Monday, March 19, 2012

"Catch the Wind at MWCC" Communications Success Story Wins Top National Award

"Catch the Wind at MWCC,” a multi-faceted marketing and communications project developed throughout the construction and activation of Mount Wachusett Community College’s wind turbines, has received a top award from the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations.
MWCC’s Marketing and Communications Division received the gold Paragon Award in the “Communications Success Story” category on March 13 during the NCMPR national conference in San Francisco. The division shares the honor with faculty, staff and students who  provided their talent, time and skills on various aspects of the campaign.

The construction and dedication of MWCC’s two 1.65 MW Vestas V82 wind turbines from September 2010 to April 2011 provided an extraordinary opportunity to showcase the college’s renewable energy initiatives through an in-house, multi-channel communications approach incorporating traditional media; social media; video and photography documentation; a special event; and staff and student graphic design contributions in the areas of signage, banners, invitations, event program and t-shirts.

From a communications standpoint, the project showcased MWCC’s decade-long commitment to sustainability and the college’s leadership role in the national climate commitment movement, while enhancing awareness about the benefits associated with renewable energy. 

The communications project consisted of ongoing press releases and story proposals to media outlets as the construction ensued and leading up to the April 2011 dedication ceremony; social media, including the launch of the Green on Green Street blog and posts to the college’s Facebook and YouTube pages; a turbine construction video and dedication ceremony video created by Broadcasting & Electronic Media Department Chair Joel Anderson, the Media Services Department and students; photography capturing virtually all aspects of construction for posterity and for use in the blog, media releases and other venues; and several graphic design projects, including those done in conjunction with Computer Graphic Design Department Chair Leslie Cullen and CGD students.

Independent judges selected to review the entries noted “excellent, sustained media coverage” and student creativity and participation as key factors that earned MWCC an A+ in the Communications Success Story category. More than 1,800 entries were submitted by some 200 colleges in over 40 categories.

Sponsored by the NCMPR, the Paragon Awards recognized outstanding achievement in communications at community and technical colleges. It is the only national competition of its kind that honors excellence exclusively among marketing and PR professionals at two-year colleges in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. NCMPR is an affiliate of the American Association of Community Colleges.

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