Hickory – The City of Hickory was among 19 North Carolina governments to earn recognition in the North Carolina City & County Communicators’ (NC3C) 2021 Excellence in Communications Awards. Hickory won two first-place awards – first place in Photography and first place in Most Creative with Least Dollars Spent.

The awards were announced April 29, in conjunction with NC3C’s virtual 2021 annual conference. All 168 award program entries were judged by professional communications peers from the Minnesota Association of Government Communicators.City Of Hickory Wins Two State Awards

“Congratulations to all the winners. You deserve your award, and you deserve to be recognized for your hard work,” said NC3C President Joshua Harris, City of Lenoir, NC. “Communications is an important part of local government operations, and one goal of NC3C is to recognize those communicators across the state who create great content and help keep our citizens informed. Keep up the good work. You make me proud to be part of NC3C.”

The City of Hickory received a first-place award in the category of Photography for “You Should Live Here! Hickory, North Carolina,” a photo captured to showcase the natural beauty of the area and promote Hickory for economic development, as well as for recruiting potential businesses and future residents. At the strategic direction of City staff, the photo was taken by local drone photographer and videographer Chad Austin. The photo features an aerial view of Lake Hickory with the Blue Ridge Mountains, which is a great shot of the foothills of Hickory, NC.

Hickory received a first-place award in the Most Creative with Least Dollars Spent category for “Tinsel Town Countdown,” a festive social media campaign counting down the days from Thanksgiving to Christmas by sharing fun holiday activities, community updates, and the adventures of Julian and Jillian, the City elves. The campaign included 29 daily posts on Facebook and Instagram that effectively engaged the community while promoting holiday activities and generating excitement for the season and various city projects. The campaign name was inspired by Realtor.com’s designation of Hickory as America’s Top Tinsel Town in 2017.

“I am honored and excited to have Hickory’s Office of Communications win two first-place awards this year,” said Communications and Marketing Manager Dana Kaminske. “My team, including our contractor Chad Austin, Inc., works hard all year, so to be recognized for that work through the NC3C awards platform is icing on the cake. There are amazing communications programs being created and implemented through North Carolina governments. To be among those who won is greatly appreciated.”

The purpose of North Carolina City & County Communicators is to encourage professional development and networking among local governmental communications professionals. The organization was formed in March 2007 and consists of professional government communicators from around the state. For more information about NC3C, visit www.nc3c.com.

Photos: (Top) “You Should Live Here! Hickory, North Carolina” – award winning photography entry. (Bottom) Sample graphics from the “Tinsel Town Countdown” campaign.