Archive for the ‘Awards Competitions’ Category

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Two deadlines are approaching for major healthcare marketing awards competitions: The Aster Awards and the Web Health Awards. As you can see from the graphic above, the early deadline for the Aster Awards is February 29, 2014. For information about the Asters, go to www.asterawards.com. This is one of the two big healthcare marketing competitions of the year. The second is the Healthcare Advertising Awards (HAA). (Note: There are literally dozens of competitions but the Aster Awards and HAA have longevity on their sides. This does not mean that others aren’t worth considering.)

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The second competition with a deadline looming is the Web Health Awards. I have been honored to serve on the judging panel for this competition for the last few years. I’ve also had the pleasure of winning a few of these awards. If you have social media programs, websites, mobile apps or microsites that you think are worthy, this is the right awards program. For more information about the Web Health Awards, go to http://www.healthawards.com/wha/. And good luck!

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Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 1.49.23 PMWow! I’ve almost made it through awards submission season in healthcare marketing. Participation is completely optional, so I shouldn’t complain. This is self-inflicted pain. My team and I just sent in our submissions for the Lamplighter Awards (New England Society for Healthcare Communications), the Healthcare Advertising Awards (Healthcare Marketing Report), and the Web Health Awards (Health Information Resource Center). That all happened last week. Now we just have one more hurdle to clear, the Aster Awards, with a submission deadline of February 28th.

Years ago the Lamplighter Awards transitioned to electronic submissions. You simply upload your electronic files and fill out a form online. That’s it. There’s still a ton of work to do (each submission must be accompanied by a case study) but there’s no printing, spray mounting and shipping of creative pieces. No burning DVDs. I like that a lot. On the other hand, the Healthcare Advertising Awards (HAA) and Asters still do it the old fashioned way. For the HAA competition, I drove two boxes of entries to our local FedEx office to have them shipped off the day before the early deadline. For two days our office walls were lined with entry materials. Every year it’s a major production.

And every year I wonder if, perhaps, this is the last year we’ll participate in these healthcare marketing award competitions. Of course, that means our clients wouldn’t get any awards. Our staff wouldn’t get that affirmation that comes with having your work recognized on a national platform. But would the world come to an end? I think I would miss it. Even though it is a pain, and the awards are often subjective, I like the challenge. And participating is one way in which we express our membership in the healthcare marketing community. We can argue all day long about whether or not awards mean anything. In the end, participation is a choice. For now, I choose to participate. We’ll see how I feel next year.

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SIAA_Awards_11th_Annual_Ad_Awards_Brochure_Cover_tilt_535wx583h-301657_535x572The SIA Awards (Service Industry Advertising Awards) recently announced an extension of their deadline for late submissions: December 11, 2013. This is a competition that is appropriate for hospital marketers and communicators. The SIA Awards competition includes a special grouping for “Healthcare Services.” That means that healthcare submissions only compete against other healthcare submissions. The entry categories are extensive and fairly typical:

01 – Newspaper Advertising

01A – Single Ad

01B – Series

02 – Magazine Advertising

02A – Single Ad

02B -Series

03 – Publication/External

04 – Newsletter

05 – Direct Mail

06 – Outdoor Transit/Billboard

07 – Annual Report

08 – Poster

09 – Brochure

10 – Logo/Letterhead Design

11 – Calendar

12 – Other: Misc. Collateral, Special Promotional Materials

13 – Imprinted Materials-T-Shirts, Hats, Pens, Mouse Pads, etc.

14 – Web Site/Home Page

15 – New Media

16 – Social Media

17 – Rich Media

18 – Electronic Advertising

19 – E-Publication

20 – Mobile App

21 – Radio Advertising-Single or Series

22 – Television Advertising

22A – Single Spot

22B – Series

23 – Special Video Production


24 – Total Public Relations Campaign

25 – Total Advertising Campaign

26 – Integrated Campaign (Two or more channels, print, web, video, social media, internet, etc.)

For more information, go to http://siaawards.com/about/.

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It only makes sense that the Web Health Awards would be announced live on Twitter. That’s exactly what will happen on Thursday, December 5th beginning at 12pm eastern time. Follow the hashtag #wha13 to learn the winners of the Summer/Fall 2013 Web Health Awards and Web Health Awards | Mobile. In the past I have been fortunate to have my blog honored as a Web Health Award winner. This was my third consecutive year serving on the judging panel.


Announcement Schedule:

Thursday, December 5th


Categories: Blog, E-Newsletter, Infographic, Interactive Content / Rich Media, Medical Education, Mobile Application, Mobile Website, Podcast (Audio and Video), Social Media, Webcast (Audio)


Categories: Directory / Ratings / Guides, E-Business, Microsite, Portals, Web-based Resource/Tool, Webinar, Website, Other / Miscellaneous

A complete list of winners will be available at webhealthawards.com

following the live announcements.

For more information about the Web Health Awards,

contact webawards@healthawards.com, or call 1-800-828-8225 (weekdays 9-5 Central time).

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Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 2.34.05 PMOne of my colleagues has been encouraging me to enter some of our work in the RX Club Show – an awards competition focusing on the creative aspects of healthcare advertising and promotion. For those of you not familiar with this competition, the show is judged in various categories by a panel of industry experts and is based solely on creativity. Creative concept and execution remain the only criteria for merit – not media buy or budget – simply creativity. In 2012 there were 9 Gold and 26 Silver winners combined in print, video interactive and integrated categories. The competition is now in its 26th year.

My question to you is: Do hospitals, or agencies representing hospitals, have experience entering and winning awards in this competition? If they win, is it an anomaly? I’ve always looked at the Rx Show as a competition primarily for companies in the pharmaceutical space and medical devices/supplies, rather than healthcare providers. So I’d love to know if hospitals have success within this competition. Some of the winners from last year were Genentech, Genzyme, Abbott Healthcare, Archimedes PharmaRX, Merck, Neutrogena Corporation, Stryker, etc. If you’ve got good information, please share.

The deadline for entries is August 9, 2013. The pricing per entry is significant. For print/interactive entries – Single Entry – $250 per entry. Campaign: $275.00 per entry. Pricing for video entries: Individual entries $275 per entry. For integrated campaigns: $375.00 per entry.

For more information, go to http://therxclub.com/rxentry.

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Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 2.13.47 PMOver the last couple of weeks I’ve received several updates from the people at The Global Awards including a press release announcing the 2013 Call for Entries. As an awards competition dedicated to the recognition of excellence in healthcare communications, I thought I would share some specifics within this forum. Enjoy!

The Global Awards® recently announced the 2013 Call for Entries. Now in its 19th year, The Global Awards receives entries from healthcare corporations, hospitals, advertising agencies, production companies, and design studios that produce communications for medical, pharmaceutical, and healthcare related products.

This year, The Global Awards added multiple new categories to their extensive category roster, as well as launching the Young Globals Student Competition.

New categories unveiled for the 2013 competition include three for products and services designed to promote wellness and healthy lifestyle. One of the new categories, Wellness Product & Service, launched under Communication to the Consumer/Patient, includes health & diet programs, prevention education, vitamins, and nutraceutical products. Categories include Print & Mixed Media, and Video / Audio / Interactive Media: Radio Commercial and TV Commercial. The new Corporate Social Responsibility category, for Communication to the Healthcare Professional & Consumer/Patient: Social Commitment (relating to health issues) will honor healthcare and consumer brands that contribute to the community by supporting and creating initiatives that promote a healthier populous.

The Global Awards launched the Young Globals Student Competition to support the work of upcoming student talent and to honor future stars in healthcare advertising. This competition showcases the most inspiring student work in healthcare advertising and offers a forum for students to be recognized and rewarded for their creativity. Categories include: Communication to the Healthcare Professional – TV, Radio, Print, Interactive, Guerilla, and Integrated (Mixed Media) campaigns; and Communication to the Consumer/Patient – TV, Radio, Print, Interactive, Guerilla, Outdoor, and Integrated (Mixed Media) campaigns.

The Global Awards Grand Jury is comprised of a panel of international industry experts, representing the top creative minds in the field of healthcare advertising. The 2013 Global Awards Grand Jury will be announced soon.

Ogilvy Germany earned the 2012 Grand Global Award for “Waiting. For Seven Years.” for client Foundation For Life – Organ Donation. McCann Health was recognized as Global Network of the Year and Langland, UK earned the title of Global Healthcare Agency of the Year for the second year in a row. The 2012 Global Awards Grand Jury recognized winners from 17 countries with 39 Global Awards and 136 Finalists with Global Awards presentations taking place in New York City and Sydney, Australia.

Entry fees for the 2013 Global Awards are: $345 USD for a single entry; $595 USD for Campaign Single Media; $695 USD for a Campaign Mixed Media; and $50 USD for Young Globals student entry. The Global Awards deadline for entries is July 31, 2013. For more information visit the Global Awards website at www.theglobalawards.com.

The Global Awards will host award ceremonies in New York City and Sydney, Australia on Friday, November 15th to celebrate 2013’s award-winning entries.

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Screen Shot 2013-06-02 at 5.06.35 PMLast week I received a reminder email from Mark Gothberg of eHealthcare Strategy & Trends about their awards competitions. I occasionally write for the publication and serve on its editorial board. So here’s the news: Only a month remains to send in your submissions for the 2013 eHealthcare Leadership Awards. June 30th is the first deadline. The late deadline is July 15, 2013. This awards program recognizes the very best websites and digital communications of hospitals and healthcare organizations, online health companies, pharmaceutical and medical equipment firms, business improvement initiatives, and supplier websites. Winners will be honored this fall during the Seventeenth Annual Healthcare Internet Conference in New Orleans.

There are a number of divisions you can use for your submissions depending on your hospital’s size:

Division I

  • Hospital Under 200 beds
  • Hospital 200-399 beds
  • Hospital 400+ beds
  • Healthcare System
  • Hospital Subsite/Center of Excellence
  • Medical Practice/Clinic
  • Other Healthcare Facilities (rehab, pysch, long-term care, etc.)
  • Healthcare Association/Professional Society

Division II

  • HMO/PPO/Other Insurers
  • Consumer General Health Site
  • Consumer Disease-Focused Site
  • Physician/Clinician-Focused Site
  • Pharmaceutical or Medical Equipment Manufacturer
  • Online Retail Store
  • Business/Process Improvement Applications or Products
  • Corporate Vendor/Supplier Site
  • Other Healthcare Sites

Award categories include:

Regular Award Categories

  • Best Overall Internet Site
  • Best Site Design
  • Best Social Networking
  • Best Rich Media
  • Best Interactive Site
  • Best Health/Healthcare Content
  • Best Mobile Communications
  • Best Patient Access & Convenience
  • Best Employee Recruitment
  • Best Care/Disease Management Site
  • Best Doctor Directory

Special Award Categories

  • Best Intranet Site
  • Best Marketing Campaign
  • eHealth Organizational Commitment

The cost for most hospital entries is $70. For detailed information and to complete an entry form, visit http://www.strategichealthcare.com/awards. Here’s a direct link to the online entry form: http://unix.strategichealthcare.com/awards/entry.php

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This post falls under the category of: When good things happen, take a moment to celebrate them! Today I am celebrating my firm’s New England clients.


The New England Society for Healthcare Communications (NESHCo) gives out Lamplighter Awards each year recognizing best practices in healthcare marketing in New England. One evening in May, at the NESHCo spring conference, hospitals and healthcare organizations gather in a big ballroom to see who will win and what work will be celebrated. Earlier this week, my firm’s clients won an unprecedented 25 Lamplighter Awards. That’s 25 awards across 7 New England Hospitals with winning entries. Our client hospitals who won awards included Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, Signature Healthcare, Lawrence General Hospital, MetroWest Medical Center and Lowell General Hospital.

 2013 Lamplighter Awards

Southwestern Vermont Medical Center

  • Gold Award – Photography – Southwestern Vermont Medical Center
  • Silver Award – Advertising (print campaign) – Southwestern Vermont Medical Center
  • Silver Award – Internal Communications – Southwestern Vermont Medical Center

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center & Southwestern Vermont Medical Center

  • Award of Excellence – Radio – Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center & Southwestern Vermont Medical Center

Metrowest Medical Center & Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center

  • Gold Award – Television Commercial (single) – Metrowest Medical Center & Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center
  • Award of Excellence – Outdoor Advertising/Transit – Metrowest Medical Center & Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center
  • Award of Excellence – Photography – Metrowest Medical Center & Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center
  • Award of Excellence – Print Advertising – Metrowest Medical Center & Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center

Signature Healthcare

  • Gold Award – Physician Relations Campaign – Signature Healthcare
  • Gold Award – Photography – Physicians Campaign – Signature Healthcare
  • Gold Award – Audio-Visual (Physician Compilation Video) – Signature Healthcare
  • Gold Award – Logo Design – Physicians Campaign – Signature Healthcare
  • Gold Award – Excellence in Writing (Blog category) – “Reluctant Member of Team Cancer” – Signature Healthcare
  • Gold Award – Media Relations – Physician Relations Campaign Publicity – Signature Healthcare
  • Silver Award – Marketing Total Effort +$50k –Physicians Campaign – Signature Healthcare
  • Silver Award – Audio-Visual (Physician Videos) – Signature Healthcare
  • Silver Award – Social/New Media – Blog (Signature Moms Blog) – Signature Healthcare
  • Silver Award – Social/New Media Campaign – Signature Healthcare
  • Award of Excellence – Excellence in Writing (Blog category) – “Postpartum Reality” – Signature Healthcare

Lawrence General Hospital & Floating Hospital For Children at Tufts Medical Center

  • Silver Award – Marketing Total Effort Under $50k – Lawrence General Hospital & Floating Hospital For Children at Tufts Medical Center
  • Silver Award – Radio Advertising (Single) – Lawrence General Hospital & Floating Hospital For Children at Tufts Medical Center
  • Silver Award – Outdoor Advertising/Transit – Lawrence General Hospital & Floating Hospital For Children at Tufts Medical Center

Lowell General Hospital & Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center

  • Gold Award – Social/New Media (Blog) – Lowell General Hospital & Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center
  • Gold Award – Social/New Media Campaign – Lowell General Hospital & Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center
  • Silver Award – Excellence in Writing (Blog) – “Sensory Processing Disorder” – Lowell General Hospital & Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center

Congratulations to all of the winners in this year’s Lamplighter Competition.

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After the events in Boston, turning to business-as-usual seems trite. Frankly, I haven’t been motivated to write blog posts. So I took a break last week. That was my awkward pause as a healthcare marketing blogger. But here I am, back to business-as-usual, attempting to write a blog post about life in healthcare marketing. I guess business-as-usual is not trite; it’s just not as important as matters of life and death.


IMG_2954The typical year in healthcare marketing has cycles. In some ways the cycles are driven by budgets and fiscal years. Holidays also impact our work flow. We don’t do a lot of media placement in the summer, for example, and lots of work comes to a halt over the Christmas Holiday season. You get the idea. There is also an awards season and a conference season. For the last six to eight weeks we’ve been in that part of the year when we have submitted many award entries for our various hospital clients and now must wait a number of weeks to hear whether any of the work actually won awards. It is part of the cycle within healthcare marketing. The Healthcare Advertising Awards, Aster Awards, and for us, the Lamplighter Awards (New England Society for Healthcare Communications) have deadlines for submission in January, February and March. But the announcement of winners doesn’t typically come until May 1. For the Lamplighter Awards, the news will come at an awards dinner on May 20th.

By the time the winners are announced, I have trouble remembering what we’ve submitted. And frankly, the work is at least a year old by that point in time, and my attention has turned to executing new audience engagement programs for our clients. Participating in these awards competitions is expensive and time consuming. And I’m often leery of the judging panels, even though I serve on two of them myself: The National Health Information Awards and the Web Health Awards. Often work that I that I am impressed with will not receive much recognition, while work that I’m less enthused about garners all kinds of awards.

The whole world of awards is strange. One thing I like about the Lamplighter Awards is that, rather than simply being a beauty contest, they are based on measurable results: How did the marketing help your organization achieve its business objectives? For each entry, we have to write a Challenge Statement that outlines the context for the work, the objectives and the results. It’s a lot of work to prepare those entries, but winning is more meaningful. Don’t get me wrong, I like it when our clients’ marketing wins the beauty contests as well! It just feels more subjective or arbitrary.

There’s a tendency when preparing award entries to think that every piece is a masterpiece. In my opinion, when you do it right, the decision-making process should be painful. You should narrow your entries to your absolute best work, and even then try to narrow your list of submissions. As you contemplate what to enter in various competitions, it is important to avoid falling in love with all of your work. I’ve seen it happen all too often.

Enjoy winning all those awards, but approach each competition in a thoughtful manner.

Note: As I was writing this blog post I received an email that the Healthcare Advertising Awards competition had announced its winner. What timing. And yes, our clients won a few.

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I received email notification yesterday of the upcoming deadline for Aster Award submissions. As you can see in the graphic above, the early deadline is February 28, 2013. The late deadline is March 15. The Aster Awards and the Healthcare Advertising Awards are the two big national healthcare competitions my firm enters each year. We also enter more general competitions like the Telly Awards and the Videographer Awards.

If you aren’t familiar with the Aster Awards, the competition is produced by the same group that publishes Marketing Healthcare Today magazine. They also produce the Cardiovascular Advertising Awards and the Cancer Awareness Advertising Awards. One of the things I really appreciate about the Asters is that the price for early submissions is only $45. That’s nearly half the price we pay to enter some of the regional healthcare marketing competitions. For more information, go to http://www.asterawards.com.

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