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A Primer on Healthcare Marketing Awards

It seems as though I get a mailer at least once a week from some new awards competition that I've never heard of. The latest, just last week, was the Blingy Awards. I kid you not. The 2007 Blingy Awards honor excellence in television, video, film, web and multi-media. Check them out at www.BlingyAwards.com. By the way, their entry deadline is August 10, 2007.

Winning awards isn't everything; it isn't even the main thing. But it is one way we receive validation for the work we do and measure it against the work of our peers. The question is, how do you decide which competitions to enter? At Jennings, we begin with the industry specific competitions and go from there. In healthcare, we will typically consider the following:
  • Wallie & Silver Tusk Awards - These are the healthcare marketing awards of the Carolinas Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Society (CHPRMS). The deadline for entry is in August each year and the winners are announced at the annual conference in November. www.chprms.com. Most states have a regional healthcare marketing society similar to CHPRMS.
  • Healthcare Advertising Awards - Now in its 25th year, this national awards competition is sponsored by Healthcare Marketing Report and is highly credible. We place a lot of importance on these awards. Entries are usually due in February. www.hmrpublicationsgroup.com.
  • Aster Awards - Also due in February, the Aster Awards is another national healthcare marketing awards competition. It is affiliated with Marketing Healthcare Today magazine. Winners are listed in the May/June issue. The prices for entry are reasonable. Over the last few years the Asters have become better known among healthcare communicators and much more competitive. www.asterawards.com.
  • The National Health Information Awards - Now in its 14th year, this awards competition recognizes quality consumer health information. Entries are due in March. Categories include health promotion, patient education information, consumer decision-making information, and miscellaneous materials. Importantly, they have a hospital/health system division for participants. www.healthawards.com.
  • HealthLeaders Marketing Awards - This national competition is open to hospitals and ad agencies in the U.S. that produce advertising for hospitals. Entries are due in early July. The entry fee is a little pricey: $195 for the first entry and then $120 for each additional entry. The awards are produced by HealthLeaders Media. www.healthleadersmarketingawards.com.
  • Mature Media Awards - These awards recognize healthcare advertising targeting adults age 50+. Entries are accepted in January. www.seniorawards.com.
  • In-Awe Awards - These are produced by the Medical Marketing Association. Entries are due in March. www.mmanet.org.
  • The Global Awards - Recognizing the "world's best work in healthcare communications." Entries are due in late May. The price of entry is not cheap. www.theglobalawards.com.
Non-Industry Specific Awards with Healthcare/Hospital Categories:
  • Service Industry Advertising Awards (SIAA) - This national awards competition has a "health services" category that allows hospitals and health systems to compete against others within the industry. www.siaawards.com.
  • Telly Awards - The Telly Awards have been around for nearly 30 years, honoring the best in television commercials, programming, and film and video production. This is a prestigious international competition. www.tellyawards.com.
  • Davey Awards - The Davey Awards are produced in association with the International Academy of the Visual Arts. There are health and hospital categories (TV commercials, for example). The unique thing about this competition is that it is designed for smaller firms (ad agencies) with annual billings of less than $25 million. Entry deadline is in July. www.daveyawards.com.
Other award competitions to be aware of:
  • Effie Awards - The Effie Awards competition is extremely prestigious. Awards are given based on case studies and creative executions. Entries for the US competition are due in the fall of the year. www.effie.org.
  • MarCom Awards - This is an international competition administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals. The deadline for entry is usually in October. The 2007 Awards open on August 1. www.marcomawards.com.
  • The Communicator Awards - These awards are broken out into three distinct competitions: Video, TV and Print. Each has its own entry deadline: Audio in October, Video in November, and Print in February. www.communicator-awards.com.
  • ADDY Awards - Sponsored by the American Advertising Federation. www.aaf.org.
  • Clio Awards - Founded in 1959, the Clios celebrate creative excellence and innovation in advertising. www.clioawards.com.
  • The Blingy Awards - Yes, they are for real. www.blingyawards.com.
  • Hermes Creative Awards - An international competition associated with the MarCom Awards. Entries due in April. www.hermesawards.com.
  • The W3 Awards - Sanctioned by the International Academy of the Visual Arts, the W3 Awards recognize creativity on the web. www.W3Award.com.
  • Mobius Advertising Awards - Founded in 1971, this is an international advertising awards competition. www.mobiusawards.com
When you win an award, do whatever you can to leverage the good news. Mention the award in your internal/employee newsletter or e-news blast. Send out a press release to local business media. And finally, frame a copy of the award certificate for anyone involved in the process - particularly if the award is for advertising promoting a specific service line or specialty. In your own department, you should display your awards prominently. I call this "marketing your marketing."

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