Awards of Excellence Rules

Entries are now being accepted for the 2013 NACIO Awards of Excellence Competition. Below are the official rules and categories.

  • The 2013 NACIO Awards of Excellence Competition covers projects produced and/or distributed from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012.

  • Entries must be received by April 12, 2013. Each entry must be accompanied by an official entry form and payment. The official entry form may be photocopied.

  • NACIO Awards Submission Fees are $35 per entry/per each category for current, active NACIO members.

  • NACIO Awards Submission fees are $50 per entry/per each category for non-members.

  • Checks or money orders must be made payable to: NACIO (National Association of County Information Officers). No refunds will be made for membership fees. Purchase orders will not be accepted.

  • An item may be entered in more than one category, but for each category entered, we must receive an entry form, an entry fee and a hard copy of the entry.

  • Each individual entrant is LIMITED TO 10 ENTRIES EACH, which includes co-authored entries, but there is no limit to how many entries an entity (county, state association or county entity) may submit as long as they do not exceed the 10 entries per individual maximum.

  • All entries must have been produced by the contestant with outside assistance strictly limited to support functions (typesetting, printing, technical and production services.) Projects contracted to outside individuals, studios, ad agencies, and public relations firms are not eligible.

  • Entries will not be returned.

Each entry will be judged for its originality, effectiveness, results, degree of effort and difficulty, overall quality, and strength of impression. Entries are eligible to win “Superior,” “Excellent,” and “Meritorious” awards. Up to two “Superior Awards” may be given per category at the discretion of the judges. Whenever possible, entries submitted will be judged with those counties of the same size (More than 500,000 population and Less than 500,000 population). One “Best in Class” recognition will be awarded in each category.

One “Best of Show” recognition may be awarded to the most outstanding single entry in the entire program. The winner of the “Best of Show” competition is eligible to receive transportation costs and lodging to attend the NACIO Awards Ceremony, which will be held in July in conjunction with the NACo Annual Conference, which is being held July 19-22 in Tarrant County (Fort Worth), Texas.

Judges' decisions are final and may not be contested.


Please Note: Judges reserve the right to select award winners when they deem such recognition is warranted. Judges' decisions are final and may not be contested. Entries will not be returned.

ANNUAL REPORTS (Any number of pages and colors)
A-1) Magazine or Newsletter Format
A-2) Other Format

B-1) One-Color and Two-Color
B-2) Three-Color and Four-Color

PUBLICATIONS (Published regularly and for internal use or external distribution)
C-1) INTERNAL Publication
C-2) EXTERNAL Publication

D-1) News Writing
D-2) Feature Writing
D-3) News Releases
D-4) Speeches
D-5) Promotional/Persuasive Writing (editorials, letters to the editor, advertisements, opinion columns, etc.)
D-6) Scripts (for video, public service announcements, slide or computer-assisted presentations, etc.)

GRAPHIC DESIGN (Entries larger than 11 x 17 in format need to be folded and sent in an 11 x 17 envelope)
E-1) Logos, Themes and Letterheads
E-2) Graphics for Brochures and Publications (newsletters, programs)
E-3) Video Graphics and Electronic Graphics
E-4) Special Graphics (including posters, t-shirts, banners)

PHOTOGRAPHY (You may submit original photographs, reproductions or published copies.)
F-1) Single Color or Black and White Print or Series of Photographs (event coverage, picture story, display, etc.)

AUDIOVISUAL PRODUCTIONS (Please note playtime on DVDs.)
G-1) One-time Programming (PSA, special video)
G-2) Video or Radio Series (recurring series, news magazines, county meetings)

H-1) Ceremonies (ribbon cuttings, open houses, dedications, ground-breakings, etc.)
H-2) Community Events (fairs, concerts, festivals, etc.)
H-3) County Government Works (public awareness campaigns, etc.)
H-4) Public Participation Projects (involving citizens in government activities and decision-making, such as strategic visioning, neighborhood input, etc.)
H-5) Media Relations (news conferences, editorial board meetings, and other news events)
H-6) Other Projects (communication audits and plans, internal communication projects, etc.)

NOTE: All entries in the Special Projects category must include the FULL description of the project's activities, goals, evaluation of success and as much documentation as possible. Documentation may include event programs, news clippings, reports, descriptive brochures or anything describing the level of effort and successful completion of the project.

I-1) Internet/Intranet Web Sites and Interactive Media (For Internet entries, please include URL address. For Intranet Sites not accessible to the public, please provide print copy of the page(s) and/or instructions on how judges can view the site.)
I-2) Other Projects (CD-Rom, multi-media presentations, etc.)
I-3) Social Media Use

NOTE: All entries in the Social Media sub-category must FULLY demonstrate results in citizen outreach with as much documentation as possible, including number of followers, redistribution of messages, mainstream and online media coverage, etc.