As ever, the judges made it really difficult for themselves as all of those interviewed were so different. As with all of the categories, the judges ask those interviewed the same questions so they are judged on the same basis, but the responses can be so varied due to the different circumstances behind the entry. Some stand out as the clear winner and all the judges agree, but with others the judges can take a long time deliberating with some (friendly) arguing as they put their case forward for the winner. Every winner chosen (yes, they are still a secret and will only be revealed at the Award Dinner on Monday 28th May) shows excellence and has something which made them stand out above the rest of their shortlist … that bit of magic dust that the others did not have. Sometimes there is very little between the winner and one or two others, but the magic dust effect always shines through for someone.
The internal publications being judged included: an insurer, a couple of banks, a university, the postal service and one of our armed forces. Very different.
The afternoon’s Best Freelance Practitioner is one of my favourite categories … well, I am a freelance practitioner myself don’t you know. Three freelancers were shortlisted – all ladies – who each work in the travel industry, for social enterprises and small tourism businesses. The siege in Tottenham Court Road proved a challenge with one of the shortlist being caught the other side of the road blocks to Russell Square but it just goes to prove that nothing can get between the CIPR and a lady wanting to be the Best Freelance PR Practitioner. While the CIPR’s Events Team was directing the interviewee to streets that would get her around the police cordons, the judges jigged the timings of the interviews round and interviewed one of the other candidates who had got to Russell Square early for her appointment. All was fine in the end, all three had their 20 minute interviews and a winner was chosen. Phew!
Day 10 being over means that judging is nearly finished as there are only another 4 days to go. The countdown continues … 114 interviews held and 42 to go.