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Innovation in Healthcare Communications

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Innovation is defined as: making changes in the established way that healthcare communications sector operations, for example by introducing new methods, ideas or products; or introducing something new, or something that has never been done before.

This category recognises communication, business or technological innovation initiatives that have ultimately contributed improved patient care through a compelling and differentiated approach to one or more of the following:

  • Customer/stakeholder engagement
  • Use of communication or marketing channels
  • Provision of patient services and/or information
  • Provision of information/services for healthcare professionals
  • Healthcare collaboration with one or more parties.
  • Digital health innovations solutions and products
  • Agency or client internal projects

Work conducted between July 2021 and December 2022 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.

Don’t forget:

  • provide a copy of any previous submission for this work
  • be open! Were there any other contributors to the programme?


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 your entry is selected as a finalist and does not need to be anonymised.

Judging notes/judges’ top tips

It is important that you provide an overview of what the innovation is within the entry as this is your opportunity to ensure the judges can quickly understand what aspect of the entry is innovative

  • Evidence why this is innovative and why the innovation was required
  • State which region the innovation was implemented in with reference to any country compliance guidelines that had to be adhered to
  • Explain at what stage the innovation is currently at, e.g. proof of concept, beta-testing, piloting, roll-out, commercialisation?
  • Provide a top line comment on any learnings gained from the development or implementation of the programme

Main entry

It is essential to provide links to platforms/apps/videos etc to help the judges get an experience of any digital or immersive experiences, plus if passwords are required, ensure these are also included.

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. Why does this qualify for the innovation category? – 10 marks (300 words)

  • Please detail where the innovation is within the entry. This recognises that innovation might exist within a more standard project. Please ensure the judges can understand what aspect of the entry is innovative
  • Evidence why this is innovative
  • State which region the innovation was implemented in with reference to any country compliance guidelines that had to be adhered to
  • Explain at what stage the innovation is currently at, e.g. proof of concept, beta-testing, piloting, roll-out, commercialisation?

3. Situation Analysis and Benchmarking – 10 marks (300 words)

In this section you should show the judges how well you understood the situation at the start of the project. You should describe the insight that this innovation was based on and really importantly, why the innovation was needed.

  • Clearly lay out benchmark data and market knowledge that you will refer to in your measurement of effectiveness later
  • Show the judges the best benchmarking 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
  • Describe the status quo – the usual way of doing things and why is this no longer relevant now.
  • Why was innovation required for this audience and why now?

Judging notes/judges’ top tips

  • We work 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. With this front of mind, the judges will reward;
  • the variety, 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 key insight (or “lightbulb moment”) gained from interrogating the data and understanding the market, and why this resulted in the identification of the need for innovation
  • Your understanding of the real need, and the potential impact that the fulfilment of this will have will impress the judges!

4. Objectives – 10 marks (250 words)

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

  • If the innovation was part of a larger programme, what was the specific objective for that innovative element?
  • Be careful not to confuse Objectives and Strategy!

Judging notes/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 out-takes 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 not 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 (when stated as such).

5. Strategy – 10 marks (250 words)

Please outline the strategy you chose to meet your stated objective

  • Refer to the data and insight in the situation analysis section
  • Explain why you believe this was the right strategy and any points to emphasise bold or innovative strategy selection
  • Specify what previous or traditional practice you were trying to disrupt and why this is required to meet the stated objective for your audience?

Judging notes/judges’ top tips

The judges will:

  • Reward clarity of thought around strategy and how it is communicated – bullet points may be better than long prose
  • Assess how well the chosen strategy 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.

6. Implementation – 20 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
  • For a meeting or stand-alone event this should describe how the meeting or event was delivered

Judging notes/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.

7. Effectiveness: Outcomes vs Objectives - 5 marks (400 words)

  • Show clearly how the programme or project delivered against the stated objectives – or what you learned and what you are doing as a result of this learning
  • Where possible, show how you’ve applied these learnings to demonstrate the value of the experiment even where the results fell short of what was expected
  • 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

Judging notes/judges’ top tips

  • We recognise that with innovation, the learnings can be almost as important as the result. Therefore, we are more interested with the endeavour and what you learned than evidencing outcomes versus objectives
  • Judges want to see how learnings have or will be applied to future work
  • Where you do have results, focus on outcomes where possible – these will always be more highly marked than just outputs or out-takes
  • 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

8. Learnings and Recommendations for the Future - 15 marks

In innovation, the outcome can be positive or negative. The effectiveness can therefore be judged as the value of the learning

  • What went well and what was not so good?
  • What are the learnings?
  • Why are the learnings valuable and how could you improve in the future?

Supporting Materials

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

Key dates

Entry deadline 10th March 2023
Extended entry deadline 17th March 2023
(additional fee applies)
Judging days 4th, 5th and 19th
May 2023
Awards Ceremony 6th July 2023

Contact information:

For sponsorship opportunities:
Sales Team
Tel: +44 (0)1372 414200

General event enquiries:
Debbie Tuesley
Tel: +44 (0)1372 414243

Entry and dinner booking enquiries:
Charlotte Garnade
Tel: 01372 414253