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The Communiqué Awards welcome Fiona McMillan and Jeremy Clark as the new co-chairs of the judging panel

The previous co-chairs Louise Dunn and Annabelle Sandeman have stepped down after three years

The Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane, London is home to the Communiqué Awards where contributions made by the best in healthcare and pharmaceutical communications are recognised and an evening of celebrations take place.

New co-chairs Jeremy Clark and Fiona McMillan are not new to the Communiqué Awards, with both having previously been judges and entrants.

Communiqué holds a special place in Jeremy’s healthcare communications journey, having been a former winner of Communiqué’s Small Consultancy of the Year Award through his medical communications agency Clark Health Communications (CHC).

Reflecting on her participation in the Communiqué Awards, Fiona said: "I’ve participated in Communiqué as an entrant and/or a judge in both my past consultancy and in-house roles, so being invited to become co-chair of the Awards is both an honour and an opportunity.”

Reflecting on his previous involvement in the Awards, Jeremy said: “I remember writing my first entry for the brand-new Communiqué Awards in 1997. As a young team member, it felt great to have a chance to have our work compared with others and I remember the amazing feeling when we won for the first time.

“Later, as a leader and then owner of an agency, I see the same excitement in my teams as they go on that journey and the real sense of joy and pride that it brings them when they win. This is why the Awards work, and why teams across agencies and in-house continue to enter each year, because people want to know that they are doing great work, and to be recognised for it.”

Annabella Sandeman, global head of commercial strategy, Huntsworth Ltd and Louise Dunn, communications consultant have served as co-chairs of the Communiqué Awards for the past three years and have now stepped down.

During those three years they have overseen progressive changes to the Awards. These changes have included a positive overhaul in the type of criteria for all of the Healthcare Communications categories, which has enabled the judges to reflect entries that promote fairer representation. They have also encouraged inclusion and diversity within both the judging panel and with the inclusion of the Leadership Award for Action on Workforce Diversity and Inclusion in 2021.

Speaking of their participation in the Communiqué Awards, Annabelle and Louise said: “We have both been involved with the Awards for many years and have been excited to be involved in evolving them. Some of these changes have included increasing the diversity of the judging panel to include more representation from in-house, medical affairs and the charity sector.”

Annabelle and Louise also helped to successfully navigate the 2020 awards ceremony through an online format due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying restrictions.

Taking the opportunity to commend Annabelle and Louise for their expert guidance and judging, new co-chair Fiona said: “Both Jeremy and I are very grateful to Louise and Annabelle. They have steered the Awards through one of the most challenging periods ever and the record number of entries this year is testament to their success. I’d like to see the Awards continue to evolve, with greater involvement from the industry leaders of tomorrow so that we continue to stay relevant and accessible.”

Jeremy also commended the work of the previous co-chairs, saying: “Annabelle and Louise have done a fantastic job of making sure the Awards are truly relevant across the full communications spectrum, broadened the geographic reach, significantly refreshed the pool of judges and begun to reward excellence in diversity and inclusion. In addition, they also helped steer the Awards through the pandemic.

“I am very honoured to now have the opportunity to work with Fiona to ensure the Awards continue to champion and celebrate all that is best in the industry.”

“Having been involved as a judge for many years now my admiration for our industry, and how these awards celebrate and support it, has only grown. The judging days are now a real highlight of my year. It is inspiring to see so many amazing colleagues giving up their time to really scrutinise each and every entry, challenge each other’s thinking and arrive at an often difficult decision. If you win an award or are highly commended, you can be absolutely confident that yours was the best work that year,” Jeremy concluded.

Looking to the future, Fiona said: “Jeremy and I are looking forward to encouraging a wider group of companies and organisations to invest their time and enter the Awards and to appreciate the potential rewards of being recognised.

“These are not just for their own company, but to ensure that as an industry we continue to think about innovative ways of achieving our goals, that we’re prepared to take risks and to learn the lessons which help us deliver even greater value from future activity.

“The healthcare communications environment is dynamic and the Awards should take into account and reflect the external changes we are seeing. For example, many agencies are seeing a huge growth in revenue which puts pressure on their existing team and creates a real challenge in recruiting and retaining talent. For many, what we look for in a workplace has shifted significantly over the last year, so for the team awards, I’m keen to ensure that Communiqué rewards those factors that genuinely create great places to work, in addition to financial performance.”

Talking about the new appointments, Debbie Tuesley, events director at PMGroup said: “Following on from Annabelle and Louise, who have been excellent chairs over the past three years and developed the Communiqué Awards in many different ways, I am very much looking forward to working with Fiona and Jeremy and continuing the evolution of the Awards.”

Article by
PMGroup

21st December 2021

From: Marketing

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