Twenty-five of AAPA’s member seaports earned awards for exemplary communications projects and programs as part of the 52nd annual AAPA Communications Awards Program.
* By Aaron Ellis *
APA’s communications competition, which began in 1966, recognizes excellence in the products and services that ports produce to meet their public relations and marketing goals. In mid-June, AAPA announced that 25 of its member seaports had earned awards for exemplary communications projects and programs as part of the trade association’s 52nd annual Communications Awards Program, which closed for entries on May 1.
In addition to 25 entries that earned an Award of Excellence (similar to 1st place), 38 entries scored an Award of Distinction (similar to 2nd place) and 16 entries netted an Award of Merit (similar to 3rd place). In addition, the three highest-scoring entries in their respective port budget category each won a top honor trophy.
The recipients of the 2018 Overall Award of Communications Excellence trophies were: Southern California’s Port of San Diego (Category 3); Southwest Washington’s Port of Longview (Category 2); and the Port of Grays Harbor (Category 1), on Washington’s Pacific Coast. Category 1 ports have a total annual communications budget of under $300,000, while Category 2 ports have an annual communications budget of between $300,000 and $800,000, and Category 3 ports have a communications budget that exceeds $800,000.
“When port authorities communicate strategically with their many audiences, including their communities, business leaders and policymakers, they’re better able to show their tremendous value as drivers of economic development, environmental enhancement and job creation,” said Kurt Nagle, AAPA’s president and CEO. “This competition helps our member ports by rewarding strategic communications through peer-reviewed analyses of their projects, and by showcasing best practices and lessons learned.”
The 2018 AAPA Communications Awards Program utilized 23 professional public relations practitioners from the Washington, D.C. area who cumulatively spent more than 90 hours over two weeks judging the 15 classifications of entries, ranging from advertisements, periodicals, videos and websites, to social media and overall campaigns.
Overall, there were seven seaports that submitted entries as Category 3 budget ports, while 15 seaports competed in the Category 2 budget category, and three ports entered as Category 1 budget ports. While a few ports tendered just a single submission, most sent in multiple entries for judging.
All 82 winning entries in AAPA’s 52nd Annual Communications Awards Program can be seen on the AAPA Communications Awards Program web page at https://bit.ly/1WXhM5a.