Wow! 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.