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REGIONAL BEST OF NAMA RAISES THE BAR
National Best of NAMA judging took place February 24-25 in Kansas City, Mo., and many of the judges agreed that the regional judging concept has elevated the quality of the work. In its fifth year, the regional judging concept has raised the bar on those that advance to the national judging.

Judges evaluate eligible Best of Show Advertising entries for National Best of NAMA
"The quality of the work in this year's National NAMA Awards competition - both in terms of strategic insight and creative impact and relevancy - was excellent ... as good as I've ever seen," says competition judge Dave Patterson of John Deere Credit. "I believe the regional format is a contributing factor, as well as the likelihood that marketing/creative agencies are working harder than ever to generate marketing communications that successfully connect with the audience, and as a result are most likely to meet or exceed the communications objectives."

The Best of NAMA/Golden ARC Awards, sponsored by the National Agri-Marketing Association, honor the best in agricultural marketing communications. Both companies and agencies submit their work for this competition, which is one of the tools used to evaluate creative marketing communications and public relations success in the industry.

The regional awards process began in October of 2002. Companies and agencies entered their work to the regional competition. Part of the regional entry fee was, in turn, returned to the chapter where the person submitting the entry is a member. Entries were then judged in one of six different regions. Overall, there were 1,157 entries from the six regions with more than 80 judges participating. Regional judges were required to have at least three years of industry experience. Three judging events took place in Kansas City, Mo., Minneapolis and Chicago.

First place and merit winners from each region were then eligible to advance to the national competition, where 28 judges evaluated 452 entries. National judges were required to have five years of industry experience.

Judging is hard work, but most feel it is rewarding to see the great entries.

Public relations judging stretched over two days, since evaluating these entries can be extremely time consuming. In addition, PR judges provided written comments on these entries, which will be fed back to entrants.

Judges determined first place and merit winners in advertising and public relations. The first place entries were then eligible for Best of Show awards, presented in the areas of Advertising, Public Relations and Specialty categories.

"For the number of years I have been involved with the judging, this year we saw some of the freshest and best creative in some time. What we've seen in the past has been good, but the creative this year was exceptional across all categories," said Best of NAMA judge Carroll Merry, president of Countryside Marketing.

All awards were presented at the Agri-Marketing Conference and Trade Show in San Diego on April 15, 2003. AM


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