This year’s prestigious Comminqué Awards, like many other events, has gone virtual. The highlight of the PR world’s annual calendar, it would have been easy for organisers to simply postpone or even cancel the event which is usually an invite-only, glamorous evening at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel recognising and commending excellence and best practice across healthcare communications.
But exceptional times require very different ways of thinking and working and we are delighted that instead, organisers decided to hold the event virtually. The Difference Collective is of course a virtual healthcare consultancy. So, two of our members, Angie and Stuart, who are fresh out of their judging chairs, have come up with some of their very own winning categories to celebrate this year’s awards going virtual:
Best Use of Technology
The Zoom meetings and breakout judging sessions created by event organisers Pharmaceutical Marketing demonstrated how seamless virtual events can be. You could tell that meticulous planning and forethought had gone into each and every category decision that needed to be made. Credit to Debbie Tuesley, Pharmaceutical Marketing’s Event Director, and all the team for making for a flawless and, in many ways, even more impressive and productive day.
Best Professional Relations
There were suggestions that distance would make decisions difficult, that people may be too willing to argue from the comfort of their own desks and that consensus could be hard to find. So, this award goes to all of our fellow judges who worked so collaboratively to made it a really objective, intense and truly thorough experience – an absolute joy, resulting in the most worthy work and people being rewarded. Just as it should be.
Best Use of AV
Virtual doesn’t have to mean neutral. Your video is a blank canvas and the best presentations fill that with personality and more. In many ways, the virtual platform challenged those presenting to think more creatively about the content they delivered – not just the words, but adding annotations, fabulous audio to bring the presentations to life, engaging imagery and graphics – a truly dynamic experience which gave a real insight into their capabilities and expertise for which they deserve reward. So, a lesson to all of us is use your virtual background and platform to make a statement. The medium is still the message, so make sure you make the most of it.
Best Use of Creativity
It was great to be able to recognise and appreciate a real injection of creativity driven by PR, comms and medical affairs. The creativity category was awash with inspirational and exciting ideas and campaigns. But even more rewarding was to see, where advertising or creative shops have taken the plaudits in previous years, comms agencies more than hold their own this time round.
Best Healthcare Leaders (at any level!)
We’re not giving away results here. No spoilers. But the leaders that stand out are those who communicate a genuine sense of themselves, whether they be young aspiring achievers eager to learn or established leaders who have so much to teach. At no point did a lack of face-to-face interaction diminish the impact of our most inspiring leaders’ personalities.
We are always proud to be asked to help recognise the best in healthcare communications as judges of these hugely important awards, and never more so in this most challenging of years. This year’s virtual judging more than exceeded expectations, giving a very genuine, intense and objective insight into the best our industry has to offer.
About the authors
Stuart, Head of the Creative Difference, is a highly adaptable facilitator of ideation, strategy, messaging and crisis workshops. With 22 years of undimmed curiosity about health and science, he is an advocate for evidence-based creativity to tackle society’s greatest health challenges, and help businesses succeed.
Angie, Founder, has worked in healthcare communications for nearly 30 years, ultimately building one of the most successful UK healthcare consultancies. Throughout her career, she has constantly looked to do things differently and make a difference to the healthcare communications industry.
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