Since 2006 I have been involved in the judging process of the CIPR Excellence Awards. My role is the independent facilitator which means I sit on the judging panel for each of the 28 categories – this year that means 163 interviews over 15 days. Phew!
This is a really enjoyable client – it is hard work, in terms of the amount of my time that is taken up and the commuting into central London every day is certainly something that I can do without. However, the benefits to my clients is an added bonus. I learn about the top PR-related campaigns of the last 12 months which naturally get my creative juices flowing and generate ideas for current and fitire client campaigns.
With all client work I endeavour to follow best practice and incorporate the latest thinking. This CIPR contract is validation, in a way, that I know what I am doing as I follow the same principles as the best in the industry.
A perennial challenge for the PR industry is the measurement and evaluation of PR activity. I won’t go into all the nuts and bolts of this here (maybe this will be the subject of a separate post) but measuring the effectiveness of any PR/Marketing activity is more than the number of press cuttings received, broadcast minutes, web visitors etc. Whether you are reading this post as a current or future client of mine, or are a business owner, you need to be aware that just ‘doing’ pr/marketing is not enough. You need to know how effective you are being in terms of what the effect is on your business. This distinction is what the judges look for in all submitted entries.
These Awards showcase the best PR campaigns of the last year. The judging panels, the part of the process I work on, are unusual for award schemes. Each of the 28 categories has its own set of judges who review all the entries submitted and draw up a shortlist of the best 6 who are invited to an interview with the judges. This interview enables the judges to discuss the submitted campaign in more detail to find out which campaign was ‘excellent’ and mean that in order to be the overall winner, the entrant needs to excel at written and verbal communication.
The judges decide on the winner for their category on the day of the interviews but all is tip top secret until the Awards dinner at the Hilton, Park Lane on 3rd June. This dinner is always a great night and I, for one, am really looking forward to it :0).