Why enter communications industry awards? It's easier not to, especially when there are fifty other things to do. But there's a stack of learning and benefits to be had from entering your work into awards.
by Katy Gibbins
As communications professionals, reward and recognition is really important to us and industry awards are a great way to achieve this. This may be in the context of acknowledging the work of an individual or team or the success of an organisation as a whole. It is a useful 'look back and reflect' exercise to enter and pull together the relevant information, and a great achievement to get shortlisted and you can celebrate further if you are commended or a winner. Achieving external recognition is good for business and great for staff morale.
Industry awards are also part of professionalising our industry, they push up standards, and enable us to share best practice. A bit of healthy competition can encourage us to go the extra mile!
My journey as a judge
I was delighted to be chosen as a 2016 CIPR PRide Awards judge. The application process was though LinkedIn and therefore very straightforward. I've previously been involved in co-ordinating and judging community and staff awards, so it was a new experience for me to judge professional awards.
I worked alongside a civil servant colleague and judged two categories, with entries from the nine PRide Award nations and regions, exclusive of London. Being a judge was an opportunity for me to network, raise my profile, earn CPD points and get more involved with CIPR. I would recommend the experience to anyone who's interested. More details will be available on the CIPR website.
What did it involve?
After signing the confidentiality agreement, I read the judges guidance, criteria and reviewed previous winners. Once the entries were available, judges had to declare any conflicts of interest. The judging website has a very helpful format, allowing scores to be entered for each criteria before calculating the total. When the entries came through I felt a real sense of responsibility, due to the time and effort that had obviously gone into them. My co-judge and I went through the entries separately and then met to make the final decisions and comments.
The time and cost involved in entry awards can be prohibitive for smaller teams and organisations. The comms2point0 UnAwards have a refreshing and inclusive approach and tackle some of these issues. My team was shortlisted for an award last year and I was routing for Lambeth communications who won an award for Best Use of Evaluation or Research!
"The ‘UnAwards’ are different to any other comms, pr, marketing and digital industry awards and, we believe, all the better for it. As an alternative to the high ticket price, black tie, cordon blah dinner award ceremonies, the UnAwards recognises genuine creativity, innovation and results. They're laid back, held during the day, free to enter and cheap as chips to attend" comms2point0UnAwards website.
In summary, professional awards can deliver benefits to individuals, teams and organisations. I wish the CIPR PRide awards shortlist good luck and hope you enjoy the events. I'm looking forward to this year's UnAwards too. Sign up to Comms2point0 news for updates.
Katy Gibbins is a communications professional
Image via the National Library of Ireland