“Breathing hope for IPF” wins European Excellence Award for Public Affairs

Friday 16 June, 2017

BRUSSELS –  The European Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis & Related Disorders Federation (EU-IPFF), supported by Weber Shandwick, has won a European Excellence Award for Public Affairs in the Health category. This was awarded for their successful 2016 campaign for greater political engagement around Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) – a rare, fatal and incurable lung disease which affects up to 110,000 people in the EU.

Launched in 2017, the European Excellence Awards in Public Affairs aim to celebrate organisations and teams implementing innovative and forward-thinking strategies in the field of politics and public affairs.

The EU-IPFF and Weber Shandwick were recognized for their successful work in pushing for a Written Declaration on IPF in the European Parliament, calling for better cooperation between EU Member States to improve patient access to treatment and lung transplants, support research activities, and raise awareness of the disease’s impact on patients and their families. To be adopted, a Written Declaration must garner signatures from over half of the Members of the European Parliament; more than 376 politicians.

Commenting on the win, Herman Van Lysebeth, Treasurer of the EU-IPFF, said: “The campaign for a Written Declaration on IPF was really needed in order to raise political awareness of this rare yet devastating lung disease, and to bring it to the attention of EU policymakers. This award rightly recognizes this important work.”

Daniela Negri, Associate Director Healthcare at Weber Shandwick Belgium, added: “Since the establishment of the EU-IPFF in 2016, Weber Shandwick has been privileged to assist in campaigning for greater political engagement around a disease which is all too often neglected. Winning a European Excellence Award is a testament to the vitally important work that the Federation does, and we look forward to continuing our work with them to improve the lives of IPF patients across the EU.”

The winning campaign encompassed organising face-to-face meetings between patients and politicians, calling for support across social media, and even blowing bubbles in the corridors of the Parliament itself – all with a view to stopping politicians in their tracks and convincing them to sign the Declaration for the benefit of IPF patients across Europe. In the end, the total number of signatures surpassed the threshold, clocking in at 388.

The European Commission has since responded by confirming support for actions to benefit IPF patients under its general rare diseases policy and reinforcing its investment in IPF research, to which €10 million has already been allocated under the Horizon 2020 Programme.

Following the success of the Written Declaration campaign, Weber Shandwick continues to support the EU-IPFF’s ongoing activities, including an international awareness campaign to be launched around the upcoming IPF World Week in September 2017.


For more information, please contact:

Marina Sardone, +32 (0)2 894 9090, msardone@webershandwick.com

Daniela Negri, + 32 (0)2 894 9057, dnegri@webershandwick.com



About the EU-IPFF

Established in 2016, the European Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis & Related Disorders Federation (EU-IPFF) defends the rights of IPF patients at European level by supporting an immediate and sustainable improvement of the quality of life and survival time of IPF patients, and of patients suffering from other interstitial lung diseases. The EU-IPFF consists of fourteen patient organisations from ten European countries committed to defending their vision of equal access to treatment and care for all patients, regardless of geography, socio-economic status or age. For more information, visit https://www.eu-ipff.org/.


About Weber Shandwick

Weber Shandwick is a leading global communications and engagement firm in 79 cities across 34 countries, with a network extending to 127 cities in 81 countries. The firm’s diverse team of strategists, analysts, producers, designers, developers and campaign activators has won the most prestigious awards in the world for innovative, creative approaches and impactful work. Weber Shandwick was the only public relations agency included on the Advertising Age Agency A-list in 2014 and 2015 and the only PR firm designated an A-List Agency Standout in 2017. Weber Shandwick was honoured as PRWeek’s Global Agency of the Year in 2015, 2016 and 2017, The Holmes Report’s Global Agency of the Year in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015 and The Holmes Report’s Global Digital Agency of the Year in 2016. The firm deploys deep expertise across sectors and specialty areas, including consumer marketing, corporate reputation, healthcare, technology, public affairs, financial services, corporate social responsibility, financial communications and crisis management, using proprietary social, digital and analytics methodologies. Weber Shandwick is part of the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG). For more information, visit http://www.webershandwick.com.