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Communication.

Even a dismal economy couldn't Estop associations from producing their best in 1991. Hundreds of ASAE Awards of Excellence submissions--in communication, conventions and expositions, education, finance and administration, government relations, and membership marketing--show creativity, innovation, and imagination. The success stories of a handful of the award winners in each ASAE section are presented here.

Communication

Transforming a newsletter. In 1990 the St. Paul Area Association of Realtors, Minnesota--winner of the Gold Circle Award for most improved newsletter, newspaper, or tabloid, budget of less than $2 million--decided to make some changes. Among them: the design of SPAAR's monthly newsletter.

Within the past two years, SPAAR purchased a desktop publishing system and hired a new communication director with experience in desktop publishing to bring the production of the newsletter in-house. Previously, a local printer edited, designed, and printed the monthly newsletter.

"For the first four months I was here, I just mimicked the old design of the newsletter on desktop," says SPAAR Communications Director Brian Larson. After Larson "found his legs a little bit," he decided a change in the look and feel of the newsletter was appropriate.

Today, the newsletter's cover is designed on an Apple Macintosh personal computer using Aldus Free-Hand Hand and Quark XPress software; the balance of the newsletter is laid out and composed on a Macintosh using Quark XPress software. A typical 24-page newsletter--printed on 70-pound recycled paper--costs about $2,000 for 2,500 copies.

SPAAR didn't stop at redesign. Editorial enhancements include these:

* Increased preplanning. A detailed annual editorial calendar helps keep articles focused and on deadline. And according to Larson, advertisers who receive the calendar are more interested in purchasing ads when they know the editorial content in the newsletter is geared toward their business specialties.

* Table of contents. A more detailed table of contents on the second page of the newsletter enables busy individuals to quickly find the information they need.

* Consistency. Members can now find regular departments positioned in the same place in the newsletter each month.

"It wasn't a difficult process," explains Larson. "Most of the changes were ones we knew needed to be made to make the newsletter more readable." SPAAR members must agree with Larson's reasoning: They've only had good things to say about the redesigned periodical.

SPAAR also won a 1991 Gold Circle Award for its internal communication program and for its desktop publishing conversion.

A phone call away. Osteoarthritis--the most common form of arthritis--affects approximately 15.8 million Americans. Surprisingly though, many who are affected by the disease don't know much about the illness or how to treat it. "Dial-ogue on Osteoarthritis and Aspirin"--a toll-free call-in program sponsored by the Arthritis Foundation, Atlanta, and funded by the Aspirin Foundation of America, Washington, D.C.--helped address this problem. AF won in the category for public relations campaign for a single purpose, budget of more than $2 million.

"We wanted to educate people who are not seeking medical attention so that they could become more informed about the treatment and the options available to them," explains AF Director of National Communications Dennis Bowman.

To generate publicity and help spread the word about the program, the Arthritis Foundation

* distributed public service announcements to more than 800 national radio stations and 800 newspapers;

* produced and distributed a video news release via satellite to more than 750 local television stations;

* followed up to encourage national media to publish the Arthritis Foundation's information;

* distributed flyers and posters to the Arthritis Foundation's 71 chapter areas, hospitals, and multipurpose arthritis clinics; and

* distributed direct mail pieces to rheumatologists, occupational and physical therapists, nurses, and other health professionals.

Trained information specialists from the Arthritis Foundation staffed the telephones Sept. 14, 1990, to answer questions about the disease, including causes, symptoms, risk factors, the role of exercise, medications such as aspirin (the most common form of treatment), and other treatments.

The results of the campaign were overwhelmingly positive: The Arthritis Foundation reached 14 million people through the media and received more than 1,500 telephone calls from 46 states.
COPYRIGHT 1992 American Society of Association Executives
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Hard-Earned Rewards; award winners of the American Society of Association Executives
Author:Mascari, Patricia A.
Publication:Association Management
Date:Sep 1, 1992
Words:673
Previous Article:Planning to live forever?
Next Article:Conventions and expositions.
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