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Field Notes: Recognizing Our Transformation

NCTE’s gold award for best internal communications during a brand development project.

Change isn’t always comfortable or easy. It pushes us beyond our comfort zones, forces us to face challenges, inspires us to let go of the way things have always been done in order to find new and better ways for the future. By embracing change and engaging in the process, you have helped NCTE grow into a better, stronger organization, one being recognized on a national level for the passion, commitment, input, and support of stakeholders like you.

Our identifying marks now rally the literacy education community and our supporters to work with NCTE in energized ways. Rarely a week goes by that a member or a supporter doesn’t comment about NCTE’s smart logo—and now certainly the new website—distinguishing us from the crowd..

From the inception of this rebranding effort, I believed it needed to be developed in partnership with the heart of NCTE: you, the organization’s members. That’s why we spent so much time working with members—virtually and in person—to develop the personality expressed in the new brand. This knowledge also fundamentally guided me to select the creative team involved. We needed a group who would relish strong input, and most importantly, know what to do with it. So many rebranding teams are interested in developing THEIR great idea; in fact, they feel pressure to do so. But with the NCTE project, the vision was always driven by the NCTE membership, who unlocked the creative door and inspired what came to be.

An amazing night was had by all, including: Emily Kirkpatrick (Executive Director), Jocelyn Chadwick (NCTE President), Kristen Suchor (Manager of Member Engagement), and Jenna Fournel (Communications Director).

This work, our work, is now an award winner. The Transform Awards, a global celebration of the most innovative, creative, and successful brand work across the globe, just recognized NCTE’s rebrand with a gold for best internal communications during a brand development project. This award is given for the best engagement of internal audiences during the brand development; it is granted after a thorough review and evaluation of strategy, execution, and content, by an esteemed panel.

Winning this award places NCTE alongside names such as Nike, Meals on Wheels, Wolfgang Puck, Airbnb, and Huggies, names we know and recognize, brands people value. This recognition elevates the work of our organization, providing another visible example of how NCTE is evolving: with and for our members, and with the best-in-class partners at our table. NCTE members deserve the best, and we will not stop at anything less.

Your voice and involvement matter. You helped us to pivot our brand from the inside out . . . and outside in. While this award bears the name “NCTE,” it truly belongs to each of you. I’m eager for us to tackle additional bold work together in the years to come.