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The Center for Rural Development's Director of Public Relations and Marketing Michael Cornett and Communications Specialist Sharon Dodson

The Center for Rural Development garnered seven awards and statewide recognition for its public relations and marketing efforts in the 2011 Kentucky Association of Government Communicators (KAGC) Awards of Excellence contest.

The Center received the awards Dec. 14 at the KAGC annual reception and awards celebration held at the historic Berry Hill Mansion in Frankfort, Ky.

 The Center received two First Place “Awards of Excellence,” including wins in the Brochure Category for its new brochure created for affiliate organization Forward in the Fifth, and in the Special Events Category for the press conference held in January 2010 featuring the grand opening and ribbon cutting for its new Network Operations Center. The Center received a Second Place “Award of Merit” in the Newsletter Category for the organization’s “The Center Insider” 3D virtual monthly newsletter.

The organization also received four Honorable Mention awards in various categories, including: Web-Based Media for its extensive YouTube online library of promotional videos; Public Information Campaign for its new marketing packet and Focus Area brochure series; Feature Writing for a story on Harlan County’s tourism success due to a strategic-planning grant awarded by The Center; and Poster for the Rogers Scholars Motorcycle Rally and Raffle promotional poster.

Thirteen public relations and marketing departments from Kentucky government and state agencies submitted a total of more than 100 entries in the statewide contest this year. All entries centered around materials created and/or published in 2010, and were judged by public relations and marketing professionals from various levels of state government.

“We are proud our work earned the recognition of our peers, but we are more proud of the fact that work helps spread the word on the life-changing programs and services The Center offers the region, state, and nation,” said Michael Cornett, The Center’s director of marketing and public relations.

“We continually strive to remain nimble and creative in our approach in order to have more impact, but these awards are validation that we are making great strides toward our communications and promotional goals,” Cornett added.

Receiving recognition with the KAGC awards were Cornett, Communications Specialist Sharon Dodson, and Graphic Designers Trish Noe and Lea Howard.

The Kentucky Association of Government Communication (KAGC) has recognized professional excellence in written and broadcast communications materials and campaigns by public agencies through this competition for the last 21 years.