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The four points of a solid nomination

December 13, 2016


The four points of a solid nomination.

Joseph Mayernik
Owner/Creative Director – Brandtatorship

Annually, the RAF selects one member of our advertising community as the Silver Achievement Award winner and is recognized at the American Advertising Award show that takes place in March.

The American Advertising Federation’s Silver Medal Award Program was established in 1959 to recognize men and women who have made outstanding contributions to advertising and who have been active in furthering the industry’s standards, creative excellence and responsibility in areas of social concern. The award serves to enhance the image of advertising by recognizing a locally well-known person for his or her advertising and community involvement.

A committee comprised of board members and past presidents selects the Silver Achievement Award recipient, and committee members use the following criteria when making their selections: The recipient must have achieved success in one of the following areas of work: advertising agency, advertiser, media or advertising service. The recipient must have shown a consistent, high degree of original thinking in their field, worked to increase the stature and raise the standards of the advertising profession and they should be someone who has been active in in the community outside of the profession.

But all of this is just one, albeit large, portion of the puzzle. In order to nominate a person for the Silver Achievement Award you must write a nomination letter. Placing a name in the conversation is not enough. Consider the letter like an old school essay that’s main purpose is to justify why your choice is worthy to receive this recognition.

Here are four things to consider when writing your letter:

1. Get the facts right.

This is the meat of your letter, it’s the “who, what, when, and where” of the individuals contributions to the Rochester advertising community. The best cases are made with resumes filled with solid facts that can’t be disputed. Don’t take for granted that committee members will know your nominee. Chances are good they don’t, and these facts set the table to justify your case.

2. Write a solid essay.

This is the portion of the letter that delivers on the “why”. The best essays deliver on the criteria listed above, as well as pull at the heartstrings. We’re all in the business of changing perceptions and minds that ultimately lead to desired actions. In this case that action is convincing the committee that your choice is the not just the best choice, they’re the only choice.

3. Tie in the show theme.

When I nominated Frank Kopek last year it was important for me to make the connection that, as the founding RAF president, Frank planted the seeds for the RAF to grow into the stable group we are today. The show theme was The Grit and The Glory and featured the “get you hands dirty” type of imagery typically found on a farm. The association to the show theme made him the perfect choice to be honored.

4. Make it personal.

When you match a very personal message to a very select audience you get far greater connection. It’s not unlike the messages we create for our clients. My personal connection to Frank gave me insight into his contributions to our industry and the Rochester Advertising Community. Let that connection come through in the letter.

Here is my full nomination letter of Frank Kopek from last year that incorporates all four of these points.

My nomination for the 2016 RAF Silver Award is Frank Kopek.

Who is Frank Kopek?

He’s now retired and lives in Texas. Frank was the Executive Director of AAF Dallas from May 2008 to November 2013, one of the largest local AAF clubs in the country, and he still does projects for AAF National. He’s the AAF Dallas’ Government Relations Chair and on the AAF 10th District Foundation Board.

Why does this matter at all?

Frank Kopek was the former media director for the now gone Rochester, NY agency Rumrill/Hoyt for 6 years from 1986 to 1992. He also happens to be the founding President of the RAF. A seed planted 25 years ago that grew into a solid foundation for our club to thrive all these years. Frank may live in Texas now, but he is the perfect choice to receive the 25th-year celebration RAF Silver Award. He is our founding father and has the handlebar mustache to prove it.

It’s this simple:

No Frank – No 25 years.
No Frank – No Spirit Animal
No Frank – No idea about nothing
No Frank – No 20 Minutes and a Beer
No Frank – No Freelance Fresh Event
No Frank – No AdCorp
No Frank – No Will Gay coming to Rochester
No Frank – No Addy’s at the Wintergarden
No Frank – No Addy’s at the Auditorium Theatre
No Frank – No Addy’s at all
No Frank – No Cannes Lion Event
No Frank – No RAF

I get it. Nobody knows who he is, but in the days of “giving the award to still working-in-the-industry individuals” isn’t it nice to honor the one person who planted the seed that allowed to get us to this harvest time in the first place?


Thinking about nominating someone this year? I hope so, and perhaps these four points will help you write a letter that tips the committee your way. I look forward to watching you read your letter introducing the worthy man or woman at our award show this March.

Nominations are due via email to president@rafconnect.org by December 31, 2016.