ACE Conference Session Proposal 

All submissions must be received online by 11:59, ET, Monday, December 16, 2023


ACE Honor Awards 

All entries must be entered online by 11:59pm, ET, Wednesday, February 1, 2023


ACE Critique & Awards Program   

Deadline 

All entries must be entered online by 11:59pm, ET, Tuesday, February 15, 2023

Other key dates:

  • Feb. 15-28: Judging
  • Mar. 16-28: ACE review
  • Apr. Entrants begin to receive results and critiques


Select your submission category below.


Questions 

Please contact ACE aceoutreach@gmail.com, or 847-647-8861.

The ACE Rising Star (formerly Pioneer) Award honors communicators, instructors and researchers  who demonstrate exceptional leadership and technical skills in their communication field, to their institution, and service to ACE. Award winners are early in their career and/or ACE membership. The award was created in honor of Frank Jeter, an early ACE member from North Carolina, who made significant contributions to the communication field and to ACE.

Past recipients have revitalized communications at their institution, led innovative communication projects, served as learning community leaders for ACE, initiated and carried out new projects for ACE, and inspired communication excellence in their peers.

Guidelines for Nomination

  1. Award nominees must be in their first 10 years of ACE membership, and an ACE member for at least two years.
  2. Recipients should be nominated by any ACE member who has direct knowledge of their skills and contributions.
  3. At least two specific examples of the recipients’ contributions to the communication field and ACE should be documented in the nomination.
  4. Impact of the nominee’s work should extend beyond their department or unit to the university, state, region, and the ACE membership.
  5. Current ACE board members and directors-elect are not eligible to receive this award.
  6. No more than five awards will be given in any one year.
  7. The award does not have to be granted each year if, in the opinion of the ACE board, none of the candidates meet the standards required.
  8. Nominees who are not selected as a recipient can be re-nominated the following year.

Any ACE members may submit one or more Rising Star Award nominations via an electronic submission form. The ACE management office will forward nominations to the president for a vote by the board of directors. The president notifies the award recipient (s), the nominator(s), and the recipient’s administrator. The president also notifies those not selected for this award usually through their nominators.

The ACE Fellow is the highest recognition given by the Association for Communication Excellence to one of its members. The award recognizes sustained excellence and professionalism in a communicator. Recipients are role models in ACE who have had an enduring impact on the organization, their institution, the national land-grant system, and/or the profession or discipline of agricultural communications. The ACE Fellow is recognized during the ACE annual conference.

Guidelines for Nomination

1. This award is based on a member’s achievements over an extended period of time (at least 10 years) and on participation in and support of ACE.

2. Members must be nominated by a fellow member to be considered for the award. Current board members and directors-elect are not eligible.

3. A nomination for the award should include the following:

a. A general description of the member's job.

b. Specific accomplishments in carrying out job assignments.

c. Indications of impact of the member's communication efforts.

d. Participation in and service to ACE.

e. Any other achievements that document the excellence of professional competence.

4.  Nominations should be accompanied by letters of recommendation.

5. Nominees who are not selected as a recipient can be re-nominated the following year.

ACE members submit ACE Fellow Award nominations via an electronic submission form. The ACE management office will forward nominations to the president for a vote by the board of directors. The president notifies the award recipient, the nominator, and the recipient’s administrator. The president also notifies those not selected for this award usually through their nominators.

The Award of Excellence recognizes individuals who have demonstrated excellence in the discipline or area of communications represented by a Learning Community as well as leadership and involvement in ACE. A recipient may be a current or a past member of the Learning Community.

Guidelines for Nomination

  1. A nominee must have their membership dues paid for the current year.
  2. A nominee must have at least five years of membership in ACE (not necessarily consecutive).
  3. Any ACE member – active or retired – may be nominated by any ACE member.
  4. A nominee must not be currently serving in a leadership role for the Learning Community for which they are nominated.
  5. A nominee must be a current or past member of the Learning Community for which the award is given.
  6. Learning Communities do not have to have a nominee every year.
  7. Current ACE board members and directors-elect are not eligible to receive an Award of Excellence.
  8. No person should be named an award recipient for more than one Learning Community in the same year.
  9. The Learning Community chairs and the Learning Community director serve as the Award of Excellence Committee. They are responsible for promoting the awards, soliciting and screening nominations, selecting recipients, and presenting the awards at the ACE annual meeting. The name of the finalist must be sent to the Learning Community director for presentation to and approval by the board.
  10. The Learning Community director and the ACE board, with the concurrence of the Learning Community chair, may reject any nomination, if a candidate does not meet expected standards of documented performance.
  11. Runner-up nominees are not considered automatic candidates in subsequent years. New nominations need to be made each year.
  12. Selection, acquisition, and engraving of appropriate plaques or certificates is a function of the ACE management office. No cash or sponsored award is allowed.

The Retiree Award of Excellence recognizes an individual who has demonstrated excellence in leadership, service, and involvement with ACE retirees and life members or within the larger organization.
Nominations for this award may be made by any ACE member.

  1. A nominee must be a retiree member who has paid retiree membership dues for the current year or be a paid-in-full life member.
  2. A nominee may not be the current Retiree Director or Director-Elect.
  3. It is not necessary that the Retiree Award of Excellence be given each year. The award should be reserved for those who have made truly significant contributions to ACE and to ACE's retiree and life members. Only one award may be presented each year.
  4. The current ACE Retiree Director, the immediate past Retiree Director, and (in the years when a Director-Elect has been selected) the Retiree Director-Elect serve as the Retiree Award of Excellence Committee. They are responsible for promoting the award, soliciting and screening nominations, selecting a recipient, and presenting the award at the ACE annual meeting. It is their responsibility to determine the criteria used for selecting recipients.
  5. The name of the finalist must be presented to the ACE Board of Directors for approval before the award is announced or presented.
  6. The Retiree Director and the ACE Board of Directors may reject any nomination if the candidate does not meet acceptable standards of documented performance.
  7. Runner-up nominees are not considered automatic candidates in subsequent years. New nominations are to be made each year.
  8. Selection, acquisition, and engraving of appropriate plaques or certificates is a function of the ACE management office. No cash or sponsored award is allowed.
  9. The award recipient is encouraged to attend the ACE annual meeting to receive the award, although attendance is not required.


The ACE Service Award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated exceptional service to ACE.
Nominations for this award may be made by any ACE member.

  1. A nominee must be a current or retiree member of ACE.
  2. Current ACE board members and directors-elect are not eligible for this award.
  3. It is not necessary that the Service Award be given each year. The award should be reserved for those who have made truly significant contributions to ACE. Only one award may be presented each year.
  4. The ACE Board of Directors is responsible for selecting the awardee.
  5. The ACE Board of Directors may reject any nomination if the candidate does not meet acceptable standards of documented performance.
  6. Runner-up nominees are not considered automatic candidates in subsequent years. New nominations are to be made each year.
  7. Selection, acquisition, and engraving of appropriate plaques or certificates is a function of the ACE management office. No cash or sponsored award is allowed.
  8. The award recipient is encouraged to attend the ACE annual meeting to receive the award, although attendance is not required.
  9. The identity of the honoree will not be revealed to the membership at large until presentation time at the annual meeting.

The award is reserved for a communicator, including a public relations or advertising person, who has made a major contribution in the field of agriculture, natural resources, or life and human sciences at the regional, national, or international level. The award can go to someone who is not a citizen of the United States.

The Reuben Brigham Award is offered in memory of Reuben Brigham (1887-1946), a native of Marlboro, Mass., and graduate of the University of Maryland. He served as an Extension editor and 4-H club agent in Maryland and was called to the Federal Extension Service office in 1917 to develop an editorial and visual aids service for Extension editors. Brigham traveled the nation, conferring with editors and directors, and helped states develop their own editorial offices as separate units.

Brigham organized the American Association of Agricultural College Editors and served as its president, secretary, and treasurer. He established the Extension Service Review in 1939 and participated in the Farm and Home Hour of the National Broadcasting Company. During the Depression, he helped develop action agencies of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration. As head of a regional section of the AAA information office, he ensured that Extension staff were involved in that organization's information plans. He later was appointed assistant director of the Federal Extension Service and was associated with Extension directors, the land-grant college association, and policy-making committees of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Brigham died in Chicago while attending a meeting at the National 4-H Club Congress.

The Reuben Brigham Award was established by ACE in 1947.

Guidelines for Nomination

  1. Active and retired members of ACE, of a land-grant college or university staff, or of USDA staffs; are not eligible for the award.
  2. The award does not have to be granted each year if, in the opinion of the ACE board, none of the candidates meets the standards required.
  3. Nominations of persons not receiving the award may be considered the following year. Persons making nominations are to be notified that their nominee was not selected but will be considered next year, if desired, and if an updated nomination is submitted next year.
  4. The Reuben Brigham Award winner must agree to attend the annual ACE conference to receive the award. The recipient usually gives a 15-minute speech at the annual meeting.
  5. After the board makes a selection, the ACE management office will arrange for a suitable plaque for the presentation at the annual meeting.
  6. The identity of the honoree will not be revealed to the membership at large until presentation time at the annual meeting.
  7. The ACE president will introduce the winner and present the award.


Crisis and Issues Management 1 | Crisis Communication: Materials submitted should document efforts to respond to a crisis. Such efforts could be of short or long duration, depending on the situation. Submissions should include:

  • An explanation of the crisis situation, including its context and the timeframe involved.
  • Information on message development and identification of target audience(s).
  • Description of the goals of the communications efforts.
  • Description of strategies, activities and/or tactics adopted to communicate about the situation, including, for example, any spokesperson coaching provided by communications staff and the communications vehicles used in the effort.
  • An assessment or evaluation of the efficacy of the communication effort. The assessment need not be complicated or formal, but it should provide some indication of how the goals of the communications were achieved as a result of the crisis management effort.


Judging criteria: Crisis identification/analysis 25%, Planning/development/execution 50%, Results 25%

Crisis and Issues Management 2 | Issue Management: Materials submitted should document efforts to identify an issue that threatens or could threaten an organization. The programming to manage that issue to effectively support the organization should be explained. Explain how and why this program was conceived and how it was implemented. Describe goals and audiences.

Issues by their nature often span multiple years. The entry should focus on issue management work completed in the previous year and define the time that the work is focused on. If work on the issue was entered in a previous year, this entry must demonstrate significant change in strategy or implementation.

Materials submitted must include an integrated strategic plan that identifies the issue and its context; target audience(s) and goals; description of strategies, activities and/or tactics adopted; message development; communications vehicles used [face to face meetings, town meetings, materials produced (e.g., brochures, sales letters, news releases, ads, PSAs)]; and/or a description of the promotional event(s) and activities completed; and an assessment of the efficacy of the communication effort. The assessment of results need not be complicated, formal or expensive, but it should provide some indication that the goals outlined in the strategic plan were achieved as a result of the issues management effort.

Judging criteria: Issue identification/analysis 40% Planning/development/execution 40%, Results 20%

Electronic Media, Video & Audio 1 | Social media videos Videos produced primarily for social media (may be distributed across other platforms later) such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. These may include odd formatting such as square and vertical videos, generally short duration (under two minutes), and may be produced on mobile devices.

Judging criteria: Design 20%, Content 20%, Technical Quality 20%, Creativity/Artistic Style 20%, Effectiveness 20%

Judges will consider a project's budget and the use of available resources.


Notes for all classes:

  • Video class may include videos of any length unless otherwise noted.
  • If total video length is over 10 minutes, please submit a 10-minute sample.
  • Unless otherwise noted, video series are welcome in any class, but no more than three 10-minute samples should be entered.
  • Videos should be submitted in classes for which they were originally produced. Although they may be re-purposed for videos that might fit other categories later, they should be judged in the category most appropriate for the original production.

Electronic Media, Video & Audio 2 | Profile videos Videos that focus on telling a particular person’s story. These may feature researchers, students, Extension agents, or donors among others. Videos may be for web, broadcast, or other distribution.

Judging criteria: Design 20%, Content 20%, Technical Quality 20%, Creativity/Artistic Style 20%, Effectiveness 20%

Judges will consider a project's budget and the use of available resources.

Notes for all classes:
· May include videos of any length unless otherwise noted.
· If total video length is over 10 minutes, please submit a 10-minute sample.
· Unless otherwise noted, video series are welcome in any class, but no more than three 10-minute samples should be entered.
· Videos should be submitted in classes for which they were originally produced. Although they may be re-purposed for videos that might fit other categories later, they should be judged in the category most appropriate for the original production.

Electronic Media, Video & Audio 3 | Motion graphics/augmented reality/virtual reality/animation Video products that use animation, motion graphics, augmented, or virtual reality as the primary ways of conveying information. Entry may be distributed across a range of platforms.

Judging criteria: Design 20%, Content 20%, Technical Quality 20%, Creativity/Artistic Style 20%, Effectiveness 20%


Judges will consider a project's budget and the use of available resources.


Notes for all classes:

  • May include videos of any length unless otherwise noted.
  • If total video length is over 10 minutes, please submit a 10-minute sample.
  • Unless otherwise noted, video series are welcome in any class, but no more than three 10-minute samples should be entered.
  • Videos should be submitted in classes for which they were originally produced. Although they may be re-purposed for videos that might fit other categories later, they should be judged in the category most appropriate for the original production.

Electronic Media, Video & Audio 4 | Promotional, recruitment, and fundraising products Video productions specifically used for promotion, recruitment, and fundraising. Entry may be distributed across a range of platforms.


Judging criteria: Design 20%, Content 20%, Technical Quality 20%, Creativity/Artistic Style 20%, Effectiveness 20%

Judges will consider a project's budget and the use of available resources.

Notes for all classes:
· May include videos of any length unless otherwise noted.
· If total video length is over 10 minutes, please submit a 10-minute sample.
· Unless otherwise noted, video series are welcome in any class, but no more than three 10-minute samples should be entered.
· Videos should be submitted in classes for which they were originally produced. Although they may be re-purposed for videos that might fit other categories later, they should be judged in the category most appropriate for the original production.

Electronic Media, Video & Audio 5 | Informational, news or educational video production Video productions designed for noncredit educational and informational uses and function as standalone videos (or series) or for training purposes or for paid/credit-based class settings. These productions may be distributed through web channels or broadcast or be viewed in meetings or workshops, by individuals or groups. Includes how-to videos, public service announcements, etc.

Judging criteria: Design 20%, Content 20%, Technical Quality 20%, Creativity/Artistic Style 20%, Effectiveness 20%

Judges will consider a project's budget and the use of available resources.

Notes for all classes:

· May include videos of any length unless otherwise noted.
· If total video length is over 10 minutes, please submit a 10-minute sample.
· Unless otherwise noted, video series are welcome in any class, but no more than three 10-minute samples should be entered.
· Videos should be submitted in classes for which they were originally produced. Although they may be re-purposed for videos that might fit other categories later, they should be judged in the category most appropriate for the original production.

Electronic Media, Video & Audio 6 |Audio news, programs, podcasts, spots Submit a special, documentary, regularly produced program, regularly produced podcast, public service spot or other spot prepared for use on a commercial or noncommercial outlet for broadcast or Internet distribution. If submitting programs from a series, samples from up to three separate programs may be submitted. If submitting spots, submit no more than five spots in a series with no spot longer than 60 seconds. Cue sheet(s) should accompany entries where applicable.

Judging: Planning and concept 25%, Content presentation 25%, Technical quality 25%, Creativity/artistic style 25%


Judges will consider a project's budget and the use of available resources.

Electronic Media, Video & Audio 7  | Electronic media, video &  audio for diverse audiencesSubmit in the class if your electronic media, video & audio shows consideration for audiences with diverse backgrounds or is inclusive of people from diverse backgrounds.

Judging criteria: Planning 30%, Quality of materials and message 50%, Evaluation 20%

Judges will consider a project's budget and the use of available resources.

Notes for all classes:

  • Video class may include videos of any length unless otherwise noted.
  • If total video length is over 10 minutes, please submit a 10-minute sample.
  • Unless otherwise noted, video series are welcome in any class, but no more than three 10-minute samples should be entered.
  • Videos should be submitted in classes for which they were originally produced. Although they may be re-purposed for videos that might fit other categories later, they should be judged in the category most appropriate for the original production.

Graphic Design 1 | Design. Submit a printed or digital publication (book, magazine, brochure, report, bulletin, technical bulletin, etc.) illustrating the use of graphic design techniques to enhance the communication of a printed or published item. Consideration will be given to layout, placement or treatment of graphics, photos, typography, and color. Describe any unique problems or circumstances the designer faced.

Judging criteria : Composition/layout/design-20%, Creativity-20%, Production quality-20%, Idea effectiveness--20%, Typography-20%

Graphic Design 2 | Advertisement. Submit a published item illustrating the use of graphic design techniques to enhance the communication of an advertisement. This includes ads that appeared in programs, magazines, newspapers, and promotional/marketing materials. Consideration will be given to layout, placement or treatment of graphics, photos, typography, and color. Describe any unique problems or circumstances the designer faced.

Judging criteria : Composition/layout/design-20%, Creativity-20%, Production quality-20%, Idea effectiveness--20%, Typography-20%

Graphic Design 3 | Graphic design illustration: single or series. Submit a single published illustration or series of illustrations used to enhance or explain an educational message. Entries should be new and entirely created by the entrant/entrants rather than using reproductions, modified clip art, or other photographic imagery. Entry may be submitted with the supporting material for which it was created (i.e., article, story, editorial, publication, campaign or other materials). Describe any unique problems or circumstances the designer faced.


Judging criteria : Composition/layout/design-20%, Creativity-20%, Production quality-20%, Idea effectiveness--20%, Typography-20%

Graphic Design 4 |  Interactive multimedia/web graphics. Submit images showing how graphic design was used as part of a published interactive educational project, multimedia product, kiosk or website. Graphics should support and enhance the educational message of the piece. Describe any unique problems or circumstances the designer faced.


Judging criteria : Composition/layout/design-20%, Creativity-20%, Production quality-20%, Idea effectiveness--20%, Typography-20%

Graphic Design 5 | Posters. Submit a single or series of published posters, flags, or banners. There are no size limitations, and entries may be reproduced in any manner, such as by offset, silkscreen, or by hand on paper, fabric, or wood. Consideration will be given to layout, placement or treatment of graphics, photos, typography, and color. Describe any unique problems or circumstances the designer faced.

Judging criteria : Composition/layout/design-20%, Creativity-20%, Production quality-20%, Idea effectiveness--20%, Typography-20%

Graphic Design 6 | Exhibits. An entry consists of at least five but no more than 20 jpeg images of the finished product of a permanent or temporary exhibit. The images may include one but not more than two mockup images of the display. Exhibits of all sizes are eligible, from tabletop to room size. Describe any unique problems or circumstances the designer faced.

Judging criteria : Composition/layout/design-20%, Creativity-20%, Production quality-20%, Idea effectiveness--20%, Typography-20%

Graphic Design 7 | Cover. Submit a published cover that illustrates the use of graphic design techniques to enhance communication. Consideration will be given to layout, placement or treatment of graphics, typography, printing techniques, and color. Describe any unique problems or circumstances the designer faced.

Judging criteria : Composition/layout/design-20%, Creativity-20%, Production quality-20%, Idea effectiveness--20%, Typography-20%

Graphic Design 8 | Logos. Submit a single logo that has been used as part of an identity package that visually interprets the message of a program or campaign. Describe the inspiration and development of the logo, and show examples of how the logo design was adapted for use in various formats. Entries should be completely original art for new logos or revamps of existing program/campaign logos rather than clip art. Consideration will be given to originality, design, color, typography, and effectiveness of communicating identity. Describe any unique problems or circumstances the designer faced.

Judging criteria : Composition/layout/design-20%, Creativity-20%, Production quality-20%, Idea effectiveness--20%, Typography-20%

Graphic Design 9 | Social Media Graphics Single or Series. Submit a single social media graphic or series of graphics used to enhance, support, or promote an educational message. Entries may be any size and attach to any social media platform. Entries may include gifs and motion graphics. Consideration will be given to creative impact, design effectiveness, typography, use of photography, and color. Describe any unique problems or circumstances the designer faced.

Judging criteria : Composition/layout/design-20%, Creativity-20%, Production quality-20%, Idea effectiveness--20%, Typography-20%

Information Technology 1 | Interactive media program. This category is designed for interactive programs for distribution through CDs, DVD, touch-screen kiosks or other non-web media. The program can cover any subject matter area used for internal or external purposes. Submit the computer program in Dropbox or as a web URL, and include installation instructions. If this is not possible, submit a video file of the interactive video program in use. Video should include close-ups of screens and numerous examples of decision points, menus and tests (if used). Entry material should clearly define the objectives of the interactive media program, an explanation of the development process, intended audience, delivery timeline and evaluation methods (either conducted or planned).

All entries must include a statement as to the purpose, audience, and description of circumstances for development and the role of each entrant.

Judging criteria: Design 15%, Content 15%, Technical quality 15%, Use of medium 15%
Marketing/promotion 10%, Evaluation 15%, Effectiveness 15%

Information Technology 2 | Innovative use of communication technology. This category recognizes an effective application of emerging information technology or innovative use of an established information technology to educate or inform audiences. Entries should demonstrate risk-taking and/or innovation and may involve projects that use single or multiple information technologies. Submit a URL, a downloadable DropBox file, or a video showing the technology in use and/or description of innovative information technology. Describe the purpose, audience, instructional design, subject content and evaluation methods (either conducted or planned).

All entries must include a statement as to the purpose, audience and description of circumstances for development and the role of each entrant.

Judging criteria: Design 15%, Content 15%, Technical quality 15%, Use of medium 15% Marketing/promotion 10%, Evaluation 15%, Effectiveness 15% 

Information Technology 3 | Website. This category is designed for websites for any specified audience. Sites will be evaluated on overall ease of use, design, content delivery, appropriate use of web techniques, appeal to the intended audience and evaluation mechanisms (for determining site usefulness for audience or more formal usability studies conducted with the site). A site may be resubmitted in succeeding years if a description is included indicating how the site has changed from the previous version. In general, at least 20 percent of the site should be made up of new materials, new menus or new ways of locating information. In the supplemental information, highlight the URL of the site and additional URLs for specific pages that should not be overlooked in the judging. You also may wish to submit a screen capture of some pages from the site and information on any special scripting or programming used at the site to provide additional functionality (e.g., database lookups, interactive application, etc.).

All entries must include a statement as to the purpose, audience, and description of circumstances for development and the role of each entrant.

Judging criteria: Design 15%, Content 15%, Technical quality 15%, Use of medium 15% Marketing/promotion 10%, Evaluation 15%, Effectiveness 15%

Information Technology 4 | Technology education. This category includes entries that demonstrate computer/technology training efforts using any single or multiple delivery methods (e.g., webinar, self-paced instruction, live courses, interactive television, CD, DVD, print, etc.). Entries may include training materials addressing general computer literacy, a specific application (such as a software program or a particular website) or other technologies. Materials should be submitted to demonstrate how the training program was carried out and in what type of educational environment. Training may stress either concepts or specific procedures (e.g., keystrokes). Entries must include the course syllabus, handout materials, computer programs, sample problems, visuals used, as well as a description of evaluation methods (either conducted or planned). Providing a video recording of portions of the training session may give the judges a better understanding of the techniques and visuals used.

All entries must include a statement as to the purpose, audience, and description of circumstances for development and the role of each entrant.

Judging criteria: Design 15%, Content 15%, Technical quality 15%, Use of medium 15% Marketing/promotion 10%, Evaluation 15%, Effectiveness 15%  

Information Technology 5 | Instructional Design for a Non-Academic Public Online Course: This category recognizes excellence in non-academic online courses offered to the public.  Entries should demonstrate sound design that engages diverse learners and supports learning.  Submit a 5-10 minute video tour of the course that highlights how the content is organized, how learners will navigate and interact with the course, any innovative uses of technology to support learning, how learning is assessed, and how the course supports accessibility and diversity

All entries must include a statement as to the purpose, audience, and description of circumstances for development and the role of each entrant.

Judging criteria: Organization and Navigation 20%, Activities 20%, Technology 20%, Assessment 20%, Accessibility & Diversity 20%

Information Technology 6 | Instructional Design for an Academic Online Course: This category recognizes excellence in academic online courses offered to matriculated students. Entries should demonstrate sound design that engages diverse students and supports learning. Submit a 5-10 minute video tour of the course that highlights how the content is organized, how students will navigate and interact with the course, any innovative uses of technology to support learning, how learning is assessed, and how the course supports accessibility and diversity.

All entries must include a statement as to the purpose, audience and description of circumstances for development and the role of each entrant.

Judging criteria: Organization and Navigation 20%, Activities 20%, Technology 20%, Assessment 20%, Accessibility & Diversity 20%

Marketing 1 | Marketing communications campaign with budget under $1,000 (includes all costs associated with printing, duplicating, distributing, etc). Materials submitted should document efforts to promote or market an educational, research or institutional program or product. Materials submitted must include an integrated strategic plan that identifies the target audience(s) and goals; promotional materials produced (e.g., brochures, sales letters, news releases, ads, PSAs) and/or a description of the promotional event(s) and activities completed; and an evaluation of the efficacy of the promotional or marketing effort. The evaluation need not be complicated, formal or expensive, but it should provide some indication that the goals outlined in the strategic plan were achieved as a result of the marketing effort.

Judging criteria: Integrated strategic plan 25%, Development/execution 50%, Impact 25%

Marketing 2 | Marketing communications campaign with budget of $1,000 or above (includes all costs associated with printing, duplicating, distributing, etc). Materials submitted should document efforts to promote or market an educational, research or institutional program or product. Materials submitted must include an integrated strategic plan that identifies the target audience(s) and goals; promotional materials produced (e.g., brochures, sales letters, news releases, ads, PSAs) and/or a description of the promotional event(s) and activities completed; and an evaluation of the efficacy of the promotional or marketing effort. The evaluation need not be complicated, formal or expensive, but it should provide some indication that the goals outlined in the strategic plan were achieved as a result of the marketing effort.

Judging criteria: Integrated strategic plan 25%, Development/execution 50%, Impact 25%

Marketing 3 | Single marketing item Entries include a single communications product with a primary marketing or promotional purpose. Include an explanation of why this item was created (planning/development) and the resulting impact of the product (post-analysis). Entries also will be judged on quality of visual, technological and textual components. Entries may include but are not limited to publications, news releases, radio spots, video news releases, websites, CDs and DVDs.

Judging criteria: Planning/development 15%, Technical quality 20%, Content/script 20%, Production/execution 20%, Impact 25%

Media Relations 1 | Media relations campaign - Submit materials that document a systematic media relations effort. Explain how and why this program was conceived and how it was implemented. Describe goals and audiences. Provide evidence of use, results or impact (anecdotal information, clippings, viewer analytics if available, comments or informal evaluations). Include examples of the various parts that made up the whole. These may include but are not limited to news releases, websites, radio spots, video news releases, and promotional materials.

Judging criteria: Planning/development 15%, Media interest 20%, Quality 20%, Target audience reach 20%, Impact 25%

Media Relations 2 | News Release - Submit a news release transmitted to media (general, trade or other outlets). Describe the audiences, goals, and strategy and tactics used. Summarize the results, including links to resulting coverage.

Judging criteria: Newsworthiness/Timeliness 35%, Writing/AP style 30%, Key messaging/Impact 30%, Photos/graphics/cutlines 5%

Media Relations 3 | Media Pitch - Submit materials that describe efforts involved in a request for news coverage, publication of a guest commentary/op-ed piece, or the opportunity to interview a faculty expert. Describe the audiences, goals, and strategy and tactics used. Include links to or descriptions of news releases or other materials shared with the pitch target. Summarize the results, including links to resulting coverage.

Judging criteria: Personalized pitch 40%, Timeliness 30%, Key messaging/Impact 20%, Additional information 10%

Photography 1 | Feature photo: one image that effectively tells a story: A single image that tells a story effectively in one shot.


Eligible photos must have appeared in an article, publication or series of publications, website or exhibit.

Judging criteria: Technical quality 35%, Creativity/originality 35%, Audience interest/impact 30%

Photography 2 | Environmental portrait or personality photo: photo of a person taken at work or in a setting related to their work.


Eligible photos must have appeared in an article, publication or series of publications, website or exhibit.

Judging criteria: Technical quality 35%, Creativity/originality 35%, Audience interest/impact 30%

Photography 3 | Picture story: Three or more photos used to tell a story.

Eligible photos must have appeared in an article, publication or series of publications, website or exhibit.

Judging criteria: Technical quality 35%, Creativity/originality 35%, Audience interest/impact 30%

Photography 4 | Service photo: For those pictures that are required as part of the mission of the institution. Examples would be shots of events such as fairs, field days, award presentations, etc.


Eligible photos must have appeared in an article, publication or series of publications, website or exhibit.

Judging criteria: Technical quality 35%, Creativity/originality 35%, Audience interest/impact 30%

Photography 5 | Enhanced photo: For photos made entirely under the photographer's control, including setups, studio still life and/or pictures extensively manipulated through software (e.g.,Photoshop), mobile apps or other technology.

Eligible photos must have appeared in an article, publication or series of publications, website or exhibit.

Judging criteria: Technical quality 35%, Creativity/originality 35%, Audience interest/impact 30%

Publishing 1 | Newsletters. Submit at least three issues of a newsletter directed to a specific audience (in-house or external). Newsletters may be digital or printed and educational, informational, or promotional.

Judging criteria: Content is engaging, appropriate, and well-organized with a logical flow: 20%, Publication fulfills stated purpose: 30%, Writing is clear and concise with good grammar and appropriate punctuation: 20%, Overall appearance (including cover design) is appropriate and engaging: 10% Publication follows design principles and includes appropriate typography and engaging illustrations/photographs: 20%

Publishing 2 | Magazines and periodicals. Submit one issue of a monthly, bimonthly, quarterly, semiannual, or annual magazine or periodical. It may be digital or printed and should be prepared in a popular style for broad audiences. Entry must have a date and/or volume number indicated.

Judging criteria: Content is engaging, appropriate, and well-organized with a logical flow: 20%, Publication fulfills stated purpose: 30%, Writing is clear and concise with good grammar and appropriate punctuation: 20%, Overall appearance (including cover design) is appropriate and engaging: 10% Publication follows design principles and includes appropriate typography and engaging illustrations/photographs: 20%

Publishing 3 | Technical publications. Submit one copy of a publication prepared as a research report, special publication, scholarly journal, brochure, or other printed material focusing on research. The audience may be scientists in agricultural or related research, professional workers in education and industry, or others interested in technical subjects.

Judging criteria: Content is engaging, appropriate, and well-organized with a logical flow: 20%, Publication fulfills stated purpose: 30%, Writing is clear and concise with good grammar and appropriate punctuation: 20%, Overall appearance (including cover design) is appropriate and engaging: 10% Publication follows design principles and includes appropriate typography and engaging illustrations/photographs: 20%

Publishing 4 |Annual and special reports. Submit one copy of a published report produced annually or only once. Entries may include agency reports or Experiment Station and Extension service reports that summarize activities or work within one or more specific subject areas.

Judging criteria: Content is engaging, appropriate, and well-organized with a logical flow: 20%, Publication fulfills stated purpose: 30%, Writing is clear and concise with good grammar and appropriate punctuation: 20%, Overall appearance (including cover design) is appropriate and engaging: 10% Publication follows design principles and includes appropriate typography and engaging illustrations/photographs: 20%

Publishing 5 | Promotional publications. Submit one copy of a publication, typically a brochure, flier or pamphlet, created for promotional purposes.

Judging criteria: Content is engaging, appropriate, and well-organized with a logical flow: 20%, Publication fulfills stated purpose: 30%, Writing is clear and concise with good grammar and appropriate punctuation: 20%, Overall appearance (including cover design) is appropriate and engaging: 10% Publication follows design principles and includes appropriate typography and engaging illustrations/photographs: 20%

Publishing 6 | Popular publications, other This class is for publications not described in Classes 1–5. May be digital or printed.

Judging criteria: Content is engaging, appropriate, and well-organized with a logical flow: 20%, Publication fulfills stated purpose: 30%, Writing is clear and concise with good grammar and appropriate punctuation: 20%, Overall appearance (including cover design) is appropriate and engaging: 10% Publication follows design principles and includes appropriate typography and engaging illustrations/photographs: 20%

Publishing 7 | Digital-only publications. This publication differs from a website, database or other electronic data in that, regardless of length, it has been published under a single title as a fact sheet, circular, bulletin, newsletter, book, handbook, etc. It is not necessary for it to have a paper equivalent, but it must have been produced for onscreen delivery with obvious attention to the format, layout, text and font for enhanced usability/readability. Electronic publications will be evaluated on overall ease of use, design, editorial quality, content delivery, appropriate use of electronic techniques, and appeal to the intended audience. A digital publication may be resubmitted in succeeding years if a description is included indicating how the publication has changed from the previous version. A digital publication may combine text from numerous print documents to become an independent onscreen publication, or it may be a publication converted from a paper-only document with adaptations for electronic delivery.

Judging criteria: Content is engaging, appropriate, and well-organized with a logical flow: 20%, Publication fulfills stated purpose: 30%, Writing is clear and concise with good grammar and appropriate punctuation: 20%, Overall appearance (including cover design) is appropriate and engaging: 10% Publication follows design principles and includes appropriate typography and engaging illustrations/photographs: 20%

Publishing 8 | Editing. Entries may be book manuscripts or publications in which the entrant's contribution is substantive editing. If the entry is a publication, submit a copy of the original manuscript and a copy of the edited manuscript (does not necessarily need to show editing marks). If the entry is a book, submit copies of the original manuscript and the edited manuscript for the table of contents, first chapter and a chapter of your choice.

Judging criteria: Content is engaging, appropriate, and well-organized with a logical flow: 20%, Publication fulfills stated purpose: 30%, Writing is clear and concise with good grammar and appropriate punctuation: 20%, Overall appearance (including cover design) is appropriate and engaging: 10% Publication follows design principles and includes appropriate typography and engaging illustrations/photographs: 20%

Publishing 9 | Publications for diverse audiences. Submit in the class if your electronic media, video & audio shows consideration for audiences with diverse backgrounds or is inclusive of people from diverse backgrounds.


Judging criteria: Planning 30%, Quality of materials and message 50%, Evaluation 20% 

Social Media 1 | Campaign (Organic) - Materials submitted should document a systematic social media campaign utilizing multiple platforms. Explain how and why this campaign was conceived and how it was implemented. Describe social media platforms, campaign structure and strategy, goals and audiences. Provide analytics including engagement for each post in the campaign, on each platform. Include examples of the various posts included in the campaign. The campaign is organic, has no advertising dollars spent.


Judging criteria: Planning/development 15%, Engagement 20%, Quality 20%, Reach 20%, Impact 25%

Impact should show how the social media campaign reached the goals outlined or the return on investment.

Social Media 2 | Campaign (Paid) - Materials submitted should document a systematic social media campaign utilizing multiple platforms. Explain how and why this campaign was conceived and how it was implemented. Describe social media platforms, campaign structure/strategy, goals and audiences. Provide analytics including engagement (engagement totals for the campaign and engagement total breakdown for ads/promoted posts), on each platform. Include examples of the various posts included in the campaign. The campaign is paid, has advertising dollars spent on it.

Judging criteria: Planning/development 15%, Engagement 20%, Quality 20%, Reach 20%, Impact 25%  

Impact should show how the social media campaign reached the goals outlined or the return on investment.

Social Media 3 | Single Item - Materials submitted should document an individual social media post that is not part of an overall campaign. It can be from any social media platform(s). Describe how and why this post was created, social media platform(s), structure and strategy for the post, goals and audiences. Provide analytics including engagement for the post. If the post was boosted or promoted at all include the amount and length of time.

Judging criteria: Engagement 20%, Quality 30%, Reach 20%, Impact 30%

Impact should show how the social media campaign reached the goals outlined or the return on investment.

Writing 1 | Writing for newspapers. Submit one piece (not a news release) that resulted in a published article in a daily or weekly newspaper (print or newspapers that only publish online are acceptable).


Entries in Writing class 1 must include a single piece as submitted online or in print format (PDF copy). Include the name and location of the publication/medium and the date published.


Include other pertinent supporting information in the section of the entry. Judging will emphasize writing quality, not the technical quality of the surrounding publication or finished electronic product. Content, organization, writing style and proper format will be considered. Graphic design and photography will not be considered.


Judging: Content (substance) 25%, Writing quality (coherence) 25%, Writing creativity (humanity) 25%, Writing style 25%

Writing 2 | Writing for magazines. Submit one article that was published in a print or online magazine. Writing for a newspaper supplement that uses a magazine format is also acceptable, except those that fit into writing class 3.


Entries in Writing class 2 must include a single piece as submitted online or in print format (PDF copy). Include the name and location of the publication/medium and the date published.


Include other pertinent supporting information in the section of the entry. Judging will emphasize writing quality, not the technical quality of the surrounding publication or finished electronic product. Content, organization, writing style and proper format will be considered. Graphic design and photography will not be considered.


Judging: Content (substance) 25%, Writing quality (coherence) 25%, Writing creativity (humanity) 25%, Writing style 25%

Writing 3 | Writing within a specialized publication. Submit one piece of writing for an internal or external publication (which could include, but is not limited to, newsletters, annual reports, books, guide sheets, instruction booklets, fact sheets, and other publications), except those that fit into writing classes 1, 2, 4 & 7.


Entries in Writing class 3 must include a single piece as submitted online or in print format (PDF copy). Include the name and location of the publication/medium and the date published.


Include other pertinent supporting information in the section of the entry. Judging will emphasize writing quality, not the technical quality of the surrounding publication or finished electronic product. Content, organization, writing style and proper format will be considered. Graphic design and photography will not be considered.

Judging criteria: Content (substance) 25%, Writing quality (coherence) 25%, Writing creativity (humanity) 25%, Writing style 25%

Writing 4 | Promotional writing. Submit one copy of promotional writing (which may include brochures, catalogs, development/solicitation letters, legislative communications, and advertisements).

Entries in Writing class 4 must include a single piece as submitted online or in print format (PDF copy). Include the name and location of the publication/medium and the date published.


Include other pertinent supporting information in the section of the entry. Judging will emphasize writing quality, not the technical quality of the surrounding publication or finished electronic product. Content, organization, writing style and proper format will be considered. Graphic design and photography will not be considered.


Judging criteria: Content (substance) 25%, Writing quality (coherence) 25%, Writing creativity (humanity) 25%, Writing style 25%

Writing 5 | Script writing for audio or visual media. Submit one script for television, videos, webinars, podcasts, or slide presentations but not speeches as highlighted in class 6. Include a link or copy of the final script and product.

Entries in Writing class 5 must include a copy of the final script as written, as well as the final audio or video product. Technical elements that usually are written into a script (such as natural sound or visual images) will also be considered.


Include other pertinent supporting information in the section of the entry. Judging will emphasize writing quality, not the technical quality of the surrounding publication or finished electronic product. Content, organization, writing style and proper format will be considered. Graphic design and photography will not be considered.


Judging: Content (substance) 25%, Writing quality (coherence) 25%, Writing creativity (humanity) 25%, Writing style 25%

Writing 6 | Speech Writing. Submit a script written for a speaker to deliver in person, via videoconferencing, or via taped message.

Entries in Writing class 6 will not be judged on the point of view of the writer or speaker but rather on the merit of its written presentation. Entries should include information on who the speech was written for and where it was presented.


Include other pertinent supporting information in the section of the entry. Judging will emphasize writing quality, not the technical quality of the surrounding publication or finished electronic product. Content, organization, writing style and proper format will be considered. Graphic design and photography will not be considered.


Judging criteria: Writing Content (substance) 25%, Writing quality (coherence) 25%, Writing creativity (humanity) 25%, Writing style 25%

Writing 7 | Writing for the Web. Submit one article originally published online, including the URL. The writing must be original content intended for online readership and not eligible for writing classes 1-4. Entries will not be considered if they are simply a PDF page or news release posted to the web. News releases should be entered in Media Relations Class 2 - News Release.

Entries in Writing class 7 must include the URL of the webpage.


Include other pertinent supporting information in the section of the entry. Judging will emphasize writing quality, not the technical quality of the surrounding publication or finished electronic product. Content, organization, writing style and proper format will be considered. Graphic design and photography will not be considered.


Judging Criteria: Content (substance) 25%, Writing quality (coherence) 25%, Writing creativity (humanity) 25%, Writing style 25%

Writing 8 | Writing for Social MediaSubmit one social media post (social media text and any related graphics), including the originally posted social media URL. Entries will be judged on the ability of the written content to enhance the message being conveyed. Related graphics/photos should be sent to provide a sense for the entire post but will not be judged as part of this category. Judging will evaluate how the post verbiage integrates with the graphics used, usefulness of writing, conciseness, and the ability of audiences to understand the writing. Submissions should include the social media platform the writing was used on.


Entries in Writing class 8 must include the URL to the original social media post.


Include other pertinent supporting information in the section of the entry. Judging will emphasize writing quality, not the technical quality of the surrounding publication or finished electronic product. Content, organization, writing style and proper format will be considered. Graphic design and photography will not be considered.


Judging Criteria: Content (substance) 25%, Writing quality (coherence) 25%, Writing creativity (humanity) 25%, Writing style 25%

Writing 9 | Writing for Diverse AudienceSubmit in this class if your writing shows a consideration for audiences with diverse backgrounds or is inclusive of people from diverse backgrounds.


Entries in Writing class 9 must include a single piece as submitted online or in print format (PDF copy). Include the name and location of the publication/medium and the date published.


Include other pertinent supporting information in the section of the entry. Judging will emphasize writing quality, not the technical quality of the surrounding publication or finished electronic product. Content, organization, writing style and proper format will be considered. Graphic design and photography will not be considered.

Judging criteria: Planning 30%, Quality of materials and message 50%, Evaluation 20%

Association for Communication Excellence