JPW projects win top state awards

Updated: May 14, 2019

The California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO) recently awarded several JPW Communications (JPW) projects for outstanding design, video, content and strategy—including a Best in Show, the association’s highest award.

Judges—who reviewed more than 200 entries—awarded the Best in Show to a collateral piece that JPW designed to help the City of San Marcos recruit top job candidates.

That collateral was part of a bigger talent attraction campaign created by JPW, which won an Award of Distinction. By letting communications drive its recruitment strategy, the City attracted a higher caliber of candidate, and more of them—to the tune of a 35% boost in one year.

In that vein, JPW produced a video series to pique interest, which also won an Award of Distinction. Judges especially liked that the videos made it clear the City did not want to hire folks who settle for the status quo.

“What really set the campaign apart is how it showed the ways the City of San Marcos is hiring people for their creativity and willingness to take acceptable risks — two things people do not immediately think of when they imagine a public-sector workforce,” commented one judge.

Beyond that, the campaign elevated communications within the City, helping staff to see its value in a new light.

“This taught me communicators aren’t just the press release people. They deserve a seat at the table when discussing key strategies,” said Deputy City Manager Michelle Bender.

“We are proud of our collaboration with JPW, which has helped us raise the bar in how we recruit talent.”

JPW also collaborated with the City to produce a series of economic development articles, which won an Excellence in Public Information and Communications Award (EPIC Award), the top honor in the writing category.

To date, 17 articles have earned more than 40 media placements. According to city data, the articles have averaged a social media engagement rate of more than 30 %—well above the 9 % rate government agencies typically see, according to Sprout Social.

“The data tells us these stories are not only reaching the right audiences, they are also resonating,” said Economic Development Manager Tess Sangster. “By telling our own story in a credible and engaging way, we have inspired confidence and generated interest. Simply put, these articles have helped put our City’s economic development efforts on the map. I personally have not seen another agency capable of creating content so compelling.”

Helping local government better connect with the public inspired JPW President Jenny Windle three years ago to launch the communications firm, which now has offices in San Diego and Los Angeles counties.

“My team and I inherently know what our clients need because we have decades of government experience,” Windle said “We fiercely believe that clear, compelling communication improves government. Recognitions like these validate that and inspire us to do more.”

All CAPIO award entries were judged by senior-level government communication officials from across the nation. Awards were formally presented April 11 during CAPIO’s annual conference in Newport Beach, CA.

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