NYSUT Communications Awards

UPDATE: Sep. 1, 2015

And the winner is...

Congratulations to all the winners of this year's Communications Awards! We know how hard you work to keep your members informed. Thank you!

Ted Bleecker Best of the Best Award: In-Service

Hastings Teachers Association
"Hastings TA Social Media Campaign"
Award Winner: Nate Morgan
Editor: Nate Morgan
Local President: Nate Morgan

With its skillful use of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr - all linked to an attractive and comprehensive website - this local continues its tradition of excellence in digital documentation of its commitment to community service. The website does a masterful job of keeping members and the community up-to-date on local, statewide and national issues in education and labor and provides links to the union's constant presence on social media sites.

Ted Bleecker Best of the Best Award: Retiree

Jericho Retiree Association
The Jericho Retiree
"Jericho's Fulbrights"
Award Winners: Maureen Tracy, Dave Martin, Jeff Feinberg & Susan Menkes
Editor: Carol Spielberger
Chapter Leader: Carol Spielberger

From the colorful artwork to the individual accounts by four of its members, this retiree group has taken a mildly interesting subject –- Teacher Fulbright awards -- and turned it into a compelling read. Four now-retired recipients of the prestigious awards each tell their stories in their own words, taking us into their classrooms overseas and recounting their experiences. Even the artwork is superb –- a colorful photo of a six-foot mural, inspired by the events of 9/11 and jointly created by the Fulbright-winning art teacher's students both at home and in Japan.

About the NYSUT Communications Awards

The NYSUT Communications Awards recognize outstanding NYSUT local union and chapter publications, websites and social media. Sponsored by NYSUT United, this year's contest covered entries produced between Jan. 1, 2014, and Dec. 31, 2014, and current websites. Only original work may be entered.

For any questions, contact Julie Bull by email: jbull@nysutmail.org

Entry Form


  • General Excellence. Publications are judged on both content and overall design, showing consistent excellence in timely, informative content; clear, descriptive writing; and interesting and attractive graphic elements. Publications should extend a clear idea of the broad range of activities and interests of the local. Writing, spelling, grammar and headlines are evaluated.
  • Best Article about Local or Chapter Issue. Engaging the community and putting solution-driven unionism to work are things our members do all the time. Enter your inspiring articles about the work your members do.
  • Best Article about a Social Justice Issue. Enter your best stories about how your members are making a positive difference and helping to give voice to the voiceless.
  • Best Creative Writing. It could be the style of your writing, perhaps the way you frame a story, or the details you use to bring attention to a deserving subject... Let's see your most captivating prose.
  • Best Overall Graphic Design. Our challenge as communicators is to present the most effective blend of words and images to inform our members, convey a message, set a tone and inspire action. Color and font choices, design elements and layout and use of photos and graphics can all contribute to good design. Entries may include layouts for single-page or multi-page articles, an entire publication, website or special project.
  • Best Column/Blog. Messages that engage the audience, inspire participation in the dialogue or encourage action on specific issues make the best entries.
  • Best Photo/Illustration. Enter a photograph or illustration that catches the heart and illuminates a story. Photos must be original to the publication, and taken by a union or staff member, or outside photographer hired expressly for the photo. By submitting photos in this category, it is understood that NYSUT has the right to reproduce them.
  • Best Use of Social Media. Show us how you use digital media - Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, Groupsites, Instagram - to communicate immediately and effectively.
  • Most User-Friendly Website. Entries are judged for creativity in making the site user friendly by presenting content that is useful and easy to navigate.

Best of the Best

Winners in any category are eligible for the Ted Bleecker Award - the Best of the Best - for most outstanding effort. The winning entry can be a publication, website, social media or an article.

Entry Requirements

1. All print entries must be published during the period between Jan. 1, 2014, and Dec. 31, 2014.

2. All entries must be original, meaning locals cannot submit material first published elsewhere.

3. An entry for General Excellence should be one entire issue. We need four (4) copies of that entire issue.

4. Each entry must be LABELED on the FRONT with the publication name, local name, class and category. All four copies should be placed in one unsealed envelope indicating class and category.

5. Entries for Most User-Friendly Website, Best Column/Blog and Best Use of Social Media must include the site's URL on the entry form.

6. Four (4) copies of EACH entry must be submitted.

7. NOTE: Due to the scope of the contest and the increasing number of entries each year, entries that don't comply with the rules will be disqualified.

You may enter multiple categories, but only ONE entry per category.

A panel of independent experts will judge the contest.


Entries must be postmarked by Jan. 5, 2015.

Download the entry form (PDF) and return to: Communication Awards c/o NYSUT United 800 Troy-Schenectady Road Latham, NY.

Winners will be notified by email.

2014 Honorees

Congratulations to last year's honorees. Click here for more information, including sample work and photos.