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Contest Categories

You may submit a project in one or more of the categories listed below. A separate entry (and a separate entry fee) is required for each entry in each category. There is no limit on the number of entries you may submit.

Projects are eligible for entry if they represent work published or substantially completed in 2016.

Brochures and Pamphlets

1. Promotional or Informational Brochure or Pamphlet 

Hard copy submission: Mail in four (4) copies of the entry form and four (4) hard copies of the project postmarked on or before March 10.

A promotional or informational brochure or pamphlet created and distributed to an internal or external audience.

Visual Design and Photography

2a. Logo or Illustration or Graphic

Electronic submission: Upload file or URL and submit with your entry form.

A logo, illustration or graphic created, revised or updated in 2016. Include previous logos or theme art if applicable. Attach examples of your logo, illustration or graphic in use and/or provide a live URL if it was used on a website.

2b. Photography

Electronic submission: Upload file or URL and submit with your entry form.

An individual photo or series of photographs, along with proof of publication or display. Please describe any enhancements made to the photo. When submitting the entry's cover letter, please note number of staff hours used to take and edit the photo.

2c. One-Page Layout

Hard copy submission: Mail in four (4) copies of the entry form and four (4) hard copies of the project postmarked on or before March 10.

An infographic, text or other communication used to convey information to the public in a one-page layout.

2d. Multipage Layout

Hard copy submission: Mail in four (4) copies of the entry form and four (4) hard copies of the project postmarked on or before March 10.

An infographic, text or other communication used to convey information to the public in a multipage layout.

Periodical Publications

3a. Newsletter or Magazine 

Hard copy submission: Mail in four (4) copies of the entry form and four (4) hard copies of the project postmarked on or before March 10.

Publications that were created to be disseminated to an audience in a print medium. Submit four (4) hard-copy sets of three consecutive issues published in 2016 along with four (4) copies of the entry form. Each judge needs one entire set of entry information. Note the publication's publishing schedule (weekly, monthly, once every 2 months, quarterly, etc.) on the entry form.

3b. Program or Activity Catalog

Hard copy submission: Mail in four (4) copies of the entry form and four (4) hard copies of the project postmarked on or before March 10.

Publications that were created to be disseminated to an audience in a print medium. Submit four (4) hard-copy sets of three consecutive issues published in 2016 along with four (4) copies of the entry form. Each judge needs one entire set of entry information. Note the publication's publishing schedule (weekly, monthly, once every 2 months, quarterly, etc.) on the entry form.

Writing

4. Writing for a News Release, Blog, Speech or Publication

Electronic submission: Upload file or URL and submit with your entry form.

Writing for any publication designed to inform the public, such as:

  • A news release written for communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something newsworthy, submitted to the media or posted on an agency's website;
  • A news article of 500 words or more reporting news from your organization;
  • A feature article in a newspaper or magazine;
  • A blog post as a single posting made as a part of a blog (a regularly updated website or web page,typically one run by an individual or a small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style);
  • Any writing, such as an opinion piece, column, letter to the editor or speech that doesn't fall into the above writing categories.

Submit the entry electronically along with proof of publication. When submitting the entry's cover letter, please note number of staff hours used to prepare the news release in the "Cost and Resources Used" section.

Video

The Minnesota Association of Community Telecommunications Administrators is title sponsor for the video portion of this year's Northern Lights Awards.

Please note that due to time constraints, judges will not be required to review more than 20 minutes of any video.

5a. Video Short

Electronic submission: Upload file or URL and submit with your entry form.

A video totaling two minutes or less used for promotional purposes or a public service announcement intended to raise awareness or promote a subject, activity or topic.

5b. Instructional Video

Electronic submission: Upload file or URL and submit with your entry form.

A training or demonstrative video for an external or internal audience.

5c. Interview or Talk Show or News Magazine Programming

Electronic submission: Upload file or URL and submit with your entry form.

A regularly scheduled program that reports current events through reports, packages, interviews or conversations in studio or on location.

5d. News Programming

Electronic submission: Upload file or URL and submit with your entry form.

A regularly scheduled program that includes a variety of news features, sports and commentary.

5e. Video Campaign or Series

Electronic submission: Upload file or URL and submit with your entry form.

A campaign or series with three or more segments intended to educate or raise awareness about an issue or topic.

5f. Promotional Video

Electronic submission: Upload file or URL and submit with your entry form.

A promotional or profile video, over two minutes in duration, that highlights an organization, event, program or service.

5g. Agency, Event, Program or Service Video

Electronic submission: Upload file or URL and submit with your entry form.

A video designed to educate or inform audiences about an agency, event, program or service.

5h. Community Interest Video

Electronic submission: Upload file or URL and submit with your entry form.

An educational or informational video featuring community members, organizations, clubs, events, programs or other stories that generate human interest.

5i. Public Health or Public Safety Video

Electronic submission: Upload file or URL and submit with your entry form.

An educational or informational video designed to highlight public health or public safety agencies, issues, programs or services.

Special Events and Public Information Projects

6a. Special Event

Electronic and/or hard copy submission (your choice): Upload file or URL and submit with your entry form; and/or mail in four (4) copies of the entry form and four (4) hard copies of the project postmarked on or before March 10.

An event that resulted in raising the profile of government or a government activity, program, service, product or other government-related information. Submit all relevant material. This event could be a State of the City/County, news conference, media event, public open house or an event for a specific audience not necessarily open to the public.

6b. Public Information Project

Electronic and/or hard copy submission (your choice): Upload file or URL and submit with your entry form; and/or mail in four (4) copies of the entry form and four (4) hard copies of the project postmarked on or before March 10.

A project that resulted in raising the profile of government or a government activity, program, service, product or other government-related information. Submit all relevant material.

Annual Reports

7. Annual Report

Electronic and/or hard copy submission (your choice): Upload file or URL and submit with your entry form; and/or mail in four (4) copies of the entry form and four (4) hard copies of the project postmarked on or before March 10.

An annual report.

Plans

8. Marketing, Crisis or Communications Plan

Electronic submission: Upload file or URL and submit with your entry form.

A marketing, crisis, or communications plan drafted or revised in 2016 that defines strategies that will be used for marketing, or in case of a crisis, or to communicate relevant topics to citizens.

Websites

9a. Website Design or Redesign

Electronic submission: Upload file or URL and submit with your entry form.

A new website or a significantly updated website (design, structure, platform and/or content) that launched or was substantially completed in 2016. If a redesign, please include a screenshot of the previous version of the site.

9b. New Online Feature

Electronic submission: Upload file or URL and submit with your entry form.

A feature that was added to your website or other online communications platform to enhance communication with the public or promote better understanding of government. 

Social Media

10. Social Media and Engagement

Electronic submission: Upload file or URL and submit with your entry form.

Use of social media to promote public engagement. Define the social media tool(s) used and provide URLs or screen shots. (One way to provide URLs and screenshots is to upload a PDF or Word file in the "Supporting Documentation" section of the contest entry form.)

Best for Least

11. Best for Least

Electronic and/or hard copy submission (your choice): Upload file or URL and submit with your entry form; and/or mail in four (4) copies of the entry form and four (4) hard copies of the project postmarked on or before March 10.

Tell us about the most creative project or activity you pulled off with the  fewest dollars spent. Provide the percentage of your department's annual budget  used for this project. 

Only one award will be given in the Best for Least category.