Excellence in Communications Awards

The NC3C Excellence in Communications Awards recognize great local government communicators and foster achievement among members by showcasing top-level work. The awards are presented each spring at the annual conference.

Award entries are being accepted Jan.6 through 5:00 p.m. Feb. 17, 2020

We know you did some incredible work during the past year, and we want to see it and recognize you for it! The NC3C board decided to extend the entry deadline to 5:00 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17, 2020! After judging by a panel of experts in each respective category, winning entries will be announced and presented during the NC3C Annual Conference April 29-May 1, 2020 in Greenville, NC. Click here for information on this year’s conference.

Categories & Awards

The 2020 Awards program includes 27 awards in six categories. Some new awards this year include Audio (like a podcast or radio spot), Digital Resource (an app or digital tool), and Best Use of Humor. The new awards are shown in bold.

Click here to view and download a list of awards and descriptions.

Visit NC3C.awardsplatform.com to submit your entries!

  • Annual Report
  • Brochure
  • Employee Newsletter
  • External Newsletter
  • Poster, Flyer, Club/Rack Card
  • Promotional Video
  • Public Service Announcement
  • Regular Programming
  • Special Programming
  • Videography
  • Audio
  • Digital Employee Newsletter
  • Digital External Newsletter/Blog
  • Digital Resource
  • Website
  • Campaign
  • General Use on a Single Platform
  • Single Post
  • Branding / Logo
  • Graphic Design
  • Photography
  • Writing
  • Best Use of Humor
  • Citizen Participation
  • Crisis Communication
  • Most Creative with
  • Least Dollars Spent
  • Multi-Platform Campaign


Entry Fees

Get your entries in early and save! For entries submitted by Sunday, February 2, the application fee is $35 per entry. For entries submitted Monday, February 3 through Monday, February 10, the application fee goes up to $55 per entry.

Partnering with Minnesota

NC3C has partnered with the Minnesota Association of Government Communicators (MAGC) to judge our award submissions. We have received their commitment that each entry will receive thorough judges’ comments after the winners are announced at the conference. If you would like to serve as an NC3C judge for the Minnesota contest, please contact Amy McCauley.

Recognizing Excellence

We will recognize first and second place award winners at our annual conference April 29-May 1 in Greenville, and we will provide tools to help you publicize your awards in your community. NC3C Board representatives are also happy to attend your government board meetings to officially present awards for valuable public recognition. We are hopeful that you will consider entering at least one (and hopefully more) categories. You have great work to showcase, so don’t miss out on the chance to win the valuable recognition you deserve.

Rules of Competition

  • This competition is for NC3C members only. [Join our organization!](http://nc3c.com/join.php) Local government professionals who have communications or marketing work, but who are not yet members of NC3C are welcomed to join now and enter. The membership fee is only $50.

  • Entries must be limited to items or projects completed between Jan. 1, 2019 and Dec. 31, 2019.
  • All entries must be digital. For print pieces, promotional items, and similar things, consider a video (even taken on your phone) showing how the item is used. Be sure to show items for scale such as putting it in the hands of someone or showing it in use.
  • Members may submit as many entries, in as many categories, as they choose.
  • First-place and second-place awards **may be given** for each category or sub-category.
  • An award may not be given in a category with two or fewer entries.
  • A second place award may not be given in a category with three or fewer entries.
  • An entry is not complete until the payment has been made. You may pay by credit card through this system.
  • Members must certify that the item submitted fits the category and the spirit of the awards program and that it was actually used as described and not generated for the purpose of entering a contest.
  • Submit as many entries as you want!


2019 Award Winners

Congratulations to our 2019 Award Winners! Twenty-eight North Carolina government communications offices earned distinction in the 2019 NC3C Excellence in Communications Awards contest. Award categories included TV & Video, Communication Technology, Printed Publications, Most Creative Project for the Least Amount of Funds, Citizen Participation, and Marketing Tools, among others.

The awards were presented Thursday, April 11, 2019 at NC3C’s annual Spring Conference in Durham. A total of 248 entries was received.

Click here to view the award winners!

Judges for the NC3C Excellence in Communications Awards were communication professionals from the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers and a variety of communications industries across the state.
Click here to view the winning entries. If you entered an award and wish to see your scores and feedback, log in to our awards system and click on My Entries. You will see a View Feedback button with each entry you submitted.


Chris Coulson Communicator of the Year Award

Each year, NC3C has the opportunity to recognize a member whose character, career and service represent the highest standards of the profession. The Communicator of the Year is someone who excels in the practice of local government communications and/or has accomplished an outstanding one-time achievement.

The award is named in honor and memory of Chris Coulson, a founding member of NC3C who demonstrated these attributes throughout her career.

In 2019, the Chris Coulson Communicator of the Year Award was presented to two NC3C members Steve Hawley of Greenville Utilities and Carolyn Justice-Hinson of the Fayetteville Public Works Commission.


2019 Steve Hawley & Carolyn Justice-Hinson
2017 David Baxter
2015 Mandy (Pitts) Hildebrand
2012 Annette Privette-Keller
2011 Dave Hardin
2010 Glenn Hargett
2009 Alice Freeman