Local cooperative recognized for communication efforts
When TCEC enters its communications efforts in national contests, the judges’ feedback is a primary driver. Sometimes, that feedback can be humbling, and it is always a learning experience. Feedback is incorporated in the cooperative’s strategy to improve the education, training and information provided to members, which is the fifth universal cooperative principle.
When an award wins, the judges’ comments often reinforce the cooperative’s approach to communicating with members. That was the case with the judges’ comments for the TCEC 75th Anniversary Commemorative Cookbook.
“I kind of wish I could keep this to use in my kitchen,” said one judge. “Great work all around, and I think this should inspire more co-ops to up their game to keep up!” Another comment was, “This front cover is beautiful, and everything looks great throughout!”
While the TCEC communications team drove the cookbook project, they received input and recipes from many employees and members. Paul Ortega and Russ Anthony, the design team at ColorArt of Amarillo, helped with the layout and graphics, and print production of the project. Oklahoma Living freelancer Laura Araujo proofed the recipes. It was truly a collaborative team effort.
The cookbook won first place in the Programs & Projects - Miscellaneous Print category of the Cooperative Communicators Association’s (CCA) awards contest.
TCEC sends a monthly member update email to its members. The email won third place in the Publications - Online/Electronic Newsletter category of the CCA contest.
Professional communicators representing more than 40 cooperatives from across the United States and Canada submitted nearly 500 entries in this year’s competition. The awards recognize the best in writing, photography, programs and projects, and publications. Overall, the TCEC communications team returned with two awards out of the 173 awards given.
TCEC was also recognized in the national 2021 Spotlight on Excellence Awards program, sponsored by the Council of Rural Electric Communicators (CREC) and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). The cooperative won a Silver Award for Best Wild Card for the 75th Anniversary Commemorative Gift Set entry. The gift set consisted of the Commemorative Cookbook, an ice cream scoop, a butter spreader, and a tea towel in a gift bag. TCEC gave away the gift sets in 2020 at drive-through events throughout the cooperative’s service area.
“Printed news publications, social media and videos are all more important than ever to keep members updated on issues affecting the electric cooperatives and their members,” added Scott Peterson, Senior Vice President Communications for NRECA.
The annual Spotlight on Excellence Awards program recognizes the best communication and marketing efforts by electric cooperatives and related organizations. Entrants competed with electric cooperatives of similar size in 16 categories. Electric cooperative communicators and marketing professionals submitted more than 720 entries in the Spotlight on Excellence program. Faculty members from the University of Missouri – Columbia and University of South Carolina, as well as noted professionals in the fields of marketing, web design and digital communications, and newspapers judged the event, which uses a finite scoring system to determine the winners.
The CREC was organized in 1982, and seeks to advance the recognition, education and professionalism of electric cooperative communicators and their affiliated organizations. This volunteer association works on behalf of more than 4,000 electric cooperative communicators across the United States.