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Driving the national news agenda for meningitis

by Ruder Finn for Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Limited

Summary of work

Meningitis remains a major public health concern in the UK, killing more children under the age of five than any other infectious disease and leaving many more with life-long disabilities. 2012 was a pivotal year for meningitis prevention, with the news that the first vaccine for the leading cause – MenB – may soon be available in the UK following a CHMP positive opinion. The agency was tasked with delivering a targeted media relations campaign that would bring this major milestone, traditionally considered a business announcement, to the attention of everyone from parents on the ground to agents of change in government. A second arm of media activities used an innovative disease awareness campaign as a platform to create surround sound meningitis noise in the media, thereby elevating this disease as a major public health priority. Overall the campaign delivered an unprecedented level of coverage across broadcast, print and online media channels, generating over 200 million media impressions.

Judges comments

Here we saw a very impressive strategy, excellent execution, innovative use of social media and amazing outcomes. A nicely-blended programme that caught the public mood and shaped the environment for take up of the Meningitis B vaccine.


The Schizophrenia Commission - by Rethink Mental Illness

Highly commended

Blood Art-ery - by The Red Consultancy for NHS Blood and Transplant

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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

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