This award recognises a brand or publication which has successfully responded to the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. Be it a strategic pivot or a new product/service launch, our judges sought to reward one that has successfully helped its audience to navigate the crisis.
The Big Issue's COVID-19 Response
The Big Issue
Facing a rather unique distribution problem, The Big Issue was able to pivot every single aspect of its business very quickly. Even without taking into consideration the positive social impact of this brand, this entry stood out as an impressive example of agile digital transformation, undertaken at short notice, with very little prior experience of this in the business, and to great success.
This award is for a business intelligence product that has demonstrated how it has delivered value for its audience, displayed innovation and insight in responding to its target market as well as achieving strong commercial numbers.
Royal Pharmaceutical Society
Medicines Complete is a data led product used by Health professionals globally for essential information to help them quickly and confidently make the most informed decisions on the safe and effective use of medicines. Judges praised this product because it was clear from the amazing feedback that it has made a huge difference to people's lives.
Congratulations to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society on winning the PPA Business Intelligence Product of the Year.
This award is for any campaign, using either a single or omni-channel approach to drive internal or external objectives. Judges sought to reward a campaign that executed a creative approach alongside robust results that outperformed expectations.
The Big Issue Appeal
The Big Issue
The Big Issue launched its COVID appeal campaign when it lost both its route to market and advertising funding model in March 2020. The campaign included a new subscription business, partnering with celebrities, selling in supermarkets for the first time and its very own app. The judges were astounded by the impressive results of the campaign which was launched at lightning speed by a team of only four people.
Congratulations to The Big Issue for winning PPA Campaign of the Year.
New for 2021, this award was open to any brand or magazine that publishes specifically for the younger reader, including the teen market. Criteria included a comprehensive understanding of the target audience's needs, relatable editorial and design, as well as strong commercial performance.
DC Thomson Media
Beano reinvented itself and changed editorial direction very quickly to support children through a challenging time during lockdown. It developed a new character called Mandi who addressed mental health and worries through relatable stories, and a national search was launched in April 2020 to find "Britain's Funniest Family". Judges named this an outstanding entry with a fantastic commercial performance, digital offering and a genuine connection to their audience.
Congratulations to DC Thomson Media for winning the inaugural PPA Children's Magazine of the Year.
This category is designed to reward a columnist that reaches their audience through a regular column or feature, or by blog, e-mail or newsletter. Judges were looking for an authoritative writing style, informative or educational content, and an individual style that permeates throughout the series.
Mark's writing is authoritative, provocative, riveting and is backed up by unshakeable research foundations. The columns made our judges want to read more with one saying ""Mark appears to have mastered the art of the page-turner within a column"". Mark is clearly not afraid to say it how it is, and this honest, refreshing writing style really made these columns stand out.
Congratulations to Mark Ritson for winning PPA Columnist of the Year.
This award recognises a successful collaboration between a publishing business and commercial partner(s) that has promoted a product, service, or brand through any (or multiple) platform(s), be it print, online, face-to-face, events, broadcast, mobile, or other digital offerings.
Hearst UK & Wake The Bear x NatWest
Cosmopolitan Home Made
This partnership set out to help young women become more financially independent, by connecting with its audience in a meaningful and human way, creating positive long-term financial habits for life. Judges described the entry as creative, clever and innovative with the initiative reaching a wide audience and delivering tangibly positive results.
Congratulations to Hearst UK, Wake the Bear and Natwest for winning PPA Commercial Partnership of the Year.
This award recognises an outstanding agency or division that is leading the charge in content marketing. Crucial to this category was demonstrable evidence of how the agency team have achieved success in enhancing their market position through the development of their client's brands.
2020 was a very successful year for Sunday, and our judges were impressed by the strong commercial performance. It is clear that this agency goes the extra mile and is dedicated to ensuring the content programme they deliver for each client is effective to their brand sentiment while also driving the bottom line.
Congratulations to Sunday for winning PPA Content Agency of the Year.
This category rewards Art Directors or Designers that could demonstrate evidence of how their design work has played a key part in the overall success of the brand or publication.
Judges were blown away by Peter's design work calling it fresh, exciting, surprising and fun to look at. Peter interprets the subject so well through elegant yet dynamic designs, pushing the boundaries while really considering every little detail. One judge said "Peter may be the world's best automotive editorial designer".
Congratulations to Peter Allen for winning PPA Designer of the Year.
This award recognises a brand or publication that is championing Diversity & Inclusion within its business, or to its audience. This could be via a new product, campaign, brand extension, podcast, magazine, event, or anything which enhances or promotes D&I across the business and beyond.
Judges applauded The BMJ for its commitment to making publishing more accessible by putting Diversity & Inclusion at the forefront during 2020. The highlights include its work experience programme for school-leavers from under-represented backgrounds, which the team hopes will result in long term change. And its special editorial issue ‘Racism in Medicine’ published in February, which resulted in the NHS announcing a Health and Race Observatory and the BMA launching a charter to prevent and effectively deal with racial harassment.
Congratulations to The BMJ for winning the PPA Diversity & Inclusion Award.
This category seeks to reward an editor of a media brand or publication whose consistent brilliance has put their publication at the forefront of the market, showcasing high quality journalism and strong engagement.
Health Service Journal
This entry proves that there is real power behind magazine journalism. Alastair used 13 years experience as Editor of the Health Service Journal to ensure that it delivered the most significant and influential coverage of the pandemic, praised by some as industry leading. The impact of that coverage received astonishing recognition from senior figures in the NHS, media and government. With Alistair at the helm, the achievements of the HSJ in the last year are nothing short of phenomenal.
Congratulations to Alastair McLellan for winning PPA Editor of the Year.
This award sought to recognise an outstanding event which successfully brought a community together, whether in person or online. This could have been an exhibition, awards, conference, experiential event, pop-up, festival, launch, commercial partnership event, celebration or bespoke event.
Decanter World Wine Awards 2020
Our judges loved the tenacity of this event, remarking that it was bold and ambitious to run a live event safely during a pandemic. The logistical challenge was impressive, with over 16 thousand wines being tasted and individually judged. Not only was the event itself a success, but it was 100% sustainable, using local suppliers, supporting smaller businesses in a tough climate and raising considerable funds for charities. Everything about this event was wonderful, according to our judges.
Congratulations to Future for winning PPA Event of the Year.
There is a real sense of drama and occasion with this cover and with the Land Rover Defender taking centre stage it immediately feels like a big event. The clever use of colour, lighting, textures and a simplicity in design, allows this stunning piece of studio photography to shine. Consistently TopGear's best-selling issue of the year, this cover underpins its mission to be the most creative car magazine in the world.
Congratulations BBC TopGear, you've won the public vote for PPA Front Cover of the Year.
This award sought to recognise a supplier to our industry that has gone the extra mile in its partnerships with professional publishers. Any organisation that supplies a product, platform or service to the industry could enter, from distribution and fulfilment, to digital publishing, training, subscription management, printing, marketing, paper, event services and beyond.
In 2020 PwC undertook some important and much needed research in the Programmatic Supply Chain Transparency Study which was delivered for advertisers and professional publishers. Judges said "This research was superb, their understanding of the market is second to none and it is a really important piece of work both nationally and globally, being something that lives and resonates beyond just our own sector."
Congratulations to PwC for winning PPA Industry Partner of the Year.
For the purposes of this award, innovation was defined as anything that expands the reach and influence of a brand or publication among an existing/new target audience. Innovations could include (but not restricted to) launches within 2020, new products, lead generation, use of data, new methods of working, enhanced communication methods or cultural change.
The Big Issue Vendor Map - Digital Sales
The Big Issue
Guided by its mission and values, The Big Issue developed a tool to help vulnerable stakeholders survive the economic effects of the pandemic. Judges were really impressed at how this innovative product made a difference. Not only did the vendor map help those during a time of major crisis, but it is a long-term tool that will allow The Big Issue to continue to deliver on its mission to dismantle poverty.
Congratulations to The Big Issue for winning PPA Innovation of the Year.
This award is designed for the multiple or independent retailer that has most successfully demonstrated dedication to the cause of selling more magazines, commitment to offering a good choice of titles to its customers and an enhanced shopping experience for the magazine consumer.
Judges loved how this retailer lives up to its name, Magazine Heaven. Offering a huge choice and a fully immersive experience at their store, it's described as "a place where customers can browse and indulge their curiosity, as well as discovering magazines that they never knew existed."
Congratulations to Magazine Heaven for winning PPA Magazine Retailer of the Year.
Judges sought to reward a consumer or business media brand which was able to demonstrate how it understands and meets the needs of its target audience, strong commercial performance, editorial & design that represents and enhances the brand, and an omni-channel approach.
BBC Good Food
Immediate Media Co.
In a fiercely competitive market, BBC Good Food has demonstrably reacted deftly and effectively to the needs of its audience, with judges particularly impressed by the approach to mirror the challenges faced by the public during lockdown in the content it produced. It was able to capitalise on opportunities in the market, with a special focus on diversity, to directly drive forward subscriptions, expand its audience and launch new products, which resulted in the most successful year in its 32-year history.
Congratulations to BBC Good Food for winning PPA Media Brand of the Year.
This award was designed to reward a podcast that is produced in-house at a publishing company for a specific audience, showcasing excellent audience engagement, innovation and compelling content.
The Week Unwrapped
The Week Unwrapped is an amicable debate about three under-reported news stories. Hosted by multi-podcast maestro Olly Mann, it handles heavy subjects with a light touch and looks seriously at the leftfield ideas that might just change our lives. Judges described it as professional, entertaining, informative, with a quirky approach and an excellent example of a brand extension.
Congratulations to Dennis for winning PPA Podcast of the Year.
For the purposes of this award, a special interest magazine brand is defined as one that serves a specific business-to-business community, consumer leisure interest, or one which publishes within a specific sector. Judges sought to reward content, engagement and commercial performance amongst many other metrics to identify the best example of a magazine brand that successfully supports a specialist community.
MA Agriculture, Mark Allen Group
Excellent use of research to inform development, a wealth of innovative product launches and changes in response to the impact of Covid-19 and Brexit, on both the publication and the industry they serve, has seen Farmers Weekly rewarded by exceptional commercial success and a raised profile. Judges praised this entry for such impressive commercial success during a very difficult year.
Congratulations to Mark Allen Group for winning PPA Special Interest Magazine of the Year.
New for 2021, this award sought to recognise a brand that has maximised revenue through effective implementation of a new or enhanced subscriptions strategy.
The 1 million Sub Challenge!
Immediate Media Co.
This entry demonstrated exceptional results. With lots of rich data and stats provided as proof of performance, our Judges were very impressed with its collaborative and joined-up approach, seeing that no stone had been left unturned in driving quite remarkable growth.
Congratulations to Immediate Media for winning the inaugural PPA Subscriptions Strategy of the Year.
This award sought to recognise and reward a change, campaign, project or event (internal or external) that has substantially enhanced the environmental credentials of the organisation.
Haymarket Media Group
Haymarket has a holistic approach to sustainability which is deeply embedded in the business, and has a focus on social as well as environmental change. Its work around modern slavery was noted by judges as particularly impressive. There is a defined understanding of their environmental responsibility and a packed programme with clear goals and loads of activity, with impressive efforts to reduce energy and waste.
Congratulations to Haymarket Media Group for winning the PPA Sustainability Award.
This award was designed to reward a team or department that excelled in making a positive and measurable contribution to its organisation in 2020. Judges were assessing how the team contributed to the overall company strategy, how it exceeded business expectations, and how it demonstrated creativity.
Marketing & Communications Team
The Big Issue
The speed at which this team pivoted to respond to the crisis was remarkable. The use of outreach and endorsements in their campaigns, coupled with the building of a digital and subscriptions infrastructure, has not only ensured the survival of the Big issue but ensured it will go from strength to strength. This newly formed team are simply outstanding, and a fine example to our industry.
Congratulations to The Big Issue Marketing & Communications Team for winning PPA Team of the Year.
Credit for business success often goes to the leaders. The hard work and efforts by those on the ground can go unrecognised but these efforts can be equally important for the long-term success of any business.
We invited nominations for someone who has demonstrated an outstanding level of commitment to the success of their team or company over many years. One who is a role model to their peers, has helped the business achieve exceptional results and champions best practice.
Judges were so impressed with Sofia's output and relentless efforts during 2020 with one saying "truly inspiring - Superwoman doesn't come close." Sofia met every challenge magnificently and was hugely influential in increasing the traffic to the Pulse news section, by ensuring coverage of the most important stories. A hero in every sense, and every business should have one of these people.
Congratulations to Sofia Lind for winning PPA Unsung Hero of the Year.
This award was open to anyone that writes for a media brand or publication on one platform or across multiple platforms. Judges sought to reward a person who had an original and engaging writing style and showcased well-researched and credible journalism.
Telegraph Media Group
Judges praised Jessamy's writing, saying the articles read like short novels. There is a really nice arc throughout the stories and they are all so different which demonstrates versatility and a willingness to thoroughly research each subject. Jessamy has a real talent to turn difficult and uncomfortable topics into stories that are positive and powerful, as well as deeply moving.
Congratulations to Jessamy Calkin for winning PPA Writer of the Year.
PPA Chairman's Award
Every year, a PPA Awards entry is selected that showcases outstanding achievements in its field and is worthy of being highlighted as a shining example of excellence in the publishing & media sector. The 2021 award was given by PPA Chairman and Executive Chairman of Immediate Media Co. Tom Bureau.
Nursing Standard is a prime example of how to represent a community successfully and honestly, and the work that it has undertaken in the past 12 months demonstrates the vital role played by specialist interest magazine media brands, especially when the sector it serves is on the front line. I am so pleased to be able to recognise the sterling efforts of the entire team by awarding them the PPA Chairman’s Award this year.
Congratulations to Nursing Standard for winning the PPA Chairman’s Award.