Stirling scoops top award for dementia app launch

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An image promoting the Edurank awards

The University of Stirling is celebrating after winning a top award for its news coverage around the launch of its state-of-the-art dementia app, Iridis.

Stirling triumphed in the Best News Coverage category at the Edurank Awards after reaching hundreds of thousands of people, including key stakeholders and major media outlets, with its joint communications, marketing and social media strategy.

An image promoting the Edurank Best News Coverage award

Stirling was crowned winner of the Best News Coverage category at the 2018 Edurank Awards.

In further success, the University was recognised with a Highly Commended in the Best Creative category for its emotive 50th anniversary film, screened for the first time at last year’s graduation ceremonies.

Jennifer Harrison, Director of Communications, Marketing and Recruitment (CMR), said: “We’re delighted to win Best News Coverage and receive a Highly Commended in the Best Creative category at the Edurank Awards.

Katherine Nicholls, Head of Natives Global Consulting

Katherine Nicholls, Head of Natives Global Consulting, said Stirling's coverage 'showed off excellent messaging and creative'.

“The successful launch of Iridis – an app which has the potential to make a difference to millions of older people around the world – was a truly collaborative effort and everybody involved should be proud of their achievements.

An image promoting the Edurank Best Creative award

Stirling also received Highly Commended recognition in the Best Creative category.

“It's fantastic that these efforts have been recognised by the sector and we can share this award with all our colleagues at Stirling."

Iridis, the first app of its kind in the world, assesses and provides feedback on how suitable a residence, care facility or other environment is for older people, particularly those living with dementia. The technology ensures environments comply with dementia design principles, which, in turn, helps to reduce confusion and risks.

Stirling’s world-renowned Dementia Services Development Centre collaborated on the project with Space Architects, whose PR firm Costello Palmer Communications worked with the University’s CMR Directorate to publicise Iridis.

In the months leading up to its official launch on World Alzheimer’s Day in September 2017, Iridis received widespread coverage in mainstream media – including BBC Breakfast, the Daily Express and Good Housekeeping – as well as on social media. The coverage attracted engagement from many key stakeholders – including the Scottish Government, the NHS, the Care Inspectorate and leading care providers – while the renowned Aspen Institute lauded Iridis as one of its “Five Best Ideas of the Day”.

Meanwhile, the 50th anniversary film – produced by Stirling’s in-house videographer Fraser Denholm – received standing ovations at each graduation ceremony and reached almost 200,000 people worldwide.


Edurank is a leader in social media benchmarking in the education sector and its awards recognise and celebrate the success of social media marketing.

Awards judge Katherine Nicholls, Head of Natives Global Consulting, said: “The University of Stirling's coverage of their Iridis app showed off excellent messaging and creative. They worked with other organisations to deliver something valuable, as well as respectively handling the subject of dementia.

“The story generated great online conversations and raised awareness around dementia in general - this story was so much bigger than the student community.

“My fellow judges and I were delighted to award the University of Stirling with Best News Coverage and a Highly Commended place for Best Creative. Their social media team should be very proud.”

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