I am a fan of the Healthcare Advertising Awards (HAA), sponsored by Healthcare Marketing Report magazine each year. In fact, this is the 32nd year for this awards competition. This is certainly one of the premiere contests in healthcare advertising and marketing. I’ve entered work in this awards program for 20 years. So we have a long history together.
Unfortunately, I’ve got a problem with HAA: They require us to prepare submissions the same way we did 20 years ago. It is archaic. Print submissions (newspaper ads, magazine ads, posters, billboards, transit ads) must be mounted on display board with two copies of the submission form attached. That is a lot of paper! It is costly, wasteful, and not sustainable. That applies to the DVDs we burn for the video and audio entries as well. I’m not even going to go into the amount of time it takes to package all these entries. My firm just completed our submissions for this year (covering work for at least 10 healthcare organizations); the box that we shipped off to the HAAs weighed 50 lbs. Just image how much it cost to ship.
Here’s the deal: There is a far more sustainable, efficient and cost-effective way to handle all of this. The New England Society for Healthcare Communications has been using an online system (OmniContests) for years. The user simply enters the online portal, creates an entry, uploads the supporting documents (PDFs, jpegs, etc), enters the appropriate contact information, and that’s it. No paper. No display board. No spray mounting. No shipping. It is environmentally friendly and far more economical for the organization participating in the awards competition.
I’ve also judged advertising competitions for organizations that use the OmniContests system. It is a breeze. Incredibly user-friendly. Note: I don’t know anyone at OmniContests and have no relationship with them; I just like their platform.
So here’s my plea to my friends at HAA: Please make this the last year that we send in “paper” submissions. Next year let’s move to an electronic submission platform. Let’s show the world that in the healthcare industry we care about the environment. Remember, I am a fan. My company and our clients, like many others around the country, spend a great deal of money supporting your awards program. This is an opportunity to make us proud and to improve our customer experience. We’re excited to see what the future brings! Thanks for listening to my plea.