The results are in!
Last night was a great night for all that is good about PR. The winners of the 2015 CIPR Excellence Awards were announced at a slap-up binge at Old Billingsgate, London and the room was buzzing – alive with anticipation, excitement, bonne humeur and wonderful camaraderie that is so indicative of my fellow PR professionals.
There were the obvious whoops and grinning faces from those awarded a gong, and the inevitable grimaces masked as smiles on disappointed faces for those that made the shortlists but ended the night empty-handed.
While it is little comfort today, so soon after realising hard effort was not, in this instance, rewarded with a trophy to adorn the office, those who did not win should take solace from the reasons why they were not the name called to take the walk-of-glory up to the stage.
I am part of every interview with the judges (160 this year) and the overriding thought the judges have to keep foremost in their mind when deciding on the winner is: “Who best demonstrates ‘best practice’?” To have reached the shortlist and be interviewed by the Excellence judges means an entry stands out above the rest in that category. The difference between winning … and not … can literally be the difference between what the judges believed demonstrated best practice rather than was just good practice.
The winning case studies are used for practitioners to learn from and emulate in their own work. So, whilst an entry may have been really good, ticked all the boxes, delivered great results for the business concerned (results that are more meaningful than just measuring coverage and social media followers), and lauded by bosses/clients as the best thing since sliced bread, the winner will have simply been better.
To have reached the shortlist in a category is most definitely an achievement in itself. The judges are extremely diligent and you can’t pull the wool over their eyes – especially when in front of them in the interviews, where many probing questions are asked to really get under the skin of the entry. The judges carefully consider each entry, taking into account the written and oral information they have in front of them.
There is an abundance of good, great and brilliant PR being done all the time. Not every piece of work has the scope, or potential, to be best-in-class, but this year’s Excellence winners certainly are in a class of their own. The winning case studies are now live on the CIPR website. If you want to be the best that you can be then I encourage you to download the entries, look and learn from what they did, and emulate what your peers believe is best practice.
Perhaps I will see you in one of the interviews for the 2016 CIPR Excellence awards!