it’s the most wonderful time of the year: unawards 2015

There was real celebratory feel about the UnAwards15, which we’re pretty pleased about because that’s exactly what we hoped to achieve.

By Darren Caveney

The UnAwards15 saw 140 colleagues from across the industry descend on the very cool Everyman Cinema in Birmingham last Thursday. The mood was one of big event excitement - Christmas party meets trip to a posh cinema mixed with lashing of great communicators celebrating one another’s work.

Holding the UnAwards at Christmas is deliberate too – we wanted to add a little festive sparkle to the proceedings.

We’re a tad biased but we felt the whole day was a little bit special.

Sitting watching the fabulous Planes, Trains and Automobiles with what felt like a great big group of pals was pretty amazing. The film had a whole bunch of relevant messages and takeaways (and if you have ever watched the movie remember – ‘never assume you are cuddling a pillow’)

If you were a part of the UnAwards15 we hope it was fun. We hope you felt recognised.

If you missed the UnAwards then get it in your diary for next year, we suspect it might just get even bigger in 2016 (1 December looks rather tempting)

First off some well-done messages…

If you entered, well done. The entry process will have made you stop and think about your project or campaign - what worked, why it was successful and how you measured it. It may also have made you think about how and where you may do things differently next time. Quiet reflection, review and evaluation is vital for us all.

If you were one of the 81 shortlistees then huge congratulations. We said it on the day of the event and it’s true - the standards have risen this year. And that’s so encouraging to see.

If you won you should be seriously delighted. It means independent and experienced judges from the industry thought your work was great and made a difference. Get it on your LinkedIn profile sharpish.

If you lost out in the public vote for the best guest post, best comms team and lifetime achievement UnAwards you should take great pride and satisfaction that someone else nominated you. That’s something special. Something to be cherished.

The winners

There are too many to mention here but some standouts from the UnAwards included Sheffield City Council grabbing three wins and Sarah Lay collecting the lifetime achievement UnAward from last year’s winner Fran Collingham.

It was really pleasing to see wins for local government, NHS, police, housing, creative agency and the fire and rescue service. Excellence was spread across the sectors.

And both Leeds City Council and Shadow Giants remain as the only two organisations to win at both the UnAwards 14 and 15. Go you.

We’ve published the full list of winners and judges’ special picks.

Saying thanks

The UnAwards15 would simply not have been possible without a lot of help and support from some brilliant people. So from Dan and I huge thanks to:

-          Musterpoint

-          Alive With Ideas

-          GovDelivery

-          Luke Williams

-          Nicky Speed

-          Nigel Bishop

-          ByeByeBirdieUK

So what next?

We created the UnAwards to celebrate the achievements of the comms industry. But to do it in a way which was a little different. We don’t like stuffy and so try to make our events genuinely entertaining. We also developed them as an antidote to an awards industry which is fast pricing the public sector out of the market.

The UnAwards set out to be the most accessible industry awards around.  We think we pulled it off. But if we didn’t, tell us.

Lots of you have been asking for more details about what winners did so that we can share the learning. So we’ll now work on an event for the New Year to bring together winners and shortlistees and give them the chance to tell us all in more detail what they created, delivered and learned. We’ll need a venue and a sponsor or two to make this fly (and a couple of people have already signalled an interest)  More as soon as we have it.

We want your blog posts on your entries so that we can share widely across the comms community. That’s the whole point of comms2point0.co.uk – sharing and learning. So get scribbling and send us your posts as soon as.

The UnAwards 2016?

And finally

I was repeatedly asked two questions on the day. The first – light-heartedly - centred on my Val Doonican Christmas Special UnAwards outfit (you had to be there). Well for all you discerning gents out there, here’s where you can grab your own velvet jacket to make an impression (or not) this Christmas.

And secondly, I was asked whether the UnAwards was a whole load of work and was I worn out from it? Honest answers, yes, it’s a lot of work. But as Morrissey once said, “the pleasure, the privilege was mine.”

So thanks for letting us have so much fun.

See you at the UnAwards15 Winners Masterclass in the New Year.

Darren Caveney is co-creator of comms2point0 and the UnAwards