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County's Diamond Hunt workers honored
The Great Yuma County Diamond Hunt has turned up another prize — this time for the county team that hatched and carried out the plan.
An Award of Excellence from the national Savvy Awards, given by the City, County, Communications & Marketing Association (3CMA), went to the Yuma County Communications Team last week at the 3CMA's 24th Annual Conference in Portland, Ore.
The geocaching scavenger hunt, on-trend with its use of social media to direct players to baseball-sized “diamonds” as part of a statehood centennial promotion, won the award in the Most Creative Activity with Least Dollars Spent (population more than 110,000) category.
The Great Yuma County Diamond Hunt was a centennial celebration with participation from a key partner, the Yuma Sun.
The county communications staff wasn't just having fun with the promotion — it was test-driving Twitter, said county communications director Kevin Tunell. Since using Twitter as a crucial tool in the hunt, Twitter has shown itself to be valuable at getting out information on the recent storm and power and water outages. Even if people didn't have electricity, they could have had working cell phones.
Before the Great Diamond Hunt in February, Yuma County had only about 50 or 60 people following @yumacountyaz. By the end of the hunt, it had more than 400. Today, more than 650 people get Yuma County's tweets.
In an effort to draw the public's attention to Yuma County's Centennial Heritage Area dedication, the county communications office developed a weeklong contest to highlight a different location representing each element of the Heritage Area to be dedicated.
The theme was based on a historical diamond-searching frenzy that swept Yuma after the falsely reported tale of a diamond field here in 1871. The Yuma Sun ran a series of news articles describing the history and significance of each element of the Heritage Area, which was also a hint for the theme and hiding place of the contest's prize locations.
Over seven consecutive days, Yuma County released a GPS coordinate on its Twitter account — as did the Yuma Sun in its own Twitter — and “diamond hunters” would head to the spot to grab a 7-inch glass diamond and instructions to announce and claim their seats at the Yuma County Centennial Celebration.
The 3CMA presents Savvy Awards in 10 categories in television and video, printed publications, graphics, digital products, special events and others. More than 500 entries were submitted for this year's program.
“When you're recognized on this level ... it's a good feeling and it kind of validates things that you're doing,” Tunell said.
Yuma County has received five previous nominations for Savvy Awards and won two: Most Creative Activities with Least Dollars Spent in 2004 and Public Service Announcement in 2008.
Hillary Davis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6857. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSHillaryDavis or on Twitter at @YSHillaryDavis.