Awards Bring Deserved Recognition But Also a Way for Others to Benefit From Good Ideas

Submitting your exceptional work for the 2023 Neal and EXCEL Awards—the price-friendly Early Deadline happens this Friday for the EXCELs; the Extended Nominations for the Neals goes til Jan. 6—is a great way to earn much-deserved appreciation. But it’s also a wonderful way to get the word out to others so they can benefit from your ideas—especially other AM&P Network members. Here are ideas from 2022 EXCEL winners.

“The skill sets that I’ve found to be most important for actuaries on the job are… make themselves vulnerable, communicate effectively with each other, listen actively to each other, and also be empathetic to how others are feeling. I especially appreciate that now more than before.”

That quote comes from Nikita Sabade (pictured) in a video on the website for The Society of Actuaries’ Actuary Magazine website, which won a Gold EXCEL Award for the Best Magazine Website. The site features this section of Member Videos, where it’s impressive to watch Sabade and others, including Rolande Mbatchou who speaks about her journey from Cameroon to Paris to Chicago and the diversity she now sees in the field. What’s neat about these videos is that you click on the small box and it automatically plays it in the larger box.

These types of videos, which could be replicated for other under-represented communities in your niche, give the Society of Actuaries a terrific place to engage members and celebrate the diversity of their group. Here are more replicable ideas from the 2022 EXCEL winners (click here to enter):

Use your podcast to inform inclusivity. The 2022 Gold EXCEL Award winner in Best Podcast (Series) was the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association for its ASHA Voices: Gender-Inclusive Services. In one episode, Greg Robinson, a faculty member at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, “shares guidance on how to approach conversations on gender—including information on the ‘they/them’ pronoun—and provides history and context for the conversation.” In another episode later in the year, NCAA men’s basketball champion and NBA veteran Michael Kidd-Gilchrist joins ASHA Voices to “share his experiences as a person who stutters. He also discusses his related advocacy work he does through his nonprofit initiative Change and Impact.”

Create a marketing guide. How to Sell Your Science: The Art of Science Communication, a special guide from American Chemical Society’s Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN)—a winner of a 2022 Gold EXCEL Award for Best New Innovation—attracted 408 subscribers from 49 countries in just the first two weeks. The writers were all science communication influencers “that represent the diversity of our audience, and the tone is personal and inspiring through the anecdotes and advice they share.” The guide was part of four email-courses that generated significant revenue in advertiser underwriting, allowing C&EN’s sales team to price and sell branded versions. Even the sign-up page has a thank you ad for funding support from the Genentech Foundation.

Build your audience with a special week. American Health Law Association’s Health Law Week won a Bronze EXCEL award for Best New Innovation. Many of the sessions and events for that week—which took place June 6-10—are open to the entire health law community free of charge. More events can be added throughout the year, so trending topics can be covered. AHLA sells $500, $1,000 and $2,000 sponsorships for Health Law Week—and a sponsorship page lists seven sponsors for 2022. The schedule for the 2022 Health Law Week was jam-packed, with multiple recorded sessions each day, plus Harassment Training, and a Virtual Networking Happy Hour on the last day.

Highlight an underserved community. “This past May I earned my doctorate in physics, becoming the first Black woman to do so at Yale University. …Approximately 100 Black women have received a PhD in a physics-related field in the U.S…” Thus begins an essay from Brooke Russell on the Diversity and Inclusion site of Physics World, co-published with Physics Today as part of the American Institute of Physics’ #BlackInPhysics Week. The essay series was a Gold winner for Diversity and Inclusion Initiative Microsite in the 2022 EXCEL Awards. “#BlackInPhysics is a week dedicated not only to celebrating Black physicists and our contributions to the scientific community, but also to reveal a more complete picture of what a physicist looks like.”

If content is good, don’t be shy about advertising. Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals won the 2022 EXCEL Silver Award for Best Single Episode for Old Man Psoas: “The Rebel MT” With Allison Denney. Here’s how the first minute and 20 seconds goes: “Anatomy Trains [a sponsor] is delighted to announce a brand new livestream specialty class on September 18th—Lumbo Pelvic Stability… This episode is brought to you by the Massage Mentor Institute…” When host Denney finally comes on, you can quickly hear why this podcast is cherished by patient listeners: “This is the Rebel MT Podcast where you’ll hear me forcibly colliding the worlds of anatomical jargon and humor… The loads of Latin and the gobs of Greek can make a cranium convulse. It is a little overwhelming to dip your toe into the sea of anatomical knowledge, only to find that it is a bottomless ocean.”

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