Award Categories

All categories are open to parishes, dioceses, and organizations, and will be considered together unless otherwise noted.

I. General Excellence categories ($30 fee per entry, a through e):

General Excellence categories are judged for the broad effort of a publication or media tool, rather than a specific issue or piece. For most of these categories, that means a full year’s worth of work, with entries offering several samples to judge to publication or tool. For Best Campaign, 3-6 pieces should be included, from a variety of media.

a. Best Website
Entries will be judged on layout, user experience, content, consistency of message and visual elements, and successful use of the website to achieve organizational goals. A successful entry will describe the communication goals that the website seeks to address, demonstrate the efforts to achieve the goals and provide metrics of success (both qualitative and quantitative).

b. Best Integrated Social Media Presence
Entries may be limited to a single social media channel or may incorporate multiple channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, etc). Entries will be judged on creativity and innovation, as well as the effort’s effectiveness in achieving organizational communications goals. A successful entry will describe the communication goals that the social media channel(s) seek to address, demonstrate the efforts to achieve the goals, and provide metrics of success (both qualitative and quantitative). Entries should include screenshots or links to key posts.

c. Best Periodical--Print
Diocese/Organization
Parish/Cathedral

d. Best Periodical--Digital
Diocese/Organization
Parish/Cathedral

Periodicals published on a regular schedule (weekly, monthly, quarterly) may be submitted. Publications which have been printed for mailing or other distribution should be entered in the print category, even if they have also been distributed digitally. Publications which have been distributed ONLY in digital format should be entered in the digital category. Awards will be given in each of the divisions (diocese/organization and parish/cathedral). Three different issues (not necessarily in consecutive order) from 2017 must be submitted. NOTE: If you have a new publication and have produced only two issues rather than the required three, you may submit those two. Please indicate on the entry form that this is the case.

Entries will be judged on content, appropriateness for audience, timeliness and visual design.
Entries also will define the audience, specify the date of publication and describe the importance of the publication in the organization’s overall communication plan.

All entries in the periodical categories should be submitted digitally, either as PDFs, or using a link to a platform such as Issuu or Yudu.

e. Best Campaign
Best Campaign entries carry one message/theme throughout multiple pieces. Entries can be comprised of 3-6 pieces, and must include at least two different channels or media (IE: You may submit a banner, a booklet, and 3 e-newsletters.). Entries will be judged on creativity and innovation, as well as the effort’s effectiveness in achieving organizational communication goals. A successful entry will describe the goals that the campaign seeks to address and the central theme, and demonstrate the efforts to achieve the goals, and provide metrics of success (both qualitative and quantitative). Entries must include images of or links to work.

Regular categories ($15 fee per entry):

II. Audio/Video

  • a.  Long-form
    Entries will be judged on content, quality of production, creativity, technical skill and overall presentation of the final product. Entries should specify the audience and date of the video’s release. Please submit a file or direct link to one episode for evaluation.
  • b.  Short-form Video, contracted shooting or editing
    This category is for videos that utilized professionals (whether volunteer or paid) for shooting or editing. Entries must be 10 minutes or shorter, and will be judged on content, quality of production, technical skill and overall presentation of the final product. Please specify the audience and date of the video’s release.
  • c.  Short-form Video, in-house produced
    This category is for videos that were shot and edited entirely in-house. Entries must be 10 minutes or shorter, and will be judged on content, quality of production, technical skill and overall presentation of the final product. Please specify the audience and date of the video’s release.
  • d. Podcast
    Entries will be judged on content, quality of production, creativity, technical skill and overall presentation of the final product. Entries should specify the audience and date of the video’s release. Please submit a file or direct link to one episode for evaluation.

III. Writing
Writing categories are divided according to content, not medium of publication. Blog entries are eligible.

  • a. News
    An article that reports the basics and details of an event within or relevant to your organization.
  • b. Feature
    A human-interest article on a particular event, person, or place relevant to your organization.

  • c. Editorial/Commentary
    An opinion on the subject matter, or addressing a theme through interpretive writing, or delivering a reaction to an event or topic relevant to your organization.

  • d. Theological Reflection
    An article-length reflection on personal experience or a wider current issue with regard to the Christian faith. Each entry should connect human experience with the divine, through interpretation of scripture and/or interpretation of one’s faith in daily life. Books are not acceptable.

IV. Visual Arts
Visual Arts categories are divided according to content, not medium of publication.

  • a. Photography
    Photographs are judged on aesthetic merit, regardless of medium of publication.

  • b. Graphic Design
    These images, icons, or logos should be graphics that are designed by the communicator using image, text, colors, fades, and layers, including overall design for posters, advertisements, event branding, etc. Submissions can be either print or digital pieces.

  • c. Layout (poster)
    These single-page posters may include graphics, photographs, text, and other elements to achieve their goal. Banners are eligible in this category.

  • d. Layout (front page)
    These designs should be the front or back page/cover of a newspaper, magazine, or other printed publication. Submissions may include graphics, photographs, text, and other elements to achieve their goal.

  • e. Layout (spread)
    These designs should be an inside spread of a newspaper, magazine, or other printed publication. Submissions may include graphics, photographs, text, and other elements to achieve their goal.

V. Marketing/Education/Outreach

  • a. Booklet
    These multi-page publications may include graphics, photographs, text, and other elements to achieve their goal. Entries will be judged on design quality and effectiveness in meeting intended goals. Brochures are eligible in this category. 

  • b. Advertisement
    Advertisements may include graphics, photographs, text, and other elements to achieve their goal. Entries will be judged on design quality and effectiveness in meeting intended goals.
VI. Social Media
  • a. Facebook post
    Each entry should be a single post on Facebook, either by screenshot or direct link to the post. Entries will be judged on creativity and aesthetic, as well as its effectiveness on the Facebook platform. Metrics of success are encouraged but not required.

  • b. Instagram post
    Each entry should be a single post on Instagram (including Instagram Stories, collage, and multi-photo post), either by screenshot or direct link to the post. Entries will be judged on creativity and aesthetic, as well as its effectiveness on the Instagram platform. Metrics of success are encouraged but not required.

  • c. Emerging or Other Platform Post
    Each entry should be a single post on a social media platform other than Facebook or Instagram, either by screenshot or direct link to the post. Entries will be judged on creativity and aesthetic, as well as its effectiveness on the platform to which it was posted. Metrics of success are encouraged but not required.


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