Category Descriptions (subject to change)
* Results Required
** Do you have an entry from categories 1-32 that takes a great idea, executes the idea to near perfection and produces great results? If yes, you may also want to submit the entry in categories 33 through 37.
How to Enter
2024 Diamond Awards | How to Enter
Entries must be completed by January 8, 2024 – complete by December 13, 2023, and save on entry fees! To apply, use your CUNA login credentials to begin. If you require further assistance, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Annual Reports
Annual, semi-annual, or quarterly reports published in the 2022 calendar year.
2. Brand Awareness
Marketing efforts to increase brand awareness or recognition to your current and/or potential members. It can be either associated with a particular product or service, or the overall credit union brand. All forms of media are acceptable. NOTE: Re-branding or new corporate identities should be entered in category #25 (Re-Brand / New Corporate Identity).
3. Business Development Efforts (results required)
Most credit unions, community based or SEG based, conduct business development efforts to offer financial services as an employee benefit for their SEGs or partner companies. Other CUs focus on growing specific products and services through building external relationships. Share your efforts specifically intended to increase penetration with existing SEGs, gain new SEGs, or grow in a specific product or service through BD. Entry can be individual elements, business services, business to business offers, or coordinated campaigns, including digital or print pieces, or employee engagement activities/events.
4. Complete Campaign (results required)
For CUs with assets under $500 million – campaign submissions require a minimum of two elements supporting one effort and must have been completed in 2022. For CUs with assets over $500 million – campaign submissions require a minimum of three elements supporting one effort and must have been completed in 2022. Types of media include the following, but are not limited to direct mail, point-of-sale, print ads, digital marketing, broadcast, and newsletters. Judges will consider the number of media used in each campaign. If submitting radio, television, or audio-visuals, upload a copy of each script.
5. Content Marketing
Any content marketing efforts that include but are not limited to podcasts, blogs, vlogs, buying guides or product information. Include samples and original files of audio or video content. Social media focused efforts should be entered under category #28 (Social Media).
6. Credit, Debit and ATM Card Designs
Card designs (physical and/or digital) that have been created exclusively for your credit union and distributed for the first time in 2022. Include samples of each design in a PDF or JPEG files.
7. Cutting Edge
One of kind, innovative marketing idea that generated impactful results, either immediately or in the future, and/or created internal efficiencies. Entries in this category go outside the norm, such as incorporation of the newest technologies, guerilla marketing efforts, or anything that is outside the box or demonstrates innovation or forward thinking.
8. Diamond in the Rough (results required)
Awarded to the credit union that displays exemplary results and creativity with a limited budget.
9. Digital Advertising (results required)
Digital advertising refers to marketing that is digitally displayed. Web-based marketing, viral marketing, audio advertising, mobile advertising, online interactive, landing pages or microsites are examples for this category. Digital advertising videos should be included in category #28 (Video Commercial – Single or Series).
10. Direct Mail – Single or Series (results required)
A single mail piece or series of pieces supporting one effort, mailed to members or potential members. Only submit the results that are directly related to the piece.
11. Email – Single or Series
Email communication, either single or in a series such as a nurturing workflow, that either added success to an existing campaign or was introduced by itself. Subject can be promotional of credit union products / services or informational. Subject line and KPIs such as delivery rate, open rate, click-through rate, bounce rate, and unsubscribe rates will be judged in addition to the ROI.
12. Financial Education
A program that provides financial literacy through your products, services, and network; strategic partnerships and educational programs. Share the steps you have taken to educate members or potential members on how to effectively manage their personal finances and make sound financial choices.
13. Foreign Language or Multilingual Campaign – NEW THIS YEAR! (results required)
Entries require at least three elements which may include digital, print, website, video (commercial or non-commercial), social media, and public relations, etc. targeted to a non-English speaking audience. The campaign could be created organically or with the intention of a multilingual campaign, not simply using a translation platform. The application should include a short description of the campaign and to whom the message is targeted. Submitted work may include video, a PDF, or JPEG files.
14. Internal Marketing Recognition / Incentive Campaign
A program that enhances external marketing efforts by recognizing and/or incenting credit union staff over an extended campaign period. This may include special incentives, employee engagement programs, or other drivers of internal credit union focus. Single events will be excluded. Supplemental materials (employee newsletters, photographs, and other components) are encouraged.
A new logo that has been created exclusively for your credit union, product, promotion, or effort and distributed for the first time in 2022. Include a variety of samples showing and explaining the different applications of the logo, usage restrictions, and/or guidelines. Include an example of a previous logo, if applicable.
16. Member or Trade Communications
Member communications are advertising pieces that appear in periodic publications whose circulation / distributions are made to the membership or general public, and/or an unspecified target audience. Trade Publications are advertising pieces that are placed in periodic publications whose primary circulation / distribution is aimed at the specific credit union industry target audience. Newsletters are publications (digital or print) to communicate directly with members. Can also include crisis communication, emergency notices, and public relations. Frequency of publications can be anywhere between weekly to annually. Include 2-5 unique issues of the publication you are entering.
17. Membership Marketing
Printed or digital information such as buck slips, packets, brochures, or booklets, intended to introduce new or potential members to the credit union and its services.
18. Multifaceted (Miscellaneous)
Other marketing, public relations or business development materials or print ad not covered in another category, which reflects a creative approach to marketing, sponsorships, or other unique materials.
19. One-Time Event
Activities or material related to a one-time event, such as community volunteerism or give-back programs, new branch opening or renovation of current branch, sponsorship and scholarship programs, or any other impactful event. This includes public relations activities, anniversaries, or other special credit union events. Activities directed toward a field of membership group are acceptable. Photographs, newspaper ads, social media posts, other media coverage and specialty items may be included.
20. Ongoing Event
Activities or material related to an ongoing event, such as community volunteerism or give-back programs, sponsorship and scholarship programs, or any other impactful event. This includes public relations activities, anniversaries, or other special credit union events. Ongoing indicates that it could occur annually or over the course of the calendar year. Activities directed toward a field of membership group are acceptable. Photographs, newspaper ads, other media coverage and specialty items may be included.
21. Out of Home
This category includes any type of outdoor media, including digital billboards. This can include, but is not limited to billboards, digital signage (such as at sporting events), transit vehicle ads, car wraps, ATM wraps, banners and other signage.
22. Partnership, Endorsement, or NIL Efforts – NEW THIS YEAR!
Includes promotion and marketing tie-ins with other organizations, influencers, personalities and/or sport figures. NIL refers to the Name, Image, and Likeness policy instituted by the NCAA to compensate student athletes in marketing campaigns.
23. Point of Sale Display and Retail Merchandising
Overall strategy designed to enhance member awareness of credit union services including, but not limited to tent cards, lobby posters, in-branch digital displays, trade show booths or SEG (select employer groups) displays. This should encompass the sales environment including kiosks, ATMs, and self-service displays. Entry may relate to a single event, part of a campaign or be educational in nature.
24. Public Relations Campaign – NEW THIS YEAR!
This category recognizes the best one-time or ongoing PR/communications campaign or crisis management communications by an in-house PR team, a PR agency, or a combination of both, that effectively engaged others to raise awareness about a credit union. Media platforms may include broadcast news coverage, earned media article examples (digital and/or print), social media, website, email communication, and other means of distribution. Entrants should also show how earned media was measured and any results available.
25. Radio / Streaming Ads – Single or Series (results required)
Entry may be either a single or series of spot(s) carried on paid time including broadcast or digital radio ad placement. Only include the results that are directly related to the piece.
26. Re-Brand / New Corporate Identity
A redesign / makeover of brand / corporate identification may include tag lines and/or jingles, or the fundamental idea and core concept behind having an “image.” Send both old and new components. What is brand? The perceived emotional corporate image as a whole. What is corporate identity? The visual aspects that form part of the overall brand.
27. Segmented Marketing (results required)
A campaign / program targeted to a segmented group such as teachers, doctors, or one of the credit union personas / target demographics. Entry will be judged on how well credit union benefits were matched with the group’s needs. Entry should show activities related to projects or programs. Photographs, newspaper, social media posts, other media coverage and specialty items may be included. Include a sample of each project / program element.
29. Video Commercial – Single or Series (results required)
Entry may be a single video or series of associated videos, carried on paid time, including broadcast, television, internet pre-roll or other digital or streaming advertising. Only include results that are directly related to the piece or series of videos entered. You must provide the original video format (MP4); a link such as YouTube are not allowed.
30. Video Non-Commercial – Single
Entry may be a single video produced by or for the credit union: venue to highlight staff or member stories, how to instructional content, financial education, brand awareness, or general / historical credit union information (e.g., YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook). If entering a series of videos, you may enter one of those videos in this category. You must provide the original video format (MP4); a link such as YouTube are not allowed.
31. Video Non-Commercial – Series
Entry may be a series of videos produced by or for the credit union: venue to highlight staff or member stories, how to instructional content, financial education, brand awareness, or general / historical credit union information (e.g., YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook). You must provide the original video format (MP4); a link such as YouTube are not allowed.
Entry may be any use of your credit union’s website, either internet or intranet. Each entry should relate to a specific promotion focusing on growth or retention. If the entry is a complete website redesign, you must include screen shots of the former website for comparison purposes (PDF or JPEG). Provide screen shots of mobile site or responsive design if applicable. Provide URL as a PDF. Microsites should be entered in category #9 (Digital Advertising).
Do you have an entry from categories 1-32 that takes a great idea, executes the idea to near perfection and produces great results? If yes, you may also want to submit the entry in categories 33 through 37.
33. Best Use of Humor
Bringing laughter, and maybe even tears, an entry will memorably demonstrate the effective use of humor in credit union marketing or business development. Include any metrics that demonstrate the success of the program.
34. Carat – For the Greatest Impact
Awarded to the entry that demonstrates the greatest impact on an audience: membership, community or other identified target. Impact may be defined by program success, financial gain, or other proven results. Include any metrics that demonstrate the success of the program.
35. Clarity – For the Most Sentimental
Considered the tear-jerker of the program, this is awarded to an entry that best draws an emotional response, and the use of tissues, from its audience. Include any metrics that demonstrate the success of the program.
36. Color – For Brilliant Use of Art
Awarded for brilliant use of color, design, and other artistic elements, each entry should illustrate a thought-provoking approach to design and execution. Include any metrics that demonstrate the success of the program.