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UFS Scoops Global Communications Awards

The University of the Free State (UFS) has scooped two prestigious international awards for outstanding work in the field of communications.

UFS director of the Department of Communication and Marketing, Lacea Loader said receiving international recognition from prestigious professional organisations such as the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is a huge achievement.

“It is the culmination of consistent high-quality work by a team of dedicated professional communicators, and I am extremely proud of these achievements – especially because the UFS was one of the few universities in the country to have achieved such international recognition so far this year,” noted Loader.  

Manager for Digital Communication, Lelanie de Wet and her team won an award for their communication and marketing plan and the execution of the 2019 Kovsies Multilingual Mokete. Their victory came in the entry for 2020 CASE Gold Circle of Excellence Award in the Diversity and Talent Management (Diversity Initiatives) category.

CASE is a global non-profit association dedicated to educational advancement alumni relations, communications, development, marketing, and advancement services, sharing the goal of championing education to transform lives and society.

Each year, the council recognises best practices in advancement, as well as outstanding people contributing to the growth and understanding of the advancement profession.

The North Western University in the United States took gold in this category and Tufts University, also from the United States, took silver award.

The awards acknowledge superior accomplishments with a lasting impact, demonstrating the highest level of professionalism, and delivering exceptional results.

A total of 2 752 entries in 100 categories from 587 institutions were received for the 2020 awards.

High praises were received from the judges for this project which was under the theme ‘I have a voice’.

“This is one of the most exciting entries we have seen in our many years of judging. With the theme of ‘I have a voice’, they celebrated the multiple languages spoken on their campus. The planning and emphasis on inclusivity were extraordinary. They engaged their entire community in the process and the celebration. As they said in their nomination form, we did not want this to be just another festival that happens ‘on’ campus, but rather a festival that happens ‘for’ campus. They succeeded beautifully,” said the judging panel.

Audio-visual specialist Barend Nagel won the 2020 IABC Gold Quill Award of Merit for his gender-based violence awareness campaign photographs in the audio-visual communication skills category.

The IABC is a global network of communications professionals and for more than 40 years, IABC’s Gold Quill Awards have been recognising and rewarding excellence in strategic communication worldwide.

The awards programme is recognised as one of the most prestigious in the communications profession.

This is the 9th award the UFS department has received from the IABC.

In 2014, the department also received the prestigious IABC Jake Wittmer Research Award for their outstanding work.

This year, the awards committee selected 201 entries as world-class, with 81 entries earning excellence awards and 120 merit awards.

Some of the competitors in the audio-visual communication skills category included international companies such as Tiffany and CO, Crown Castle from the US, Sappi Southern Africa, and Cropley Communication from Australia.

The judges commended the creativity and innovation of the photographs as a very creative campaign that would leave a lasting impression on everyone who sees it.

They also added it’s an innovative campaign likely to connect with the audience and make them think.

By: Neo Ntsele