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Excellence in Health Improvement and Education

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Highly Commended

Meningitis: Keep Watching

by Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Limited with support from Ruder Finn

Summary of work

Meningitis is a devastating disease which kills more children under five in the UK than any other infectious disease and leaves many more maimed with lifelong disabilities. A worrying lack of understanding exists among parents about the protection that meningitis vaccines offer; with two-thirds mistakenly thinking that current vaccinations protect against all types of meningitis. This lack of awareness may lead to a false sense of security, lower vigilance for meningitis signs and symptoms and delays in seeking life-saving treatment.

In order to address this knowledge gap, a new campaign was developed in collaboration with the UK’s three meningitis charities to educate parents to ‘Keep Watching’ for meningitis and to seek urgent medical help if they suspect something is wrong. The campaign pioneered the use of social media, with one of the first industry-led Facebook pages with two way dialogue, to truly engage the parenting community and facilitate peer-to-peer discussion. The scale of collaboration between the charities was unprecedented.

The campaign successfully increased awareness among parents of the message ‘children are not fully protected against meningitis’ by 50 per cent, prompting parents to be more vigilant for meningitis so that more lives can be saved. In the space of just four months the campaign reached an audience of approximately 31 million and built an active and engaged Facebook community of over 2,000*.

*9 months on from launch the campaign Facebook page now has over 13,000 likes and an additional 100,000 film views have been achieved.

Judges comments

This was a great patient-focused, multi-channel campaign with clear objectives and well-documented, effective outcomes that impressed with the scale of reach across social and traditional media.


Dean Street at Home - by 56 Dean Street with support from 90TEN Healthcare

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MRI UK Roadshow - by AbbVie with support from DNA medical communications

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Meningitis: Keep Watching - by Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Limited with support from Ruder Finn


Depaul Meaningful Activities - by AstraZeneca Depaul with support from Hive Health

Feeding for Life Foundation “Mind the Gap” Campaign - by Danone Baby Nutrition with support from Say Communications

Key dates

Entry deadline 26 August 2021
Extended entry deadline 2 September 2021*
*additional fee applies
Judging Day 1 October 2021
Company of the Year Interviews 22 October 2021
PMEA Event 24 November 2021