I spent most of the night studying the entries for the MediaGuardian Innovation awards, an idea cooked up by the MediaGuardian to celebrate innovations in the media industry. I’m judging the PR and Brand Identity sections and I have to admit I found the homework a depressing task. Hopefully, when the judges all gather to debate, my winners might near in the top
Clearly, many of the companies in my sector that have put their campaigns forward, on the whole, do not represent the best in class. On the other hand, they do represent the best in class in award winning! Concentrating on PR, it’s the usual suspects that put themselves forward for every award opportunity, with a half baked campaign that neither champions the craft, nor the industry, and results true PR is able deliver. The criteria, the most impressive turn of each of its entrants, is the justification of why the campaign was successful. There are extraordinary accounts of results measured by various matrixes that have been constructed to post rationalise (yet again!) each company’s success.
The media world is littered with countless awards that all have a fundamental design flaw – primarily that each company has been invited to enter the awards. There should be a module where the good and the great are monitored over a twelve month period by the media across advertising, marketing and PR and their own independent campaigns should then be evaluated at the end of that period, with the long list being invited to present their company and their results before a panel of industry stalwarts and trade body representatives. It would add a lot more gravitas to any award. Unfortunately it’s commercially flawed
I can see that participating in awards in the current format will give a number of companies the opportunity to use that success to hoodwink new business. I applaud their effort but lament the erosion of our craft!