2007 Award Winners

Consulting Success proudly announces the APCC 2007 awards recipients. This year the organization gives three awards: one client award for the Honor Roll of Excellence in Communication, a member award for Excellence in Writing for Publication, and a member award for Excellence in Writing for a Client. Winners were revealed at the annual APCC business meeting in Washington, DC, on October 12, 2007.


1.  Honor Roll of Excellence in Communication (client award)

QORE Property Sciences, CEO Rick Heckel, and Senior Vice President Mark Shearon received the 2007 APCC Honor Roll of Excellence in Communication Award for commitment to communication that was extensive enough to result in a new company culture.

Pam Armstrong Scott

Long-time APCC member and former Board member, Pam Armstrong Scott, MA EdHD, of{mosimage} Armstrong Scott, Inc., (Pam, right, accepts the client award from Reva Daniel, left) serves Heckel and Shearon as an executive coach. According to Scott, these executives focus on communicating effectively with all 550-plus employees in the Duluth, Georgia, engineering and environmental consulting firm.

Scott reports that based on the results of Myers Briggs personality type testing and her coaching on the differences in communication styles, the executives were able to adjust their communications to meet the varied communication styles of their employees.

Both executives and management credit Scott’s communication coaching and the company’s commitment to clearer communication with improved understanding of the plans for the company’s change efforts and greater management buy-in to company’s plans for change.

This award-winning commitment to communication doesn’t stop at the management level; instead, it’s carried down through the staff level with training in the Q-School, the company’s university. In this training the communication courses are aligned with the company’s various career paths.

Communication has become a competitive advantage for QORE. With strengthened internal dialog, enhanced relationships with clients, and improved teamwork throughout, the company is on a growth track and is dealing well with the fast-paced changes required in today’s engineering environment.

QORE Property Sciences is indeed an award winner for its top to bottom commitment to clear oral and written communication delivered in ways that meet its employees’ communication needs.

2. Excellence in Writing for Clients Award

Deborah Bosley

Dr. Deborah S. Bosley (pictured, right), Principal of The Bosley Group: Simplified Communication, received the 2007{mosimage} Excellence in Writing for Clients Award for Best Practices for Simplified Communication (Guide), written for TIAA-CREF’s Marketing Communications—Individual Client Marketing department.

The Guide was written as a response to the company’s need to create a tool to promote consistency among writers, to simplify written correspondence to its clients, and to present research to support plain language strategies.

The well-designed and detailed Guide was developed through—

  • Extensive interviews and discussions with upper-level management
  • Many hours of analyzing company documents
  • Usability testing and research of selected documents
  • Because of the extensive customization, the Guide contains many examples from the company’s own documents and other relevant sources.

What’s unique about The Best Practices Guide? It’s more than a style manual. It offers research results to support most of the principles espoused in the document, and it gives users four levels of decision-making and simplification of written communication. Each plain language element is presented on one page with the following:

  1. Strategies (what to do)
  2. Principles (why the strategies work)
  3. Examples (how they work)
  4. Research (evidence for support)

APCC recognizes Best Practices for Simplified Communication as a model for best practices guides meeting the needs of various users with research based principles and explanations.

3. Excellence in Writing for Publication Award

Barbara Shwom

The APCC 2007 Excellence in Writing for Publication Award goes to Barbara L. Shwom PhD and Karl P. Keller MBA of Communication Partners. Along with Robert P. Sedlack, Jr. of Notre Dame University, they wrote Graphics and Visual Communication for Managers, published by South-Western.

Karl Keller

This book shows “paragraph people” and “spreadsheet people” how to communicate complex information to each other.

Firmly rooted in both research and consulting experience, the book is a readable and useful guide to the best practices of—

  • Document design—including page layout and typography
  • Creating tables and graphs—based on rhetorical principles of audience, purpose, usefulness, and integrity
  • Using color—including the properties and cultural implications of color
  • Using photos and illustrations—including scale and focus
  • Integrating text and graphics—emphasizing how the two interact and support one another
  • Using PowerPoint—including creating coherence, readability, and flow

Additional chapters cover selecting a graphic designer (useful to consultants who are working on a team), an annotated bibliography, and step-by-step instructions for manipulating graphics in MS Word (for the “paragraph people”). This is the 4th book in South-Western’s Managerial Communication Series edited by James S. O’Rourke, IV.

Well-designed and filled with useful examples, Graphics and Visual Communication for Managers is a valuable tool for both clients and communication consultants.

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