5 PR events to think about attending…

We all know the benefits of networking, but where to start? Here are some of the main events and when they are:

1. PR Week Awards
Famous for being the highest commendation in the communications world, there are PR Week awards for the best corporate, agency, non-profit and education teams. We are proud of the clients of ours, including Edelman, Racepoint Global, W2O and 90TEN, who are nominated this year. Another cool PR Week networking event is the PR360 Conference, it’s an opportunity to make sure you are absolutely up to date with what is going on in the industry.

The 2019 PR Week Awards are being held on October 15 – https://www.prweekawards.com/ and the PR360 conference is in May 9th – https://www.pr-360.com/prices/.


2. SABRE Awards & IN2 Summit
SABRE stands for Superior Achievement in Branding, Reputation and Engagement. It’s a renowned awards event, held in conjunction with the IN2 Summit; these events attract some of the brightest stars and leaders of the EMEA communications world and you’ll see the mind-blowingly creative campaigns they create.

This year’s summit is May 22 – https://events.holmesreport.com/in2-emea/index.


3. Communique
This is where the healthcare communications world gets to showcase itself, demonstrating how outstanding work can deliver real improvements in healthcare, enhance patient experience, build trust with stakeholders and augment industry reputation. You can talk to Julia ([email protected]) if you’d like to know who’s hiring and what the opportunities are.

This year the awards will be presented on July 4 – http://www.pmlive.com/awards/communique.


4. PMEAs
The Pharmaceutical Marketing Excellence Awards is another healthcare event, centred around recognising work that demonstrates excellence in improving patient outcomes. As well as agencies and consultancies, you’ll see European, international and UK pharmaceutical, biotech, ethical, life science, OTC and medical device/diagnostic companies here.

To find out more keep an eye on https://www.pmlive.com/awards/pmea!


5. PRmoment awards
Dedicated to the best PR in the UK, the PRmoment awards has categories such as the best use of research, best stunt, best use of creativity and best event of the year. Many of our clients hold awards from the Winners of the South categories (Taylor Herring, The Romans – to name but two).

To find out the winners from this year’s judges, visit https://www.prmomentawards.com/2019-winners-south.


We have a new Senior Consultant on the PR desk covering Consumer, B2B and Corporate PR – for all your communications needs, talk to Rob White at [email protected] or call 020 7359 8244.

Featured Client – OPEN Health

Featured Client – OPEN Health

Who are they?

OPEN Health are one of the UK’s leading healthcare communications agencies, with offices spanning the UK, USA and Dubai. Their vision is to be the most respected healthcare agency group on the planet, and they are well on their way to achieving that following recent changes to the way they operate. Having acquired Peloton Advantage last year, they have rebranded the multiple companies that fly the OPEN Health banner and now work in 4 distinct areas:

  • Medical Communications
  • Patient & Brand Communications
  • Value, Informatics and Evidence (VIE)
  • Consulting

Having started in 2011 with just 4 people sharing a unified idea, OPEN Health have seen rapid growth since then mostly owing to the high quality of work they have produced for the hundreds of clients they work with.

What do they do?

They have expertise in oncology, rare diseases and specialist medicine, with in-house digital experts supporting their global teams. We have recruited a variety of roles for them; from account managers and directors to senior medical writers and project managers, and everything in between, which is one of the main benefits of working with such a large industry titan: they can offer our candidates the perfect role to suit their skills rather than shoehorning them in. At OPEN Health no two days are ever the same; from creating the building blocks of a healthcare campaign to supporting a product launch, there is never a dull moment. Whatever your skillset, If you have the knowledge, experience and positive attitude, there is a role at OPEN Health for you to get stuck in to.

Why should you work for them?

With more than 500 people skilled in their field, and in excess of 1000 client accounts, OPEN Health are healthcare communications heavyweights who treat all their employees with kindness and respect. With benefits such as your birthday off and flexible working hours, a varied and interesting client base unrivalled in the industry, and a dedication to training programme Bloom, OPEN Health offer fantastic opportunities.

What do they look for in a candidate?

Most of the roles Media Contacts recruit for with the OPEN Health group require previous healthcare comms agency experience, and a life science academic background would be preferable. All OPEN Health offices also have a very open atmosphere, with a culture of learning encouraged in both junior staff and directors alike. They look for people who are inquisitive, embrace the challenges of healthcare communications and have a laser focus on the smallest aspects of their work. If that sounds like you, please do get in touch with us.

If you have any more questions about OPEN Health, or want to know more about Healthcare Communications in general, email the head of Media Contacts’ Healthcare division, Julia Walton, at [email protected] or call 020 7359 8244.

Does Flexible Working Actually Work?

One of the trends we’ve been seeing recently is flexible working – this can range from starting an hour later to working a 4-day week. These are becoming increasingly popular, so we thought we’d have a look into whether flexible working is actually beneficial.

Firstly, why do this? The thinking behind any form of flexible working is to boost morale – a happy employee is more likely to be productive. But in a situation that involves doing the same amount of work in fewer hours, the mental benefits might be mitigated and simply lead to increased pressure rather than mental levity – having to work longer hours in order to benefit from time with the family on a Friday could just not be worth it.

Recent trials found that there was no drop in quality of work and there was a 24% boost in productivity; there was also an improvement overall in mental health and morale, but this was lessened by increased stress and pressure from doing 5 days work in 4 days.


So, is this a benefit or something to be avoided? Naturally everyone has a different opinion, so I asked some of the Media Contacts team what they think:

Our Office Manager Jess thinks it’s a great idea, but suggests working an extra hour and having two 30-minute breaks throughout the day as well – would this increase morale at your current company? Comment with your opinion!

We then have Naomi , who said that rather than having a whole day off, it could be better to have 90-minute breaks for a full 5-day week to both boost morale but maintain a full weeks’ work, which our current placement student Michael also agrees with.

Our new resourcer Alex thinks the whole idea has potential but only in specific industries. Any industry that relies on consumerism will struggle to implement/maintain a four-day working week, due to consumer demands and interactions. However, a well-planned five-day working week should allow enough time for out of hours rest and recovery, so he personally wouldn’t push to have it.

Finally, our MD Rupert weighs in – his view is that it doesn’t work in a service-based industry – who is going to look after someone’s customers on the day that the person is not working? It also risks pushing more work onto the person to do out of hours, further blurring the line between leisure and work and shrinking work/life balance, which is not conducive to long term mental or physical health.

The biggest problem we have in the UK workforce at the moment is that productivity growth for most businesses more or less stopped in 2008. Previously, annual productivity growth was expected to be 2% (vital for the economy and wages/standard of living going up), whereas we have now taken 11 years to achieve 2% productivity growth. This is despite people working longer hours and taking calls/emails at home as well as at work – being engaged with work almost all of their waking hours. Rupert’s view is that if people want to maximise both productivity and work/life balance, it is more about ensuring that they are achieving their targets (both official and personal targets) within standard working hours – too much time is spent being non-efficient. The standard UK worker needs to relearn how to pack more into their day and maximise efficiency.

When Rupert first became a £300K a year biller, he didn’t do any work when I left the office – smart phones didn’t exist. He also spent no more than an hour a day checking emails or going online. He’d be in the pub or home by 6pm most evenings. Cut through the electronic distractions and restore work/life balance through being more efficient, and people have plenty of time to do non-work stuff without wanting a 4-day week.

So there you have the Media Contacts view on flexible working – we’d like to know your opinion too, so please let us know: have you tried it, would you like to or do you think it’s a bad idea?