Be brave

Awards ceremonies used to be glamorous Hollywood affairs where actors and actresses were congratulated and adored by the world and us mere mortals could only dream of being part of such a spectacle.

Now you can barely swing an A lister without flinging them head first into an awards evening, whether it’s the business world, safety arena or the communications industry (and I really am only naming a few).  But are these events simply self congratulating, back patting exercises that are beginning to incite award fatigue do they offer real value?

Having just been listed on a top 30 internal communicators under 30 list, I can say from experience that for someone who doesn’t have 20 years of experience under their belt, it can be a great way to boost your profile, your CV (providing you with something tangible that says you are more than capable)and not to mention your self confidence.

Our industry is growing fast, and this expansion has brought with it conferences, social media and qualifications. Suddenly we are finding ourselves small fish in a very large pond desperate to stand out from the crowd. And one way to do this? You guessed it – awards.

Whether you’re an individual, an agency trying to attract new clients or a business wanting to recruit the brightest talent,  awards help to show that not only do you think you did a good job but independent judges also thought you were pretty darn good too.

And let’s not forget that although communication is our trade, us Brits are still terribly self deprecating and unlike our American cousins find it very difficult to promote ourselves without feeling supremely uncomfortable in the process. Awards save us from this embarrassment as our crisp certificate do the talking for us.

Now we come to the ceremony itself; what a great excuse to put on your party frock and network with like minded people over a glass of wine (or three) and hors d’oeuvres. Even with all the social media channels at our finger tips, nothing beats face to face.

And what does this ceremony say to the rest of the world? That we’re doing pretty well – we have the quantity and quality of work to warrant an awards ceremony and we take what we do seriously. So let’s get behind our profession and tell the world how great we are, and fingers crossed we come home with a gong ourselves – eat your heart out Oscar.

This blog originally appeared on CIPR Inside on 4 December 2012.

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Filed under Awards, Development, Helen Deverell, Internal communication

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