By Aaron Meier, Nevada Dept. of Wildlife and ACI Awards Chair
In the winter of 2007, I was sitting in the office that I shared with our marketing director when she made an offhand comment about something called the Association for Conservation Information. I was only half-listening while I posted support material on our website for an upcoming commission meeting (so much fun), and that’s when it happened.
“They have an annual contest too,” she said as an afterthought. I immediately stopped what I was doing and rolled my chair out from my cubicle so I could make eye contact with her.
“Contest?” I inquired. Anyone who knows me knows that I am insanely competitive. The possibility that there was a way to put my work up against other states’ in a fight to the death was all I needed to hear, and I was in.
I have entered everything from posters to publications to campaigns over the past 14 years, and If I’m being honest, I have lost far more than I have won. But each year I take the judges’ comments and examine the entries that won, and I use them to improve my work. The lessons I have learned from each year’s contest have proved invaluable to my professional success, plus every now and then I do win, and I’m not gonna lie…it’s pretty sweet.
That’s the long way of reminding everyone that this year’s ACI Awards Contest is underway, and the deadline (Friday, March 25) is fast approaching. It’s time to enter your agency’s best work for this past year and see where the chips fall. Professionals from the public and private sectors evaluate all entries and offer written, constructive critiques. Awards are handed out for first, second and third place.
This year’s contest features 35 categories that almost surely include at least one that you feel confident entering. The biggest change for 2022 is a new split in the Communications Campaign, with a category for both Educational and Marketing campaigns.
Here is a list of the categories:
- Audio Program or Podcast
- Best Social Media Campaign
- Best Social Media Presence
- Best Use of Humor
- Communications Campaign – Educational
- Communications Campaign – Marketing
- Conservation Post of the Year
- External Newsletter
- Graphics: Advertising/Display
- Graphics: Logos/Illustrations
- Graphics: Layout
- Internal Communication
- Magazine: Destination, Historical or Cultural Article
- Magazine: Fisheries Article
- Magazine: General Interest Article
- Magazine: Wildlife Article
- One-time Publication: Book/Report
- One-time Publication: Brochure
- One-time Publication: Other
- Photography: Flora and Fauna
- Photography: People
- Photography: Scenic
- Photography: Studio/Enhanced
- Recurring Video Program
- Regulations Publications
- Video Feature: Hunting and Fishing
- Video Feature: How-to/Instructional
- Video Feature: Natural Resource Conservation
- Video Feature: Outdoor Recreation
- Video PSA and Marketing
If you have any questions, please contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.