Tag Archive for awards

Hunting For Awards – A Winning Team

The annual Acceleris away day is an opportunity for team-building, improving skillsets and most importantly of all, a healthy dose of competition between colleagues.

This year we embarked upon a Great Yorkshire Treasure Hunt set by our Chairman Nigel. With four teams working through six pages of cryptic clues and directions to take us round the beautiful Yorkshire countryside, it was a race against the (mileage) clock to answer all the questions in the shortest distance.

The winning team, Not Bad Cod Be Batter, pipped Run AMC to the winning post with a mileage difference of just 0.4 and a host of winning selfies.

But it’s not just away days we know about winning. On Friday, we were thrilled to find out we’ve been shortlisted for seven CIPR PRide Awards for the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire region and this year we celebrated winning more than 50 awards in our agency lifetime.

Amongst our gongs we count three European Excellence Awards we’ve won in four years for our Issues and Reputation Management work and the three UK Public Sector Agency of the Year Awards as well as CIPR’s pub quiz team of the year, we’re proud of them all!

But why enter Awards? It’s not just because we’re competitive, honest. Being recognised by our industry builds credibility and recognises the creativity of our team and the results we’ve achieved for clients.

We’ve had clients approach us after seeing news of our awards in the papers or on our website, and the Award wall in our Harrogate office never fails to impress visitors.

Acceleris is a boutique agency with some very specialist credentials and campaigns, but we’ve often fought off big corporate contenders to win Awards – last year we beat IBM and Lidl in the Issues and Reputation Management category, plus – believe it or not – the Catholic Church! To be recognised for our creative thinking and campaigns and hold our own against some big players is testament to just how hard we work for our clients.

The CIPR’s PRide Awards celebrate the very best PR campaigns and teams in the region and we’ve got stiff competition across the region.

We’ve been shortlisted in seven categories (out of seven we entered if you must know) for a range of different campaigns, including our work launching disability organisation Purple, promoting greater autism awareness in airports for Experia, celebrating 100 years of maritime charity Seafarers UK and helping manage the reputation of Britain’s seafarers with trade union Nautilus International.

The results will be announced at an awards dinner on 30 November, but to read a bit more about our award-winning campaigns, take a look at our Awards cabinet.

Winner winner chicken dinner! How to be an industry awards master

Ellie St George-Yorke, Account Director

As a PR you get to travel to many glamorous places and this week is no exception. Today team Acceleris will travel to Germany to attend the European PR Excellence Awards at the Ritz Carlton in Berlin. Eyelashes at the ready ladies!

These awards are the latest in a string of glitzy ceremonies for the team over the last few weeks with Award season certainly in full swing. Here’s my take on the benefits of entering awards and how to be the best at showcasing your work.

 

PR-ing a PR Agency

PR agencies are notorious for suffering from ‘cobblers’ children syndrome’ when it comes to shouting about their own achievements. While a new appointment, a client win or an industry award would be jumped on by a PR team for a client, PR agencies often either forget or are too busy to share their own successes, whether online or through the media.

About six years ago, we at Acceleris decided to change our approach and dedicate time and efforts to building our own brand using the same channels we would for many clients. We now have a dedicated team who identify comment and feature opportunities, draft and sell in press releases about agency achievements and enter all sorts of industry awards on behalf of the team.

This approach has really paid off with Acceleris having won almost 50 industry awards being presented to the agency since we started ten years ago. These have spanned Leeds and Yorkshire region as well as picking up trophies in London and on an international scale in Munich and Stockholm. And fingers crossed for the treble in Berlin tonight!

And it’s not just for us, this year we have successfully entered awards on behalf of a number of our clients including charities such as the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society and Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society, motoring clients Nexus Vehicle Rental, Vantage Motor Group and UK Fuels, social housing projects with the National Federation of ALMOs and Kier as well as Ainsty Inns and the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations.

 

Why should I enter industry awards?

Now, in the past we have come up for some scepticism when it comes to entering awards – phrases like ‘but surely the more you enter, the more you win’ and comments about the ethics of charging nominees to enter their submissions do get thrown around and there is always that question afterwards about ‘well what did they do that we don’t?’.

However awards are a great way of sharing the success of your business and motivating the teams involved. There is nothing better than a campaign you have worked hard on being recognised and cheered by a room of your peers. They are also a great way of adding credibility to your work and demonstrating how innovative or dedicated you are, how your company is a great place to work or why customers and clients should want to work with your team.

Top tips for award winning submissions

Having written award entries for the agency and for clients gives us a certain understanding of what makes a good submission but we have also been involved on the other side. Earlier this year I joined the judging panel for the CIPR PRide Awards through my role on the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire regional committee while our managing director Louise Vaughan judged the content marketing category at the PRCA national awards in the summer.

Our team has also helped with organising awards programmes, devising categories and booking hosts as well as promoting the winners and nominees through good old fashioned media relations. Some examples are the Fishing News Awards on behalf of client Kelsey Media, the Leeds Community Stars Awards for Leeds based social housing organisations and the annual awards programme for long-time client the National Federation of ALMOs for which we generated more than £300,000 in corporate sponsorship securing and delivering the programme at zero cost to the client.

 

Based on this combined experience as an awarganiser (for a definition read my blog from 2013), a judge and an award winner, here are my top five tips for writing killer award entries:

  1. Statistics are your friends – it’s all very well stating that ‘our staff and customers are happier than ever’ but you can see how a statement such as ‘customer satisfaction has risen by 95%’ or ‘we have a 100% staff retention rate’ give a much clearer and tangible outcome for a campaign
  1. Evidence – think of it like a murder trial, you have to demonstrate evidence to back up what you are claiming. Whether it’s statistics, client testimonials, case studies or profit calculations make sure that you back up what you are saying with some specific evidence
  1. Supporting material – choose wisely when it comes to submitting extra information to support your entry. My view is less is more. For the time poor judge who has more than 50 entries to read, your 1,000 slide presentation about every nuance of your project is not going to be too helpful – remember award programmes often have a word limit on submissions for a reason. I would say limit supporting evidence to no more than four pages and include plenty of images to bring to life what is described in your entry
  1. Read the question! I know this is a clique from GCSE history exams but if you don’t answer the questions and criteria set out by the category, the judges won’t be able to give you high scores, no matter how great the project sounds
  1. Keep it simple – while you have been living and breathing the project or business you are submitting, judges will likely approaching the topic with no previous experience – spell out acronyms and avoid jargon to avoid losing the judges’ attention.

Good luck and keep your fingers crossed for us for Berlin!

 

More Than Just a Shiny Trophy!

Peter Davenport, Chief Executive at Acceleris

Peter Davenport, Chief Executive at Acceleris

‘Agency of the Year’

It’s easy to write off awards as nothing more than an industry’s excuse for an evening of self-congratulation at an alcohol fuelled prize-giving ceremony in a suitably swanky hotel! And it’s sometimes hard to shake off the David Brent-ian image that the plethora of esoteric award ceremonies can induce.

That’s if you’re looking from the outside in!!!

If you are the recipient, then you have a completely different perspective. It might be easy to scoff at, say, someone being named ‘Plumber of the Year.’ But if that’s the job you spend your life labouring at, then the recognition of your peers is enormously rewarding, a mark of their respect for you and your work. It’s confirmation that you are doing the right thing, even in the tough times, and encouragement to continue improving. And to any potential new customers, it’s a mark of re-assurance and quality.

At Acceleris, we take awards seriously.

In our world creativity and innovation aren’t just ‘nice to have’ qualities; they are vital to survive and thrive as a business. We are continually looking and learning to ensure we develop and deliver campaigns that produce the desired results for clients and that stand-out in a world that can struggle to process an over-supply of information.  That means keeping an eye on what our peers are doing.  And the range of innovative thinking, compelling campaigns and effective messaging never ceases to impress.

So when we picked up the ‘Agency of the Year’ title in the UK Public Sector Communication Awards at The Emirates in London recently (yes it was an alcohol fuelled evening of celebration, or so I am told by the team who attended!) for the second year in succession and the third time in five years, it was recognition of the consistent quality of our work and the commitment and abilities of our teams. The award sits alongside the ‘Issues and Reputation Management’ trophy we collected at the European Communications Excellence Awards in Stockholm at the end of last year, the second time in three years we had scooped that prestigious accolade (and, yes, we did pick up a shiny trophy!). In both cases we were up against large and well respected national and international agencies and in-house teams, which made victory all the sweeter.

Winner!

Winner!

 Since we launched the agency a decade ago we have collected some 60 awards for a wide range of campaigns delivered for clients in the public, private and third sectors in the UK and for a number in Europe. They are displayed proudly on our office walls. They are not there to tell us how ‘great’ we are. Rather they serve two distinct purposes:-

  • To act as a daily reminder of the standards we have set ourselves so that we never complacently rest on our laurels but constantly strive to improve
  • To provide silent but impressive witness for visitors to the quality of our work and our high professional standards

In our world in particular, it’s very easy to say good things about yourself and a one man band working from a back bedroom can, with an attractive website, give the image of being a fully resourced agency.

So, you won’t find us laughing at the ‘Plumber of the Year’ or ‘Aerial installer of the Year’ winners for example.
We know just how much it means to them.
Because it means just as much to us.

 

Public Sector Communications Awards - Agency of the Year 2016

Public Sector Communications Awards – Agency of the Year 2016