By McGill Reporter Staff
McGill communicators came away from the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE) Prix d’Excellence 2013 awards in St. John’s, Nfld., on the weekend of June 8-9 with three gold, two silver and three bronze medals. The Prix d’Excellence recognize outstanding achievements in alumni affairs, public affairs, communications, marketing, development, advancement services, stewardship, student recruitment and overall institutional advancement.
The new home pages on the University’s website earned a gold medal in the Best Website category. The home pages, which debuted in spring 2012, offer entry to mcgill.ca through three separate portals – one for external audiences, one for faculty and staff and one for students.
“We had an idea to create customized home pages for McGill’s staff and students, and it is great to see the project recognized by our peers,” said Susan Murley, Senior Director, Strategic Communications. “It was a true partnership between our web communications team and Content and Collaboration Solutions. It took a lot of research and a lot of consultation, and we’re very proud of the result.”
“Design should always be the product of research and testing,” said Karl Jarosiewicz of McGill IT’s Content and Collaboration Solutions. “The McGill home pages grew out of a basic question: ‘What is important to you as a visitor to the website?’ We worked closely with the Web Communications team to learn what people wanted, and then we built the pages around their answers. It’s great to see the efforts of that partnership recognized by CCAE.”
Projects from Development and Alumni Relations (DAR), meanwhile, won six of the eight awards taken home by McGill-affiliated entities. The McGill News alumni magazine, edited by Daniel McCabe, claimed top honours in the Best Magazine category.
“I’m really fortunate to be able to work with such a talented group of writers, photographers and illustrators,” McCabe said. “My colleagues in DAR Communications provide tremendous support and Julie Fortier (Associate Director, Media Relations) does a great job of editing our French articles. The award is also a testament to the creativity of Steven McClenaghan (Graphic Designer, Graphic Design and Advertising), our wonderful designer. Mostly, I’m incredibly lucky to edit a magazine about such a remarkable institution. McGill is involved in so many different things, and its graduates are such an accomplished bunch, I’ll never run out of story ideas.”
Other DAR honours include a gold medal for Campaign McGill’s Passport to the Future Tour (Best Special Event), a silver for the Campus Community Committee’s James McGill Shakes his Moneymaker bobblehead (Best New Idea: Creativity on a Shoestring) and a bronze for the Annual Fund Holiday Solicitation Video (Best Annual Fund Initiative), all three of which involved outreach to the University’s alumni and donors.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment for our team, to have had so many of our projects recognized for their quality and excellence by our peers across Canada in the same year,” said Derek Cassoff, Director of Communications at DAR. “We are so grateful for the support and collaboration of our colleagues in Alumni Relations, the Annual Fund and elsewhere across DAR, and for the confidence they have expressed in our creative abilities. This has enabled us to develop new and innovative ways to communicate with our donors and alumni, and this recognition from CCAE is a nice validation of our work.”
DAR’s Advancement Services team also took home two awards, a silver medal for its Performance Dashboards (Best Advancement Services Initiative) and a bronze for its Contact Report Wizard in the same category.
“How genetics shape our addictions,” a press release from the Montreal Neurological Institute, written by Anita Kar, Communications and Publications Coordinator in the MNI’s External Affairs Office, won bronze in the Best News Release (English) category.
For the complete list of the CCAE’s Prix d’Excellence 2013 recipients, click here.