Award Categories

CASE KY Institutional Awards (aligned with CASE District III)
Category Descriptions

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Overall Best Practice Awards

These are the CASE International signature awards, recognizing the overall best in class program in each respective field. Judges will look at 360˚ perspective of programs. Both input and output will be taken into consideration. In addition to giving a concise entry summary using the standard fields, entrants should also complete the best practices tab and provide supporting materials to illustrate successes.

1. Best Practices in Alumni Relations
The award seeks to recognize the best overall alumni relations program in the given fiscal year. Keeping in mind institutional size, judges will consider inputs such as budget and staff size, and outcomes such as efficient use of resources, program implementation and constituent engagement. Entrants should use the best practices tab to explain why their alumni relations operation is best in class. Supporting materials might include samples of printed pieces, stated goals, budgets, ROI reports, and a list of notable achievements in the past twelve months.

2. Best Practices in Communications and Marketing
The award seeks to recognize the best overall communications and marketing program in the given fiscal year. Keeping in mind institutional size, judges will consider inputs such as budget and staff size, and outcomes such as results and the efficient use of resources. Entrants should use the best practices tab to explain why their communications and marketing operation is best in class. Supporting materials might include marketing and communications plans, budgets, goals, and a list of notable achievements in the past twelve months.

3. Best Practices in Fundraising
The award seeks to recognize the best overall fundraising program in the given fiscal year. Keeping in mind institutional size, judges will consider inputs such as budget and staff size, and outcomes such as dollars raised, number of donors, and other achievements. Entrants should use the best practices tab to explain why their fundraising operation is best in class.

4. Best Practices in Advancement Services
The award seeks to recognize the best overall advancement services program in the given fiscal year. Keeping in mind institutional size, judges will consider inputs such as budget, staff size, and the use of innovative methods, and outcomes such as program implementation, use of technology, and results. Entrants should use the best practices tab to explain why their advancement services operation is best in class.

Programs and Projects

These are overall awards for special programs and projects, more specific than the best practice awards.

5. Alumni Relations - Special Project, Event or Program
This award concentrates on one program and how well it complements university goals and the overall alumni relations program. Examples might include a reunion program, career networking event, alumni club chapter organization, etc. Entries will be assessed based on the stated goals of a program and how successfully those goals were met. Entrants should also address weaknesses in programs and the ways they plan to address such in the future.

6. Communications and Marketing - External Relations Engagement Program
This award is for a specific institutional, community, government/public affairs engagement program that is either a single or ongoing project, designed to introduce or support a specific program, event or institutional priority. Entries will be assessed based on the stated goals of a program and how successfully those goals were met. Entrants should also address weaknesses in programs and the ways they plan to address such in the future.

7. Communications and Marketing - Media Relations Program
This award is for an overall media relations program designed to maintain or enhance media coverage of a specific program, event or institutional effort. Entries will be assessed based on the stated goals of a program and how successfully those goals were met. Entrants should also address weaknesses in programs and the ways they plan to address such in the future.

8. Special Event
This award is for a special event designed to introduce or support a specific university program or event, or institutional priority. It is intended to recognize an event organized by the institution's communications and marketing team, not the communications and marketing of the event. Entries will be assessed based on the stated goals of a program and how successfully those goals were met. Entrants should also address weaknesses in programs and the ways they plan to address such in the future.

9. Communications and Marketing - Crisis/Issues Management Plan
This award if for a crisis or issues management plan. Entries will be assessed based on the stated goals of a program and how successfully those goals were met. Entrants should also address weaknesses in programs and the ways they plan to address such in the future. Please provide the plan itself as a PDF, using the uploads tab.

10. Philanthropy - Overall Annual Fund Program
This award is designed to recognize the overall annual fund program of an institution or sub unit. Entries will be assessed based on the stated goals of a program and how successfully those goals were met. Entrants should also address weaknesses in programs and the ways they plan to address such in the future.

11. Philanthropy - Sub unit Campaign
This award is designed to recognize the campaign of a sub unit, not an institution-wide campaign. Entries will be assessed based on the stated goals of a program and how successfully those goals were met. Entrants should also address weaknesses in programs and the ways they plan to address such in the future.

Writing

These awards recognize exceptional staff-written (permanent institutional employees at the time of publication) projects. Entrants should submit PDFs of the work, and also use the summary tab objectives and results fields to support their entry. Entrants may answer "not applicable" in the method, resources, and budget fields.

12. Feature Writing
This award is for a single feature article written by a staff writer.

13. Publications Writing
This award is for the copy in a single print or digital publication, written by a staff writer/s. While this award considers specifically the copy of a publication, judges will take into consideration editorial decisions, such as how well the copy matches the overall style of the publication. Examples of publications may include view books, recruitment materials, university annual reports, etc.

14. Speech Writing
This award is for a single speech written by a staff writer. In the objectives field, please describe the event at which the speech was given.

15. Writing for Fundraising
This award is for the copy in fundraising materials, such as direct mail solicitations, campaign case statements, fundraising emails etc. Entrants may include up to three examples of work that all pertain to a single project. For example, three related direct mail appeals, or three pieces related to a single campaign.

16. Writing for the Media
This award is for a media pitch written by a staff writer/s. Examples might include press releases and a comprehensive package of information used to pitch a story to media outlets. Note that it is the copy that will be assessed, not how good a package looks. In the results field, please state media outlets that picked up the story and use the URL link fields to link to resulting media hits.

17. Writing for the Web
This award is for the copy used on institutional websites or microsites. Entrants may include up to three examples of work that all pertain to a single project. For example, three related web pages that share a common purpose.

Print and Digital Publications

This category judges the overall publication. The writing, editing, tone, voice and professional execution of publications will be considered, as well as their interplay with online communication vehicles. Judges will consider staff size and budget, so you should write about this in the summary tab.

18. Recruitment Publication Series
A series of print or digital recruitment publications that are linked by theme or campaign. Entries should include five or more pieces (combinations of print and digital are acceptable)

19. Fundraising Publication
A single print or digital publication for fundraising purposes. Examples may include (but are not limited to) a case statement, proposal, informational packet or brochure. Please note that fundraising videos and dedicated fundraising websites have their own categories in the Electronic and Digital Media division.

20. Annual Fund Publication
A single print or digital publication for annual fund purposes. Examples may include (but are not limited to) a brochure, direct mail appeal, email appeal, or informational packet.

21. Magazine A
Institutions equal or less than 10,000 FTE; four or two-color. Please submit 2 different samples from your institution's current year publication cycle-you can submit links to online PDFs or viewing apps, but you may also send hard copies directly to the judging coordinator. Judges will consider staff size and budget, so you should write about this in the summary tab.

22. Magazine B
Institutions greater than 10,001 FTE; four or two-color. Please submit 2 different samples from your institution's current year publication cycle-you can submit links to online PDFs or viewing apps, but you may also send hard copies directly to the judging coordinator. Judges will consider staff size and budget, so you should write about this in the summary tab.

23. Tabloid
All institutions; four or two-color. Please submit one year's publication cycle-you can submit links to online PDFs or viewing apps, but you may also send hard copies directly to the judging coordinator. Judges will consider staff size and budget, so you should write about this in the summary tab.

24. Magazine/Tabloid Improvement
Institutions under 5,000 FTE. This category recognizes improvement from one year to the next. Entrants should provide detailed explanations in the summary tab of what changes were made and why. Staff size and budget will also be considered. Please submit 2 samples from previous year and 2 samples from the current year-you can submit links to online PDFs or viewing apps, but you may also send hard copies directly to the judging coordinator.

25. Low Budget Publication
The main consideration in this category is the efficient and innovative use of limited resources. You can define what "low budget" means, but you must include a statement as to why you consider your entry to fit into this category.

26. Annual Report
This could be an annual report for an entire institution, a foundation, or an alumni association. Report entries should be for the most recently completed fiscal year-you can submit links to online PDFs or viewing apps, but you may also send hard copies directly to the judging coordinator. Reports that are entirely digital are also eligible-please submit a URL.

Graphic Design

This division recognizes imaginative, original approaches and excellent execution. Essentially this division judges exemplary design in print and digital media. Entrants are advised to read the descriptions for each category before deciding which is most appropriate for their entry.

27. Single-Page Publication or Flier
Entries may have multiple folds.

28. Multipage Publication or Folder
Examples may include publications that are saddle stitched, glued, or perfect bound.

29. Periodical
Graphic design in a publication that goes out on a regular basis, whether monthly or annually.

30. Cover
Graphic design on the cover of a magazine, tabloid, or brochure.

31. Editorial Design
This category assesses the overall editorial design of a multipage publication, giving special consideration to editorial decisions that enhance the quality and effectiveness of the piece.

32. Specialty Piece
Graphic design for projects such as calendars, invitation, etc.

33. Illustration
Original illustration used as the primary artwork for a publication cover or interior.

34. Photography - Individual
A single photograph printed in a publication or used online; color or black and white.

35. Photography - Series
A photo story or a series produced or a single special project or event.

Electronic and Digital Media

Judges will look for excellence in design, content and implementation. Particular emphasis will be placed on usability, aesthetics, creativity and technical expertise as they relate to stated objectives.

36. Total Website Design and Organization
Content is paramount. However, in addition to content, of particular importance are usability, including structure, navigation and functionality, as well as the aesthetics and creativity of the interface. Please note that this category is intended for primary institutional websites. There are separate categories for alumni, recruitment and fundraising websites.

37. Mobile Application - Utility/Service
Judges will look primarily at utility and usability, including structure, navigation and fluid functionality. However, the aesthetics and creativity of the interface are also vitally important. Examples may include a mobile admission or fundraising app.

38. Social Media Strategy and Execution
Judges will be looking for strategies and their resulting campaigns that are targeted, focused, measurable, memorable, engaging, appropriate and profitable.

39. Magazine or Publication Rendering for Tablet or Mobile Technology
This category recognizes the adaptation of a magazine or publication to be viewed on a tablet or mobile device. Though publications may also be published as hard copy, they will have been specially adapted to be digital content.

40. Fundraising Video
Judges will look for creativity and imagination as well as excellence in design and implementation and quantifiably appropriate results tied to stated objectives. Outcomes and assessments are important factors in this category, as well as budget and staff resources.

41. Marketing/Branding Video
Judges will look for entries that are simple, relevant, distinct, focused and memorable. Quantifiably appropriate results tied to stated objectives are important in this category, as well as budget and staff resources.

42. Fundraising Website or Microsite
Judges will look for creativity and imagination as well as excellence in design and implementation and quantifiably appropriate results tied to stated objectives. Outcomes and assessments are important factors in this category, as well as budget and staff resources.

43. Alumni Website or Microsite
Content is paramount. However, in addition to content, of particular importance are usability, including structure, navigation and functionality, as well as the aesthetics and creativity of the interface, as well as budget and staff resources.

44. Online Innovation/Experimentation
This category recognizes original, experimental, unconventional and innovative use of digital/electronic technology in supporting university initiatives. Include testimony as to its innovation along with the normal criteria.

Advertising

Judges will look for creativity and imagination as well as excellence in design and implementation and quantifiably appropriate results tied to stated objectives. Outcomes and assessments are important factors in this category.

45. Total Advertising Campaign
A series of advertisements designed to promote an institution or a specific idea, event, or program.