York wins eight North American awards for communications

York put in another strong showing at the 2007 Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District II Accolade Awards, winning two gold, three silver, two bronze and an honourable mention.

The awards, which were presented at a ceremony in New York, recognized the work of York’s Marketing & Communications Division and the Alumni Office.

District II is the largest of the council’s divisions with 660 institutions and 4,800 individuals as members. It includes colleges and universities in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and West Virginia.

"It’s great that York’s work has once again been recognized on the North American stage," said Richard Fisher, York’s chief marketing officer. "Many thanks to all our partners across the University who helped us produce such great work."

The gold Accolade Awards both went to the Publications unit of the Marketing & Communications Division, one for YFile, York’s daily newsletter for faculty and staff, in the category Newsletters (Electronic), and one for Ylife, York’s weekly newsletter for students, in the category Website: News. Alumni Matters, the monthly e-mail for graduates sent out by the Alumni Office, won bronze in the newsletter category.

Judges commented on the immediacy of YFile’s news and said it was easy to navigate and leads users easily through increasing levels of detail. The judges also commented on YFile’s appealing variety of content developed with the audience clearly in mind. In their comments on the winning entries in the Website: News category (topped by Ylife), the judges said good use of photos helped capture the robustness of activity on campus with all the winning entries. They also said the design and structure of the sites appeared well thought out and that the use of graphics helped complement the content and played an important role in making the sites’ navigation user-friendly.

The Alumni Office also won silver for Web Site: Alumni Relations (right) (www.yorku.ca/alumni) and bronze for Video PSAs and Commercial Spots for a series of radio advertisements that formed part of the Alumni Reconnect campaign (see story in the May 18, 2006 issue of YFile) prepared by the Account Direction unit of Marketing & Communications and Toronto’s doug advertising agency.

The radio ads were centred on a common theme and featured plays on the search for lost or missing alumni. The first ad parodies a TV crocodile hunter tracking a missing alumnus and the second ad features a humourous missing persons’ report. The listener is directed to the Alumni Web site. To hear the ads, click here for the tracker spot, and here for the missing persons spot.

York’s second Silver Accolade Award went to the M&C Account Direction unit for its entry in the category Web Site: Fundraising/Development. Art Direction staff designed and assembled the winning Web site together with the Faculty of Fine Arts for The Accolade Project (right).

The Media Relations unit was recognized with a silver Accolade Award in the category Excellence in News Writing for a selection of media releases announcing important events such as astronaut alumnus Steve MacLean’s flight aboard the space shuttle with art and music from members of the Faculty of Fine Arts, and York-led study results on body checking in hockey.

YorkU magazine, which has won awards for the past three years, was recognized with an honourable mention in the category Periodical Staff Writing. Articles by Publications staff included cover features on York alumna and Hollywood actor Rachel McAdams and MacLean (right), as well as news items on research breakthroughts and notable faculty and alumni.

Headquartered in Washington, DC, with an office in London, CASE is the professional organization for advancement professionals at all levels who work in alumni relations, communications and development.