The ContentEd Awards recognise great content strategy work happening in the education sector. The awards were part of ContentEd 2019, which took place on Thursday 27 June in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The ContentEd Awards 2019 winners

We announced the winners on Thursday 27 June 2019 at the ContentEd conference dinner. Thank you to everyone who submitted a proposal and congratulations to the winners and everyone who was shortlisted.

User Focus Award

Winner: University of St Andrews

The University of St Andrew impressed the judges by transforming their e-newsletter into a dynamic interactive platform for news and views across the campus and beyond. This was achieved through extensive market research which informed the formation of their new platform, Loop.

Shortlist: Llibertat / University of Southampton, Plymouth College of Art, University of Gloucestershire

Better Storytelling Award

Winner: University of Bradford

Through their impressive “This is Bradford” campaign, the University integrated both the customer attitudes and needs through storytelling. They created a youthful brand style through capturing footage of current students. Students engaged rapidly with the campaign and also told their own unique stories. Their “hero” video from the campaign has over 258K views on YouTube showing the effectiveness of student-led storytelling.

Shortlist: University of Glasgow (runner-up) London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Mocha Films

Pioneer Award

Winner: Emma Gilmartin, University of Glasgow

Emma Gilmartin has grown the use of social media exponentially, made engagement central to the University of Glasgow’s strategy and pioneered creative, innovative content. She is recognised at home and abroad as an expert in the field and has won over her institution’s senior management to engage more frequently on Twitter. 

Shortlist: Jonny Williams, Keele University (runner-up)

Best Content-Led Campaign

Winner: University of London

Through their groundbreaking “Leading Women” campaign, the University of London created content based around an incredible range of pioneering women’s lives, from authors and crystallographers to botanists and presidents. This manifested itself through an online gallery, radio broadcasts, blog posts, an app, a podcast and a large physical timeline covering women’s history from 1790 to the present day. The judges felt the campaign was an excellent example of a content-led campaign that tackled poignant social issues and the role of women in education in the past and present.

Shortlist: University of Southampton (runner-up), The Open University, University of Gloucestershire

Collaborator Award

Winner: St George’s, University of London

St George’s, University of London showcased their collaboration skills through the immense challenge of overhauling its entire web estate and delivered a new digital offering that involved every team in the institution. To ensure the success of the project, the team spent six months consulting their audiences to find out what they needed from the site to create a combined single platform for both internal and external audiences. The University ran workshops, created style guides and established leadership support. Collaboration was present at every stage of the process. 

Shortlist: Keele University (runner-up), Llibertat / University of Southampton, The University of Manchester Library

Excellence in Content Strategy

Llibertat / University of Southampton

Their groundbreaking OneWeb project focused on deep-diving into understanding what each type of customer needs from the University. This included completing self-assessments of goals and creating practical road maps for change which were prioritised by impact. They undertook 23 user need workshops with over 200 stakeholders across the University on six campuses to gain a clear understanding of customer needs throughout the institution. They also created a range of content and events to support the development such as blog content, a festival and guest lecture sessions. This helped to connect their community to OneWeb before its launch. 

Shortlist: University of London (runner-up), St George’s, University of London

Martin Bojam Champions Award

Winner: Martin Bojam

This award is given to someone who is a champion of the sector and who leads the way for others. This year, the award will be given to Martin Bojam who sadly passed away in 2019. He was a leading figure in the sector and his legacy continues to affect our work every day. 

About the ContentEd Awards

What criteria did the judges use? 

User Focus Award

This award focuses on an approach to content founded on a thorough understanding of the user. Entries will show the research process that was adopted, the most significant insights gained, and how these clearly led to a shift in organisational thinking towards a more user-centred approach.

Better Storytelling Award

This award rewards strategies that took an innovative approach to the kind of stories being told by an institution and the methods employed to tell them.

Pioneer Award

This award recognises a leader in the sector. A pioneer is someone who is breaking new ground in the type of content being created (substance and structure) or in the strategic approach to content within an institution (workflow, governance, collaboration).  

Excellence in Content Strategy

The winner of this award must show excellence in multiple aspects of content strategy. They should demonstrate a deep understanding of the discipline. The judges will also be looking for individuals or teams with a track record of championing the principles of content strategy in the education sector.

Collaborator Award

This award recognises institutions or teams who are breaking through silos and creating a lasting culture of collaboration through their approach to content strategy.

Best Content-Led Campaign

This award recognises outstanding examples of institutions employing creative content strategy at the forefront of a campaign. This campaign could focus on recruitment, awareness raising, fundraising or another measurable organisational goal. 

How were the awards be presented?

The ContentEd Awards ceremony took place on the evening of Thursday 27 June 2019 at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Who judged the awards?

Our panel of judges are all experts in the sector, whether in-house or in an agency team.

Tracy Playle (lead judge) – CEO and Chief Content Strategist, Pickle Jar Communications

Richard Prowse – Head of Digital, University of Bath

Cameron Pegg – Freelance Content Strategist

Dave Penney – Associate Director of Communications, Nottingham Trent University

Robert Mills – Head of Content, GatherContent

Pamela Agar – Associate Director for Projects (External Relations, Communications and Marketing), St George’s University of London

Amanda Costello – Lead Content Strategist, College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota

Interested in sponsoring next year’s awards?

If you are interested in sponsoring the ContentEd Awards in 2020, we would love to hear from you. Get in touch.