Sea Grant Wins an International Communications Award

In a world of Tweets, popular audio podcasts like “Serial” and video chronicling all aspects of everyday life, communication has taken on a new tenor. This digital approach is one that University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute (Sea Grant) and the University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute (WRI) has embraced—quite successfully as indicated by two recent international awards.

Sea Grant: Science Serving America’s Coasts last week won an honorable mention in the video category. The Undercurrents: The Hidden Knowledge of Groundwateraudio podcast won a platinum award in the AVA Digital Awards competition.

“We are pleased by this recognition of our work,” said Assistant Director of Communications Moira Harrington. “Perhaps more importantly, though, we are excited about the possibilities of digital communication as the means to share scientific principles and findings. Society’s decisions about managing natural resources are best made when reliant on evidence-based factors. Using video and audio is a good way to reach people with information they can use.”

The 30-second video was assembled to commemorate the 50th anniversary of of the National Sea Grant College Program, which was in 2016. It effectively meets the challenge of distilling all those years of coastal-focused work by 33 separate programs across the country into a concise and entertaining presentation.

The audio podcast has four episodes, each exploring an aspect of what is literally a tide below, which supplies the water that powers industry and agriculture, and bathes and quenches the thirst of the 70 percent of Wisconsinites who get their drinking water from underground aquifers.

The AVA Digital Awards are conferred annually and attract an average of 2,500 entries from around the world. They come from the private sector, non-profit organizations, public entities and academic institutions. The awards are administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals, which consists of several thousand production, marketing, communication, advertising, PR and freelance journalists.