Employees take home 23 awards for wide range of ads in various formats
The Laurel Leader-Call was recognized as the best newspaper of its size in the state in the Mississippi Press Association’s Better Newspaper Media competition for the advertising division on Saturday.
The newspaper won a total of 23 awards, including the highest honor, Advertising Excellence, which goes to the newspaper with the best overall advertising in each of the five circulation categories. Members of the Georgia Press Association judged the 1,118 contest entries submitted by 26 newspapers across the state.
“Winning advertising excellence is equivalent to winning the state championship in sports,” said Jim Cegielski, owner and publisher of LL-C. “It’s the recognition by our peers of the quality of the work of these staff and the affirmation of what I already knew: that they are the best in the sector. »
Leader-Call staff members won 10 first-place awards, including Best Publicity Special Section (“Home for the Holidays” magazine) and Editorial Special Section (Laurel High School Basketball, Championship Memorial Section of State) and many types of advertisements for a wide range of businesses in various formats.
Creative director Kassie Rowell, who oversees the graphics department, and graphic designer Kamron Johnson have won several first-place awards for the ads they created. Johnson won a total of seven awards and Rowell took home six, with editor Mark Thornton bringing up the rear with a top prize – for best multimedia promotion in a video produced with the South Central Regional Medical Center to encourage people to get colonoscopies. Courtney Foster is LL-C’s advertising manager and Kristin Carter is a sales representative. They work hand in hand with advertisers and designers to deliver effective and eye-catching advertisements.
Rowell won first place for Best Full Color Political Ad with his creation for Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee, who won his third term. It also won first prize for Magazine Ad-Retail (Sweet Blossom), and it was among all non-daily newspapers in the state, not just those in the same circulation category.
Johnson was first among all non-dailies for best black and white service ad (Pulse Electric) and first in color for grocery store/restaurant ad (Reyes Mexican Reyes Mexican Grill & Bar). His creation to bring kids to Salvation Army summer camp won first place for corporate color advertising, and the judges commented, “Great use of art, eye-catching…kid-friendly. »
Johnson and Rowell shared first place in Best Series of Announcements, again for their work for Reyes.
Of the Christmas-themed magazine titled ‘Home for the Holidays’, the judges wrote, “Very well done. Beautiful ads throughout. The cover pops out while still being modern and stylish. Overall very well done .
As for the section which commemorated Lady Tornadoes’ run to the state title, the judges said: ‘The entire piece contains many stunning images which immerse the reader in the theme of sport. The ads also match the theme well. Good work.”
The judges also commented on the multimedia promotion the newspaper did in conjunction with the SCRMC: “A great way to personalize the message and add credibility to a marketing message by featuring the editor. ”
Johnson won second place for the black and white healthcare ad (Harris Dental), small space ad (R&W Hydraulics) and black and white service ad (auction). Rowell finished second in color financial advertising (Sunbelt Federal Credit Union), color grocery/restaurant advertising (Vic’s), and color institutional advertising (June Jam).
Lakyn Prince and Johnson also finished second for Best Classifieds and the staff finished second in Periodical Magazine for its annual football preview.
Johnson finished third in color healthcare advertising (care center) and color political advertising (debate of the mayors), and Rowell finished third in automotive advertising (Parker’s Automotive). The staff also placed third for the special publicity section (Black Friday) and the public health and safety campaign (breast cancer awareness).
Last summer at the MPA’s Editorial Division Awards Luncheon, the Leader-Call won a total of 14 premieres (33 in total), including the Overall Achievement Award, which is given to the best article in each broadcast category. Being selected as the best community newspaper for advertising and news six months apart is a remarkable achievement, Cegielski said.
“Winning first place for Best Advertising Special Section and Best Editorial Special Section in this latest contest sums up the versatility of this staff,” he said. “Our advertising team works hard to create advertisements that will draw attention to the activities of our advertisers, and the editorial team works hard to be interesting enough to attract an audience that will draw attention to their advertisements.”
The Commercial Dispatch of Columbus is the only other newspaper to win Advertising Excellence this year and Overall Excellence last summer.
“These newspapers have been recognized as best in class for service to advertisers and readers,” said MPA Executive Director Layne Bruce. “The Advertising Excellence Awards are given for lifetime achievement in 2021 and recognize their efforts in print newspapers, magazines and digital advertisements.”