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Excellence in Media Relations

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Judging criteria:

The judges will be focusing on the following areas when scoring your entry. Write your entries accordingly.

  • Evidence of a clear communications strategy to deliver outcomes against specified objectives (15)
  • Evidence of insight and identification of needs and careful targeting of clearly identified audiences (15)
  • Rationale for selection of most appropriate media channels (10)
  • Appropriately bold creative execution, taking into account sector specific requirements (10)
  • How well the programme identified and delivered specific and appropriate key messages for the intended audience (qualitative and quantitative) (10)
  • Demonstration of the quality of implementation (10)
  • Effectiveness – evidence for and measurement of successful outputs/ outcomes (against key objectives. Please do not rely on OTS figures) (20)

Remember: anonymise your entry.

Don't forget: provide a copy of any previous submissions for this work.

This category recognises all forms of media relations programmes.

Entries can reflect any/all forms of media, such as:

  • Online
  • Digital
  • Print
  • Broadcast.

Entries should demonstrate first-class strategic thinking and exceptional implementation (in line with the EFPIA, ABPI and PAGB Codes of Practice).

Entries should fully demonstrate the quality of your strategic thinking and how media relations activities were conducted to an exceptional standard to achieve quality and in-depth coverage within the target media space through the selected channels (print, online, blog, Twitter, Facebook, webcast, YouTube etc).

Judges will want you to put your campaign into context at the outset, to clarify the rationale behind your strategy and tactics. They need to know what your ambitions were and how media was used to drive them. Please make it clear if your work was part of an overall strategy involving other factors (eg, policy change). Is it one programme within a longer-term strategy? If the campaign is part of a broader-reaching overall campaign, say so.

Judges will want to know how you matched the key messages to your target audience.

They will also be examining how you decided upon your measures for success, and then how you went on to measure activity and the impact your media relations programme had, paying special attention to outputs (eg, conversions/analytics or feedback from the end user) and what outcomes your programme achieved. All online media must be evaluated and benchmarked effectively. Feedback from professional organisations, opinion leaders and the end user is vital. Please note that, while OTS is an important metric and demonstrates the extent to which the specific target audience was reached, OTS alone may not be scored as an outcome.

It is essential that you specify which (if any) coverage was paid for and the budget allocated for the campaign or project by band. You must also clearly identify where supporting evidence can be found in support of any/all claims you make within the entry.

You must also disclose other agencies who may have been involved.

IT IS ESSENTIAL TO PROVIDE BUDGET BAND INFORMATION, failure to do so will incur a penalty from the judges. If your client has declined to allow this, you must state this within your submission.

Band A under £10,000
Band B £10,001-£25,000
Band C £25,001-£50,000
Band D £50,001-£100,000
Band E £100,001-£200,000
Band F over £200,001.

You should state whether your campaign was created globally, regionally or locally and how it was measured – globally, regionally or locally – and who achieved the coverage (i.e the project owner, network partner or affiliated agency).

Work conducted during the 18-month period between July 2018 and December 2019 will be eligible. Submissions entered previously must demonstratehow the programme has developed over time and a copy of the previous
submission(s) should be included within the supporting materials.

Entry Format

Executive Summary (max 200 words)
Must be supplied separately from the two-page A4 submission.
If your submission is nominated for an award, only extracts from executive summaries will be published, allowing you to ensure it contains no confidential information. No other part of your entry will be reproduced. Please note that the judges will not see the executive summary and it does not need to be anonymised.


(unless otherwise indicated in the category description).

1. Situation/Market Analysis

A description of the situation/environment before you undertook the work. For example:

  • What information, research, analysis etc that led you to identify the problem, issue or opportunity
  • What insights that helped you work towards a plan or solution
  • Provide as much benchmark data as possible* (if available) for the judges to identify what the metrics/trends were before the programme began. Changes from baseline metrics brought about by your programme or initiative should be clear to see
  • What challenge(s) had to be overcome.

2. Objectives

Provide clearly defined SMART objectives

The judges recommend no more than five.

  • Make sure you clearly identify key audiences and define benefits to them and to stakeholders and the organisation

3. Strategy

Describe your strategy

  • What was the plan/approach adopted to meet your objectives?
  • Who was involved in the delivery team (both internal and external)?
  • What was the rationale for any collaboration with external stakeholders?
  • Was there a part of the strategy that was truly innovative/groundbreaking?

4. Tactics

    How was the strategy implemented in line with yourobjectives?

  • What channels/tactics did you employ to implement the strategy? Highlight your rationale for selecting these channels.

5. Effectiveness: Outcomes vs Objectives

Demonstrate how outcomes were delivered/achieved against your stated objectives. Show clear evaluation of:

  • Outtakes (knowledge, attitudes, opinions, levels of confidence, number of people who heard about the campaign etc.)
  • Outputs (volume of coverage, number of leaflets, hits to websites etc.)
  • Outcomes (quantifiable changes in behaviour or action taken as a result of the campaign).
    What did success look like for the campaign? Show the real benefit that the work delivered for stakeholders, patients and the organisation.

*This is where you should refer to the benchmarks you identified earlier.

6. Stakeholder Testimonials and Client Verdicts

You must provide a minimum of one (maximum three) independent, third-party stakeholder testimonials. These will be scored by the judges in terms of their quality and relevance and can significantly influence your overall score.
You will also need to provide a minimum of one (maximum three) client testimonials.

  • Approved quotes may be submitted as a letter, fax or email supporting the overall effectiveness of the programme or activity, but the quotes themselves must be included in the two-page submission.
  • Include contact details for the stakeholder(s) (email address and telephone number) for verification purposes (does not need to be included in the two-page submission)
  • If the stakeholder(s) references are confidential, please highlight this on the entry form.

7. Lessons Learned

What lessons did you learn that would help with future work?

8. Supporting Materials (not included in submission length limit)

  • Only send the key information/documents that helps the judges to see how you researched, developed, implemented and measured the programme. The judges do not need every piece of material created as part of the campaign. Also, please include a visual representation of the project/work/campaign
  • ESSENTIAL: A summary sheet must be supplied with supporting materials, detailing each of the supporting materials and clearly referencing where evidence can be found to support claims made in the entry about outcomes, such as shifts in awareness, attitude and reported behaviour, eg info on sample size, method of data collection etc.
    Entries will not be accepted without this document.
  • Where possible, provide a copy of the original brief from the client
  • If you have submitted the same campaign/work previously, provide a copy of the previous submission(s).
  • Supporting Materials do not need to be submitted until Friday 27 March 2020.

Category Sponsors

Key dates

Entry deadline 5 March 2020
Extended entry deadline 12 March 2020
Judging day 1 7 May 2020
Judging day 2 21 May 2020
Awards Ceremony 2 July 2020

Contact information:

For sponsorship opportunities:
Sales Team
Tel: +44 (0)1372 414200

General event enquiries:
Debbie Tuesley
Tel: +44 (0)1372 414243

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