European Communication Award

Each year the EACD presents the European Communication Award in a gala ceremony held at the European Communication Summit.

Past winners

2016
Young Communicator of the Year
Jelena Vasilev, Erste Bank Serbia - Superste.net

Jelena Vasilev, Digital Communications and CSR Expert at Erste Bank Serbia

Superste.net is a new interactive platform for a donation programme of Erste Bank Serbia. Developed and realized in cooperation with Fondation Dokukino, it attracts youngsters (16-35 years) with socially responsible projects in the fields of culture, arts and education. This tailor-made platform for young leaders gives them an active role in their communities in decision making processes. Providing an interactive online hub with a pool of support opportunities such as funds, mentorship and contacts, it creates responsible roles for Erste Bank Serbia as well as ensures the positioning of partners and support in important steps and not just a financial service provider. With EUR 60.000 for grants, in 2015 they supported 22 projects created and realized by organizations and individuals.

2016
Communications Team of the Year "Company"
DSM

Science can change the world!

With their branding campaign DSM wanted to show their dedication to science with a positive impact on society. To do so the company portrayed the lives and struggles of real scientists (not connected to DSM), whose work could change the world for the better.

In order to truly pay tribute to science for society and to show that this goes hand in hand with struggles, sacrifice and tenacity, DSM specifically chose to make a film in which real scientists with a real and inspiring story were portrayed who were in no way connected to DSM. The film was the centerpiece of the "Science can Change the World' campaign platform where stories of Unsung Heroes of Science were shared in greater detail and people could share ideas and leave comments. The campaign has created huge engagement globally.

2016
Communications Team of the Year "Association/NGO"
Association KROKODIL

International Literary Festival KROKODIL

KROKODIL festival is a literary festival that presents contemporary literature of the Western Balkans region in a unique and original way – without rigidities, whether generational, political, cultural, or sexual. With a modern and dynamic approach to the craft of literary presentation – readings by authors supported by audio-visual media, musical and stage performances and the wide spectre of different literary forms including poetry, fiction, essays and plays, KROKODIL festival, ever since its inception in 2009, grew to become one of the most popular and well visited literary events in the region of former Yugoslavia.

In 2015 the Krokodil team decided to address two major requests facing the European cultural scene with its festival: the prevalent questions of audience development and the cross-cultural connection across the European continent.  For the first time, the team of three, established a complete communications strategy for the “International Literary Festival KROKODIL”.  They exceeded their own and partner’s expectations: KROKODIL is now internationally recognised as an important factor in placing the European literature on the global scene and was therefore invited to attend the Sheikh Zayed Book Award 2016 in Abu Dhabi.

2015
Communications Team of the Year
Médecins Sans Frontières

Founded in 1971, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) (Doctors Without Borders) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation delivering emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, healthcare exclusion and natural or man-made disasters.

In 2014, Médecins Sans Frontières worked relentlessly to not just provide aid in areas in West Africa stricken by the deadly Ebola virus, but also to bring world-wide attention to the epidemic; to the need for help on the ground to tackle the problem, and the complexity of the situation in areas already affected. As a result, the majority of Médecins Sans Frontières’ coverage in the second half of 2014 was directly associated with the Ebola virus. Not only was Médecins Sans Frontières a reference point for the media, reporting also had a remarkably high proportion of spokespeople quoted from the organisation. This provided both eye-witness accounts of the aid efforts and challenges in the areas, and personal stories of rescuers who risk their lives. It also positioned Médecins Sans Frontières as an authoritative voice on the subject. For example, Marc Poncin, MSF emergency coordinator, reported challenges with the local population thinking that Western aid workers spread the deadly virus; Hilde De Clerck, medical coordinator MSF, reported how local doctors and nurses in affected areas refuse to show up in the hospital as long as the fear of becoming infected is too great. Dr. Joanne Liu, International President of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) also condemned the passivity of the West: “Ebola is not controlled by closing borders” and emphasised strongly the need for more resources on the ground.

2015
Young Communicators Award
Sonia Khan - #notjustforboys campaign

Sonia Khan, Press Officer at the Department of Work and Pensions UK, is the winner of this year's Young Communicators Award. She developed the successful #notjustforboys campaign. #notjustforboys opened up choice and opportunities for women by tackling outdated attitudes like ‘girls are too weak to be builders’ that deterred them from careers in male-dominated industries. Engineering and science, key growth areas, miss out on vital talent because women are woefully underrepresented and this needed challenging. Supported by the UK Prime Minister and over 100 businesses, senior individuals and celebrities, the cross-Government social media-led campaign reached more than 67 million people across the globe through targeted infographics, events and third party interviews. 

2014
European Communication Award
Paul Polman (Unilever)

Paul Polman, chief executive officer of Unilever, is the winner of the 2014 European Communication Award. Taking the helm of a consumer goods giant with a famously complicated organisational structure would be enough of a challenge for anyone. But using that opportunity to push an ambitious agenda for doubling the company's size while at the same time reducing overall environmental footprint  - a plan which has been described as "radical and ambitious" - clearly calls for an especially determined type of leader. It also calls for a leader who can clearly communicate the case for this "radical and ambitious" programme. Paul Polman is such a leader.

Having taken on the position of CEO at Uilever in 2009, Paul announced his global strategy for growth and sustainability in 2010, and the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan continues to win awards and press coverage to this day. Further signs of Paul’s passion for spreading the word about alternative models of business leadership can be found in his membership of the "B-Team", a group of business leaders who work on finding sustainable solutions to the current ways of doing business, as well as his cooperation with major bodies outside the commercial sector - such as his participation on a UN High Level Panel on the development agenda or his invitation by the UK’s Prime Minister to be a British Business Ambassador - more proof of an ambitious leadership style.

But it is not only for his championship of growth strategies and green credentials that we celebrate Paul Polman today; under his leadership, Unilever has been building bridges between Europe and Asia, particularly India and Singapore, where Unilever’s new leadership development center earned an award from the prime minister. As a vocal, highly visible and widely esteemed CEO, Paul Polman has consistently displayed the communication skills necessary for a successful business leader, and that is why he is this year’s deserving recipient of the European Communications Award.

2014
Young Communicators Award
Julia Bell - Slovakia - Mobile Payment Becomes a Reality

Julia Bell, Corporate Public Relations Manager for Visa Europe, is the winner of this year's Young Communicators Award. She coordinated the project "Slovakia: Mobile payment becomes a reality" to challenge the perception that mobile payment would live or die on western implementations.The campaign focused on a two-day event in Slovakia, where 11 European journalists and bloggers experienced a press trip like no other. The event was then brought to life with smart story-telling, amplifying authentic messages and proof-points socially for the campaign’s other audiences – banks and employees. The campaign’s unique and innovative approach resulted in 50+ articles being published with 100% key message penetration and at least one Visa branded image per story. One year on and the number of mobile payment services launched by European banks has doubled.

2013
European Communication Award
Stephen Elop (Nokia)

Stephen Elop’s reputation as a highly-engaged leader who embraces challenges head-on was put to the test in 2010 when he was appointed as the first non-Finnish CEO of Nokia in its 150-year history. Widely seen as having fallen far behind its competitors, the mobile-phone giant needed a new perspective at the very top, as well as a leader in possession of huge amounts of energy, nerves and determination – qualities you might expect from someone who is a recreational pilot in his spare time!

He is also not afraid to make bold gestures – as proven by his now-legendary memo comparing Nokia to a man standing on a “burning platform”, which offered a stark assessment of Nokia’s situation shortly after he joined the company and which was described by the BBC as “one of the most combustible and gripping documents ever to emerge from a major corporation.” What was at times overlooked in the oceans of media coverage surrounding the memo, however, was its galvanising attempt to engage with employees and its announcement of the arrival of a new, more open, transparent and direct communication style.

There are signs that his efforts have paid off, with better-than-forecasted fourth-quarter figures earlier this year and a rebound in the share price from mid-July. In an industry where passions run high and the rules change all the time, commentators are keeping a keen eye on what Stephen Elop does next. What is in no doubt, however, is that Stephen Elop’s compelling communications has set a precedent for communicators in Europe and around the globe: that is why he is the worthy winner of the 2013 European Communication Award.

2013
Young Communicators Award
Emily Gibbs - Financial Times Digital Learning Week 2012

Emily Gibbs, corporate communications manager at Financial Times, is the winner of this year's Young Communicators Award. She coordinated the first global Digital Learning Week (DLW), aiming to inform, educate and create a dialogue with the FT's 2500 employees about all things digital and social media. The event included over 40 presentations, interactive workshops and online learning courses in seven FT offices around the globe. It has been recognised as transformational on helping FT staff adapt for a digital era.