New MJA Award rewards excellence in PR

By March 21, 2018Public

MJA announces award for PR excellence

In response to a number of requests, the deadline for entry to the new MJA Award for Excellence in PR has been extended to midnight, May 10.

Entries lodged after the original deadline (midnight, April 30) will be subject to an additional late-entry fee of £50.

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The Medical Journalists’ Association, supported by the Healthcare Communications Association (HCA), has launched a unique new award for healthcare PR teams. The award will be judged by journalists and the winner will be announced at the annual MJA awards for excellence in health and medical journalism.

Every year, MJA members  receive thousands of press materials and pitches from PR agencies and communications teams.

Some are well thought out, succinctly written and potentially helpful. The best understand the deadlines and lead-times which rule every journalist’s day, and offer the new information, strong hooks or access to case studies or experts at short notice which can make the journalist’s job a little easier. But some completely miss the mark.

Countless PR agencies and communications teams claim to understand how journalists think, and what we need, and boast ‘special relationships’ with key journalists. In an effort to champion those who really do ‘get it’ and improve the standard of releases and press materials MJA members receive, the MJA are launching a new award for excellence in PR supported by the HCA.

The award is supported by the Healthcare Communications Association, but will be judged by journalists, for journalists. It will judge best practice in strategy and implementation, rather than just focus on the specific media results achieved.

MJA Chair, Dr Lawrence McGinty says: “We know this award may lead to some raised eyebrows, but I doubt there is a journalist in the land who has not quoted a press release, or used a well-written one as the springboard for a story.

“Journalists and PRs have, by definition, different agendas, but there is a space where the Venn diagrams cross and both can win. Acknowledging this, and recognising when a PR agency or communications team is getting it right, does nothing to change the MJA’s motto: Independent and bloody-minded.”

Mike Dixon, CEO of the HCA believes the award will become the prestigious award that the HCA’s PR members will want to win: “There are many awards available for healthcare PR teams to enter, but only this MJA award is judged by journalists themselves. For a PR team, that makes gaining recognition in this award very special indeed.  What PR team would not want to be able to tell a prospective client, or their organisation’s directors, that the journalists they are targeting have identified their work as worthy of recognition for excellence?”

“The HCA champions best practice and quality standards in the healthcare communications sector so our aims are very much aligned with those of journalists in wanting to recognise the PR teams that are getting it right.  The HCA is therefore proud to be supporting the MJA in bringing this important new award to the sector.”

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