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.
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For the last couple of weeks I’ve been getting reminder email messages from the folks at the Cancer Awareness Advertising Awards. The competition is sponsored by Marketing Healthcare Today Magazine. The cost per entry is $75 (single entry) and $100 for campaigns or series. The late deadline for entries is November 21, 2014. If you’re interested in entering, here’s a link to access the entry form.
As an aside, my firm entered the Cancer Awareness Advertising Awards last year, for the first time. We had a positive experience and actually won a Silver Award for a cancer survivor video we produced for Signature Healthcare. It was our only submission, so we were excited to receive the recognition.
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Here’s something you don’t often see: An awards competition where the entries are free. This is the second year for the Multicultural Health Marketing Awards. This competition recognizes the best creative advertising of a health product or service targeting African-American, Hispanic, Asian, or LGBT consumers. (These are creative awards, so it is not necessary to present metrics with each submission.) These can be campaigns from pharma, medical devices, hospitals, insurance plans, OTCs, consumer products, NGOs, government, academia, or anything that is marketing health information to a multicultural market segment and has run on any media at any point since July 1, 2013.
Click here to download entry form: http://form.jotform.us/form/41601102792141
Finalists will be notified in late August/early September and award winners will be announced at the Multicultural Health Marketing National Conference on October 16. Nominations close on August 8, 2014
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I received notification last week that the 2014 eHealthcare Leadership Awards are now taking submissions. This leading awards program recognizes the very best websites and digital efforts of healthcare organizations, online health companies, pharmaceutical and medical equipment firms, business improvement initiatives, and supplier websites. They highlight the Internet’s role in achieving an organization’s business objectives and recognize the hard work that has gone into creating outstanding health websites and digital initiatives. Now in its 15th year, the program features one new award category, for a total of 14.
You can enter under one of 17 group classifications so that you only compete against others of comparable type, size, and resources. (Design, strategy, and public relations firms may enter on behalf of their clients.) The initial entry deadline is June 20, 2104; however, late entries are accepted until July 15th (with a late fee).
For healthcare providers and associations, the entry fee is $75 per award category entered. For managed care organizations, online health organizations, pharmaceutical/medical equipment companies, business improvement, and other sites, the fee is $95 per category entered.
In either division, the entry fee is $135 for Best Marketing Campaign, Best Intranet, and eHealth Organizational Commitment award entries.
Winners will be honored this fall during the Eighteenth Annual Healthcare Internet Conference in Scottsdale, AZ.
For detailed information and to complete an entry form, visit http://www.strategichealthcare.com/awards. Or call us at 914/967-6741 to obtain an entry form.
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I received word last week that The Healthcare Marketer blog received a Gold Aster Award in the social media category. Typically we only enter our clients’ work in these competitions, so it was unusual that we entered this blog. Only once before did I enter the blog in an awards competition, The Web Health Awards, and it was among the winning entries.
It is cool to receive this recognition given I don’t write this blog for accolades, and they are few and far between. I write the blog to share information that may be of value to my healthcare marketing colleagues. The blog has also proven to be a great way for me to connect with others in the industry, for which I am grateful.
Better than any award is the moment when someone comes up to me at a conference and tells me they follow my blog and find it to be a valuable resource. That is the best! Although it happens regularly, it always surprises me and makes my day.
My thanks to the judges of the Aster Awards for the recognition. It is appreciated.
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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.)
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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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.
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