your chance to learn from the unawards winners. for free

The UnAwards15 were my highlight of 2015. Having the opportunity to see the passion, creativity and results from some of the brilliant work taking place across the UK and beyond was quite a privilege.

by Darren Caveney

The UnAwards ceremony was a belter – well, I swear I heard someone say that on the day.

It was a unique event which placed an important spotlight on our industry and in a way which was accessible to everyone regardless of budget or grade.

After the event, many of you asked for the chance to see and hear more about the winning work.

So, with just one shake of a billy goat’s tail, we have organised an UnAwards Winners Masterclass.

Actually, that’s a lie. We have organised three.  This gives us the chance to take the Masterclasses around the country with regional events taking place in Leeds, Birmingham and London.

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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’)

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#unawards15 – the shortlist

Well that was fun.

Yesterday saw the end of our public vote and the announcement of the #UnAwards15 shortlist. I went slightly bog-eyed watching it all unfold but we now know the runners and riders in all 15 categories.

By Darren Caveney

Over 140 entries poured into the UnAwards15 from across the UK and from as far afield as Norway.

Central government, local government, NHS, Police, Housing, Fire, Higher Education, third sector and the agency world all took part and our 14 external judges have had quite a task in getting down to our final shortlist.

The standard of your entries this year has been high. We know this because some of our judges are hard to impress, But impressed they were.

Our love and respect for this fabulous comms, PR, marketing and digital community, which we all exist in, just grows and grows and thank you so much for supporting the #UnAwards15.

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5 reasons why you should review your communications. And one reason why you won’t.

There’s nothing new in saying that we should review and evaluate work to see what works. It’s obvious and it’s important. The problem is that many of us don’t do it often enough.

By Darren Caveney

The chances of there being a comms person out there today who doesn’t think that reviewing and evaluating their work is important will be tiny.

Yeah, yeah, yeah – we know it’s important, but when there are 10 people asking for my help, three comms plans to write, the phone ringing off the hook and the impacts of a comms team which has been cut in half it’s a lot easier said than done.

Sound familiar? Yep, me too.

Amongst the many things I learned in 10 years of leading comms teams it’s that standing back and taking a good hard look at your work is 1. Absolutely vital, and 2. Something of a luxury to do often and well. Like wanting a brand new car but settling for paying the bare minimum to get the old car through another year’s MOT (and that sounds familiar too)

With the consultancy work I have been doing with comms2point0 I have had the incredible opportunity to review a dozen organisation’s communications activity in microscopic detail. This is fascinating work and I thoroughly engross myself in the detail of these reviews. They tell stories and give clear indicators to the ‘what should we do next?’ question.

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the real reason why you should enter the UnAwards

There are several reasons for us running the UnAwards 15. Celebrating the work and efforts of colleagues across comms, PR, marketing and digital is right up there amongst them, of course.

But for me it runs a little deeper than that.

By Darren Caveney

We run the UnAwards to support and – in our own way - fly a flag for folks across the UK and beyond who are working in difficult circumstances and still delivering day after day. To sing for the unsung, to recognise the unrecognised.

I hear – and I hear it way too often, I’m afraid – of some less than great behaviours by some organisations and the way they are treating staff. To a degree this is to be expected with the enormous and ongoing cuts to the public sector – with 350k people leaving local government alone in the past five years there is unprecedented change taking place.

But this doesn’t excuse shoddy behaviour.

Lack of recognition has been a theme in much of the staff survey feedback I have seen over the years too. Sometimes your achievements will be appreciated by others, sometimes they’ll not be. That’s a fact of comms life, as it is in life.

And for me, part of the UnAwards is flying back into face of this and celebrating what you do and do well. We’ve been at, and are, at your coalface so we know.

So the real reason that you should enter the UnAwards is to celebrate you.

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know someone brilliant? nominate them and make their day

We know that a common complaint from comms folk, and others for that matter, is a lack of recognition for their work.

Whether it’s a brilliant campaign, managing communications through a crisis or just turning up every day of the year and being the best you can be it’s not a lot to ask to get the odd ‘well done’ or ‘thank you’.

But it doesn’t happen often enough and that is the ultimate reason behind the comms2point UnAwards 15. To shine a light on the colleagues proudly flying comms flags across the sectors.

by Darren Caveney

Now there’s only one thing better than being shortlisted for an award and that’s being nominated by someone else for an award. It’s a special thing.  It means you’ve caught someone’s eye, demanded their attention or impressed them with your creativity, doggedness, enthusiasm and skills.

Know someone like that? Then why not nominate them in the UnAwards 15.

All you need to do is complete this dead easy entry form here.

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your new 3-person comms team. who makes the cut?

Very rarely in life do you get to choose a brand new comms team from absolute scratch. You normally inherit folk and work with what you've got. But what if you had a blank sheet and the chance to choose. Who would make the cut?

by GUEST EDITOR Ben Capper

Let’s just say you were creating a Comms team totally from scratch.

Let’s also say it can only include three people.

Sure, you could always buy in a bit of agency time here and there, but that’s essentially your lot.

Who makes the cut? Who doesn’t? Why so?

Would this be the same as it would have been five years, or even a year ago?

How do we future-proof ourselves? What experience, and what attitudes would you want to see?

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the UnAwards are open

The comms2point0 UnAwards 2015 are now officially open. How can you enter? how can you nominate and how can you attend them? Here’s the lowdown…

By Darren Caveney

So you’ve delivered some great work this year which has made a difference. And you might just feel like it deserves a little smidge of recognition. Well you’re in luck because the comms2point0 UnAwards have arrived giving you the opportunity to show off your best work.

It might be a social media initiative which delivered amazing returns or it might be a shiny new website which has made your online business purr. How about a campaign which has made a difference to your residents, patients or customers. Or a good old fashioned piece of great storytelling.

Whatever you’ve created this year there’s almost certainly a category amongst the 15 in this year’s UnAwards.

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the UnAwards are back

Following their huge success and popularity in 2014, the comms2point0 UnAwards return on 3 December 2015, even bigger and better than last year but still remaining true to their original ethos.

By Darren Caveney

The UnAwards are our opportunity to showcase great work and celebrate a hugely creative and dedicated community.

Why ‘UnAwards’, you ask? Well they’re a deliberate alternative to the £300-a-pop, black tie, swanky London hotel event awards machine which exists in our industry. 

That’s not a slight on these events – if you have been to one of them, and won an award in the process, you’ll have felt pretty good about the whole thing.

But for many the cost has become prohibitive. This is making the awards landscape a bit, well, ‘exclusive’.

That’s not how we like to do things. We’re more Sundance Film Festival than Oscars Ceremony.

The UnAwards are accessible to the entire comms, pr, marketing and digital community and, importantly, will recognise the contributions of colleagues across the sectors for their creative endeavours over the past 12-months.

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engaging in a different field... literally

Engaging, listening and talking is a key comms skill. For the Welsh Language CommissionER this involves standing in a field - literally. In our first bilingual post we look at what engagement looks like for an organisation where cultural is a key element.

by Gwyn Williams

I’m sure we’d all agree that for effective “engagement” to happen it is much better for us, the communicators, to go to our target audience, rather than the other way round.

That’s why the Welsh Language Commissioner attends three large annual events in Wales giving over half a million people the opportunity to stop by her stand, to say “hello”, complain, suggest, demand, propose, enquire, insist and every other word that the thesaurus can come up with!

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being the clip art and comic sans police. and why it matters.

Brand identity is hugely important and many comms folk will relate to this post on the subject. It's an instant classic. Print it out and put it on your office wall today...

by GUEST EDITOR Ben Capper

comms2point0 is one of my favourite websites.

There are loads of interesting ideas and a great community. There’s stuff on here that helps me to find solutions to issues on a daily basis.

Not very colourful though is it?

Don’t know about you, but sometimes I think it’s crying out for a bright splash of pink, maybe with some orange writing on it.

And that typeface. It’s OK for some people I guess, but surely something friendlier, some more hand-writing-ish would make it look, you know, just a bit nicer.

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branding: a simple truth

There are professional lessons all around us, literally on tap every day if you look hard enough - even on a trip to the seaside.

By Darren Caveney

I love ice cream. I’ve tried them all. Compared and contrasted and, in my own head at least, decided which are the best.

The Italians are masters of ice cream. But the best of the lot is a British brand.

What adds to their appeal is the masterly way in which this product is branded. So simple, so clean, so stylish and with echoes of its past. It perfectly complements the product. And that’s the trick with branding.

The company is called Hockings, and it you’re a visitor to North Devon you may have sampled their fine good. That’s not a typo either – it's ‘good’, singular. Because this product is so good it comes in only one flavour – vanilla.

It’s been made in Appledore by the same family since 1936 and their small fleet of branded vans has been travelling the North Devonian coastline selling their vanilla-only product to locals and visitors alike for nearly 80 years.

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what’s your best work?

Wow, 20-years. 20 years working in the comms and marketing industry. That’s a good time to reflect on the best bits of work you’ve ever delivered.

By Darren Caveney

Yesterday I had the opportunity to present some day job work to a panel of awards judges. And it got me thinking about what I thought had been my best work ever. The projects which I’d enjoyed most, had delivered the best results, or just given a sense of satisfaction and achievement.

A few sprang to mind...

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can email be part of a comms and marketing plan?

by Dan Slee

Okay, so hands up if you've ever sworn at the number of emails you have?

Around 300 billion emails get sent every day in the UK and around 90 per cent of them are spam and viruses, according to the Radicati group.

Hands up too if you've ever felt as though a fair slab are being sent right at you.

Me too.

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