Evaluation & Recognition: Match Spectrum Entries to Goals

Each year at this time, credit union marketing and communications departments from around the region are busy preparing entries for the Northwest Credit Union Association’s (NWCUA) Annual Spectrum Marketing & Communications Awards program.

Spectrum is the only credit union awards program in the nation that includes entry evaluations by experts in all areas of marketing and communications. This evaluation is the primary reason why many entrants take the time to prepare their entries. However, before preparation can begin, the perennial struggle marketers must embrace is answering the question, “What should I enter?”

According to Association’s Director of Public Relations and Spectrum Administrator David Bennett, entrants must also answer, “Why?”

“Choosing a product to enter into the Spectrum program isn’t as easy as one might think,” said Bennett. “Depending on the why, answering the “what to enter” question can be a heart and mind wrenching experience.”

Each year Spectrum entries are evaluated by dozens of highly qualified judges from around the Pacific Northwest and beyond.  These judges spend at least four hours evaluating entries; giving their best critique and advice to help Northwest credit unions develop their communications and marketing.

This evaluation is the most valuable part of the program for some entrants, and the one thing that keeps many coming back to Spectrum year after year. For some, it’s the only part their interested in.

“A few years ago we had an entry that didn’t live up to the expectations its creator had for it,” said Bennett. “The highly regarded marketer who entered it knew it wasn’t going to win any award but wanted to know why it didn’t perform well.

“What he learned from the evaluations not only confirmed his own concerns about the product, but also forced him to look at other products from a different direction. He was immediately able to take the information back to his shop and make the needed changes,” added Bennett.

Choosing an entry for some credit unions is as easy as picking the most successful marketing product. Result tracking is generally easy and, if successful, a marketer could assume that the product is well done. Why would a marketer enter a product like this?

The simple answer is: recognition. Getting recognition for a job well done is a great reason to enter Spectrum. Entering a quality product and winning validates a credit union’s message and delivery for all to see.

“Most of the time our communicators are joined at their Spectrum Awards luncheon table by their CEO, a board member or two and a few of their colleagues, “ says Bennett. “It’s a big deal. This show of support can help lift the spirit of a marketer bogged down by a tightening budget.

Whether one enters for the evaluation or the exaltation, know that there are nine different communications and marketing product categories to enter. There is no limit to the number of entries and packages are available to help you get the most out of your entry fee.


Visit the Spectrum page for more information, or contact Association Assistant Christine Duncan: 206.340.4813, cduncan@nwcua.org.

Posted in Awards, Marketing & Communications, MAXX Annual Convention.