and other communication disciplines
  • For external audiences, this may include presentations for conferences, university classes, seminars or workshops, as well as media and executive coaching

Category 22: COMMUNICATION TRAINING AND EDUCATION, STUDENT ENTRY

  • Entries to any category in this division submitted by a student.

 

DIVISION 4: COMMUNICATION SKILLS

The communication skills division includes marketing and communication elements that showcase technical skills such as editing, writing, design and multimedia production. Entries in this division are generally tactical in nature. Entrants must demonstrate strategic alignment, the creative process and measurable results.

Category 23: SPECIAL EVENTS

  • Planning and execution of a special event for an internal or external audience
  • For internal audiences, this may include employee appreciation events, or events that mark a significant occasion such as an anniversary, internal conference or meeting, or a celebration or special retirement
  • For external audiences, this may include conferences, workshops, anniversaries, official openings, product launches, road shows and customer events.

Category 24: DIGITAL COMMUNICATION

  • Computer-based communication vehicles defined as the end product that are produced for internal or external audiences, and rely on a digital communication channel for delivery
  • Electronic and interactive communication channels such as websites, intranets, online stores, blogs, podcasts, social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook, democratized content networks such as wikis and message boards, micro-blogging sites such as Twitter, content-sharing sites such as YouTube and Flickr, and virtual networking platforms
  • May also include electronic newsletters, electronic annual reports, special publications, CDs or DVDs, e-cards, banner ads, buttons, pop-ups and similar material
  • Generally one-way communication that offers published content online

Category 25: AUDIO/VISUAL

  • Communication vehicles produced using sound, images, video, film, slides, CDs or a combination of these elements
  • May include video, audio, PowerPoint or other presentations, and films Does not include advertising commercials

Category 26: PUBLICATIONS

  • Publications produced for internal or external audiences in all formats, including hard copy and electronic
  • May include magazines, newspapers, newsletters or tabloids, annual reports, books, special publications, brochures and other advertising material, e-newsletters, and similar material

Category 27: WRITING

This category includes writing in both print and electronic formats: JOURNALISM:

  • Material in which the news media is the primary communication channel
  • May include, but is not limited to, editorials, interpretive/expository articles, news releases, and feature stories

CORPORATE WRITING:

  • Material written primarily for use by an organization to inform or educate employees or external stakeholders
  • May include recurring features or columns, magazines, newsletters, internal or special publications, stand-alone features, speeches and presentations, executive correspondence, scripts for corporate use, writing for an intranet, internal publications, technical writing, and annual and special reports

PROMOTIONAL WRITING:

  • Material written to persuade customers, consumers, employees or stakeholders to adopt a point of view or to purchase goods or services
  • May include commercials, advertising, marketing or sales promotion material, advertorials and writing for the Web

NONPROFIT WRITING:

  • Material written to promote nonprofit organizations, including IABC regional and chapter events

WRITING – SPECIAL PROJECTS:

  • Books (fiction and nonfiction), educational material, scripts for theatrical use, and other writing projects not covered above

Category 28: COMMUNICATION SKILLS, STUDENT ENTRY

  • Entries to any category in this division submitted by a student
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