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Nat’l Awards for Communications

The creative team responsible for NC State’s public relations capped a busy year, earning two national awards last week for excellence in Web and video communication. CASE, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, honored NC State with a gold award for its 125th anniversary video and a bronze award for its institutional message website, which also brought home a bronze from the regional Addy Awards in February.

The awards come on the heels of more than a dozen other awards lauding the efforts of University Communications in the past 12 months. The division uses a number of communication platforms, including websites, publications, social media tools, video programming, marketing collateral and media outreach to promote the university to stakeholders and the public.

Awards Galore

Winners holding their Emmy Awards.
Simone Keith, Bryce Lane and Sonya Williams Harris celebrate their second Emmy Award in three years.

NC State’s instructional television program, “In the Garden with Bryce Lane,” won a regional Emmy Award in January, topping hundreds of entries from across the region. It was the program’s second Emmy in three years.

The university’s advertising spot captured silver in the 28th annual Educational Advertising Awards in March. And, as reported in February, communications staff won 10 awards in the regional CASE competition in Atlanta this year, primarily for their work promoting NC State’s 125th anniversary.

University Communications teamed up with Campus Enterprises to score a gold award in last summer’s Sir Walter Raleigh Awards for Excellence in Communication for their work on the 2011-2012 University Dining Meal Plan publication.

Web Honors

In a national survey of university websites conducted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, NC State’s Web pages were evaluated to be among the most accessible in the nation (No. 15 nationwide and No. 1 among schools in the Atlantic Coast Conference). The assessments were done by automated tests, which do have their limits, but the results can begin to give an idea of how accessible a Web page is. A number of the pages evaluated in the university-wide assessment were created and managed by University Communications.

The university also led in the use of social media. The university’s Facebook page was named one of the Top 10 Most Engaging College Facebook Pages of 2012 in a competition sponsored by EDUniverse.

Going Viral

Map of dialects
Josh Katz’ dialect map lets you see who says what, where. Click on image to go to interactive map.

It was also a banner year for the university’s media relations professionals, who helped light the fire under a grad student’s research project on regional dialects this month, resulting in an Internet viral sensation. News of the project got more than 30 million hits on some of the Web’s top sites, and the student was featured on the Today Show, Wall Street Journal, New York Daily News, News & Observer and dozens of other media outlets.

Thanks to the unit’s work promoting research stories such as the glucose-averse cockroach and ultra-stretchable wires, the university has reported more than twice the number of media hits this year over last.