marketing communications awards
A Way with Words:
The 2013 Feature Writing Winners
ords take shape within emails, brochures,
and tweets to help firms meet their
marketing goals. But oftentimes, there’s
a need for longer, more substantial content, such
as articles and white papers, to meet objectives
and gain audience awareness. As part of the
Marketing Communications Awards (MCA) Program,
SMPS recognizes, in the Feature Writing Category,
firms that have created this type of content in print
Here, we’ve featured the projects that won first,
second, and third place in this category during the
2013 MCAs. Theresa Casey, FSMPS, CPSM, whose
firm On Target Marketing & Communications won
first place, says, “Studying winning entries in the
SMPS Marketing Communications Awards has
provided invaluable insight to continually improve
my work, and it positioned me to place three times
in the Feature Writing Category.
“Transforming Brownfields into Healthfields”
On Target Marketing & Communications/
Cardno TBE, Columbia, CT
1st Place, Feature Writing Category
Goals. Theresa Casey ghostwrote “Transforming Brownfields into
Healthfields” for her client Miles Ballogg of Florida-based Cardno
TBE. The article, which appeared in the November 2012 issue of
Brownfield Renewal magazine, explained the developing trend of
bundling health-focused federal funding with brownfield renewal
funding to redevelop abandoned buildings, while reducing
healthcare gaps in underserved communities. The goals of the
article included using the healthfields concept to create a new
niche for Cardno TBE’s brownfields services and to expand these
services beyond Florida, building on Cardno TBE’s brownfields
work to springboard the firm’s growth in the healthcare market,
and strengthening ties with clients and referral sources.
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Target Audience. Current and future brownfield grant recipients
were targeted, as well as medically underserved communities,
healthcare providers, developers, and state and federal funding
agencies. Brownfield Renewal magazine was chosen because it is
the authority on trends in the brownfield industry.
Research and Planning. Secondary research for the article
included reports such as the 2011 National Health Disparities
Report, published through the Agency for Healthcare Research
and Quality, which showed health disparities are a major driver
for large government healthcare spending. Also, according to
Plunket Research, U.S. healthcare expenditures were estimated
to be $2.7 trillion in 2011 and expected to rise to $3.5 trillion in
2016, making it one of the best-funded markets in the country.
“Transforming Brownfields into Healthfields, an entry from On Target
Communications and Cardno TBE, won first-place in the Feature
Writing Category of the 2013 Marketing Communications Awards.
Message. Casey believes feature-length writing is key to telling
a firm’s story. She and the Cardno TBE team set out to galvanize
the concept. They synthesized, organized, and formulated the
information into the message “Transforming Brownfields to
Healthfields,” which coined the term healthfields for the first
time. Due to the article’s success, the term became the topic of
six conference workshops.
Results. Landing the cover story was very useful in convincing
management that healthcare was a viable market and to put
Cardno TBE’s brownfields group in a lead role. The article also
helped secure speaking opportunities at conferences with national
EPA and community development staff. Cardno TBE developed
and strengthened relationships with key clients and referral
sources and secured work for brownfields and other service areas,
due in part to the strategic position garnered from the article.
“Modern Art: Instituto Nacional de Cancer”
CannonDesign, St. Louis, MO
2nd Place, Feature Writing Category
Goals. The primary purpose of the article “Modern Art: Instituto
Nacional de Cancer” was to demonstrate CannonDesign’s
expertise and global presence in healthcare design and planning.
The “INCA” story, published in the October 2011 issue of
Healthcare Design, discussed CannonDesign’s work on one of
the largest healthcare projects in South America—one that
will provide a healing and supportive environment for patients
undergoing cancer treatment.
Target Audience. The target audience included all existing
and prospective clients and allied professionals in the built
environment, as well as CannonDesign’s staff of more than 1,000.
Healthcare Design’s readership includes architects, designers,
administrators, facility managers, and constructors responsible
for designing, building, and renovating healthcare buildings—an
important sector served by CannonDesign.
Research and Planning. Having established a solid relationship
with the editorial leadership at Healthcare Design, CannonDesign’s
communications team submitted a draft from the firm’s global
healthcare practice leader, Michael Pukszta, and design principal,
George Nikolajevich, for consideration. Content was developed
by Pukszta—an expert in designing and planning for cancer care,
with accompanying narrative by Nikolajevich, who has devoted
his career to the design of buildings for learning and healing. After
notice of acceptance, interviews between the publication’s editorial
team, the communications team, and Pukszta and Nikolajevich
Second place in the 2013 Feature Writing Category was awarded
to CannonDesign for its entry “Modern Art: Instituto Nacional
Message. In 2007 on its 70th anniversary, INCA, the national
cancer institute for Brazil, began planning for its new campus in
Rio de Janeiro. INCA sought out CannonDesign to assist it in
transforming its physical environment into a world-class oncology
center. The project scope included removal of older buildings on
three city blocks adjacent to the existing hospital and almost
1.5 million square feet of new construction, as well as renovation.
The article addressed the scope of the design program, the
architectural heritage of Brazil, the uniqueness of working
in the country, and the importance of building relationships
across cultures. It also offered design commentary with unique
conceptual sketches from Nikolajevich.
Results. In addition to reaching the publication’s subscribers,
a reprint was purchased from the publication’s vendor and
distributed to all 15 CannonDesign offices, profiled in the
firm’s newsletter, and posted on the firm’s web site and blog.
The reprints will be used in qualification packages and proposal
responses, and as a direct-mail piece accompanied by
a personalized note, for the next few years.
“Complex Data Center Build on an Abbreviated
JE Dunn Construction, Kansas City, MO
3rd Place, Feature Writing Category
Goals. One of JE Dunn Construction’s public relations goals for
2012 was to establish its Mission Critical Group as a leader in
the data-center-building vertical market. Although the Mission
Critical Group was ranked among the top 10 in the country,
it had never published or presented on its thought leadership.
The goal was to be published in the leading data-center
publication, 7x24 Exchange International magazine, which is
read by the group’s target audience.
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Target Audience. The primary audience was decision-makers for
data-center developers and co-location data-center providers.
Research and Planning. JE Dunn researched data-center
publications, as well as the types of articles editors were looking to
source from subject-matter experts. Through JE Dunn’s targeted
editorial calendar and media relations plan, it identified 7x24
Exchange International as the leading publication to reach its
target audience. Working with the company’s Mission Critical
operations lead, the JE Dunn team created an article outline that
would be a perfect fit for 7x24 Exchange International.
Message. JE Dunn wanted to communicate that its Mission
Critical Group is a construction industry leader with innovative
building solutions for clients’ data-center needs. The team knew
the best way to reach the audience was to tell a “real-life” story
about solving the problems faced in building data centers.
JE Dunn identified a completed project in which it had overcome
these hurdles with success and wrote in detail about solving the
problems. To differentiate themselves, the team didn’t write the
piece in a case-study format but as an article, with even a little
humor. This provided a level of distinction and established the
author as not only a thought leader but part of a problemsolving team.
your entry now!
The 2014 Marketing
are right around the corner.
Discounted Entry Deadline: March 3
Final Entry Deadline: March 17
Winning firms will be honored and their entries
displayed during Build Business power:play,
the SMPS Annual Conference, July 30–August 1
in San Antonio.
Visit www.smps.org/MCA for details on
competition categories, submittal
requirements, and entry fees.
Results. The JE Dunn team secured a two-page article with byline
and credits in 7x24 Exchange International. As a direct result of the
article, the publication asked the Mission Critical Group to lead
a panel for the next 7x24 Exchange International conference—the
premier event for JE Dunn’s target audience. At this event, several
key meetings were arranged with attendees, and at least one
resulted directly in new business. Additionally, JE Dunn was asked
to continue to write for 7x24 Exchange International, securing
When it comes to business development, more and more firms are
seeing the value of content development to reach target audiences.
Has your firm supported content development as a public relations
tool? Have you seen results from one of these initiatives? If so, consider
entering your work in the 2014 Marketing Communications Awards.
Learn more at www.smps.org/MCA.
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JE Dunn Construction won third place in the 2013 Feature Writing
Category with its article “Complex Data Center Build on an
Abbreviated Timeline, published in 7x24 Exchange International.