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Communiqué Awards tips revealed at HCA event

Judges and previous award winners discussed what makes a winning entry

Communiqué behind the judging

Medical communications professionals gathered in London last week for a behind-the-scenes look at the Communiqué Awards and its judging process.

Hosted by the Healthcare Communications Association (HCA), the exclusive event looked at what make a winning entry and heard from senior judges Sarah Matthew, Annabelle Sandeman and Anna Korving.

Introducing the meeting Korving, who chairs the judging panel, set out the programme’s aims.

“The Communiqué awards really represents the best of what our industry has to offer, Communiqué has been going for 21 years and it grew from a desire to recognise and award best practice and its something that it continues to do.”

She added: “We are always evolving, what we try to do is look at the changes within the industry and to put in place things that recognise how our disciplines evolve.”

This year saw the launch of two new categories: Excellence in Integrating Non-Promotional Communications and Excellence in Communications Through Creative Excellence.

Turning to what makes a winning entry, Sandeman said: “It’s so important that the entries reflect the category they are submitting in, and some entries put the same programme into a number of different categories - which we do recommend - but personalise it otherwise it doesn’t reflect well on the entry.

“Make sure you write against your chosen criteria in full. When it says put your budget down then, that’s what you need to do. If you need testimonials you need to find them, because when you don’t you’re marked with zero out of ten, so you’re already at a disadvantage.”

She also advised if an entry cannot meet the requirements then it might not be ready this year, but it could still make a winning entry for a subsequent year.

Each year, around 60-70 agencies enter at least one category and on judging days around 100 industry leaders, from pharma, devices, diagnostics, charities, agencies and the ABPI, attend to judge entrants’ work.

Matthew, who was crowned healthcare Communiquétor last year, suggested that it’s the preparation that “really counts” when impressing the judges.

“Don’t just read the entry kit but look on the Communiqué website, it’s an immensely valuable resource as you can read about previous winners.

“The spirit of Communiqué is to recognise industry achievers and we’re incredibly respectful - we’re not looking to catch people out, we’re looking to uncover the best.”

The HCA event also heard from previous award winners 90TEN’s Paul Tanner and Emma Reynolds from Cohn & Wolfe, who gave talks on their experiences with Communiqué.

Reynolds, who won last year’s Young Achiever award, advised those thinking of entering to ‘be honest’ with themselves. “Understand what value you bring to the team [and] don’t be embarrassed to show your worth,” she said.

Meanwhile, Tanner, whose agency was 2017’s Communiqué Communications Consultancy of the Year, urged entrants to cast a critical eye over their submissions and focus on outcome metrics and a compelling story.

“The programmes that really succeed during Communiqué are the ones where you come from the perspective of making a difference to the patients we serve or the industry. If you come at it from that angle then you’ll do well.”

Tanner added that having a ‘dream team’ behind a submission helps make the entry stronger and teams should utilise individuals within their respective companies to write, create and review the submission.

* The Communiqué Awards 2018 are open for entry and will culminate in an awards ceremony on Thursday 28 June in London

Article by
Gemma Jones

5th February 2018

From: Marketing



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