Excellence in Communications Contest

2017 Award Winners

The following NC governments received awards in the 2017 Excellence in Communication Contest: Town of Hillsborough, City of Salisbury, Town of Fuquay-Varina, City of Burlington, City of Jacksonville, Buncombe County, Town of Chapel Hill, Cabarrus County, Orange County, Town of Garner, City of Fayetteville, City of Asheville, City of Wilson, Onslow County, Nash County, Greenville Utilities Commission, City of Hickory, Town of Apex, City of Kannapolis, City of Rocky Mount, Mecklenburg County, and the Town of Holly Springs. 

Earn Recognition for Your Hard Work!


We know you did some incredible work during the past year, and we want to see it and recognize you for it!

After judging by a nationwide panel of experts in each respective category, winning entries will be announced and presented during the NC3C Annual Conference in the spring.  Click here for information on this year’s conference.

The Excellence in Communications program recognizes members for creative and successful programs and projects in the following seven categories with sub-categories:

 TV and Videos

  • Interview / Talk Show
  • Regular Programming
  • One-time Special Programming
  • Public Service Announcement
  • Promotional Video

Printed Publications

  • Employee Newsletters
  • External Newsletters
  • Magazine
  • Annual Report
  • Brochure


Communications Technology

  • Electronic Employee Newsletter
  • Electronic External Newsletter
  • Website
  • Intranet
  • Other Technologies (blogs, podcasts, customer call centers, etc.)


 Marketing Tools

  • Direct Mail or Print Advertising
  • Branding / New Logo
  • Best Use of Promotional Item

Social Media

  • Best General Use of Social Media
  • Best Campaign Use of Social Media


Special Events (overall planning, promoting and executing of a special event)

  • Recurring Event
  • One-Time Event

Special Programs

  • Citizen Participation (programs that encourage citizen education and participation in the governmental process)
  • Community Visioning (programs for promoting deliberations among diverse community interests in order to guide a community decision on future direction and vision)
  • Service Delivery (innovative program, service or delivery system improvements for meeting citizen customer needs)
  • Communications and Marketing Plans (concise plans that include problems, definitions, strategies, expected outcomes and evaluation procedures)
  • Most Creative Activity with Least Dollars Spent (programs and materials that generate big impact with few resources expended)

Rules of Competition

  • Eligible work was produced between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31 in the past calendar year.  All entries must be submitted online, and the deadline to enter has been extended to Friday, March 3 at noon.
  • Submit as many entries as you want!  The competition is open to all NC3C members.   Local government professionals who have communications or marketing work, but who are not yet members of NC3C are welcomed to join now and to enter.  Members, spread the word in your organization!  The membership fee is $50.The fee for each entry is $35.
  • More than one entry may be submitted in any category.  Any given entry may be submitted under more than one category. A complete entry form, including attachments, is required, and the entry fee must accompany each submission.
  • For intranet sites and electronic newsletters not accessible to the public, include either instructions on how judges can view the material, or upload .pdf of hard copies.
  • For printed newsletters, upload at least two, but no more than four, different issues in .pdf format.
  • For TV and Video category entries, include the URL link where the video can be viewed online.  (If your video is not online, upload it to YouTube or Vimeo and send us the URL.) 
  • TV and Video entries also must submit a 30-second clip of the entry to be used in the awards presentation should the entry be selected a winner.  There is a place on the entry form for this clip.
  • All entries must be submitted using the online form. You may attach an electronic file of your actual project or a link to where it is available online.  See below for special instructions for mailed hard copies.
  • In those rare instances when online submission is not possible, we will accept hard copies by mail.  Judges will understand descriptions like, “glossy 80 lb. paper stock, saddle stitched with full bleed,” so don’t feel you have to mail a hard copy of your actual printed entry once your online version is submitted.  If, however, you cannot file online, or if your online file simply will not do your finished product justice – because of die-cuts, artful folds, etc. – then you may mail two hard copies of your work, together with two copies of your printed entry form to:


NC3C Awards
c/o Catherine Lazorko
Town of Chapel Hill
405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Chapel Hill, NC 27514-5705
Then, mail $35 for each entry to:
NC3C Awards
c/o Rick Mercier
Town of Garner
912 7th Ave.
Garner, NC 27529



  • Read the Rules of Competition
  • Complete the Entry Form and upload files or links to your entry.  Use one entry form per entry in a single category.
  • Upload any supporting materials (copies of testimonials and survey results.  Photographs of posters and other collateral materials are preferred)
  • When you hit the submit button, the form will require you to pay the entry fee of $35 by credit card.
  • Register for the NC3C Annual Conference.  Registration forms should be online in February.
  • You don’t have to be present at the conference to win, but we’d love to see you!



Chris Coulson Communicator of the Year Award

The Communicator of the Year Award is given in honor and memory of Chris Coulson, a founding member of NC3C. The Communicator of the Year Award may be presented to one individual who demonstrates a passion for making a difference in the profession and in the lives of citizens.  The Communicator of the Year would be a person whose character, career and service represent the highest standards and who excels in the practice of local government communications and/or has accomplished an outstanding one-time achievement. Nominations will be accepted via this nomination form with an area that details the person’s career and accomplishments. It is permissible to nominate yourself. 


We look forward to receiving your entries!