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Excellence in Media Relations

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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 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 (e.g. print, online, blog, Twitter, Facebook, webcast, YouTube).

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. Also, demonstrate you understand the pressures and working practices of media organisations and show that you flexed the offer to maximise outcomes for your clients (if appropriate).

Judges will want to know how you matched the key messages to your target audience. They will also want to see where your campaign resulted in a real-life behaviour change from a target audience, as a result of the media coverage (e.g. be that eg be that at an organisation/b2b level or public).

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 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 2019 and December 2020 will be eligible. If the submission has been entered previously, the current entry must provide benchmarks to clearly demonstrate how the programme was evaluated and how it has developed over time.

Remember: anonymise your entry.

Don’t forget:
- provide a copy of any previous submission for this work
- be open! Were there any other contributors to the programme?

JUDGING CRITERIA AND ENTRY FORMAT:

Entry Title

Please give a simple title for your entry of no more than ten words

Executive Summary – 200 words. 0 (zero) marks

This will be used if entry is selected as a finalist and does not need to be anonymised.

Main entry

  • The word/character limit for each criterion will be outlined via the online entry system, which is new for 2021.

1. Budget Band Information, as below:

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.

If your client has declined to allow this, you must state this within your submission.

  • Failure to provide the budget band seriously impacts the judge’s ability to assess the entry against other entries and may result in the entry being disqualified
  • The budget band provides important context for judging the innovation, delivery and impact of a piece of work.
  • Impressive work is not always dependent on budget size, so there is no right or wrong budget.

2. Situation Analysis and Benchmarking – 15 marks (300 words)

  • In this section you should show the judges how well you understood the situation at the start of the project
  • Use this situation to clearly lay out benchmark data that you will refer to in your measurement of effectiveness later
  • Show the judges the best information, data and insights you have about uptake of health interventions, current practice, defining/ segmenting audiences, identifying educational or information needs, which channels will best reach the audience, competitive environment, creative landscape before the start of your work

Judges’ top tips

  • We work and operate in a world where there is a wealth of data and insights, so there is really no excuse for projects and programmes that are planned without this data.
  • The judges will reward the strength and robustness of this data i.e. a well conducted piece of client market research will score more highly than a two-question internal survey monkey
  • The judges will reward the variety of data that prompts useful insights and helps to shape a holistic view of the situation and audiences.

3. Objectives – 15 marks (250 words)

  • Describe the objectives for the project or programme and how these will be measured

Judges’ top tips

The judges will:

  • Reward clarity of intent in the objectives and the way they are written
  • Reward objectives focused on outcomes and measurable impact.
    • Projects and programmes with objectives only around outputs or outtakes are unlikely to be marked highly in this section and are less likely to be shortlisted
  • The SMARTer the objectives the more marks you will get. Sometimes it’s not realistic for every objective to be fully SMART – if the objectives are bit SMART, let the judges know why not
  • Reward objectives that directly and clearly build on the data presented in the situation analysis
  • Reward commentary on selection of measurement methods including innovation in measurement approaches.

4. Strategy – 15 marks (250 words)

  • Please outline what your strategy was and why
  • Refer to the data and insight in the situation analysis section
  • Explain why this was the right strategy and any points to emphasise bold or innovative strategy selection

Judges’ top tips

The judges will:

  • Reward clarity of thought around strategies and how they are communicated – bullet points may be better than long prose
  • Assess how well the chosen strategy/ strategies might achieve objectives
  • Reward entries showing a clever or insightful way that you interpreted the data and insights from the situation analysis to set your strategy
  • Reward innovation in strategy
  • Recognise how different communications disciplines are blended as part of the strategic approach.

5. Implementation – 15 marks (400 words)

  • Please describe how you implemented the project or programme
  • Please briefly outline why these specific tactics were selected
  • For a programme this should include describing what tactics were deployed to implement the strategy

Judges’ top tips

  • The judges need to know what you did or developed to judge this section – please keep descriptions clear and succinct
  • When awarding marks in this section the judges will reward:
    • a logical selection of tactical projects or outputs
    • creativity and innovation in the way you execute the tactics
    • clever selection and maximisation of channels
    • scientific acumen and robustness
    • the use of insights in finding creative ways to engage the defined audiences.

6. Effectiveness: Outcomes vs Objectives – 20 marks (400 words)

  • Show clearly how the programme or project delivered against the stated objectives
  • Help the judges to understand how the effectiveness was measured so they can judge the strength of the evaluation
  • Include comments from third party stakeholders in this section but ONLY if they clearly help to demonstrate the impact of the work and were a planned part of the measurement approach

Judges’ top tips

  • The Communiqué Awards operate in line with the Barcelona Principles 3.0 outlining best practice in communication measurement and evaluation
  • Focus on outcomes where possible – these will always be more highly marked than just outputs or outtakes
  • Describe the measurement approaches used and briefly outline why they were appropriate.
  • Beware of vanity metrics such as ‘Reach’ or Opportunities to See that don’t relate to achievement of an outcome
  • Be really clear what was measured, when and how

Supporting Materials

Please remember that the first round of scoring is based only on the content of the two-page entry form. No supporting material is viewed at this stage.

Please only send information that helps the judges to see how you researched, planned, implemented and measured the programme within each specific category, e.g.:

  • Information illustrating how the strategy was brought to life is helpful but we don’t need a copy of every item
  • Information supporting the evaluation and measurement is the most relevant
  • ESSENTIAL: a summary sheet must be supplied detailing each piece of supporting material and clearly identifying where evidence can be found to support claims in the entry
  • PLUS: An approved visual image or video that supports the entry for use in print, results pages online and in the AV.

Category Sponsors

Andrew Binns, Marketing Strategy Consultant – Communiqué Awards Judge

Key dates

Entry deadline 11 March 2021
Extended entry deadline 18 March 2021
(additional fee applies)
Judging days May 2021
Awards Ceremony 1st July 2021

Contact information:

For sponsorship opportunities:
Sales Team
sales@pmlive.com
Tel: +44 (0)1372 414200

General event enquiries:
Debbie Tuesley
dtuesley@pmlive.com
Tel: +44 (0)1372 414243