Posts Tagged ‘CIPR’

The CIPR Excellence Awards

posted by Scott McKenzie

I have mixed feelings about awards dinners.

On the one hand I think it is great that people seek validation from peers on the quality of their work. It helps to raise standards and share best practice across the industry. On the other hand I think a good definition of hell would be the never-ending awards ceremony…

 ”And now onto the 76th and most prestigious award of the evening… so far…”.

I was therefore pleasantly surprise by how much I enjoyed myself at the CIPR’s Excellence Awards last night. I was fortunate to be asked to judge one of the categories. It was odd to be there in that capacity.  Nothing up for a prize. Not really rooting for anyone.  It was a bit like watching a football match which doesn’t involve the team you support.

Then it came to the category I had judged. It’s fair to say the (deserved) winners seemed genuinely surprised, thrilled, excited, when their entry was announced as the winner. And I’ll admit it…. I felt a tiny glow of satisfaction at having played a small part in making a table full of grown women so happy.

And I have to say I really enjoyed the judging process. Along with my fellow judge Rachel Royall we reviewed dozens of entries, and after some serious analysis and debate we reached a shortlist of six outstanding entries, whittled down to the one winner following some panel interviews. We were hugely impressed by the standard, although, as ever there are things we would like to see improve:

On the upside…

  • There was a huge degree of creativity demonstrated
  • Many of the entrants were seriously trying to get to grips with ROI
  • Some examples were genuinely taking risks, genuinely innovating

Things to improve…

  • Not strong enough links between communications activities and the business objectives
  • Not enough evidence of segmentation/targeting
  • As a result there were some scattergun tactics deployed

All in all it was a richly rewarding experience. There is definitely some great work taking place across the different sectors. Indeed if what we saw represents a genuine cross-section of the work being produced by communications practitioners across the industry… then ours is an industry in rude health.

P.S. – from this Friday I will be migrating my blog somewhere else on the H+K blogosphere… the prestigious HANK blog…  I do hope you continue to visit…

Killing employee engagement?

posted by Scott McKenzie

I am one of the fortunate 80 who have made the cut for tonight’s Employee Engagement: Art or Science? event.

Of course, the answer to the question is inevitably “both”. (Yes - so it’s a fairly hackneyed dichotomy – one I have shamelessly used before…!)

Looking at some of the commentary ahead of the event I clearly need to work out whether I’m a co-conspirator for the end of “employee engagement”, or not.

I do have problems with the “employee engagement” label. There is a risk that it has become slightly meaningless. You see leaders using the words without really believing there’s anything behind it.

Which undermines those of who care deeply about the importance of the connection between organisations and their employees.

Here at H&K, we firmly believe that employees need to feel a strong sense of purpose, that they need to feel that they are part of something valuable and that they understand the direction of the organisation. Put all of this together and you could easily give it the label “employee engagement”.

But the label is not really what’s at stake here. It’s the principle behind it. So in our rush to be co-conspirators we need to take care we don’t kill that very principle.

I look forward to hearing how the debate takes shape!