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Innovation in Scientific Communications

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Innovation is defined as: making audience centric changes to the established way that the scientific communications sector operates, for example by introducing new methods, ideas or products. We are looking for programmes that have introduced something new, or something that has never been done before in this area, where it has been implemented specifically for the sake of increasing relevance to and impact with the audience. Programmes which were ultimately judged as successful or failures can enter, as the judges are looking for programmes which moved the scientific communications sector forward in its appreciation of how to resonate better with audiences.

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

  • Medical communications
  • Education/training
  • Pre-commercialisation work
  • 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 solutions or products

Work conducted between April 2020 and December 2021 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.

Remember: Entries into this category
DO NOT need to be anonymised.

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 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

  • The word/character limit for each criterion will be outlined via the online entry system.

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. The need for innovation; Situation Analysis and Benchmarking – 20 marks

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!

3. Objectives – 10 marks

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!

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 outtakes 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).

4. Strategy – 10 marks

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.

5. Implementation – 20 marks

  • 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
  • State which region the innovation was implemented in, with reference to any country compliance guidelines that had to be adhered to

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.

6. Outcomes; achievements, learnings and recommendations for future innovation – 20 marks

Show clearly how the programme or project delivered against the stated objective, what you learned from the development and implementation of this programme and what you (and the wider sector / industry) could do in future as a result of these learnings

  • What did you learn by introducing this innovation and how has your thinking developed as a result?
  • How would you make changes or improvements to enhance the opportunity for success in the future?
  • If possible, show how you’ve applied these learnings to demonstrate the value of the innovation even where the results fell short of what was expected
  • What did you achieve vs your SMART objectives (provide data to support this in any supporting material you submit)?
  • 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
  • In innovation, the outcome can be positive or negative. The effectiveness is therefore equally judged as the value of the learning

Judging notes/judges’ top tips

  • Focus on both learnings and outcomes – the judges recognise that true innovation does not always lead to immediate measurable improvements and that the learnings and how these can be built into future innovation are themselves successes
  • The Communiqué Awards operate in line with the Barcelona Principles 3.0 outlining best practice in communication measurement and evaluation. Therefore 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

Supporting Materials

Please remember that the first round of scoring is based only on the content of the two-page entry form. No supporting material is viewed at this stage.

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

Andrew Binns, Marketing Strategy Consultant – Communiqué Awards Judge

Key dates

Entry deadline 11 March 2022
Extended entry deadline 18 March 2022
(additional fee applies)
Judging days May 2022
Awards Ceremony 7th July 2022

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:
Saoirse Meenaghan
Tel: 01372 414253