You do a great job? But you don't tell anyone? That's not your best single decision says one comms person who knows the value in awards.
by David Grindlay
Working for a wee while (ahem) in local government comms, I haven’t come across many who are completely at home at blowing their own trumpets (or any other musical instrument for that matter) when it comes to achievements.
Yes, do a quick and fast comms plan for a new launch; some dedicated social to help get numbers up in a difficult to reach cohort or even write a press release (stop sniggering at the back Dan Slee) but when you ask any of us to stand up and take credit for our wonderful and creative work, eyes glance away and bums are shuffled on chairs.
But hold it for a mo bro’.
Why do so many have the inferiority complex when it comes to being loud and proud about their work? I am offering three reasons you should get involved (and it isn’t just getting one over on the rivals and picking up a bit of well-machined glassware).
· Writing an award submission (no matter how short or long) really focuses you on the process of what you did and pulls together your actual achievement in real terms. You made something work for someone that wasn’t working before. It might be more bums on seats; it might be more people using your service; it might be better use of limited resources … the point is you made it better.
· Your work is being scrutinised by some fairly impressive folk … well any decent award would be. While it is always lovely to get feedback from your client about how pleased they were , the real kudos comes from someone who knows their shizzle saying ‘actually, you pulled a blinder there – really using the right approach or techniques got you to where your client needed to be’. And do bask and reflect in that glory.
· Finally, the team … yes, you put in the hours and the chewed nails but look around you – the good folkyou work beside have contributed as well with ideas, support and good humour – they help make you the person you are and more importantly, helped you to be the knowledgeable communicator you are today (indirectly leading to that success). It is also great to be part of a team that wins no matter your input.
So do have a look around at what is out there – there are loads (including the revered Comms 2.0 unawards) – some are free, some cost big ££s butsit down, get your thoughts together and share your great thinking with others – even getting a shortlisting says something about the quality of your work.
And my top tip for writing an award submission… well just do what all good and talented communicators do all the time anyway … tell your story in a compelling and fabulous way and take the reader on a journey of your success.
Now where’s my black tie …
David Grindlay is team leader communications at Falkirk Council.
Picture credit: Galt Museum and Archives / Flickr