Excellence in Communications Awards Program

AACOM’s Excellence in Communications (EIC) Awards Program is designed to recognize the important role communications plays in advancing osteopathic medical education and the profession. It also seeks to inspire higher levels of performance among our members.

Each year, entries are reviewed and award winners are chosen by an expert panel of judges—consisting of AACOM's Marketing and Communications team, AACOM senior staff members and guest judges who specialize in all areas of communication—based on creativity and effectiveness in achieving the project's stated objective related to the mission of the submitting osteopathic medical school. 

See the Submission Guidelines below or download the PDF.  


Email eicawards@aacom.org

Submission Guidelines

The AACOM Excellence in Communications Awards program recognizes the important role that marketing and communication plays in advancing osteopathic medical education and the profession. It also seeks to inspire higher levels of performance among our members.

Award winners will be individually notified in early April after judging takes place. First-place winners will be recognized during Educating Leaders 2022, the AACOM Annual Conference to be held April 27-29. All winners will be recognized at the Marketing and Communications Advisory Council (MAC) spring meeting.

Submission Deadline

The submission portal is now closed for 2022Please check back this winter for information on the 2023 cycle. 


College or university-based marketing and communications departments engaged in the management and operations of the marketing and communications program at an AACOM member college are eligible to submit entries.

Performance Period

Work accomplished between January 1 and December 31, 2022, will be considered for the 2023 cycle.

Entry Categories & Submission Requirements

All entry submissions are entirely digital. Submittal requirements may vary depending on category. Read individual category descriptions below for requirement details. Entries that fail to follow submittal requirements will be penalized in judging. 

Click each category below to display submission information and requirements or download the PDF.

  • Advertising Campaign - Paid

  • Alumni/Development Engagement Campaign

  • Annual Report

  • COVID-19 Pivot

  • Feature Story or Article

  • Infographic - New!

  • Serial Publication – Print or Digital

  • Social Media Campaign (unpaid, organic)

  • Student Recruitment Campaign

  • Video (non-recruitment)

Entry Submission Questions 

The questions below accompany each submission you enter online. For a more streamlined experience, please prepare your answers prior to logging into the online submission portal.

  1. State your strategic marketing objectives and goals or intended outcomes.  (1,500 characters)
    Jurors will be looking for a clear marketing strategy and goals.
  2. Outline the planning that took place for this piece or program. (1,500 characters)
    Jurors will be looking for methodology for collecting and evaluating results, target market, specific tactics and strategies, strategic constraints.
  3. What is the intended messaging of this entry?  (1,500 characters)
    Jurors will be looking for a clear marketing message for the intended audience, that the piece or program reflects the COM’s strategic direction, that appropriately conservative or innovative approaches are taken to meet the overall marketing objectives and that the writing is clear, error-free and targeted to the intended audience.
  4. Describe how the entry conforms to the overall branding of the school or initiative. (1,500 characters)

    Jurors will be looking for how design, graphics, typography, and other branding elements are effectively leveraged to create interest, engagement, or otherwise meet the objectives of the project.

  5. Explain the thought process used to make your piece or program stand out from other communications aimed at your target audience. (1,500 characters)
    Jurors will be looking for an entry that effectively uses COM resources, supports the overall goals and objectives of the project and exhibits an innovative approach or breakthrough idea.
  6. What actions did the target audience/s take after receiving your materials? Did you achieve your intended goals and outcomes? What were the overall results?  (1,500 characters)
    Jurors will be looking for ROI and any supporting testimonials or feedback.



Awardees will be notified in early April. The panel of judges will be composed of volunteers submitted by applicants, as well as AACOM staff. Judging scorecards will not be made public.

Submissions will be adjudicated by the panel using a point system. The judging panel will review and assess each submission using a 10-point rating scale. Submissions will be judged on the following criteria: Objectives, Planning, Messaging, Branding, Deliverables and Results.

Judge Recommendations

This year AACOM is providing the judges for the awards. However, if you would like to nominate a judge, please include them in the online application or contact eicawards@aacom.org.

Judges must be:

  • Unbiased (does not work for any college of osteopathic medicine)
  • A professional in marketing, communications, publishing, design, journalism or a related field
  • Available to serve as a judge if selected. Judging will be virtual and judging will take place between February 14 and March 7, 2022.

Submitting Your Entries

Each entry must include the following to be considered for judging:

  1. Completed online entry form.
    You will need to create an account. 
    We recommend preparing answers to the questions in advance.
  2. All submission requirements
  3. $50 submission fee payment per entry.

Payment can be made online through the AACOM online store (Visa, MasterCard, and American Express). If submitting the same item in more than one award category, a separate fee is required for each additional submission.

To pay online by credit card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express) : Go to AACOM’s online bookstore, fill out an order form, and then select ‘Add to Cart.’

If you are purchasing multiple submissions, add the first submission by clicking "Add to Cart" and, in the shopping cart screen, adjust the quantity to the number of submissions you wish to purchase. Be sure to keep your payment confirmation number, as it is required on the digital submissions form.


Email eicawards@aacom.org

Awards Banquet Program

Learn more about AACOM's awards recipients in the programs below: