Minnkota Communications team collects national awards

Minnkota was recently honored with two NRECA Spotlight on Excellence awards for its digital and written communication efforts in 2021.


Kaylee Cusack


May 17, 2022

Minnkota’s Communications department has earned national recognition for the fourth-straight year, winning two first-place Gold awards from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NRECA) Spotlight on Excellence Awards. The program recognizes outstanding work produced by electric co-op communication and marketing professionals across the country.

Minnkota won a first-place Gold award for Most Innovative Use of Digital Communication for its new website that was launched in 2021. To better align with the new Minnkota logo and branding developed several years ago, the Communications team reimagined the look, messaging and tone of the website for the new generation. The site was made more user-friendly, focusing on the aspects of Minnkota that are most important to visitors. The site was also made mobile-friendly for easy use on smartphones and tablets. The submission was judged against other Generation and Transmission cooperatives and statewide organizations. homepage

A first-place Gold award for Best Feature Story was presented to Minnkota for the piece “The lineworker treatment.” The story follows 6-year-old Lakai Rivera through his afternoon spent with the line crew of Clearwater-Polk Electric Cooperative. Rivera, who was completing cancer treatments at the time, grew up with a fascination for power poles and lines. When the cooperative found out, they made his electric dreams come true. The story was an at-large submission and competed against cooperatives of all sizes nationwide.

CPEC lineworker Josh Hendricks joins Lakai in the bucket for a high-rise ride. (Minnkota/Michael Hoeft)

The Spotlight on Excellence Awards consist of 18 categories that reflect the scope of cooperative communications, including writing, graphic design, marketing campaigns, etc. Entries are judged by industry peers.

MAIN IMAGE: (left to right) Ben Fladhammer, Jenny Erickson, Emily Windjue, Jenna Chase, Michael Hoeft and Kaylee Cusack


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