North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) shortlisted for 'Best Use of Social Media' in 2012's North West CIPR PRide Awards

Monday, 20 August, 2012

The North West Ambulance Service has been shortlisted for the 'Best Use of Social Media' in the 2012 North West CIPR PRide Awards. Chosen for its outstanding Tweet-a-Thon, titled 'A Virtual Shift: an ambulance, a paramedic and 3000 followers'; the category is set to be hotly contested, with six companies shortlisted. Over 1,000 entries were received from freelancers, consultancies and in-house teams across twelve UK regions and nations.

CIPR CEO, Jane Wilson MCIPR, commented: "The CIPR PRide Awards celebrate the best PR and communications campaigns and teams from the profession across the UK. To be shortlisted for a CIPR PRide Award demonstrates exemplary achievement, impact and value - immediately putting your work in the spotlight. The sheer number of high quality entries received this year, especially when things are still pretty tough out there economically, is testament to a thriving nationwide industry. Congratulations for reaching this stage and the best of luck for the awards presentation evenings."

Commenting, Sarah Smith, NWAS Assistant Director of Corporate Communications and PR, said: "'A Virtual Shift' was our first major campaign using the social media platform, Twitter. The Tweet-a-Thon was carried out over five days, with different crews in the five regions of the North West.

"Over the duration of the campaign, we more than tripled our following on Twitter by from 1000 to 3335, and sparked a number of questions from inquisitive followers.

"The idea was to show the variety of incidents an emergency ambulance attends along with the other tasks they have to complete in a typical day, such as stocking the medicine bag and cleaning the ambulance. A member of the Trust's Communications team accompanied the ambulance crew and 'tweeted' throughout the shift.

"Our followers were also given an insight into the people behind the green uniforms from our tweets about their best and worst parts of the job, their career experience and outside interests. The campaign was designed to not only captivate and engage with our followers, but also to increase the public understanding of the ambulance service and to give our followers the opportunity to be on the frontline of emergency medicine; highlighting the other sides of the Service which are not so regularly at the forefront of publicity.

"The success of the campaign, and resultant shortlisting for the PRide awards, is testament to the hard work of the Communications team and the frontline crews who brought the campaign to life. We are immensely proud to have been shortlisted for this award, and eagerly anticipate the awards ceremony in November."

The judging process for the PRide Awards is rigorous with a national panel of industry experts assessing the shortlisted entries and choosing the winners. The 2012 Chairs of Judges, Gill Dandy FCIPR, Senior Consultant at The Centre for Strategy and Communication, and Chris Genasi FCIPR, Senior Consultant at APCO Worldwide, assisted in ensuring a fair and consistent judging process.

Gill Dandy, commented: "I would like to congratulate all of the individuals and teams that have been shortlisted across the twelve regions and nations in the UK. The standard of entries continues to improve year on year which demonstrates an increasingly vibrant public relations profession."

The winners of the 2012 North West CIPR PRide Awards will be announced at black-tie dinner on 29 November 2012 at The Monastery, Gorton Lane, Manchester, M12 5WF.

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