The Iowa School Public Relations Association (ISPRA) held its annual communication awards ceremony on Friday, April 23 in conjunction with their virtual spring conference. The Ames Community School District submitted materials in 13 of the 22 competition categories that included Branding, Excellence in Writing, Infographic, Magazine, Photography, Podcasting, Public Engagement, Social Media, two Special Purpose projects, and two Video categories.
As a local chapter of the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA), the organization of “school public relations professionals, superintendents, and leaders interested in fostering understanding and support for education in Iowa.”
Last year’s awards ceremony was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, allowing districts to submit materials for this year’s competition from the past two years. Another state chapter scores the submissions based on rubrics, and this year the Wisconsin and California chapters shared judging responsibilities of the Iowa submissions. In total, 141 submissions were received across the state.
The rubric for each submission looks at design, clarity and focus, writing quality, how the pieces are evaluated, and overall effect. When averaged together, if a submission scores between 1-2, they earn an Award of Merit. Scores between 3-4.9 earned an Award of Excellence. Top scores of 5 out of 5 earned the top honor: the Blue & Gold Award as the best in the state.
The Ames Community School District won four Blue & Gold Awards this year in the following categories: Branding, Communications Plan, Podcasting, and Special Purpose Website for our online apparel store. The Ames Communications Department includes Eric Smidt, Director of Communications, and Amy DeLashmutt, Communications Specialist. More information can be found on the ISPRA website, and below is a recap of how Ames performed in all submitted categories along with links to some of those projects.
Iowa School Public Relations Association:
- Branding – New Ames School Logos – Blue and Gold Award
- Communication Plan – Ames CSD Communication Plan – Blue and Gold Award
- Excellence in Writing – The Elements of a Rebrand – Award of Excellence
- Infographic – Ames CSD Fact Sheet – Award of Excellence
- Newsletter/Magazine – Amazing Magazine Vol. 09 and 12 – Award of Excellence
- Photography – The Ames High Experience – Award of Excellence
- Podcasting – Amazing Education Podcast episode #005 – Blue and Gold Award
- Public Engagement – Listen and Learn Sessions / Thoughtexchange – Award of Excellence
- Social Media – Facebook Page – Award of Excellence
- Special Purpose – Blackboard Staff Training Manual – Award of Excellence
- Special Purpose Website – Online Apparel Store – Blue and Gold Award
- Video (long) – What Does School Refusal Look Like? A Story of Mental Health – Award of Excellence
- Video (short) – Phases of New Ames High School Construction – Award of Excellence