Excellence in Communications Awards...now renamed the CAPIO EPIC Awards!

CAPIO Awards are presented annually by the California Association of Public Information Officials to honor outstanding public agency information and communications programs. 

Newly renamed for 2018, the CAPIO EPIC Awards stand for Excellence in Public Information and Communications, or in other words – EPIC!  We're excited about this change along with the additional changes to the program that will allow agencies to more fairly compete with like-agencies (based on population size).  In categories  that receive a large number of entries, the entries will be grouped according to population / service area size prior to being judged.  

Ready to learn more about the EPIC Awards?  View the entry deadlines and information below and learn more through our January 10, 2018 Awards Entry Webinar (recording).  (A call for the 2019 program will be scheduled for early January 2019)


Congratulations Winners!  Interested in ordering a duplicate of your award?  You may do so by contacting our awards engraving company ACP Publications and Marketing.  Contact Yadira at [email protected].  

The 2018 Awards Deadlines were: (2019 Deadlines will be updated in the fall - but will follow a similar pattern to 2018)

Entries Open
January 4, 2018 
Early Bird Entry Deadline
February 9, 2018
Regular Entries
February 10– 20, 2018
Final Entry Deadline
February 20, 2018  ENTRIES ARE CLOSED FOR 2018
Finalists Announced
March 19, 2018

CAPIO has established our annual awards program to recognize and honor outstanding professional work and accomplishment. This work represents standards of excellence and creativity and stand as inspiration for those in our profession. 

Tips for Success Webinar

CAPIO EPIC Awards 2018 – How to Submit an Award-winning Entry - View Slides   Listen to Recorded Webinar

Gold Winner - Award Entry Example 1 ("One Big Bin" - Western Placer Waste Management Authority - Go Green Campaign)

Gold Winner - Award Entry Example 2 ("20th Anniversary Publication" - California Earthquake Authority - Communication / Marketing Tools - Publication)

Awards Finalists  (Click the green button at the top of the page for 2018 Award Finalists)

Entries will be judged on overall quality, effectiveness of message (with measurable results where possible), creativity, and appropriate use of budget, rather than actual budget (with the exception of the “Dollar-Stretcher” category). Thus, projects or entities with smaller budgets can compete effectively with entries that have larger budgets. Generally, awards will be presented for first, second and third place. Where submissions may be fewer than necessary to select these, or if judges deem the quality insufficient, awards of merit or, possibly no awards, may be presented.


Any public information professional representing a California city, county, school, special district or other public agency may participate. In addition, private firms may submit awards on behalf of a public agency; however, the entry must be in the name of the public agency.

All entries must be for work performed and or executed in calendar year 2017. CAPIO membership is not a criteria for entry.

How to Enter

All entries are submitted online. To enter, you must complete and include all of the following items for each entry:

Materials should be submitted as a single PDF and cannot exceed a file size of 15 MB. If you are submitting near the deadline and paying by check, please emailed a copy of the check and send to [email protected].

For payment questions or issues submitting your entry, contact the CAPIO office at at [email protected].

A single work may be entered in multiple categories and an entrant may submit multiple works in each category, as long as separate entry fees are paid for each entry. Entry fees must accompany entries.  All entries must be for work completed in 2017.  Multi-year entries can be submitted within the appropriate category.


Early Bird, Jan. 4 to Feb. 9
CAPIO Member $100
Non-Member $150
Regular, Feb. 9 to February 21 at 5:30 pm  ENTRY PERIOD CLOSED
CAPIO Member $125
Non-Member $175

Requirements & Judging

Entries will be judged based on:

  • Presentation (overall completeness and organization of entry)
  • Planning
  • Implementation
  • Results/Evaluation

Narrative Guidelines

  • No more than two typed pages, single-spaced with a minimum of 11 point font
  • Top right corner of each narrative page should include the agency’s name, award title and award category
  • For more information, please visit our narrative tips page.


New this year!!  For large entry categories, CAPIO may divide the entries into population groups as follows:

  • Small: 0 to 55,000
  • Medium: 56,000 to 125,000
  • Large: 126,000+

Entries in each category will be evaluated by a panel of judges with experience in a wide range of public information and communications practices. All awards will be made at the sole discretion of the judges and are final. Entries will not be returned and become the property of CAPIO.

Judging Criteria

Entries will be judged based on:

  • Presentation (overall completeness and organization of entry)
  • Planning
  • Implementation
  • Results/Evaluation

For more information, please visit our Judging Criteria page.  Interested in being a judge?  Sign Up Here

Award Notifications

Finalists will be notified by email in mid March 2018 and will also be posted on the CAPIO website. The EPIC Award Recipients will receive their awards at the 2018 EPIC Awards Ceremony and Dinner in Santa Rosa at the Hyatt Regency on Wednesday, April 11.

Award finalists are encouraged to bring a display if possible to show at the Annual conference.  Displays can include marketing promotional items, a binder or folder with program collateral, an image poster (on foam core backing if possible), or other creative display form. If finalists cannot attend the conference, the display can be sent to the CAPIO office or the conference hotel for display at the conference.


Entries are for work performed and or executed in calendar year 2017.  If your project continues into 2018, we typically recommend that you wait until the project is fully complete so you can report on the metrics from the program.  However, you may elect to submit on a portion of the program - such as the development or planning process.  A single work may be entered in multiple entry categories and an entrant may submit multiple works in each entry category, as long as separate entry fees are paid for each submittal.    

2018 CAPIO Award Category Overview

Communication and Marketing Tools (Publications, Digital/Interactive and Video)
Communications marketing tools are the tactical tools you use to implement the idea – getting information out to get the job done. They include publications, television and video, marketing campaigns, special events and new technologies.

Graphic Design, Photography and Visualizations (including infographics)
Includes projects and concepts that showcase creative talent and design that also perform essential communication functions.  Redesigned projects are also included here.  Entries judged on innovation, creativity and strategic alignment with goals.

Communications and Marketing Process
Processes are broad categories of strategic communications programs and activities, such as Community Visioning or Branding, Resident Participation, Communications Plans, Campaign Plans, Go Green Programs, Crisis Communications and Service Delivery. 

Summary of Entry Categories

COMMUNICATIONS AND MARKETING TOOLS (view category descriptions)

1. Publications - Newsletter or Magazine (Print or Electronic)

2. Annual Report (Print or Electronic)

3. Other Publication (Print or Electronic)

4. Internal Communications (Print or Electronic)

5. Marketing Tools (Promotional Items, Branding/Logo, Marketing Event or Government Service Delivery Tools)

6. Video Production - Short Form (2 minutes or less)

7. Video Production - Long Form (anything over 2 minutes)

8. Video Production - Live-Streaming

9. Website

10. Social Media / New Media

11. Special Event: Media Relations

12.  Special Event: One-Time

13.  Special Event: Recurring


14. Photography

15. Graphic Design / Art & Visualization


16. Branding

17. Communications or Marketing Plans/Campaigns

18.  Community Relations / Participation

19. Crisis Communications / Public Safety Education Campaign

20.  Most Innovative Communications



View Past Award Recipients