UTS makes a big entrance at international communication research awards

Professor Jim Macnamara accepting the AMEC awards in London, picture supplied

Professor Jim Macnamara accepting the AMEC awards in London, picture supplied

In summary: 
  • Proving a point about the value of academic research in communication evaluation, UTS has won three categories in the 2016 global awards for communication evaluation research
  • The awards recognised projects led by UTS Professor of Public Communication Jim Macnamara for the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet and the NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service  

In a field including leading media intelligence and PR firms, UTS has won three categories in the 2016 global awards for communication evaluation research presented by the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC).

At a gala awards evening last week in London, following the 2016 International Summit on Measurement, two entries submitted by UTS Professor of Public Communication Jim Macnamara took away three of the top awards.

They were:

  • The Gold Award for "Best Use of a Measurement Framework" for the evaluation of an awareness campaign for the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet (a UTS contract research project conducted by Professor Macnamara in December 2015-February 2016);
     
  • The Gold Award for "Best Campaign in the Public and Not-for-profit Sectors" for evaluation of the NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service Pink Sari Project (a UTS contract research project to inform and evaluate a campaign to increase breast screening among culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, led by Professor Macnamara from 1 January-31 December 2015); and
     
  • The Grand Prix Platinum Award for "most effective PR consultancy or in-house communications team campaign" for the evaluation of the Pink Sari Project.

Professor Macnamara said he decided to enter the AMEC awards after giving a keynote presentation at the 2015 AMEC International Summit on Measurement in Stockholm at which academic research in the field of evaluation of communication was recognised but claimed to be "not applicable in practice".

"I was out to make a point that academics and industry need to work together and that rigorous research could and should be used to inform and evaluate public communication," Professor Macnamara said.

"The entries were designed to show impact: the focus groups, surveys, interviews and a cultural competency study undertaken for the NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service contributed to behavioural change up to 100 per cent above the target and led to policy changes in relation to health communication aimed at CALD communities."

Professor Macnamara's research for the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet was one of two UTS contract research projects that have led to changes in the way NSW government advertising and communication are evaluated.

Professor Macnamara was also a speaker at the 2016 International Summit on Measurement.

Details of the shortlist and winners of the AMEC Awards are available at http://amecorg.com/amec-awards-winners-2016.