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The City of Kannapolis and Cabarrus County Communications Departments were among 21 North Carolina governments to earn recognition in the 2020 North Carolina City & County Communicators’ (NC3C) Excellence in Communications Awards.

The City of Kannapolis won two second place awards in the categories for Branding/Logo for the West Avenue Streetscape, and Print Poster/Flyer or Card for the Downtown Revitalization Block Map. Cabarrus County won first place awards for their Digital Employee Newsletter, DirectConnect, and the County’s Fiscal Year 2019 Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR).

The awards were announced in a virtual ceremony earlier this month. A total of 192 entries were received.

“It is my honor to congratulate all the 2020 NC3C Excellence in Communications contest winners,” said Rebecca Carter, NC3C President. “Each year I’m blown away by the incredible talent of local government communicators in North Carolina. The creativity and expertise NC3C members show in communicating, informing and educating their residents showcases not only their ability and skill but also how much they care about their communities. I’m so proud to be part of this remarkable group.”

Categories included TV & Video, Communication Technology, Printed Publications, Most Creative Project for the Least Amount of Funds, Citizen Participation, and Marketing Tools.

The County’s monthly DirectConnect employee newsletter was born from an employee survey. Creators used top responses as the basis for the content. Early on, subjects included wellness information, professional development and recognition of successes. And while that information remains, the structure and look of the newsletter evolved over time. It became more visual and focused on shared employee stories. The newsletter became an invaluable tool for keeping employees connected following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cabarrus County developed its PAFR as a supplement to its award-winning Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. The report appeals to readers outside of the financial industry by presenting complex financial information in an understandable format using local photographs, simple graphics and clear language. The publication also includes ways for the community to connect with Cabarrus County and participate in our financial process. As a bonus, the design allows staff to use the publication as a whole or in parts, broadening its use while saving on resources. To view the PAFR, visit https://joom.ag/DvTC.

The City of Kannapolis received a second place award in the category of printed publications for the Downtown Revitalization Block Map. The City has used the block map, electronically and in print form, to illustrate the entirety of the downtown project. The one-page visual representation is reader friendly, appealing and showcases downtown and the projects coming to life with easy to read graphics, artist renderings and quick bullets of information. The piece identifies the downtown block-by-block and provides information on what redevelopment is planned for each block of buildings in the heart of downtown Kannapolis. The piece has been used to market the properties, in public meetings and tours of the downtown, to provide illustration of the project to investors and many other stakeholders. To view the map - click here.

The City was also awarded second place in the Branding and Logo category.  The City received the recognition for the West Avenue Streetscape brand. The brand features navy and green colors in a distinctive format while complementing the city’s primary brand. The logo is featured as a piece of art in the center of the roundabout and on street signs along West Avenue. The brand creates a distinct sense of identity for the newly redeveloped area.

Judges for the NC3C Excellence in Communications Awards were communication professionals from the Minnesota Association of Government Communicators and a variety of communications industries across the state.

The purpose of North Carolina City & County Communicators is to encourage professional development and networking among local governmental communications professionals. The organization was formed in March 2007 and is made up of government professional communicators from around the state. For more information about NC3C, visit the website, www.nc3c.com.