2015 NPW Contests
and Tips for Success

By Jessica Neidhart

Every year, payroll professionals let their hair down and celebrate National Payroll Week® (NPW) through community service, educational outreach, APA chapter parties, and much more. In 1996 APA created the NPW and NPW Contests to recognize the hard work that payroll professionals put into their NPW celebrations.

APA has six NPW chapter contests and two contests for anyone who wants to participate in the festivities. The contest themes range from having an awesome photo to local government outreach, so there is a contest for everyone to enjoy. Chapters or individuals may participate in one or more of the contests to increase their chances of becoming a 2015 NPW Contest winner.

To enter the contests, visit and download the contest fliers. Each flyer contains contest information, guidelines, and the submission process. The NPW contests are as follows:

Chapter Promotion Contest
Show your support for the payroll profession and National Payroll Week by participating in the 2015 Chapter Promotion Contest. Entering is easy! Select your chapter's name from the drop-down menu when ordering National Payroll Week merchandise to earn credits. Proceeds from this contest will go toward promoting payroll education. The chapter that earns the most credits wins!

To buy NPW merchandise, visit and let the shopper within you come out and have fun buying NPW shirts, bears, and more.

Local Government Outreach Chapter Contest
Reach out to local government officials to lend their support for NPW to enter the Local Government Outreach Contest! Ask local government officials in your city, county, and state for an official NPW proclamation acknowledging NPW and payroll professionals. Share the proclamation signing event with the Chapter Relations Department to win this contest.

For tips, sample letters, and proclamation language, head to

Educational Outreach and Community Service Chapter Contest
If your chapter loves volunteering in the community, this is the contest for you! This contest recognizes and rewards chapters for the amazing effort they have put into giving back to their community during National Payroll Week.

Chapter Photo Contest
Do you capture the essence of your chapter's NPW celebrations in photos? Then enter the Chapter Photo Contest! It is easy and fun. Submit your three best NPW-related photos to Chapter Relations. Tap into your inner photographer and highlight National Payroll Week as creatively as possible for the best chance to win. The chapter photo must clearly display the NPW theme, logo, or artwork.

Local Media Outreach Chapter Contest
In the new age of social media, there are countless forms of media: radio, news stations, newspapers, Facebook, and Twitter. Pitch National Payroll Week to local media, and see the results in your events!

For tips on how to reach the media, sample press releases, and letters to the editor, head to

Online Survey Promotion Contest
The Online Survey Promotion ContestL is designed to recognize outstanding work to increase awareness of National Payroll Week and the NPW Online Survey within your community and workplace. Individuals and chapters alike are eligible for this contest.

To compete, promote the Getting Paid In America survey to your friends and family, at work, and everywhere else you go. Entries that display the most original, creative, and effective outreach efforts will win.

National Education Regional Contest
Help your region shine in the National Education Contest! The region with the most volunteers during Money Matters National Education Day will take home the crown. Plus, for your help in broadening young adults' minds on payroll, every volunteer will earn one RCH credit.

Contact local schools or youth groups about teaching Paycheck Basics on Money Matters National Education Day. Use the special curriculum supplied by the APA to educate local teens about their paychecks.

To receive the credit, fill out the National Education Champions Contest form after you have taught Money Matters. You'll receive one RCH credit for teaching, and the region with the most participants wins!

Individual Activity Contest
Treat yourself to some great rewards for increasing awareness of National Payroll Week by entering the Individual Activity Contest. Individual entries are accepted for events that include any combination of contest categories including educational outreach and community service, local government outreach, and media outreach.

Tips and Tricks
To help out with the NPW contest entries, the Chapter Relations Department wants to give you some helpful tips on how to answer the questions, how to prepare for the contest entry, and what the judges are looking for to better your chances at winning.

First, answer all the questions on the NPW contest flyer. The judges are looking for numbers, goals, and explanations of the event with details, photos, and captions. If you keep those main points in mind when creating your contest entry, you will have a better chance at becoming an NPW Contest winner.

Second, photos are the judges' best friends when reviewing your entries. The photos help put the judges at your event. Photos speak for themselves; the more you include the better. Also, the Chapter Relations Department may use your photos for future NPW features in PAYTECH, PAYTECHonline, or email broadcasts. One way that you can be sure to have photos of every event is to delegate someone to be the photographer for the event.

Next, it is extremely beneficial to use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Social media is a critical resource to use when trying to promote your events. Newspapers, radio stations, news stations, and emails will help you reach different audiences. The judges want to see you adopt social media into your everyday lives to promote your events. One easy way to do that is create an event on Facebook and invite your chapter members, their friends, and your colleagues. The judges want to see the evidence of using social media through screenshots of your posts and events or give us a link to your social media page.

Last, have fun and be creative when planning NPW celebrations. The judges love seeing new and different ideas when planning these big events. If you have come up with a fresh NPW plan, go ahead and implement it because you never know how fun something is until you give it a shot.

The Chapter Relations Department hopes that these tips are helpful for you when preparing for National Payroll Week and the NPW contests. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Chapter Relations Department via email or at (210)226-4600.

Chapter President Profile
Jill Gagnon
New York State Capital Region Chapter

By Caren Bennett

Jill Gagnon, President of the New York State Capital Region Chapter, has many different responsibilities, but chapter members are her first priority.

"I work to keep the membership informed with accurate payroll information that will help them succeed in their role," she explains. "I am most proud of the members who have kept this chapter around for so long, and we are always looking for ways to give back to them."

For Gagnon, the most rewarding aspect of being President is seeing a large turnout at chapter meetings and knowing that chapter leaders are addressing a topic important to payroll professionals.

"You cannot find a topic that will interest everyone, but you know when you have hit the right one," she says.

Gagnon is thankful to work alongside the chapter's Board of Directors on projects to better the member experience.

"I don't feel I can take credit for any contributions alone. Everything that was accomplished was completed as a team with the wonderful board members," she explains.

Recently, the chapter began offering a study group for the CPP/FPC exams. This year, the chapter also held a networking mixer, offering both members and non-members hors d'oeuvres, drinks, and payroll games with prizes. Gagnon is gearing up for National Payroll Week 2015 by planning giveaways for the chapter and organizing a membership photo for submission.

Gagnon hopes to keep providing members with excellent educational resources and to continue to grow and expand the chapter membership. For her, it is difficult to see members unable to obtain the financing from their employers to attend meetings. To try to reduce this burden, the chapter offers discounted speaker meetings for members. The chapter also works to reach payroll professionals new to the field through email blasts, word of mouth, and by offering giveaways to current members who refer a new member.

Gagnon got her start in payroll as just a small piece of a larger finance roll.

"Since then, the payroll piece has evolved and has become larger," she explains.

Serving as Chapter President has been beneficial to Gagnon's career in many ways.

"Being Chapter President has opened my network immensely. I have also attended seminars that I may not normally have attended, which I have ultimately found beneficial," she says. "I would tell new payroll professionals not to ever be intimidated by the many laws and rules governing payroll, whether it be state, federal, or local. There is a large, supportive network available."

Get Publicity, Support
for Your Next Statewide

Is your chapter organizing a Statewide or Regional Meeting? If so, complete the Statewide/Regional Conference Registration Form and submit it to the Chapter Relations Department. Your Statewide or Regional meeting will be advertised on the APA website and PAYTECHonline. Plus, you will receive free promotional materials from the APA.

View the most current list of 2015 Statewide or Regional Conferences.

Receive Free Materials
for Your Chapter Study Group

Register your study group with Chapter Relations today by submitting the Study Group Registration Form and your study group will be advertised on the APA website and in PAYTECHonline. Plus, you will receive free study materials (see form for details).

View the most current list of 2015 Chapter Study Groups.

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