Member Communications Award

  Categories and Judging Criteria for the

Council on Communications

Member Communications Award 2015


The Member Communications Award (formerly known as the Newsletter of the Year Award) recognizes e-newsletters, Innovative & Emerging Technology, Websites, and an Overall Communications Plan that facilitates effective communication with members and/or external audiences on matters of importance to psychiatry, the District Branch/State Association, or an APA constituent groups. Judging criteria include how the award category achieve the goals of the format used including but not limited to the; frequency of content distributed; originality; general layout and design; available resources; creative solutions for member & non member outreach; timeliness; and overall impression.

Solicitations for the award can be received from a District Branch/State Association. The DB/SA must select from only one of the four categories below and submit the entry form. An award can be won in successive years.

Entries will be judged based on the following categories:

  1. Overall Communications Plan award category establishes and executes a communication outreach plan that tackles a specific issue important to the profession or patients. Examples of an ideal communication plan include: raising awareness among the public and the press; organizing a grassroots advocacy outreach activity/ project/or event; utilizing multi-media formats (webinars, video, social media) to educate the public or colleagues on a particular issue; or an advocacy outreach plan that engages other medical specialties, the public, or colleagues.
  2. The e-Newsletters category acknowledges a high quality, engaging, timely, & resourceful  e-Newsletter that keeps the reader interested, informed, and involved.  The e-Newsletter must include and display the archive frequency setting. 
  3. The Website category includes and is judged on the following:
    • Content that links to information the user needs, so that they can act on that information (links facilitate action); 
    • The website includes new content that gives your visitors a reason to revisit your website;
    • Include headshots, graphic elements or photos. Shows your readers who's talking and what you are talking about; 
    • Stays in touch with current issues about psychiatry and patients; 
    • Directs people to useful events; webinars, conferences, workshops, etc.; 
    • Is visually appealing;
    • Includes opinions or feedback on other topics; and
    • Easy website navigation.
  4. The Innovative & Emerging Technology category encompasses the use of a blog, Podcast, e-messaging,Webinar, or video to share and express issues and ideas important to psychiatry. This new award category utilizes social media or a new technology format to bring change and novelty to message efficiency and engage follower's on an ongoing basis. Entries are judged for eloquence, creativity, graphic design & layout, writing quality and style, timeliness, significance of the issue, and its relevance to members. Innovation is progress!

Download the entry form here.  

Judging criteria include: how the entry addresses the goals of the publication or social media format; the quality of writing and headlines; readability; originality; general layout and design; timeliness/frequency, and overall impression.

  • Honorarium:  Certificates & acknowledgement via APA's communication & social media outlets. 
  • Submissions:  District Branch/State Association Executives are notified directly of each year's competition and are sent the award categories, judging criteria and the entry form. 
  • Deadline for entries: August 3, 2015  
  • Component: Council on Communications.

2014 Member Communications Award Winners

Ohio Psychiatric Association – website

North Carolina Psychiatric Association – Innovative & Emerging Technology

Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society – eNewsletter  


2013 Member Communications Award Winners

Arizona Psychiatric Societye-Newsletter Category

Washington Psychiatric Society – Innovative & Emerging Technology

North Carolina Psychiatric AssociationWebsite category   

Please direct your questions or concerns about the Member Communications Award to Lisa Fields by email at (, or by telephone  (703) 907-8587.