Awards for Communication Excellence
ACCE's 2013 Awards for Communication Excellence (ACE)
The ACE awards recognize outstanding communications efforts by chambers of commerce. A panel of judges will declare Grand Award trophy winners and Award of Excellence certificate winners in four categories and two size classifications for a total of eight Grand Award trophy presentations, plus two Best in Show awards, at the annual convention. Enter now!
Fast Q&A: What's New This Year
Q: Can I see a preview of the online form?
Absolutely. Click here and you'll see a snapshot of each page and a description of materials you'll need to gather.
Q: Can a chamber enter more than one item per category?
Yes, but you will be competing against yourself. However, multiple entries mean more chances of winning something. And yes, it is possible to win two (or more) certificates of excellence in the same category if you have multiple entries. There are only two levels of awards: the Grand Award (a trophy) goes to single best entry in the category. The second is an “Award of Excellence.” This is an 8 x 10 certificate, suitable for framing, with your chamber name and the category for which you are being cited. Judges may award as many certificates of excellence as they see fit. Grand Award winners in the two size classes will be judged against each other at the annual convention for the “Best in Show” award.
Q: It looks like ACCE is hoping for shorter and more concise applications. In the past, there have been detailed instructions about what to include (summary, synopsis – including needs identification, SMART objectives, evaluation/measurement, budget and timeline). Our previous entries have been about 10 pages (not including supporting documents), but now ACCE is asking that the synopsis be a page or less?
That’s right. A recurring complaint is that each entry takes too much time and effort to assemble. We hope we’ve fixed that by eliminating a lot of the strict reporting requirements. With most entries, including the ones with multiple components, the quality of writing and design, and usually the heft of the budget behind the work, is apparent. After that, what distinguishes each entry are results achieved, the nature of those results and other unique factors that are part of the entry’s backstory. This is where the synopsis comes in. The synopsis is not supposed to be the entire history of the project. It’s your opportunity to sell your entry as a winner—it’s your means of speaking directly to the judges as they look at your work so you can highlight the key reason(s) why your entry deserves to win.
Q: What’s changed in the judging process?
The old process, in which each judge worked alone, also had become overly complex—sometimes to the point of irrationality. One entry last year received a score of 50 (a failure) from one judge and a score of 98 (nearly perfect) from another. This year, instead of multiple judges working independently, we will have three judges working as a team. They will judge each entry in each category and agree on point allocations for each entry.
Q: What else has changed?
The awards themselves. Under the old system there were gold, silver and bronze winners. Under the new plan there are two prize designations: each category will have one Grand Award winner and whatever number of Award of Excellence winners is considered appropriate by the judges. Now, instead of sending a press release to your local paper saying you won gold (1st), silver (2nd), or bronze (3rd) in your category, you’ll announce that you won a Grand Award or that you won an Award of Excellence from ACCE.
1. Advertising and Marketing — Print, Web, TV, radio and outdoor ad projects; membership brochures and promotions for events, awards and products
2. Campaigns (usually a complex, multi-media program) — Advocacy, Awards, Economic Development, Chamber Image, Membership, other
3. Electronic — Blogs, Mobile Apps, Mobile Sites, Social Media Campaigns, Videos, E-Newsletters (submit two consecutive issues), Websites
4. Publications — Annual Reports, Community Guides, Directories, Magazines (submit two consecutive issues), Newsletters (submit two consecutive issues), blogs, data bases
Entries compete in two size classifications: chambers with budgets of $2 million and above, and those with budgets of less than $2 million.
Awards must be submitted on or before March 15, 2013. They will be judged in April and announced in May. Trophies will be presented at ACCE's annual convention, July 23-26 in Oklahoma City.
A panel of three judges will review and score the entries on a 100-point scale as follows: up to 30 points for design/visual impact; up to 30 points for message clarity/effectiveness; up to 40 points for results achieved.
Best in Show
Grand Award winners in the four categories automatically qualify for a second round of judging at the convention to determine a Best in Show winner. A Best in Show trophy will be awarded in each of the two size classes.
Only chambers of commerce or similar organizations such as CVBs or economic development groups, may enter. Vendors may not submit entries on behalf of clients. Entries judged ineligible will be returned with the entry fee minus $50 for processing.
Entries must reflect work undertaken or completed between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2012. Entries must be received by ACCE on or before March 15, 2013 to qualify.
All entries and related materials become the property of ACCE and may be accessible to all members via ACCE's online samples library. Winning entries also may be displayed at ACCE events and in ACCE publications.
How to Enter
Each entry consists of an entry form, a synopsis about your entry (see below) and samples of the entry. On the entry form, be sure to check the box indicating your income size: Class One is for chambers with a total budget of $2 million and above; Class Two is for chambers with a total budget of less than $2 million.
How should your award read if you win? List your entry name on the form just as you would like it to appear on the award itself or in published material. Example: "Nashville Area Chamber 2012-2013 Report to the Community" or "Chamber Centennial Celebration Invitation."
IMPORTANT: the Synopsis
Your written synopsis directs the attention of judges to important features of your entry. Briefly explain the need for the entry, how you developed it and the results it achieved. How did it work to achieve your chamber's objectives? Provide data illustrating results. Include budgets for both the overall program and the entry itself. You may want to mention other tools that were used to enhance or support the entry, such as social media, electronic communications, or other print items. Your synopsis quickly summarizes the reasons why your entry deserves an award. It should be a paragraph or two-no longer than one page.
Free Synopsis Review
The ACCE staff can review a draft of your synopsis before you enter it. Due to ACCE by Feb. 5, 2013. Click here to submit. There is no charge for this review. It is not shared with judges and it does not affect your entry's eligibility.
Fees and Entry Submissions
You must fill out the 2013 ACE Entry Form ONLINE to be included. Each entry requires a separate online form.
For print magazines, newsletters, brochures and other hard copy items, send two copies of your entry using the U.S. Postal Service, UPS or Fedex. (Do not send PDFs of printed entries.) If you submit more than one print entry, put two samples of each entry and its synopsis in a separate envelope, then package all the envelopes in one large envelope or box along with your check reflecting the total amount of fees for all your entries. No check is required if you pay by credit card online.
For electronic campaigns, make PDFs of any pertinent web pages or other electronic files and send them via the online entry form. Then make two printouts of each PDF and send them with a copy of your synopsis. If you submit more than one electronic entry, put each in a separate envelope, then put all the envelopes in one large envelope or box along with your check reflecting the total amount of fees for all your entries. No check is required if you pay by credit card online. File size limitation on uploads is 20 megs. If your file exceeds 20 megs, use dropbox.com or yousendit.com and send your files to this email addres: firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you may burn your files to a CD or DVD and send them to the address below.
For a complex campaign entry involving combined uses of the internet, print and other media, put all of your e-media files on a thumb drive or DVD. Include it, your check, your synopsis, plus any printed components of the campaign, in one envelope and mail it.
If your entry is a video, you must mail it on a DVD, along with your synopsis. Please do not email video attachments.
Mail entries to:
ACE Awards 2013
4875 Eisenhower Ave. Suite 250
Alexandria VA 22304
|ACCE Member Fees||Non-Member Fees|
|Early Bird (postmarked by 2/20/13)||$165||$250|
|Standard Rate after Feb. 20, 2013||$195||$295|
Early Bird Discount: Your entry must be postmarked on or before Feb. 20, 2013.
Final Deadline: March 15, 2013.