Sandia communicators excel in national APEX contest

By Neal Singer

Thursday, August 30, 2018

APEX logo

Sandia communicators have garnered five awards in the APEX 2018 contest, the 30th annual national competition recognizing outstanding work by professional communicators, sponsored by Communications Concepts. More than 1,400 entries were received for this year’s competition.

Sandia winners of APEX awards for publication excellence were as follows:

Grand award

Social media

Darrick Hurst and Valerie Larkin, “Sandia’s Social Media”

Only six other national social media programs or campaigns were recognized with the APEX grand award — the highest honor — including the Facebook site for NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center and the National Association of Realtors. This is the third time the Sandia social media team has won the grand award in recognition of their strategy and implementation.

The judges wrote: “Over 230,000 total social media followers rely on Sandia to provide a wealth of information including everything from news releases and announcements, world-renowned photography and video to direct messaging, chats and contests. The extreme care and attention given to strategy and content planning is evident throughout each of the numerous social media platforms. Sandia clearly accomplishes the goals it has set with regard to using social media for PR, recruiting, crisis communications and thought leadership.”

Awards of excellence

Feature writing

Nancy Salem, “We remember Christopher: A tale of friendship, loss and love

A Sandia veteran, John Bailon, recalled the story of one Marine’s death and the friend who carried his legacy through family.

Technical and technology writing

Jules Bernstein, “Testing for Zika virus: there’s an app for that

Sandia has developed a smartphone-controlled, battery-operated diagnostic device that weighs under a pound, costs as little as $100 and can detect Zika, dengue and chikungunya within 30 minutes.

Neal Singer, “HADES creates alternate reality to mislead hackers

Rather than simply blocking a discovered intruder, Sandia deploys a recently patented alternative reality…which feeds a hacker not what he needs to know, but what he wants to believe. “Deception is the future of cyber defense,” says researcher Vince Urias.

“Green” writing

Neal Singer, “The destructive effects of supercooled liquid water on airplane safety and climate models

Supercooled water sounds smooth enough to be served at espresso bars, but instead it hangs out in Earth's atmosphere, unpredictably freezing on airplane wings and hampering the simulations of climate theorists.