The communications department of Médecins Sans Frontières is the winner of this year’s European Communication Award. The Award is presented annually by the European Association of Communication Directors (EACD) in a gala ceremony held at the European Communication Summit. Previously, the award honoured the CEO of those organisations that showcased the most successful communications activities in the past year. In 2015 however, the EACD board decided to directly award the communications team of a company, NGO or institution for its achievements in implementing a successful communications strategy.
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 and the complexity of tackling the situation –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, coverage 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. Moreover, it positioned Médecins Sans Frontières as an authoritative voice on this humanitarian crisis.
An initial award shortlist of six organisations was drawn-up in cooperation with CARMA International based on their analysis of last year's media coverage of Europe's leading organisations. EACD members were called on to vote to nominate the top three teams that were invited to join the European Communication Summit. The final shortlist was comprised of Bayer, Médecins Sans Frontières and OECD. Representatives from the three organizations were introduced at the European Communication Summit yesterday. Conference participants were asked to vote for the winner of the award.
The European Communication Award annually marks the highlight of the European Communication Summit celebrations in Brussels. Previous winners include Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever (2014), Stephen Elop, CEO of the Nokia Corporation (2013), Marc Bolland, CEO of Marks and Spencer (2012), Peter Löscher, CEO of Siemens (2011), and Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat (2010).
The European Association of Communication Directors (EACD) brings in-house communication professionals together to network, exchange ideas and discuss the latest news and information relevant to their work. Through Working Groups with a focus on specific communications topics and publications such as the magazine Communication Director and Service Brochures for its members, the EACD works to advance professional qualification, and to promote the visibility and standing of the profession.
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