Richard III work wins European Excellence Award 2013

Posted by ap507 at Dec 06, 2013 10:35 AM |
News and communications handling wins accolades

The University of Leicester has won a top international prize for its media and communications work around the archaeological work that led to the discovery of Richard III.

Delegates from the University’s Press and marketing communications teams attended the European Excellence Awards 2013 Gala Ceremony at the Postpalast in Munich last night (Dec 5).

Leicester won the Gold Award in the Science and Education category. The organisers said: “Whether preparing us for life outside of academia, or informing us how the world around us works, the impact of education and the discoveries of science have a major impact on how we view, and relate to, the world. This category rewards the cream of communications from the science and education industries.”

The Success comes just days after Leicester won the Research Project of the Year Award from the Times Higher Education and the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.  Earlier, Leicester won a Gold in the CASE Circle of Excellence Awards 2013 for its communications work of the landmark discovery as well as a Heist Gold Award for the press and communications work.

The University's award-winning press plan started with extensive local, national and even international interest in the dig, following the discovery of human remains with battle wounds and a curved spine. This was announced to a packed press conference in Leicester Guildhall in September 2012 and immediately became the biggest story which the University’s Press Office has ever handled.

Over the next five months, the press and communications coverage was carefully managed as Leicester academics investigated the remains, building up to a press conference in February 2013 which dwarfed even the September event. Scores of camera crews, photographers and journalists from all over the world crammed into the University’s Council Chamber, each with their own requirements (the Melton Times was listed alphabetically next to the New York Times!). Richard Buckley’s announcement that the bones were those of Richard III “beyond reasonable doubt” was greeted with spontaneous applause.

At its peak, England's last Plantagenet king knocked the Superbowl and Beyoncé off the number one spot on Twitter.

In the wake of this announcement, the University received numerous commendations for the way that this unprecedented news story had been handled.

Ather Mirza, Director of the University’s News Centre, said: “These awards for communications are a testament to the excellent team effort across the University to communicate the excitement of this discovery.”

European companies, consultancies, associations and NGOs submitted their work for evaluation by the European Excellence Awards Jury.