A complete listing of changes that have been implemented for this year’s ACE Competition are listed below…
1. Streamlined application process that reduces the time required to submit an entry
The new synopsis will now only require two parts: Needs Identification and Measurement/Evaluation. It will also include a place for organizations to highlight any other media/messaging tools they used to enhance or support their communication piece.
Needs Identification (why you did it):
Part 1: Identify the need for the communication piece
- Explain how the need for the communication piece is tied to the organization's goals and mission.
- Discuss the process (i.e. research, member feedback, staff expertise) used to determine the need of the communication piece and how that was appropriate for the situation.
- Identify any other media/messaging tools that were used to enhance the communication piece and present those as supporting documents. These tools can include: social media, electronic pieces, other print items, and alternative formats.
Part 2: Objectives
- State the specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-sensitive (SMART) objectives for the piece.
- Specific: Only one major concept is covered per objective.
- Measurable: Must be able to quantify or measure that you have or have not achieved the objective.
- Achievable: Is it possible to accomplish the objective?
- Relevant: Is the objective important to the overall goals of the organization?
- Timely: What is the time period the objective should be completed in?
- Clearly identify the target audience.
- Discuss how the objectives are relevant to both the target audience and the organization's goals.
Evaluation/Measurement (was it successful):
- Document the results of the communications piece.
- Discuss how you know the piece was a success. The sentence, "It was well received by members," is NOT an answer. Tell us how you know it was well received by members.
- Use qualitative and quantitative methods for evaluation (i.e. satisfaction surveys, revenue information, member quotes, or participation surveys)
- Program Budget- Present the detailed budget for the piece; including, expense, revenue, and in-kind contributions. If the piece is part of a larger project, include the budget for the entire project, along with a detailed budget for the piece.
- Describe what was used to determine if the project's objectives were met.
- Discuss how the entry achieved the stated objectives and met the audience needs
2. Renamed levels of achievement that are more recognizable and easier to follow.
- Best of Show (Top winner): The entry that is awarded this honor illustrates and embodies the essence of communications excellence. A winner will be selected for each Class from the entries that are awarded the Gold Award. This award will be presented at the Awards Program during the ACCE Convention.
- Gold (Best of Show finalist): Raises the standards and sets the pace for communications excellence. One entry from each of the five major categories for both budget groups could be awarded a Gold award. Therefore, up to ten entries (5 from each of the 2 Classes) may be awarded this level. This award will be presented at the Awards Program during the ACCE Convention.
- Silver: Surpasses the fundamental standards and criteria of communications excellence.
- Bronze: Meets and exceed the fundamental standards and criteria for communications excellence.
3. New judging process that allows entries to be judged amongst those submitted by chamber of similar size, based on total organizational budget.
Entries that attain recognition at the Gold level (formerly Grand Award), and those competing for Best of Show, will be divided into two classes (Class 1 and Class 2), based on total organizational budgets, as illustrated below.
- Class 1: organizations with a total organizational budget of $2 million and above
- Class 1 Best of Show ACE Winner (1 winner to be announced)
- Class 1 Gold ACE Winner (1 award given to an entry in each category, up to 5 Gold Awards to be presented)
- Class 2: organizations with a total organizational budget of $2 million and below
- Class 2 Best of Show ACE Winner (1 winner to be announced)
- Class 2 Gold ACE Winner (1 award given to an entry in each category, up to 5 Gold Awards to be presented)