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Judges' Tips

Do

  • Get your point across quickly and simply – remember judges review lots of entries
  • Be authentic – retrospectively constructed objectives are easy to spot
  • Show a clear link between strategy, objectives, tactics and outcomes
  • Show evidence of a strong strategy – don’t make assumptions
  • Use simple explanations and clear, punchy language
  • Explain what you wanted to achieve and why – we need to know the problem, not just the solution
  • Say why you approached the problem in this way – what were the critical success factors and were there any difficult circumstances to overcome at the time of execution?
  • Be careful regarding statement of commercial objectives with educationally accredited programmes. If you enter a CME or CPD programme the judges will be watching for any commercial bias and for compliance with recognised guidelines
  • State what gave your campaign the competitive edge and if the proposed solution was innovative
  • State if this campaign was the first of its kind
  • Ensure the evaluation and outcomes really do marry up with the SMART objectives you set out to achieve
  • Tell us how and where the results made a difference for the audience and the client
  • Identify who did what between client and agency – roles and responsibilities
  • Remember – judges are looking for entries that make them think “I wish I had thought of that” or “That’s an initiative/activity I would have been proud to be associated with”
  • Make sure that all materials supplied can be viewed in both Mac and PC format, that you provide any passwords required and that links to sites remain valid until after the final judging day (25 May 2017). 

Don’t

  • Exceed the submission length limit – a 200-word executive summary (supplied as a separate document) and two additional pages of A4 (minimum font size 10)
  • Be afraid to show what the initiative or activity looked like – a picture says a thousand words
  • Be too formulaic – creativity is very important and remember less is often more
  • Use complex sentences and ‘clever’ words
  • Overuse marketing jargon
  • Overstate your initiative – if it was a meeting series, say so
  • Make apologies for using a standard tactic; explain that it was precisely what was required – flawlessly executed, of course
  • Confuse “outtakes”, “outputs”, and “outcomes” when evaluating effectiveness of the campaign 
  • Assume the judges know the ins and outs of your disease/therapy area – ensure you explain enough to help them understand, but not so much as to complicate the entry
  • Assume the judges will get to see your materials on the day – if your entry doesn’t make the cut on the first round of scoring, they won’t see any additional items that you send in. If an innovative tactic was involved, make sure it is represented or depicted properly in the submission itself. 

Final Tip

Once you have written your entry, let a colleague who knows nothing about the initiative read it. If they don’t understand something, then neither will the judges!

“Healthcare communications is a fast evolving sector and it is really important that we stay at the top of our game. The Communiqué Awards are a great way to do this, enabling us to test the quality our own work and also learn from others. The process is very rewarding for our team, allowing us to articulate the benefit we help deliver to our clients and – importantly – patients. The judging is robust but the awards are accessible. They play an invaluable role in improving quality in our industry.”
Mike Birtwistle,
Founding Partner, Incisive Health

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