CSU hauls in 10 awards for writing, CSU Spur marketing and STATE Magazine

Colorado State University and the CSU System cleaned up in this year’s awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, collecting 10 district honors for writing, marketing for the CSU Spur campus and STATE Magazine.

“These awards are significant in three ways,” said Greg Luft, interim vice president for marketing and communications, said of the writing awards. “First, they confirm the great skill and dedication of the writers and producers who dug into these stories, and I can’t emphasize that enough. Second, the awards reflect the relevance of the topics both on and off campus, and third, the stories confirm the vast and unique contributions that CSU makes to the community locally, nationally and abroad.”

Five members of CSU’s Strategic Communications team (formerly News and Media Relations) in the Division of Marketing and Communications submitted entries that won Best of District VI Awards in the writing category:

“Having just assumed the interim vice president role a month ago after many years teaching and managing in the Journalism and Media Communication program, I can say that it is very invigorating to see great storytelling and journalism in a university context,” Luft said. “When you consider the connections that these stories create as they ripple through CSU’s diverse populations of potential students, on-campus and online students, staff, faculty, alumni and even vendors, it confirms the importance of the journalistic enterprise in an educational community.”

CSU Spur marketing

CASE gave the same honor to two entries submitted by the CSU System for the new Spur campus at the National Western Center in Denver, both in the area of marketing: one for the category “Branding (Department or Subunit)” and one for “Marketing Initiatives (More Than 25 Staff).”

The branding effort gave the new auxiliary campus its own unique mark, while including the icons for CSU, CSU Pueblo, and CSU Global. Utilizing an energetic color palette, inviting messaging and photos of kids and adults “trying on different careers” in advertising, the campus was launched as a place for everyone. Additional sub-brands emerged, including the CSU Spur of the Moment Podcast, CSU Spur events like second Saturdays at CSU Spur and co-branded partner collateral.

The brand build-out included hundreds of resources, including signage in buildings, giveaways, social media stickers and graphics, community mailers, informational flyers, maps, advertising and ever-evolving assets. Communications meetings with professionals from each CSU campus throughout 2020 and 2021 helped to hone messaging for campus and external audiences, develop resources like the CSU Spur brand page for ease of use, and identify existing and new channels for spreading the word.

More honors for STATE

STATE, the magazine of the Colorado State University System, won three CASE awards – for writing, design and overall publication quality. The entries reflected a special STATE edition from January 2022, which highlighted the CSU Spur campus. The issue showcased CSU Spur programming tied to food, water and human and animal health. With written and visual storytelling, the issue described the CSU Spur mission of promoting innovation through public education, research,and community outreach – starting with efforts to spark curiosity in vital STEM fields among school kids.

“Our communications team takes great pride in telling the stories of the CSU System and is honored to continually build the brand for the new CSU Spur campus,” said Tiana Kennedy, associate vice chancellor for external relations. “The individuals on this team are so deserving of this recognition – and yet, these awards are bigger than our team, as the work we do is that of highlighting the efforts of so many people working to create impact across our CSU System, every day.”

The winning entries described design challenges and considerations related to magazine readership and communication strategy. Included, among others, were story packages about the Temple Grandin Equine Center at CSU Spur, urban farming research at the new campus, studies of South Platte River flora and fauna, longtime ties between CSU and the National Western Stock Show, a unique veterinary clinic at CSU Spur and alumni working as leaders in food and agriculture.

Also for the special edition, STATE won a 2022 Summit Creative Award, recognizing superior creative work and effective marketing. The competition attracted about 3,500 entries from professional firms and organizations in 20 countries.

The full award nominations can be viewed on the CASE District VI website.