2021 NJSPRA SCHOOL COMMUNICATION AWARDS

Accepting submissions from July 1 - 31, 2021

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.

CATEGORIES

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

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

  • Media Relations – Human Interest This category focuses on the human interest side of media relations and will be evaluated based on story message and interest level. Entries must have been published in at least one news media outlet between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021. Press releases alone do not qualify as entries, but may be submitted with the published story. Submission: Link or PDF file of published articles. Enter HERE

  • 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, COVID-19 related issues, 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. Enter HERE

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

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

  • Video This category includes videos that were produced for internal and/or external use in promoting the district or communicating a specific message. These can include, but are not limited to, marketing and enrollment, staff and student successes, health and safety updates (including related to COVID-19), leadership messages such as a new strategic plan, etc. Entries will be judged for professional quality including content, script, lighting, sound and music, motion, editing, and relevance to the audience. Videos produced by students are not eligible. Submission: Video file upload (up to one GB) or link to video. Enter HERE

  • Website This category is based on overall impression derived from the website, content, clarity, appropriateness and freshness, graphic design including the use of color, fonts and photographs/videos, usability, functionality, navigability 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. Enter HERE

GUIDELINES FOR SUBMISSION

  • Entrants may submit each entry electronically through July 30, 2021. 

  • NJSPRA members (for the 2020-2021 school year) 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, 2020 - June 30, 2021. NJSPRA will invoice for the fees associated with additional entries. Previous winners may not be re-entered. 

  • NJSPRA non-members (for the 2020-2021 school year) 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, 2020 - June 30, 2021. NJSPRA will invoice for the fees associated with additional entries. Previous winners 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