CSU’s Division of External Relations Honored with Six National Awards, including Grand Award for Publication Excellence

Colorado State University was honored with six national awards for innovative communications work on everything from bringing facts and figures to life in a revitalized form to cutting-edge website development, social media campaigns, and publications that successfully promoted the university and its brand identity around the nation and world.

The awards, announced recently by the national APEX Awards organization, honored Colorado State’s Division of External Relations for a broad range of communications and marketing work, including the Grand Award for Publication Excellence for “InFact Booklet: Colorado State University by the Numbers.”

The publication took an old concept – a presentation of basic data about enrollment, finances and other university facts and figures – and turned it on its ear. The new version includes photos, graphics and quotes from students and faculty that help bring the boring statistics to life, and was honored with the top award nationally for annual reports.

CSU’s Division of External Relations also won Awards of Excellence for:

Social Media: “Introducing the Top Mascot: CAM the Ram,” a social media campaign rallying support and votes to send the student-nominated CAM the Ram to the final four in Capital One’s Mascot Challenge and establishing the university’s beloved mascot into one of the most recognized in the nation.

Most Improved Websites: “University Main Page 2013 Redesign,” a redesign of the CSU’s main page that included enhancing communications with internal and external constituent groups and improving usability for all users of the site with a focus on those groups. Additionally, the redesign better reflected the institution’s brand positioning and created new ways to display and use message points more effectively.

Government Agency Communications: “CSU and the High Park Fire: From Science to Action and Recovery,” a campaign about how the university sprang into action to communicate, lead and give at a level that FEMA reported to be unprecedented by other universities both during and after the High Park Fire.

Magazines and Newspapers: “The Horn Magazine,” a publication created by CSU’s Athletic Department and External Relations staff for former CSU Ram athletes featuring stories, sports updates, calendar of events, ticketing information and trivia.

Feature Writing: “Safe Passage on the Ucayali,” a story written by Melinda Swenson for Colorado State Magazine about a CSU student who completes her graduate internship in International Development Interdisciplinary Studies by traveling deep into the jungles of Peru. There she helped an indigenous tribe determine where their land’s boundaries actually existed on the ground, so they could protect and manage the land.

In its 25th year, the APEX Awards recognize excellence based on graphic design, editorial content and the ability to achieve overall communications goals. APEX Grand Awards honor the outstanding work in each main category, while APEX Awards of Excellence recognize exceptional entries in each of the individual categories. Out of 2,400 entries in the competition, only 100 Grand Awards were given. Colorado State University was the only university in Colorado honored by APEX this year.

Earlier this year, CSU’s Division of External Relations was honored with two national Circle of Excellence Awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and four Gold and Silver Pick Awards from the Public Relations Society of America – Colorado Chapter.

“It is always nice to be recognized for good work, but what is even more gratifying is to see the broad range of work that our talented staff were able to do that truly stood out as some of the best in the nation,” said Tom Milligan, vice president for external relations. “Colorado State is a great institution, with many great stories to tell. I’m proud that our team is working in so many different ways to tell those stories.”