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Emma Tweedie, on how it felt to win the Suzy Spirit Award

The PR industry is not for the faint hearted, it’s a fast-paced environment where increasingly we need to be experts in just about everything. In 2017 we experienced a whirlwind year where we saw Trump voted to president, a majority vote to leave the European Union, and a world gone slightly ‘mad’ for want of a better term. However, during all of this, something really great happened to me. 

I somehow (still not quite sure how!) managed to win 'The Suzy Spirit Inspiration Award’. This unique award was set up and named in the memory of a pretty fantastic PR person Suzy Ferguson, in recognition of those in the comms industry who have gone above and beyond the call of duty whilst inspiring and mentoring people along the way. 

Needless to say it came as a complete shock to me to win, as I’m generally always the one ‘behind the scenes’ and don’t really like the limelight. However, it also felt really special. The thought that I’d made a difference to clients and colleagues as founder of Teacake Tuesday was very touching. 

The whole reason I created my business Teacake Tuesday was to work with companies where I could actively make a difference, and help them to get their ‘good’ messages out there. From humanitarian projects, and working with clients and suppliers to help make supply chains more sustainable, as well as encouraging clients to offer apprenticeships, and nurturing staff with learning or reading difficulties, it was always the aim to conduct my business differently to those I’d worked for during my early career days in the industry.

Increasingly as we face new challenges, we communicators need to remember to ‘treat people as we want to be treated ourselves’. The whole thing was such an amazing experience, and for a split second I even remembered to let myself enjoy it! 

Winning the award has really reinforced who I am and what my business stands for - oh yes, and I met some pretty incredible people involved in the awards too! From former winner Henry Playfoot to the lovely infectious Euan Steedman of the BBC press office, everyone involved had a little bit of wonderful about them. Since last year I’ve set the world to rights over coffee with Henry and followed and supported other nominees’ PR campaigns. Seeing the respect each of the nominators had for their nominee was truly inspiring, and it reminded me that whilst we work in a challenging industry, it’s also a great one. The accolade has also followed me on client pitches, when new potential businesses look me up and decide if I’m someone they can work with. That kind of positive exposure is something money can’t buy. 

My take-away from this experience is recognising that compassion is priceless, happiness comes from deep within but is easy to share, expectations hold us back, and that by embracing life and every single person around us each and every day we can all make the most of the time we have. 

So, if upon reading this, someone springs to mind who you feel goes that extra mile, or who always takes the time to ask how you are, or who has come up with an amazing campaign that really helps make a difference, then please, nominate them today!

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