Cowgirl Candace wins Southeast writing awards

International organization Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) announced its 2017-18 winners in higher education marketing and public relations, and Cowgirl Candace lassoed in two significant career wins.

Winning both Special Merit Awards for “Best Articles of the Year” and “Publications Writing” in the Southeast region of the United States, I actually made history — again — for my creative work as magazine editor at Columbus State University (CSU).

First, both awards are first-time wins for the institution in these particular categories. Second, this honor became the second consecutive year I’ve won for CSU. During the 2016-17 academic year, I earned the university’s first-ever Special Merit Award in the “Magazine or Publication Rendering for Tablet of Mobile Technology” category.

OK. Enough about my content-producing awesomeness in higher education. What’s the big editorial deal to earning corporate accolades? Well, securing such honors speaks volumes about my expertise as a print/digital writer and editor. Why you too should capitalize on industry-related recognition as you continue to climb today’s corporate ladder:

Awards set up promotions, pay raises. Earning regional, state, national or international awards helps establish a solid case for negotiating career advancement and a pay increase within the company. Because you’ve successfully proven your ability to excel in a particular area while bringing exposure to the brand, your chances of stepping into a new role and upgrading your income becomes more achievable. Remember: Your skill set should always match your paycheck, so if you’re making weighty contributions to the brand, your efforts deserve fitting compensation.

Awards build, reinforce credibility. Winning awards shows that you’re dependable and have the knowledge needed to execute high-quality results, campaigns or collateral. Once you’ve garnered the credit and repeatedly do so, it only strengthens your ability to tackle bigger contracts/projects and collaborate with the best in the industry. As soon as you gain employers’ trust by way of award-winning content, the marketing and public relations work keeps rollin’ in.

Awards generate free, personal publicity. When top performers are made public, peers and future employers will definitely know about your hard work. The organizations sponsoring the awards usually publish official press releases naming winners and also post the outcomes onto their sites. With so many social media channels, this good news spreads online like wildfire. Companies put their victors in internal newsletters, email announcements and on other digital platforms as well. Subsequently sharing your accomplishment on your personal site and social media adds to the traction that you’re an asset to the trade.

Awards attract new business, job offers. Companies value candidates who have gone beyond the distance to get the job done — and have been recognized as the crème de la crème of their colleagues. Whether a small or big brand, businesses want to become associated with the best, which includes assembling a team of elite employees. Knowing that you’ve gained respect among your professional peers for producing award-winning work puts you on the resume pool radar for a callback to join creative forces. It also says you know how to work masterfully with funds, time and resources, which are all pluses companies scout for.

COWGIRL CANDACE’S MEDIA MILESTONES: Creative and competitive by nature, I’ve been winning editorial-related awards in research, reporting and writing since graduating from Georgia State University (GSU) in Atlanta. My rural roadmap to storytelling success:

  • 2006: Excellence in Research at GSU: Newspaper Coverage of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot;
  • 2012: Special Merit Award in “Video Script Writing” for Georgia College & State University by CASE;
  • 2014: First-Place Feature Writing in the Georgia Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest for The Baldwin Bulletin;
  • 2015: First-Place Hard News Writing in the Georgia Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest for The Wilkinson County Post;
  • 2016-17: Special Merit Award in “Magazine or Publication Rendering for Tablet of Mobile Technology” for CSU by CASE;
  • 2017-18: Special Merit Award in “Best Articles of the Year” for CSU by CASE; and
  • 2017-18: Special Merit Award in “Publications Writing” for CSU by CASE.




About Author /

An award-winning feature writer, internationally published brand blogger and digital content creator. The fourth-generation cowgirl and veteran journalist pioneered digital platform Southern Styles & Steeds to share sincere stories from her agricultural upbringing.

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