To recognize NACAA members who excel in communicating programs and ideas to their clientele.
ELIGIBILITY AND JUDGING CRITERIA
Members of NACAA in good standing with their state association are eligible to enter, including team entry members. Extension editors and/or other paraprofessional Extension Communication specialists are not eligible. Only one entry per class per individual. All classes are open to entries from one or more NACAA members with the exception of Class 2 - published photo and Class 5 - personal column, which are open to individual entries only. Entries must have been first used by member between March 15, of the year prior to the award year and March 15, of the award year.
Entry materials that have already been state, regional, or national winners are not eligible again. First place national winners may not repeat in consecutive years in the same category. Communications Committee State, Regional, and National Chairs are not eligible to participate in this program unless they are one member of a team entry with another person as the primary entrant. Please note that NACAA policy states that the National Winner and National Finalists of the Communications Contest must register for the NACAA Annual Meeting and Professional Improvement Conference and attend the designated ceremony to receive their award (minimum 1 day registration fee) or the award will be forfeited.
Electronic submission must be made for all 13 categories. However, categories 8 (Video Recordings), 12 (Learning Module/Notebook) and 14 (Bound Book) may require materials being sent (mailed) to State Chair if file is too large to submit electronically or if unavailable in PDF format. Even in these cases there must be an electronic submission of an abstract and entry information. Maximum file size for submissions is 25MB. Refer to NACAA website for directions on submitting entries electronically.
Note: NACAA will do everything possible to safeguard entry materials. However, it is recommended that members duplicate valuable entry materials in case materials are lost.
Each entry must have an abstract. Include member’s name, state and county (team entries should list all NACAA members who contributed to the entry); a short summary that includes objective, purpose (why, when, how, audience, audience number and results); and how the entry was prepared (i.e. recorded, edited, printed, or duplicated professionally or by field staff on field office equipment), how distributed and how many were distributed. The abstract should include the member’s contribution to the final product. Abstracts for all regional and national winners will be published and posted on the NACAA website. See page 13 or NACAA website for abstract example and format that must be followed. The abstract is written as a single paragraph.
- Audio Recordings - One presentation not to exceed 15 minutes.Recording can be a complete program or segment of a radio program, podcast, etc. to be judged. Member(s) must have been a major contributor to the presentation or conducted the interview(s). In the abstract, indicate date and time(s) used, station(s) where program aired and where recorded (agent’s office, station, etc.). Submit electronic entries using MP3 file or provide link (URL) in the abstract where recording is located on the web. 10 MB maximum file size.
- Published Photo - ONE black and white or color photo taken by a member that tells a story. Include a copy of where published (newsprint, webpage, newsletter, etc. as a pdf scan if photo was published in print or link to online location if posted on a website). In the abstract indicate the context, target audience, and date published. Submission must include the original photo in jpg format. The photo must be 1024x768 pixels minimum. ONLY the photo will be judged.
- Computer Generated Presentation With Script - Maximum of 50 slides with script can be submitted. Upload in PowerPoint or PDF format. Presentations created with Adobe Presenter, web conferencing or similar software and published online as recordings should be submitted under this category. Include the URL in the abstract. 10 MB maximum file size.
- Event Promotional Package - Submit up to three (3) methods used by a member to advertise an Extension event (an event may include more than one workshop). Examples may include, but are not limited to: mailers and postcards, radio recordings, paid ads, social media accounts, video recordings, and press releases). All items need to be submitted in pdf or mp4 format or as links to online sources. In the abstract include the author’s contribution to each piece and how each piece was used to promote the event. Items used in the event package may not be submitted in a separate entry. (Ex. Press releases.) How each item was created is NOT required in abstract. The abstract should provide event goals and impacts.
- Personal Column - Submit PDFs of original copy for two columns for two different dates. Also submit scanned copies of the final published articles. In the abstract indicate the dates of publication. 10 MB maximum file size for each.
- Feature Story - A feature story is a factual story that is not hard news but is instead a more personal report about a person, event, or aspect of a major event written by the member. Indicate in the abstract the date of publication. Submit PDF of original copy of one article. Also submit scanned copy of the final published article.
- Newsletter - Submit PDFs of two different issues of a newsletter written and/or compiled by one or more members. Non-members may be a part of a team entry (i.e. NRCS). It may contain several unrelated topics. Entry may be a portion of a multi-county, area extension newsletter or multi-agency newsletter. In the abstract, indicate audience to whom newsletter was sent, and the dates and number distributed, and how distributed.
- Educational Video Recordings - One educational presentation that one or more members contributed to or produced, not over 15 minutes long. It can be a segment of a longer program. If video is longer than 15 minutes, the portion to be judged MUST be indicated in the abstract. Abstract must be submitted electronically and should include information on the audience, purpose, date first posted, and how the presentation was used. In the abstract, provide link (URL) where video is located on the web (i.e. YouTube) or upload an MP4 file. There is a 10 MB maximum file size for uploaded files.
- Fact Sheet - An educational piece on a single subject not to exceed four page numbers (8.5” X11”). In the abstract, indicate audience, purpose and number distributed. Submit as PDF or include URL in the abstract. 10 MB maximum file size.
- Publication - An educational publication on one or more subjects that is five pages or more (8.5” x 11”). In the abstract, indicate intended audience, purpose and number distributed, agent/educator’s role in the development, writing and production. Submit as PDF or include URL in the abstract. 10 MB maximum file size for uploaded files.
- Website/Online Content - Entry will consist of abstract and URL address for the website/online content. Material must be publicly accessible content that doesn’t require a password. Person submitting should be the person primarily responsible for content, design and maintenance of the site/online content. Examples of online content include wikis, blogs, social media sites, etc.
- Learning Module/Notebook (includes either a notebook form learning module or online learning module) - Entry will consist of total materials written and compiled as learning/teaching aids for specific Extension Programs, (i.e. Master Gardener Notebook). Entry materials can be of several media (print, audio, video, etc.).
Significant portions of the entry material should be the work of the entrant(s). The abstract must be submitted electronically with the module/notebook being mailed to State Chair by deadline if electronic version is unavailable online or if file is too large to submit electronically (10MB). If available online, indicate the URL in the abstract.
- Bound Book/eBook - The entry will consist of a bound book or ebook on one or more subjects that is more extensive than 10 - Publication. The primary author must be a member in good standing. In the abstract, indicate the intended audience, purpose, number printed or accessed and the agent/educator's role in the development, writing and production of the book. The abstract must be submitted electronically with the bound book being mailed to State Chair by deadline if electronic version is unavailable online or if file is too large to submit electronically (10MB). If the book is available online, indicate the URL in the abstract.
Awards in each of the thirteen (13) categories are as follows:
- National Category Winner - Certificate and cash if donor available.
- 3 National Category Finalists - Certificate and cash if donor available.
- 12 Regional Category Finalists - Certificate
- State Category Winners - Certificate from State Association
Donors are being solicited for these awards. If adequate donor funds are secured, the National Winner will receive up to $500; and three National Finalists up to $250. These cash awards are not cumulative. In the event of a team winning entry, one cash prize will be presented to the lead entrant of the application. The Executive Program Committee reserves the right to adjust awards based on the availability of donor funds.
Four entries in each category will be selected as National Finalists. The National finalists will be notified in May of their status by the National Communications Chair. The National Winner will not be announced until the Communications Award Luncheon at the AM/PIC. Please note that NACAA policy states the National Winner and National Finalists of the Communications Contest must register for the NACAA Annual Meeting and Professional Improvement Conference and attend the designated ceremony to receive their award (minimum 1 day registration fee). In the event a national winner (as deemed by the judges) does not receive an excused absence from attending the AM/PIC, the national winner’s award will be presented to the next ranking National Finalist who attends the AM/ PIC. If none of the National Finalists attend the AM/PIC, a national winner award will not be presented. In the event a national finalist does not receive an excused absence from attending the AM/PIC, the national finalist award will be forfeited. If a national finalist award is forfeited, there will be no replacement from lower ranking entries.
Decisions on requests for non-attendance and excused absences will be made on a case by case basis by consultation among the respective National Committee Chair, in concert with the National Committee Vice Chairs and the NACAA Vice President. Excuses will be granted for National Finalists and National Winners for extreme personal or family illness; circumstances which would seriously jeopardize their job; or similar extreme situations. The intent of this requirement is that awards are inclusive of cash, plaques, and certificates.
Completed entry must be posted to the NACAA website by March 15, 2021 and any support material in the Video, Learning Module/Notebook and Bound Book classes that could not be submitted electronically must be in possession of your Communications Committee State Chair by March 15, 2021.
State Chairs must have winning entries selected/approved on the NACAA website by April 1. Regional Vice Chairs must have Regional Finalists selected/approved on the NACAA website by April 15.