International honors roll in for CSU marketing, communications efforts

Several marketing and communications efforts at Colorado State University recently received international honors, including three awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and two Telly Awards for a “Charging Forward” spot by CSU videographer Ben Ward.

University Advancement won a Gold Circle of Excellence Award from CASE in the “Student Engagement” category for Gratitude Week in November, a student-led experience organized by the Presidential Ambassadors to promote philanthropy education and engagement. The Presidential Ambassadors program engages a diverse group of student leaders who represent the Office of the President and University Advancement.

Recent CSU graduate and incoming master’s student Jonathan Cable led the project and collaboration efforts with CSU partners, resulting in increased outreach and connections. Recent graduates Leslie DeLay and Merry Gebretsadik led the comprehensive marketing plan. Components included a philanthropy-themed popcorn event, video stories of campus buildings that benefited from private gift support, signage around campus with giving information, interactive tabling events centered around philanthropy, and a series of donor and student interviews about philanthropy shared through social media.

“Receiving this recognition is testament to CSU’s commitment to supporting a culture of giving back and instilling in our Ram family the positive effects of philanthropy,” Cable said. “This event’s success is due to the support of numerous campus partners, Marissa Dienstag and the University Advancement team, and the selfless giving of stalwart individuals’ time, talent, treasure and testimony.”

COVID-19: A timeline of the pandemic at CSU

Other CASE awards

In addition, a visually compelling timeline developed by SOURCE Editor Joe Giordano in the Division of University Marketing and Communications won a Bronze Circle of Excellence Award from CASE in a special COVID-19 category.

The entry, “Timeline COVID-19: A year of working through the pandemic at CSU,” was part of a package of stories published in March 2021 to mark the anniversary of the pandemic and recognize the many efforts that CSU undertook to address it.

The timeline built on the success of the award-winning collection of COVID-related SOURCE stories compiled in 2020 and titled, “Life in the Time of Corona.”

Also winning a Bronze Circle of Excellence Award from CASE was a video project created by Dane Aragon from the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in the video fundraising category “Videos on a Shoestring.” According to Lauren McCracken, associate director of university advancement for the college, the winning entry was a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Virtual Surprise video that captured student reactions when they first learned they had received much-needed scholarships.

“We believed our donors would resonate with seeing the impact of their philanthropy and help them feel closer and more connected to students,” she said. “We enlisted our college leadership to host virtual meetings with students under the pretense of being interviewed as part of their scholarship application process and then surprised them with their award.”

CASE received more than 4,500 entries from 636 institutions in nearly 30 countries this year.

Telly Awards

The “Charging Forward” video produced by Ben Ward in the Division of University Marketing and Communications won Bronze Telly Awards in two different “Promotional Video” categories.

The spot made its debut at CSU’s home football opener in September 2021 and aired during CSU’s NCAA broadcasts of football and men’s basketball games this past year. It features several of CSU’s top rankings as well as footage of students participating in activities on campus.

More than 12,000 entries are considered for Telly Awards, from all 50 states and five continents. Winners represent work from some of the most respected advertising agencies, television stations, production companies and publishers from around the world.