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Excellence in Media Relations

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2020 Finalists

Genes Silenced. Voices Heard. Forging a New Era of RNAi Therapeutics

by akt health communications for Alnylam

In July 2018 Alnylam faced a major challenge. Its first-ever RNA interference (RNAi) medicine was about to launch across the EU. Yet neither RNAi nor the initial diseases it was being used to treat were familiar beyond a tiny scientific audience and many experts were noting that health services would likely not deem such a medicine ‘value for money’.

By stripping away the jargon and making RNAi a story that everyone could relate to, the agency achieved outstanding media results. Equally as important was the truly integrated approach the team took; ensuring that the right noise was made at the right time to complement other teams striving to deliver access for patients in need.

From almost nobody having heard about gene silencing, the team delivered media results that led to it being highlighted as one of the ‘most significant medical breakthroughs of 2019’ by the BBC. The coverage achieved has had a profound impact that will support this technology for years to come.

Not Every Disability is Visible

by Evoke KYNE for Crohn’s and Colitis UK and Janssen-Cilag Limited

Signage on accessible toilets across the UK shows a person in a wheelchair perpetuating the notion that the toilets are only to be used by those with visible disabilities. Recognising this, Crohn’s & Colitis UK partnered with Janssen and Evoke KYNE to raise awareness of these invisible disabilities, to drive positive social change for people living with the conditions and encourage businesses to adopt accessible toilet signs to one stating ‘Not Every Disability is Visible.’ A bold media campaign was created to mobilise the community and general public to contact CEOs of a specific industry, pubs/restaurants, driving them to update their accessible toilet signs.

In total, we achieved nearly 500 million impressions through traditional and social media channels as a result of >130 pieces of print, online and broadcast coverage including BBC News, a broadcast on Sky News, extensive radio coverage and organic social media posts. The breadth of coverage led to a staggering 53,000+ emails being sent to CEOs of target corporations via the campaign website. This led to >17,000 outlets of brands such as Nando’s, Frankie and Benny’s and JD Wetherspoon changing their accessible toilet signs.

In My Shoes: 24 Hours with Crohn’s or Colitis

by Mearns & Pike for Crohn’s & Colitis UK and Takeda

Right now, more than 300,000 people in the UK are living with a lifelong disease that many people have never heard of. In fact, the real number could be almost double that. Many of the people in the UK living with Crohn’s or Colitis feel that there’s a lack of awareness, empathy and understanding of their condition.

In My Shoes: 24 Hours with Crohn’s or Colitis – by Crohn’s & Colitis UK and Takeda – is an immersive app that enables people to step in the shoes of someone living with Crohn’s or Colitis.

The multichannel media campaign to support the launch of the app resulted in 23,000 downloads of In My Shoes, over 200 media stories and a social reach of more than 700,000 people. This led to a 27% increase in both empathy and understanding of Crohn’s and Colitis and a significant decrease (almost 50%) in apathy towards the impact  that these conditions can have on daily life.

It Takes Guts to talk about Crohn’s and Colitis and this media campaign ignited that conversation.

The UK Launch of Minimed 670g:

by Mearns & Pike for Medtronic

The Minimed 670G insulin pump marks a significant advance in the treatment of type 1 diabetes thanks to the ability of the pump to automatically adjust the basal (background) insulin given to an individual based on constant readings from an accompanying continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) device.

The national launch of the innovation provided an opportunity not only to raise awareness of the technology but fuel discussion around CGM and access to this essential tool in diabetes management among the T1D community.

Using traditional media as a spark to encourage debate on social channels, we ensured that 670G was the talk among the T1D community. With exclusive broadcast coverage across the BBC network and a well-timed story with the Press Association we generated a campaign that reached the masses and our target patient population in equal measure.

Emma, Work Colleague of the Future

by Virgo Health for Fellowes

We have more health education than ever and yet we’re getting sicker. One of the biggest reasons for this? The office. Ergonomic workstation solutions company Fellowes, wanted to raise mass media awareness of this workplace issue and establish itself as an authority on office health. We needed a bold activation that would drive media relations cut-through across Europe and wake people up to the importance of workplace health. We created a shocking life-size work colleague of the future, Emma, based on scientific research into current office working practices. Emma captivated the media and within 24hours Emma became a worldwide cultural phenomenon, a meme and TV star, all driving unprecedented enquiries for Fellowes.

Executive summaries as submitted.

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Jon Pike, Mearns & Pike - Communiqué 2020 winner

Key dates

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

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