Why The PRmoment Awards are like the start of a new football season: the first industry awards of the calendar year.
The turf is fresh and we pore over our squad of campaigns to see which will get selected for contention. Sometimes you can be Pep Guardiola with an embarrassment of riches to choose from, other times we are more like Harry Redknapp muttering about “being down the bare bones”.
And over the course of "the season" we'll do new work that we hope will find its way into contention, or deliver something that becomes the first name on the team sheet.
A while ago I was asked “Why do you even enter awards?” Here’s an elaboration to my original answer as to why awards matter:
We are PR people in a solutions business
We aren’t here to make works of art, but to deliver commercial results. There’s no place for the work we do in the Tate Modern and I’ve never harboured an ambition to be interviewed by Melvyn Bragg.
Any PR person who does is in the wrong industry.
Ambition is a good thing
Whenever a brief comes in, irrespective of brand or budget, I plan with the ambition that the response will be strong enough to win an award. It’s a great way to stress test insight, strategy, the originality of the creative, and how you will activate and evaluate.
We are in a competitive industry
Creatives and strategists in agencies across the UK are constantly raising the bar with inspired work. Awards are a way to keep you on your toes to continue producing original, high-impact results. Even if you don’t win or get shortlisted, you can still learn from the success of others and aim to do better next time.
Awards breed success
Once a team or agency wins an award, they develop a desire to repeat it - and especially so if the Finance Director makes the mistake of handing over the company card to celebrate the win.
Awards help to grow business
Trust me, prospective clients pay attention to who is doing well. Often, it’s only through being shortlisted that in-house teams become aware of the agency behind a campaign they loved. For existing clients, a win is great way to shout about you internally
It’s a great way to get to know your peers
For all the competition talk, people in the industry get on and have lots of respect for the work others do. Yet we spend most of our working lives in meetings or scratching our heads trying to crack a brief. Most of my friends in the industry I first met in the bar at awards functions.
I for one am looking forward to the new season...
Mark Perkins is Executive Creative Director at W Communications
If you enjoyed this article, you can subscribe for free to our twice weekly event and subscriber alerts.
Currently, every new subscriber will receive three of our favourite reports about the public relations sector.