UNISON Scotland celebrated the great work done in newsheets, online presence, campaigns and recruitment at the annual Communications Awards presented at Scottish Council in February.
Announcing the awards, Communications and Campaigns Committee (CCC) vice-chair Jane Aitchison said: “How all branches and committees have managed to pack in so much, and such good communications work in the last year, I don’t know.”
Jane urged delegates to go to the exhibition of competition entries and see “the fantastic standard of work – loads of activists – and not just communications activists – out there involving, enthusing members, fighting for jobs, combating outsourcing threats, calling for better pay, protecting terms and conditions, and ensuring members’ safety and wellbeing at work.”
It was evident that activists were taking the anti-austerity arguments forward to a greater extent than before and using that message to support their local campaigns to save jobs, protect their terms and conditions, and indeed to take forward national and Scottish campaigns.
Jane said: “Websites, twitter, facebook, mobile apps, instagram, yammer, videos, emails, newsletters, bulletins, notice boards, letters to politicians, Christmas cards and Christmas crackers, leaflets, press releases, pictures, surveys and research work– you name it we saw it.
“Activists informing and involving members, never forgetting the importance of speaking to members face to face.”
Jane thanked our sponsors UIA, Thompson’s Solicitors, Liverpool Victoria, Lighthouse Financial Advice, and TC Branding Group.
Chris Bartter Award for Creativity
This year saw an additional and very special award in memory of the original Scottish communications officer – that is the Chris Bartter Award for Creative use of Communication – sponsored by CCC chair John Stevenson who was a long time friend of Chris.
Introducing the award, John said: “Many of you will remember UNISON Scotland’s previous communications officer Chris Bartter who sadly died in October.
“This award is in his memory for creativity in communications.
“It is meant to recognise that bit of flair, imagination or innovation that activists have come up with, whether or not their overall entry wins. It was something he was good at.
“Chris was a huge figure on Scotland’s cultural, labour and trade union scene. He was immensely creative.
“Chris didn’t just work communications, he created the communications culture in the union, engaging, enthusing and training activists and always finding the time to gladly support them.
“Communications was not just publicity, it was organising. To Chris it was at the very root of organising in the arts and the labour and trade union movement.
“That’s what this award has been set up to recognise.”
The award was won by NHS Glasgow Clyde and CVS for what a cracker of an idea – a five foot Christmas cracker in UNISON colours purple and green that pulls apart to reveal the NHS pay claim. A great visual and amusing prop to get the Pay Up Now message out there.
Best Printed Publication Category
The UIA Gold Award went to NHS Glasgow and Clyde and CVS Branch for a very well designed, and well written magazine with fantastic front pages that really grab you.
An excellent mix of local negotiations and success stories. And of course the national Scrap the Cap campaign.
The CCC Silver Award went to West Lothian branch for a well laid out and well written magazine, with lots of information for members, not only highlighting the branch’s local campaigns against the cuts, but also its involvement in campaigning for workers’ rights in the community.
The TC Branding Bronze Award went to Inverclyde for a well written magazine, jam packed with information on local and national campaigns, including Pay Up Now, Save Care Now, and Roads Shared Services.
Best Online Presence
The Thompsons Solicitors Gold went to Aberdeen City Branch for a well designed revamped website informing and involving members in local and national campaigns. Linking in to social media with some great pictures. An impressive formal communications plan maximising their campaigning efforts.
NHS Glasgow Clyde and CVS Branch were up again winning the CCC Silver Award for a website with great use of branch pictures, linking in to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram – showing a high level of member interaction and involvement.
The Lighthouse Financial Bronze Award went to Highland Health Care Branch for a comprehensive and informative website, linking into lively and up-to-date Facebook and Twitter.
The CCC Gold Award went to East Renfrewshire for a very well planned and ongoing anti-cuts campaign, using Facebook and newsletters taking the campaign out to the members, the public and the politicians – including an MSP postcard campaign and a demonstration.
The CCC Silver Award went to West Lothian’s ‘Budget that Broke the Browns’ anti-cuts campaign involving members and the community. A very impressive personalisation of the effects of cuts on one family as essential services are eroded.
The CCC Bronze Award went to Gas Branch Scotland who secured a whopping turnout in two consultative ballots on pay. Cleverly designed posters, and frequent well written newsletters throughout the campaign.
The Liverpool Victoria special recruitment prize went to NHS24 branch for a fun summer themed recruitment campaign – they visited their three main sites with blow up palm trees, parrots and iced drinks and held a £500 prize draw.
This year the judges were CCC members Jane Aitchison and David Stainthorpe. Jane said: “Again a very difficult task and if we did have enough prizes then everyone would be a winner.”