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The National Gold Medal Awards are governed and managed by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association, and proudly sponsored by Musco Lighting.

Gold Medal Award Resources

Marketing the Gold

Congratulations, your agency has just been named a Finalist and/or Grand Plaque Award recipient in the prestigious National Gold Medal Award Program!

Consider the tips below to optimize the value of being selected as a Finalist or Grand Plaque recipient in this prestigious award.

Start building the momentum. Ask yourself, “How do we celebrate and thank our community in a timely fashion?”

  • Start by contacting your local media and alerting them that you have been chosen as one of 24 Finalists in the country (or for Armed Forces, worldwide) for this prestigious national award.
  • Contact the media before you leave town to attend the NRPA conference to let them know you will call as soon as the Grand Plaque Award announcement is made. Give them the approximate time you expect to call. Win or lose, keep the media close.
  • Use all your social media platforms to post the news and to post pictures.
  • The week following the presentation of the Grand Plaque Award, AAPRA will provide a press release template. There is an opportunity for you to add your own comments to make this your story.
  • Immediately following the presentation of the Finalist and Grand Plaques, AAPRA will contact you about sending a member to make and in-person presentation to your policy makers; this typically heightens the prestige of the award in the eyes of the policy makers.
  • Connect with your local outdoor advertising company(ies) for an electronic billboard congratulating the agency on the major accomplishment—an accomplishment that should make everyone in the community proud! This announcement may be considered a public service announcement because of the public interest. Ask to have the electronic billboard go up as soon as possible after the announcement and to remain on display into the week.
  • Plan a media event at your office, community center, government building, or a prominent park location with your county executive/mayor, city council/board of supervisors, convention center members, or whomever else you have partnered with. This gives the media something visual to cover. The media event should take place the same day as the announcement to be considered more newsworthy and to earn a spot on the early-evening local news.
  • Use your smart phone or video camera to take pictures of the award ceremony and e-mail them to your office for posting on your website. Images can be posted immediately after the award ceremony.
  • Create and reserve space for a newspaper ad announcing the accomplishment of your agency. It’s just been announced that you’ve won! Good thing you were prepared!

Now You’re Home
After you’ve returned to your community, keep the momentum going. Be proud of the accomplishment, and let your community know the importance of being named the best in the nation.

  • Contact local media to arrange interviews with your agency director to spread the good news of the accomplishment. Daytime local-news talk shows welcome in-studio interviews to discuss fresh and exciting community news such as this.
  • Host a “Gold Medal Award Party sponsored by (_company name_). (_company name_) is proud to announce that our [agency name] is the Best in the Nation.” Advertising and events may require some partnership monies. Contact local companies or organizations to see if they can help with funding.
  • Being associated as a Gold Medal Award winner is great PR and goes a long way in showing good will in the community. Contact local companies and corporations to show them how they can benefit as Partners of the Parks.

Branding, Branding, Branding
Reinforce your accomplishment in everything you do to reap ongoing good will in your community. Now is the time to develop a new agency signature using the official Gold Medal logo. Contact for a digital badge and logo files.

Place the Gold Medal logo wherever you can! Consider:  

  • brochures
  • website
  • banners, signs
  • welcome mats into facilities
  • staff apparel
  • letterhead, envelopes, invoices, registration forms
  • social media hashtags
  • email signatures
  • on signage at facilities and parks
  • floor graphics
  • window stickers
  • murals
  • promotional items (pens, pads, cups, mugs)

Why not change your phone welcome message to “Thank you for calling [agency name], recently named a Gold Medal Park & Recreation agency!

We’d love to know how you are celebrating being a Gold Medal agency! Send us your promotional efforts to