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Elisabeth Puchhammer-Stöckl is "COVID Communicator of the Year"

MedUni Vienna virologist receives award from Public Relations Verband Austria
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© APA-Fotoservice/Ludwig Schedl

(Vienna, 05 May 2021) On the occasion of Austrian Communication Day, Public Relations Verband Austria (PRVA) awarded a special prize for COVID-related communication to Elisabeth Puchhammer-Stöckl, Head of MedUni Vienna's Center for Virology.

Due to the extraordinary situation prevailing in 2020, a special prize for COVID-related communication was awarded for the first time. Elisabeth Puchhammer-Stöckl, who has worked as a member of the Health Minister's Coronavirus Taskforce since the start of the pandemic, won the prize and the public ballot. The jury judged the dedication of the Head of MedUni Vienna's Center for Virology in imparting medical information in an objective but easy-to-understand way during public and media appearances, thereby offering guidance and reassurance to an anxious and bewildered public, to be outstanding.

Elisabeth Puchhammer-Stöckl said of her award: "The last few months have been a particularly difficult time for objective scientific communication. I am therefore particularly honoured to receive an award for successfully communicating on the subject of Coronavirus during 2020." In his laudatory speech, Michael Drmota, Chair for Discrete Mathematics at Vienna University of Technology, praised her for her tireless commitment.

Elisabeth Puchhammer-Stöckl has headed up the Center for Virology since 2018 and also took up a professorial chair in virology at MedUni Vienna in December 2020.

Award and jury
Every year since 1995, the PRVA has recognised a Communicator of the Year – a person who communicates on complex, socially relevant topics without being a public relations professional. An eight-strong expert jury comprising representatives from journalism and Public Relations put forward a number of potential candidates. These were then assessed and ranked in an online public ballot.