Clarion Awards – Ten Tips for a Win

clarion award logo

Deadline April 28, 2014

AWC National held a conference call on tips for entering the Clarion Awards on Tuesday, March 11. I joined in as a past judge and was gratified to learn that 9 times Clarion judge Pat Meads had the same advice to give as I would.

Here are ten tips to help you craft a winning entry:


  1. Complete the entry form correctly! Many otherwise worthy submissions lose big points because they did not bother to read through and complete the entry form.
  2. The quality of your synopsis makes all the difference! Many entries lose points here.
  3. Explain why you did things as well as the way you did them.
  4. Since entries are now electronic, be sure you include close-up photographs. It’s hard to see everything.
  5. Don’t use acronyms. Don’t make the judges look things up.
  6. Put your best foot forward.  If you are part of a team, make sure your best writer crafts the entry.  If you use an intern to do the job, make sure your best writer reviews and edits before submission.
  7. Tailor your entry to your category.  This is sometimes murky territory, so make a solid case.   If you enter in more than one category, do separate entries tailored to each category. One size doesn’t fit all!
  8. Be sure to label EVERYTHING! Our judges look at many entries. It can get confusing. Make sure you get credit for every part of your submission.
  9. Have a 3rd party review your entry before you submit.
  10. You can’t win if you don’t enter!
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Twitter Fiction Festival

If you are a Twitter user, you might want to tune in to #TwitterFiction and follow the second Twitter Fiction Festival. Told in short bursts, episodic short stories dubbed “twitterature” will be highlighted. A group of 27 authors will share stories online at The festival opens Wednesday, March 12 and runs through March 16.

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Join Sheila Scarborough for AWC Twitter Chat March 6

After a short hiatus, our #awcchat on Twitter is back this Thursday, March 6 at 11:30 am CST. Topic is getting more out of your business & professional conferences; anyone can join us!  Send tweets to @awcchat and include #awcchat so others in the chat can see your tweets.

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Bring Your Best

An important take-away from Sandy Hatfield Clubb’s presentation at our February 19 meeting was “Bring Your Best”. 

Are you bringing your best to your job as a woman in communications?  We’d like to help you.

Join Us:  If you are not already a member of the Association for Women in Communications, consider joining.  If you are a member, participate!  Your membership in any organization is what you put into it.  If you invest your time and attention to attend meetings, make sure to take action on what you learn.

Drive Programming: Tell us what is on your mind.  What communications tool do you want to learn to use?  What social media platform are you curious about?  Is there a speaker you would like to hear?  Do you have a special interest group you’d like or an event you think we should offer?  Speak up and be heard!

Serve on the Board or a Committee:  We are a small group.  There are many things we would like to do, committees we would like to form, things we would like to do better.  Opportunity abounds!  Contact a board member for more information.





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AARP Iowa seeks intern to start by Feb. 12


Communications-Advocacy Intern              Paid, 10–20 hours per week

I. Position Responsibilities
Assist Communications and Advocacy ASD with communications support to help achieve our social impact goals at the state level.  Activities will include a combination of editorial, organizational and technical duties such as creating targeted e-alerts, updating the state web page, social media postings, research, writing and fact checking for campaign communications.  In addition, the position includes special event and media relations responsibilities.

II. Position Complexity, Interaction & Impact
This position requires someone with a high degree of organization, ability to see the big picture and understand the level of detail needed to ensure success along the way.

Independent thought and initiative is desired; at the same time this position operates at the direction of the staff supervisor/s, and requires on-going review of work in order to maintain quality control and ensure the best learning environment possible.

This position is key to AARP Iowa being able to communicate at peak levels with our key audiences including internal-national, and state level volunteers, legislators, opinion leaders, media and members.

III. Desired Education, Work Experience and Competencies
A second semester Junior or Senior majoring in either Communications/Journalism/Political Science/Social Media or a combination of those subject areas is most desired.  The candidates should have familiarity with all programs in Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Publisher, as well as video and photography skills plus capability and experience on social media network platforms including Word Press, Facebook, Google +, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Please send email of interest and resume to Ann Black,, by Feb. 5.

Questions: email or call Ann Black, 515.697.1003.

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Iowa Newspaper Association has jobs database

To search for newspaper-related jobs in Iowa, visit the Iowa Newspaper Association’s Help Wanted page:

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Don’t Forget About Our Facebook Page!

We have a Facebook page, Greater Des Moines Chapter, Association for Women in Communications (AWC), where announcements are posted.  If you are on Facebook, please Like us and share our meeting and event announcements.

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Goodwill seeks marketing director

MISSION: To empower individuals and families with barriers to independence through training, education, and employment. 

Come be a part of Goodwill’s mission!

Goodwill Industries of Central Iowa has an opening for a Marketing Director.   The Marketing Director will direct  supervise, and coordinate the Marketing department activities. This position will supervise the Marketing Communication Specialist and plan and formulate through agency directors, the department goals and objectives.

The Marketing Director will be responsible for planning, developing, conducting and maintaining positive public relations, marketing and community resources programs.  The Director will create and implement a marketing strategic plan that will maximize Goodwill’s exposure and mission throughout Central Iowa.

This position will plan and direct a public information program to maintain a positive public image of the agency and to promote sales.   The Marketing Director will make contacts with media representatives for release of information and advertising on radio, television and newspapers.  Responsible for writing, editing, publishing and distributing printed publicity materials such as brochures, newsletters, and annual reports. The Marketing Director will plan and produce an annual calendar of public relations events.

The Marketing Director will also be responsible for maintaining a social media presence and for developing and promoting programs to improve social media recognition.

Bachelor of Arts degree, from an accredited college, in marketing, communications, public relations or related field.

Two (2) years of full-time paid employment may be substituted for each year of post-secondary education, provided this work experience is direct marketing/ public relations and/or management and supervision in these areas.

A minimum of three (3) years of related full-time paid employment, provided this work experience is marketing, communications or public relations.

A Masters of Arts degree, from an accredited college, in marketing, communications or public relations, may be accepted as equivalent to two (2) years of marketing, communications or public relations experience.

Leadership and/or management experience.  Demonstrated experience in the design and execution of marketing, communications and public relations.  Must have strong creative, strategic, analytical and organizational skills.  Demonstrated experience writing press releases, making presentations and negotiating with media.  Experience identifying and managing outside vendors.  Attention to detail and follow through with an eye for design and strong copy writing skills.  Must be able to manage design and production of print pieces. Must be able to manage multiple projects.  Computer literacy in Microsoft Office products, InDesign and other marketing software.  Must have strong verbal and written communication skills.

Must have a valid Iowa driver’s license, reliable transportation, a good driving record and be insurable.  Must be able to pass a criminal background check and dependent adult and child abuse check.

To apply, visit

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Follow Us on Twitter

We have a new Twitter Account: @AWCDSM

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Unique Professional Development Opportunity for Women: Moxie Exchange 2014 Cohort Forming

The Moxie Exchange Movement, a national leadership and professional development organization where businesswomen come together to learn, connect, collaborate, and grow, is launching its 2014 cohort in Des Moines Tuesday, January 21, 2014, with a introductory meeting in Hoyt Sherman Gallery at 3:30 p.m.

The goal of Moxie Exchange is to drive real business conversation and results in a collaborative atmosphere. “There is a special oxygen that gets created when extraordinary business women get together, but what’s usually missing is a structured process and tools to move the needle on performance. At Moxie we have both,” said Brooke Benschoter, Des Moines executive for the group.

The Moxie Exchange Movement is not a networking group, but a professional organization for women that will provide strategy, opportunity and insight to its members through a monthly meeting for individuals, corporate programs and online members’ only website.

If you’d like to register for the January session or learn more about The Moxie Exchange Movement, visit Please use code 6AB7 for free registration or contact Benschoter at 515-202-1396.

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