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Communication is golden.

See how time, commitment, creativity, and the effective use of resources paid off for the winners of the 1997 Gold Circle awards.

Developing an award-winning communication program doesn't require a large staff or a lot of money. However, reaching your communication goals does take commitment, time, and the wise use of available resources.

For Gillian Baylow, executive director of The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, Toluca Lake, California, developing a good program on a small budget takes a clear mission. "Having a straightforward mission and doing most of the work yourself" are the most important aspects to success, she says. The foundation's Mr. Holland's Brochure won a Gold Circle trophy for best marketing and promotion piece.

For other communication professionals working with a small budget, Baylow advises:

* Don't be afraid to ask for something for free or to ask for help.

* Find people in the industry who seek only recognition, not money, for their work. According to Baylow, printing companies that worked for credit alone donated 75 percent of the work on her project.

Myra R. Schwartz, communications manager, North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association, Raleigh, and Julia A. Stephen Sherrier, communications director, Association of Progressive Rental Organizations, Austin, Texas, whose associations also won Gold Circle trophies, offer these money-saving strategies:

* If the project looks as if it will exceed budget, rethink your plan. Decide if any part can be left out or done differently without negative consequences for members.

* Ask printers to give a discount based on future business you plan to give their companies.

* Know your audience; you'll be able to find the best way to make an effective statement with the least amount of money.

These Gold Circle award winners and others achieved success with a small budget and staff through creativity and focus. On the following pages you'll find a list of all of the 1997 Gold Circle trophy winners. Runners-up received a certificate of achievement and were honored, along with trophy winners, at the 1997 Management Conference.

Sponsored by the ASAE Communication Section and judged by peers in the industry, the awards recognize excellence in association communication programs. Nearly 500 associations submitted 1,062 entries in the 1997 competition. Of the entries, 113 were marketing-promotion pieces, 109 were magazines, and 99 were Web sites.

All but 1 of the 22 categories were divided into two sections. Section A was for those associations with a total budget of less than $2 million. Section B designated associations with a total budget of $2 million or more. The "golden shoestring" category was for associations with total budgets of $250,000 or less.

Gold Circle Winners

Total communication program

Section: B

Title: Emergency Nursing Is . . .

Submitted by: Emergency Nurses Association, Park Ridge, Illinois

Judges' comments: "Challenged by marketplace issues, this association fights back with high-quality, effective materials to transform members into activists and association supporters. Increased revenues and new members (by 24 percent) and steadied member retention."

Communication plan for a single project

Section: B

Title: TAIA Centennial Celebration

Submitted by: Ernest Stromberger, CAE, executive director, Texas Association of Insurance Agents, Austin

Judges' comments: "Well-organized and planned effort that shows creativity. Nice incorporation of old-fashioned look and historical touches - should encourage membership pride and retention."

Public relations/informational campaign for a single purpose

Section: A

Title: National Sleep Foundation Daytime Sleepiness Program

Submitted by: Reid Blank, associate executive director, operations, National Sleep Foundation, Washington, D.C.

Judges' comments: "Excellent research and evaluation effort that played perfectly to the medium. Impressive polling work."

Section: B

Title: BIO's Response to Dolly

Submitted by: Biotechnology Industry Organization, Washington, D.C.

Judges' comments: "Great use of limited resources; exemplary research and evaluation process. Excellent design and implementation of crisis-communications plan."

Product/service marketing or advertising campaign

Section: A

Title: Self Insurers Fund Marketing Campaign

Submitted by: Myra R. Schwartz, communications manager, North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association, Raleigh

Judges' comments: "Good match of creative ideas and marketing to target audience."

Section: B

Title: New York for a Song

Submitted by: New York Convention & Visitors Bureau, New York City

Judges' comments: "Representative of an association forming marketing partnerships to obtain a specific mutual goal. Good example of executing a specific, targeted marketing plan that is enhanced by exceptional communication materials."

Total convention communication

Section: A

Title: Desperately Seeking Balance

Submitted by: Lynn Melby, CAE, executive vice president, The Washington State Psychological Association, Edmonds

Judges' comments: "WSPA exceeded their goal for attendance by more than 200 percent. The production costs for all materials were kept low by combining print runs and other creative means. The theme was used throughout and its creativity and 'irreverent approach' balance the lack of high-end production."

Section: B

Title: HIMSS 97

Submitted by: Pamela Barrett, director of education and publications, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, Chicago; Kentfield, California

Judges' comments: "Good concept carried throughout. Invested primarily in attendee handouts. Good graphics and visuals. Theme carried through all materials."


Section: A

Title: Assisted Living Today

Submitted by: Debra J. Stratton, president, Stratton Publishing and Marketing, Inc., Arlington, Virginia

Judges' comments: "Consistently strong in all categories. Thought-provoking editorial and excellent design meet and exceed the association's objectives."

Section: B

Title: Arthritis Today

Submitted by: Cindy McDaniel, vice president of publications, Arthritis Foundation, Atlanta

Judges' comments: "First-class magazine. Editorial speaks directly to readers. Design is outstanding."

Section: B

Title: Countdown

Submitted by: Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International, New York City

Judges' comments: "Combines youth and adult audiences without watering down the impact of the publication. Excellent editorial and design."

Peer-reviewed journals

Section: A

Title: Laboratory Animal Science

Submitted by: Chris Lyons, director of publications, American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, Cordova, Tennessee

Judges' comments: "Consistent format with supportive illustration and photography. High-level of scientific research. Meets stated objectives in a highly professional manner."

Section: B

Title: Gems and Gemology

Submitted by: Alice Keller, editor, Gems & Gemology, Gemological Institute of America, Carlsbad, California

Judges' comments: "Beautiful publications. Appropriate and sensitive in its use of-four-color for subject matter. Strong, consistent design had added flair. Good thought process for its content."

Scientific/educational articles

Section: B

Title: What Happens When I Sleep ?

Submitted by: Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International, New York City

Judges' comments: "This was a great article, moving from the specific to the general. . . . While the scientific implications are clear, the text was presented clearly and without resorting to jargon."

Feature writing, general interest

Section: B

Title: Sobering Thoughts

Submitted by: Gary A. Hengstler, editor and publisher, American Bar Association, Chicago

Judges' comments: "Complex legal matter that was explored in terms that were completely personal. Article was well-researched and provides a blend of historical perspective, facts, and commentary. Article generated substantial increase in attendees of the educational program."


Section: A

Title: The Take-Charge Assistant

Submitted by: Carole Thielman, production manager, American Management Association, New York City

Judges' comments: "Design addressed audience, met objectives, and was well-written."

Section: A

Title: INfocus

Submitted by: Susan Goewey, director of publications, University Continuing Education Association Washington, D.C.

Judges' comments: "Effective, met goals, and provided useful information."

Section: B

Title: Just in Time

Submitted by: Colleen Appleby-Carroll, managing editor, National Association of Manufacturers, Washington, D.C.

Judges comments: "What a fabulous way to respond to your members' needs. Great design and graphics; nicely written."


Section: B

Title: Newsline

Submitted by: Teri Harris, director of communications, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, Lawrence, Kansas

Judges' comments: "Exceptional design and layout. Consistency in headers. Strong ties to the theme of golf; department heads draw reader into the copy; good use of color and space."

Most improved magazine/journal

Section: A

Title: Progressive Rentals

Submitted by: Julia A. Stephen Sherrier, communications director, Association of Progressive Rental Organizations, Austin, Texas

Judges' comments: "Enormous degree of improvement. Design promotes a more 'positive' appeal versus dated former approach."

Section: B

Title: Consumer Electronics Vision

Submitted by: Amy Hill, staff director of communications, Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association, Arlington, Virginia

Judges' comments: "Stunning redesign that surpassed personal objectives. Why did you wait so long? Most significant and dramatic improvement overall."

Most improved newsletter/newspaper/tabloid

Section: A

Title: PS Abstract

Submitted by: T. Michael Mullen, public relations director, Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs, Harrisburg

Judges' comments: "Welcome to the 20th century. More efficient way to communicate information on a variety of topics. Three-column grid is a vast layout improvement, easy to read. Articles arranged in logical order. Great customization of newsletter name. Polished and professional end product considering severe budgetary restraints."

Section: B


Submitted by: Lisa Parks, manager of public affairs, Society of Critical Care Medicine, Anaheim, California

Judges' comments: "Clean, exciting design draws readers in. Use of departments and successful two-color format on inside spreads increase readability and clarity."

Section: B

Title: VICA Professional

Submitted by: E. Thomas Hall, senior publications officer, National Vocational Industrial Clubs of America, Leesburg, Virginia

Judges' comments: "A vast improvement from previous publication. Packed with easy-to-read information. Short news articles allow for easy navigation. Slick redesign. Good use of color."

Annual reports

Section: A

Title: Shadows and Light

Submitted by: Julia A. Stephen Sherrier, communications director, Association of Progressive Rental Organizations, Austin, Texas

Judges' comments: "Very imaginative; good use of resources. Excellent design; very readable. Theme played out in design. Editorial and format refreshing overall."

Section: B

Title: Building Commitment - Launching Young Lives

Submitted by: Susan Hlesciak Hall, public information director, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Alexandria, Virginia

Judges' comments: "Stunning photos told a story. Superb writing - seemed to have a sense of purpose. A great alternative to the dry annual report - very innovative way to give shelf life to annual report."

Annual publications

Section: A

Title: Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines, 9th Edition

Submitted by: Paul Basista, CAE, executive director, Graphic Artists Guild, New York City

Section: B

Title: '97 Guide to Benefits

Submitted by: California and Nevada Credit Union League, Ponoma

Directories/buyers' guides

Section: A

Title: North American Guide to Nude Recreation

Submitted by: Roslyn Scheer, executive director, American Association for Nude Recreation, Kissimmee, Florida

Judges' comments: "Content and writing is excellent. Photography and printing is brilliant. Met its stated objectives perfectly in regards to its association's membership."

Section: B

Title: 1997 MCAA Directory and Buyers Guide

Submitted by: Cheryl Stratos, director, marketing, Mechanical Contractors Association of America, Rockville, Maryland

Judges' comments: "Very well organized; good writing, clear printing, good design; very reasonable budget."

One-time publications

Section: A

Title: The Science of HIV

Submitted by: Phyllis R. Marcuccio, associate executive director for publications and membership, National Science Teachers Association, Arlington, Virginia

Judges' comments: "Highly effective use of photos and drawings; clear sense of audience. One of the best presentations available on a complex topic for an audience (high school students) of widely varying scientific background and attention span. A model for teaching science."

Marketing/promotion pieces

Section: A

Title: Mr. Holland's Brochure

Submitted by: Gillian Baylow, executive director, The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, Toluca Lake, California

Judges' comments: "For such a low budget piece, this brochure conveyed its objectives succinctly and with a lot of style."

Section: B

Title: Butterflies Direct Mail

Entry submitted by: William Hanbury, president and chief executive officer, Greater Milwaukee Convention and Visitors Bureau

Judges' comments: "Flawless presentation. Achieves marketing goals perfectly."

Media and sales kits

Section: A

Title: EUCA Promotion Folder

Submitted by: Leslie Lord, director, member services, Engineering & Utility Contractors Association, Pleasanton, California

Judges' comments: "Excellent job of promoting the association's products and services. A high-quails, eye-catching piece."

Section: B

Title: Advertising Media Kit for the Ducks Unlimited Magazine

Submitted by: Christopher T. Dorsey, group manager, publishing and communications, Ducks Unlimited, Inc., Memphis, Tennessee

Judges' comments: "Beautiful and appropriate packaging. Resisted the trend toward high-tech graphics in favor of a theme that works for the audience. Solid writing. Well-organized and comprehensive."


Section: A

Title: The Promise and Reward - 50 Years Offshore

Submitted by: Paula Barnett, director, public affairs, National Ocean Industries Association, Washington, D.C.

Section: B

Title: Pre-teen/Teen Video - 'Brace Your Face'

Submitted by: Larry Mickey, director of communications and marketing, American Association of Orthodontists, St. Louis

Judges' comments: "Extremely effective, especially in light of target audience."

World Wide Web sites

Section: A


Submitted by: W. Allan Wilbur, acting president and chief executive officer, American Wood Preservers Institute, Fairfax, Virginia

Judges' comments: "Good use of clean and attractive graphics, with easy navigation and informative and educational content. Applied several good technical aspects to the site."

Section: B


Submitted by: Bruce D. McIntosh, director of communications, Portland Cement Association, Skokie, Illinois

Judges' comments: "Easy to navigate. Great graphics. Complete online catalog. Good content."

Golden shoestring

(One-time publications)

Title: Legislative Portfolios

Submitted by: Elizabeth W. Adamson, CAE, executive director, Association of Ohio Health Commissioners, Columbus

Judges' comments: "Exemplifies the true spirit of the 'golden shoestring' budget, which is to accomplish several objectives with one low-budget project."
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Title Annotation:winners of 1997 Gold Circle awards
Publication:Association Management
Date:Jul 1, 1998
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