Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative (PPEC) recently took a first-place gold title in the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Spotlight on Excellence Awards in the “Best Digital Storytelling” category for their “Hope Isn’t Cancelled” video. The video, released in June 2020, was produced by Marketing & Communications Manager Samantha Kuhn. It explained the co-op’s multi-faceted campaign to motivate the community at the peak of the pandemic when many members were struggling both financially and emotionally.
PPEC ran billboards reminding the community that the co-op’s founding values (Hope, Kindness, and Love) were not cancelled, despite the event cancellations happening globally. The co-op also launched a Good News Dashboard on their website, where anyone could submit stories of positivity happening locally – a reminder that, just as the co-op did during its founding in 1935, the community and neighbors must unite for the greater good, take action to help each member, and have hope for a brighter tomorrow.
PPEC also partnered with the United Way of Paulding County to sell “Hope Isn’t Cancelled” yard signs, as well as running inspirational ads on social media and in the cooperative’s monthly magazines, Ohio Cooperative Living and Indiana Connection.
“Now more than ever, these themes hold true to our values as co-op members, as community leaders, and as small businesses trying to stay open during these challenges,” said PPEC CEO George Carter in the award-winning video. “As we continue to navigate the uncharted waters of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must remember that regardless of how our lives are impacted, some things do not change. The most important things aren’t cancelled. How we go forward and how we treat strangers, members, friends, and family will continue to define us.”
The contest winners are recognized annually during the CONNECT conference, a national conference for communications and marketing professionals, to be held virtually in June, due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. As with years past, winning entries are available for all electric cooperative communicators to view online at cooperative.com.
More information about the award
The annual Spotlight on Excellence Awards program recognizes a body of outstanding work in 16 categories produced by electric cooperative communication and marketing professionals from across the country. Cooperative communicators and marketing professionals submitted more than 720 entries in the Spotlight on Excellence program for 2021. Faculty members from the University of Missouri – Columbia and University of South Carolina, as well as noted professionals in the fields of marketing, web design and digital communications, and newspapers judged the event, which uses a finite scoring system to determine the winners.
NRECA is a national trade association representing more than 900 consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives, public power districts, and public utility districts in the United States. From growing suburbs to remote farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines of economic development for 42 million Americans across 56 percent of the nation’s landscape.