“Inspiring Excellence!”

2017 SEAC Awards

2017 Award Winners


Awards Entry Form – PDF FILE

PLEASE NOTE: This is a fillable PDF file.  The easiest way to work with this file is to:
1. Download the form and save on your desktop (blank form).
2. Close your browser and go to your file on your desktop.
3. Fill out the form and save it with a  different file name (i.e., SEACAward-Garcia.pdf). If you partially filled out your form, you should be able to open it and all of your previously added information will appear.

Awards Entry FormWORD DOCUMENT

You know you’ve rocked it with your best work ever, and now you’re ready for the next steps: winning a prestigious SEAC Communications Award and strutting your stuff at the Awards Banquet in June.


  • Choose from two divisions and 20 categories.
  • Communications professionals will review entries and provide feedback.
  • Entries may be submitted via DropBox. Email Cynthia at to get a DropBox link, or include the link with your entry. Entries must be received by 5 p.m. April 13.
  • A completed entry form must be attached to or enclosed with each entry.
  • Judging for Communication Management entries is based equally on the work plan/narrative and the work sample.
  • Judging for Communication Skills entries is based on the work sample’s creativity and professional execution.

SEAC Awards Program

The State Education Association Communicators (SEAC) Awards Program is a national competition for communications professionals involved in the conception, writing, design, production and implementation of print, visual, audio and Web materials, programs and campaigns for state affiliates of the National Education Association.

Recognizing the diversity among NEA state affiliates, especially in their size and resources, the SEAC Awards honor the professionalism of members in the areas of communications management and skills.


All members of State Education Association Communicators (SEAC), except NEA staff and retired staff, who have paid dues by April 3, may enter their work in the 2017 Awards Program.

A current or former SEAC member must have had major responsibility for the entry submitted.  The assistance of other organizations, agencies, individuals, or departments in the project must be noted.

Entries must have been published between April 1, 2016, and March 31, 2017.

If you have any questions, contact SEAC President-elect Cynthia Menzel at 650-552-5323 or


Submissions are judged by professionals in the areas of editing, photography, social media, graphic design, news media and public relations. Judges base their decisions on learned perceptions of professional and creative excellence.

A first-place award and Award of Distinction will be given in each category for each group, at the judges’ discretion. One Best of Show award may be selected from among all submissions.

Submitting Your Entries to be received by April 13

Entries can be submitted. Entries may be submitted via DropBox. Email Cynthia at to get a DropBox link, or include the link with your entry. Entries must be received by 5 p.m. April 13.

The award program has three groupings: Group 1 includes states with memberships of 20,000 or fewer; Group 2 includes states with membership of 20,001 to 55,000 members and Group 3 includes states with membership of 55,001 or more.

Each SEAC member can submit one entry per category, except in the categories of State Affiliate Newsletter/ Newspaper and Magazine, for which only one entry per state may be submitted.

For the Skills Division: All entries must be original work. Original means that the piece has been written, ghost written, or created by a SEAC member—not purchased or hired.

Please submit three different issues of the entire publication for the publications categories.

Mail paper copies of your entries. Staple (no paper clips, please) the completed awards form to your submission.

Please cross out any materials or publications that are not part of your entry.

For the Management Division: A current or former SEAC member must have had major responsibility for the project.  You must note other organizations, agencies, individuals, or departments that assisted in the project.

The Communication Management division covers project, programs and campaigns that are guided by a communication strategy. Entries may include a wide range of communication materials. A single element involved in this program may also be entered in the Communication Skills division.

1. Category: Advertising Campaign
Paid advertisement campaign materials created for radio, television, outdoor ads, print publications, or electronic media. Include messaging in objective description.

2. Category: Earned Media Campaign
Earned media campaign around an issue, to promote the education profession or the association brand. Can include print materials, video, audio, electronic communications, mobile communications/texting, PSAs and activities. Include messaging in objective description.

3. Category: Social Media Campaign
The use of only social media tools, including special purpose or short-term project websites, electronic publications, mobile communications, texting, blogs, podcasts, or other electronic media developed for a targeted campaign regarding a crisis, event or issue. Include messaging in objective description.

4. Category: Government and Political Affairs Campaign
Advocacy campaign targeted at government bodies and agencies. Print materials, video, audio, mobile communications/texting, and/or activities developed for bargaining, legislative issues and/or political campaigns. Include messaging in objective description.

5. Category: Special Events
Promotion of an event or a significant occasion supporting the goals of the association. Includes print materials, specialty items, video, audio, electronic communications, and/or other activities developed to increase visibility or promote an observance or event. Include messaging in objective description.

6. Category: Against All Odds
Highlights how the association dealt with a crisis in any of the following areas: brand management, member engagement, community engagement, building solidarity, political action/government relations, organizing internally/strengthening the association. Include messaging in objective description.

7. Category: Training
Training on communications topics designed to increase the engagement and expertise of members. Include the training manual, if available, presentation (PowerPoint), specialty items, video, audio, electronic communications, and/or activities developed for communications workshops and training sessions.

The communication skills division showcases technical skills such as editing, writing, design and multimedia production. Entries in this division are generally tactical in nature.

8. Category: News Story
The original news story is timely, informative, and well organized. The story contains a strong news lead and conveys context through writing that is clear, concise and distinctive.

9. Category: Feature Story
The original feature story conveys themes of human interest through descriptive storytelling. The story can focus on a current trend or an individual’s story to inform, advocate or entertain through lively and detailed writing.

10. Category: Editorial Layout
Layout (photographs, artwork, infographics, and/or typography) that enhances an article or publication and complements the editorial message.

11. Category: Graphic Design
Individual graphic elements (logos, memes, infographics, fliers, etc.) that enhance or complement a general association brand, theme or campaign.

12. Category: Photography
The original photograph or series of original photographs in the same story or on the front cover. Photos are judged on quality, composition, and narrative effect.

13. Category: Special Publication
A special one-time publication published for a specific issue or event, such as a membership drive, election cycle, legislative session, etc. Can include a special edition of the statewide periodical, such as an endorsement issue. This category does not include delegate handbooks and basic membership materials.

14. Category: Membership Materials
Print materials, video, audio, mobile communications and specialty items used to recruit and retain members.

15. Category: Website
State affiliate web site entries are judged on content, usability, design, ease of navigation, and the effective use of current trends and technology.

16. Category: Video
Videos designed for broadcast, website or social media to promote the association, an event or an issue. Video entries can be submitted in Quicktime or MP4 digital file format. Limit each entry to a single program, presentation or episode.

17. Category: Use of Social Media
State affiliate social media (social networking sites, photo or video sharing sites, text messaging, podcasts, webcasts, blogs, etc.) to build the association’s brand and an online community among state association members.

18. Category: Newsletter/Newspaper
Newsletters and newspapers that represent the state affiliate’s primary all-member publications may be of any size and shape. At least three (3) samples of different issues of the publication must accompany the entry form.

19. Category: Magazine
Represents the state affiliate’s primary all-member publication, a magazine is generally longer than 16 pages and can have any dimensions, from 6 x 9 inches and larger. At least three (3) samples of different issues of the publication must accompany the entry form.

20. Category: Constituent Newsletter
Publications produced at least twice per year for internal or external audiences in all formats, including hard copy and electronic. Submit two (2) different issues.

In recognition of SEAC members’ extraordinary talents and expertise, these awards are given at the judges’ discretion from among all the entries in the main categories.

Bob Montfort Memorial Pioneer Video Award
Creativity and innovation are the criteria for this special award honoring the late Bob Montfort of the Indiana State Teachers Association, who was one of the first among us to embrace video as a tool for association communications.

Norm Delisle Broadcast Award
Outstanding achievement in paid broadcasting is the focus for this award honoring the late Norm Delisle of the Connecticut Education Association, a true pioneer in association paid advertising.

Joseph W. Bland Jr. Pacesetter Award
Named for the late Joe Bland, Virginia Education Association, who set a high bar for excellence in affiliate association communications. For the most significant achievement by a SEAC member in the preceding year, this award is given in recognition of a broad spectrum of outstanding activities.

Steve Lemken Award for State Affiliate-National Collaboration
State affiliates can enter a project or product produced in close collaboration with the National Education Association. Named after retired NEA staff member Steve Lemken, one of the many NEA staff who have assisted state affiliates through the years, this entry can also include multiple state affiliates.

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