Categories

In 2020, the European Excellence Awards will be held for the 14th consecutive year. The best projects and campaigns in PR and Communication are honoured in 60 categories.

CATEGORIES WITH COVID-19 FOCUS

Given the urgency of COVID-19, campaigns and projects relating to the current coronavirus crisis are welcome across all categories. However, four specific areas of Communications are provided with additional COVID-19 categories, in order to allow non-COVID-19 related work equal space in the spotlight:
23 – Change Communications, 25 – Internal Communications, 27 – Event & Experiential Marketing, 29 – Issues & Reputation Management.

Furthermore, three categories exclusively dealing with COVID-19 have been added:
03 – Purpose-Driven Communications, 04 – Stakeholder Communications and 05 – Crisis Communications.

If you have any questions about the categories or the submission process, the awards team will be happy to help.

Accomplishments of the Year

Of course, each category of the European Excellence Awards honours major achievements. But every year there are campaigns, innovations and agencies that stand out even among the top performers across industries, topics or channels. These outstanding achievements are also duly honoured and celebrated at the European Excellence Awards.

Agility, quick turnaround and on-the-fly creativity - hallmarks of excellent PR agencies - are now in more demand than ever, and winners in this category excel in reading and capturing the zeitgeist, even against a backdrop of fast-paced change. This category is open to any PR agency generating fees of less than €10m annually.

In a time of unprecedented uncertainty, PR agencies are ideally placed to help their clients win hearts and minds with campaigns that articulate and manifest purpose and values to both internal and external audiences. This category is open to any PR agency generating fees of more than €10m annually.

In such an unprecedented emergency, the need to strike a balance between purpose and profit has never been clearer, and several organisations – from banks to not-for-profits, airlines to high-street brands - are showcasing their corporate values in their innovative responses to the coronavirus crisis.

Under the COVID-19 crisis, companies are under unprecedented pressure to protect the viability and survival of their organization; yet they also face pressure to address all stakeholder groups in their communications. Whether reassuring investors, employees, customers or communities, the challenge of how to communicate to who and when has never been greater.

The biggest global health crisis since WW2, the pandemic has set off a chain of business emergencies: from disrupted supply chains to stranded travellers, economic shutdowns to mass job losses. Every communications team is today a de facto crisis management team, and this category recognises the best in the field.

Industries and Sectors

Does your campaign outperform all competitors in the Health and Pharma sector, or does your project stand alone in the Sports and Lifestyle sector? Be recognised as a leader within your field and apply in any of the 15 categories that celebrate industry and sector-specific PR and Communication.

The transport and logistics industry is an essential part of our everyday life: seldom has this been clearer than during the current pandemic, which has presented a huge challenge to the industry. This category rewards the cream of communications that helps transport and logistics businesses reach their goals.

A major employer and economic driver in Europe, the energy sector underlines industrial competitiveness and the overall functioning of society, while the current crisis has put the spotlight on our shared need for safe, secure, sustainable and affordable energy. This category rewards excellent communications in this vital field.

The businesses and organisations driving Europe’s digital economy deliver innovation that empowers us all to work and live better – never more so than during the current pandemic shutdown. The very best campaigns and projects in tech and consumer electronics organisations are rewarded in this category.

The chemical and industrials sector is undergoing huge changes worldwide, and it is the role of PR to strengthen its position by winning over stakeholders and gaining the social license to operate. The best campaigns and projects in the chemicals and industrials field are celebrated in this category.

For many of us, telecommunications provided a lifeline during the worst of the recent government-mandated shutdowns: nothing could better illustrate the indispensable nature of telecommunications in today’s world. The best communications campaigns and projects in telecommunications will be recognised in this category.

COVID-19 has caused one of the largest and sharpest economic contractions in recent history, and financial markets around the world face a crisis that rivals the 2008 global financial crisis. Against this backdrop, innovation and resilience will doubtless be hallmarks of successful entries in this category.

New product types, emerging markets, environmental pressures and greater public scrutiny are just some of the trends shaping the Health and Pharma industries: the current pandemic is just one more – albeit extraordinary - challenge facing communicators working in these fields, and whose work is celebrated in this category.

Whether online or in store, consumer spending is the lifeblood of the retail industry; the economic constrictions caused by the pandemic will therefore fundamentally challenge the innovation and resilience of the industry and its PR and Communications professionals, the best of whom are celebrated in this category.

With the cancellation of matches, competitions and mass events, as well as an unprecedented break the non-stop live sports content we have come to expect, we are powerfully reminded of the vital importance of the Sports and Lifestyle industry to society. The best campaigns or projects from the industry will win this category.

If the current pandemic has any upside, it is the emphasis put on entertainment and culture as irreplaceable sources of community, hope and comfort for people around the world. It is also a powerful economy in its own right. The best campaigns or projects initiated by entertainment and culture organisations will be rewarded in this category.

All hopes for a solution to the pandemic rests on science and education: there couldn’t be a starker reminder of the value of this sector (and not only in times of global crisis). This category rewards outstanding work that communicates the best of these twin sectors.

Possibly the hardest-hit industry of 2020, travel and tourism is vital in promoting the very best aspects of a culture, drawing visitors back to a countries with tarnished reputations or damaged by political unrest, and campaigns and projects from the travel and tourism industry will be recognised in this category.

Faced with significantly reduced consumption and disrupted supply chains, the food and beverage industry remains an indelible part of our social, economic and cultural fabric – and is the largest manufacturing sector in the EU in terms of turnover and employment. The best campaigns or projects initiated in the field of food and beverage will be rewarded in this category.

With renewed focus on the harmful effects of human impact on ecology and the environment, the rise of the climate change activist and millennials’ active preference for organisations that have a clearly defined social responsibility programme, this category rewards excellent communications from the sustainability and environmental industries.

The current pandemic is just the most recent challenge to governmental agencies and parties, along with such trends as political polarisation, mass disinformation and a crisis of trust in public institutions. The best campaigns or projects initiated by political parties and governmental agencies will be rewarded in this category.

NGOs and associations are among the front-line responders to the current pandemic, solidifying their role as important contributors to humanity, and underlining the challenges many face in terms of gathering support, expressing views and receiving funds. This category celebrates the tireless commitment behind communications for governmental organisations and associations.

Communications

In PR and Communication, strategies must be carefully and individually chosen according to the objective, target group and channel. The European Excellence Awards therefore honours the most successful and creative PR and Communication strategies of the past year in 14 categories – plus 4 duplicated categories especially for COVID-19 related work.

Change – whether new additions to the team, evolving business directions or social disruption – can easily overwhelm organisations. Which is why resistance to change is deeply embedded. Successful change communication inspires, motivates and reassures: the best will succeed in this category.

For many companies, the COVID-19 pandemic is a challenge like no other in recent times, with entire industries undergoing dramatic and sudden change, organisational structures reorganised, and new business models introduced. Responding to these changes amid ongoing uncertainty calls for heightened communications, leadership and empathy.

The glue that binds an organisation together, the new channel that employees rely on, the voice of a corporate identity… internal communication builds relationships, delivers return on investment and shapes the conversations happening about the organisation. The best examples are highlighted in this category.

With the pandemic driving a shift towards remote work, companies that offer leadership, support and easy connectivity are winning. Coordinating and informing employees, whether in-house teams or non-desktop workers with little or no access to intranet or even company email, is a greater challenge than ever before.

Sophisticated technological tools mean that events and experiential marketing can be more immersive than ever before. Whether offline or online, events and experiences are becoming more sophisticated, and appeal to diverse array of brands and industries. The most memorable will be highlighted in this category.

For now, the migration of events to online – whether conferences, launches, cultural events or marketing experiences – is the new normal, presenting many organisations with a steep learning curve when it comes to adapting their events to online, or even creating new ones to respond to the changing demands of socially-distanced audiences.

Today’s integrated word needs a 360-degree monitoring of risks and issues, and no one leads that better than the communication function. If reputation is the most prized asset of any organisation, remaining aware, sensitive and responsive to issues which might affect that reputation is key, and will be celebrated in this category.

As organisations adapt to meet the financial and internal pressures created by the pandemic, every step is scrutinised by the media, which could in turn have an impact on recovery. The ever-present threat of misinformation demands robust issue and reputation management, the best examples of which is recognised in this category.

Sending the right message, at the right time, via the right channel: an integrated use of communication channels creates a robust 360 -degree relationship with stakeholders, and the award in this category will be given to a campaign or a project that uses its diverse tools for coherent and cohesive communication with different segments of the public.

In an era of information overflow, it has become vital for brands to engage stakeholders through honest and authentic stories, as well as to encourage employees to live and breathe the corporate narrative. That is the challenge for communicators – and this category recognises campaigns or projects that use storytelling in all its facets.

With recent trends in content marketing including artificial intelligence-driven insights, more interactive content thanks to the internet of things, and ever-closer alignment with strategy, this category recognises award-worthy content that clicks with bloggers, brand ambassadors and other influencers and inspires them to spread the word.

Trusted brand relationships are the bedrock of strategic success; authenticity, innovation and added benefit are the tried and trusted watchwords behind building and strengthening relationships year after year. However, with audiences increasingly wanting to see purpose as a key brand differentiator, this category celebrates new strategies that go beyond the well-trodden paths and explore new territory.

Influencers are those individuals inside and outside the organisation that move the dial: they set the agenda and bring other audiences along with them. Establishing the ROI of influencer relations is notoriously tricky; however, those projects that clearly demonstrate a strategic and effective use of digital media and communication will triumph in this category.

Integrated communications is critical for a successful product launch in your business. It involves the consistent communications of information about a product, using channels, sources and programmes that deliver effective and timely messages to consumers. The best examples are celebrated in this category.

Employer branding is about how the individuals who work for an organisation view and help shape its identity as a place of work – it is a highly sensitive and constantly evolving process . Communication is also an integral part of any recruitment drive, and this category celebrates the best in these vitally important areas.

The necessity of communicating an organisation’s corporate social responsibility initiatives has never been so urgent; socially-conscious organisations that prove purpose and value are highly-desirable to millennial workforces, and increasingly act as a key differentiator in crowded markets. Stand-out examples of corporate social responsibility communications will be highlighted in this category.

From lobbying to external relations, trade deals to laws and rights, modern public affairs is an integral part of the process of keeping an organisation aligned with societal values, and is an absolutely vital tool to help organisations navigate the stringent regulatory landscape. This category celebrates the champions of the field.

Data is new oil, enabling communications to have impact on scale, driving meassurement and analysis and enabling messages to be targeted and personalised like never before. This category is open to a company or agency (and their client), that has creatively and successfully used data throughout all stages of a campaign or project.

Media and Tools

The smartest and most carefully planned campaigns and strategies would not get past the planning stage without the right media and tools to implement them. The European Excellence Awards honours the best websites, blogs, apps, videos and more of the past year that optimally achieve the set goals and are creatively and successfully implemented.

Annual and Corporate Social Responsibility reports showcase the year’s organisational, business and social achievements in a way that inspires stakeholders, elevates brand messaging and strengthens market positioning. They should also be a unique combination of meticulous data and compelling storytelling – only the are rewarded in this category.

The voice of the employees, the sounding board for new strategies and developments, the essence of a corporate culture and identity - the internal publication carries many expectations on its shoulders, not least the need to capture the attention of busy employees. This category celebrates the finest in the field.

The calling card of a company, the ambassador of an organisation, the embodiment of the corporation’s external stakeholder relations – external publication must walk a fine line between convincing authentic storytelling and legal, regulatory, business facts. The ones that succeed this difficult balancing act will be victorious in this category.

Bringing a world of emotion and excitement to corporate messaging, the corporate film/video translates the values, purpose and culture of an organisation into visual storytelling of cinematic sophistication. Examples that manage this with both conviction and innovation will be successful in this category.

Regardless of the size of an organisation, an internal platform for real-time exchange of opinions, news and messages is vital. Please note: when applying for this project, please provide login details for the site/app so that the jury can access it, or a functioning online version that the jury can use.

A corporate website is the first and most lasting impression stakeholders will have of your organisation and brand. Comprehensive, clear and conveying the purpose, vision and culture of the organisation, only the most innovative and communicative websites will be rewarded in this category.

Social media: where messages are most direct, where diverse voices are amplified and where authenticity reigns. It is also a hotbed of fake news, disinformation and white noise. The best examples of corporate social media will successfully navigate these risks and rewards and will shine in this category.

Snackable, colourful, creative: Digital Publishing opens up a range of new, more direct and personalised channels of communication with audiences. Whatever the service they deliver, they must also convey key elements of the organisation, bringing the experience of the brand to a heightened and more direct level.

National and Regional Campaigns

Campaigns and projects that react to local market specific challenges can be submitted under National and Regional categories: a great opportunity to achieve differentiation from your peers, position your brand in the market and create buzz around your work: wherever you’re based in Europe, we’ve got you covered.

48. United Kingdom, Ireland

49. Benelux & France

50. Spain, Portugal

51. Italy, Malta

52. Germany, Switzerland, Austria

53. Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland

54. Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia

55. Poland, Ukraine, Republic of Moldova

56. Russia, Belarus

57. Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia

58. The Balkans

59. Greece, Cyprus

60. Turkey