My team and I are knee deep in awards submissions. ‘Tis the season. We just finished sending in submission for the Lamplighter Awards, sponsored by the New England Society for Healthcare Communications. The Lamplighters are the best kind of awards in that they recognize results. It is not just a beauty content. Each submission is accompanied by a case study that documents strategy, process and outcomes. With more than a dozen hospital and healthcare clients in New England, we end up sending in a small mountain of submissions. Fortunately, all of the submissions are done electronically – a huge improvement over the old days when we would spray mount print ads and burn TV spots and videos to DVDs. To save money, we always shoot for the early bird deadlines. The final submission date for the Lamplighter is Monday, February 13, 2017.
Also on the horizon are the Healthcare Advertising Awards (HAA). These are produced by Healthcare Marketing Report, a leading publication covering all aspects of healthcare marketing, advertising and strategic business development. They get a huge shout out from me for making the move this year to electronic submissions! The entry deadline is February 15, 2017 with a late entry deadline of March 10, 2017. This is the 34th annual edition of this awards competition. The Healthcare Advertising Awards Competition recruits a national panel of judges to review all entries based on creativity, quality, message effectiveness, consumer appeal, graphic design and overall impact. Last year’s competition had nearly 4,000 entries. My firm has been entering our work in this competition for at least 25 years.
One of our favorite healthcare marketing awards competitions is the Aster Awards, a national competition that began in 2002. We’ve found that some competitions reward creativity and innovation more than others. The Asters is just such a program. Their judges seem to have an eye for ingenuity and creative problem solving. Often campaigns and marketing initiatives that don’t win gold in other competitions, will really shine in the Asters. The Aster Awards are sponsored by Marketing Healthcare Today magazine and award winning campaigns are often profiled in later editions of the publication. The 2017 Aster Awards Competition early deadline is February 28, 2017. The final (late) deadline is April 3, 2017. And it is worth noting that the Aster Awards have welcomed electronic submissions for several years now. I can’t tell you how happy that makes my team.
Finally, I’ll mention the Telly Awards. The mission of the Tellys is to strengthen the visual arts community by inspiring, promoting, and supporting creativity. On average, The Telly Awards receives over 13,000 entries yearly from all 50 states and 5 continents. We enter both TV spots and healthcare videos in this competition. The final entry deadline for the 2017 Telly Awards Competition is March 3.
Enjoy awards season and good luck with your entries!
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Two of the major award competitions that my firm and its clients enter each year have deadlines that are rapidly approaching.
Healthcare Advertising Awards – The entry deadline is February 12, 2016 and the late deadline is March 10, 2016. The early bird deadline passed a little more than a week ago on January 28, 2016. The Healthcare Advertising Awards are sponsored by Healthcare Marketing Report.
Aster Awards – Early deadline is February 29, 2016 (entries must be postmarked by this date) and the late deadline is April 1, 2016. This competition is sponsored by Healthcare Marketing Today magazine. One thing I love about the Aster Awards is that they allow you to submit your entries electronically.
Both of these competitions are highly credible and have been around for a number of years. The Aster Awards are in their 15th year while the Healthcare Advertising Awards are in their 33rd year.
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It is time once again to prepare entries for the annual Cardiovascular Advertising Awards. This awards competition is produced by the same people who bring us the Aster Awards each year. The CardioVascular Advertising Awards Program (CVA Awards) is one of the nation’s leading competitions recognizing healthcare marketing professionals for excellence in advertising for cardiac and/or vascular services. The CVA Awards is an annual contest allowing entries designed, printed and/or distributed the previous year to be scored, judged and recognized for excellence in healthcare marketing and advertising.
The deadline for entries is September 30, 2015 (postmarked on or before Sept. 30). The
late deadline is October 16, 2015 (postmarked after Sept. 30 and before or on Oct. 16). Entries must be postmarked on or before each deadline. According to the competition rules, no entries postmarked after October 16, 2015, will be accepted.
For more information go to http://www.cvaawards.com/.
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I love it when small hospitals win! My business partner (Paige Zinn) and I have made a commitment to not let our agency get to the point where we can no longer work with small hospital clients. Community and critical access hospitals need good marketing as much as big academic medical centers; maybe more. That’s why I am so excited that a couple of our smaller hospital clients have done really well in this year’s Healthcare Advertising Awards and Aster Awards – both national competitions.
The Outer Banks Hospital (21 beds) won awards in both competitions for its Urgent Care radio spot. It is so rewarding to have this small community hospital in Nags Head, NC win this level of recognition.
Another winner in the small hospital category was Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (BMH), a 61-bed, not-for-profit community hospital located in southeastern Vermont. It serves a rural population of about 55,000 people in 22 towns in Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. BMH’s emergency services campaign won a Gold Aster Award and a Gold Healthcare Advertising Award. It also won Silver Awards for radio and print elements of the campaign. My congratulations go out to BMH, its marketing team, and its CEO who gave us the go ahead for this campaign. Thanks Steve!
Here’s some of the work from the winning BMH emergency services campaign. The graphics are simple, yet iconic – and extremely low cost. (I’m just showing the print element in this post, but this was an integrated campaign that included digital and traditional components.) Enjoy!
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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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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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