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.