You have to be in it to win it..

8 Jun

Greg Dawson, PCG's Press & Public Relations Officer

Awards bring recognition, this is fairly widely accepted. They set people apart from the crowd and add value to businesses and build and sustain reputations.

For example, today I made contact with Robin Lander Brinkley ACIPR, winner of Freelance Practitioner of the Year at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations annual Excellence Awards to discuss featuring in the July issue of Freelancing Matters.

In the May issue of Freelancing Matters Magazine we interviewed Karen Cinnamon, winner of the Advertising and Design Creative Freelancer of the Year award at XChangeteam’s annual ceremony.

I had never heard of either of them beforehand, (apologies) I would assume it may be difficult to find them without a very specific search goal but if you were to google freelancer around the dates of these events they come top, whether on the awards website or even in the National media.

Awards have no doubt already added value to their businesses online. I was pleased when PCG was recently featured in The Independent due to being shortlisted for the Trade Association awards, spreading our word further and wider and increasing our brand recognition.

Ultimately if you study any industry from financial services to travel, award wins are celebrated in company branding, on websites and often press-released. Even the biggest brands such as Tesco celebrate awards and put the award logos and slogans front and centre on websites as awards legitimise their product offering. They affect consumer/client perception adding prestige.

Are Robin and Karen the best of the best in the UK in their field….I cannot say for sure, they certainly impressed the independent panels and had clients willing to back them and have convinced me of their ability.

But I can say that both awards winners were there because they had been involved in putting themselves forward for the accolades. Unfortunately many do not.

Self promotion can be a difficult obstacle to overcome – we don’t want to seem pushy, arrogant or a ‘know it all.’

As employees this can be made easier, ourorganisations can nominate us for awards if we do our jobs, or congratulate us on doing well.

As freelancers – it cannot.

It would be great to hear about and interview outstanding freelancers in their sector daily. We have no doubt that there are millions across the UK delivering amazing results and projects, whether it be writing data or creating a culinary masterpiece for a private client.

But to achieve this we need freelancers to put themselves forward to celebrate their work. We need more Robins and Karens in order for businesses to appreciate the flexible expertise freelancers provide.

We are aware of the freelance consultant award at the remote employment awards that would doubtless suit some members and just came across Big Chip 2011‘s most established freelancer, one to watch for 2012, particularly for those in Manchester.

We are keen at PCG to make ourselves aware of further industry awards across sectors to help members enter. If you know of any, please get in touch with the press office or comment on this post.

For all freelancers we ask please promote yourselves and put yourselves forward for the recognition you may well deserve.

If you don’t someone else will claim it and you never know, however silly it may seem, it might be the difference between you and another freelancer for your next contract.

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One Response to “You have to be in it to win it..”

  1. Robin Lander Brinkley June 15, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    Thanks for the shout out Greg and I totally agree with what you write.

    The main reason I entered the award was because I had always felt there was very little place for me in the professional body to which I belonged. I started freelancing six years ago at the age of 26 and had admitted to people who asked that, sometimes, I felt rather alone out there in the world of PR.

    When the CIPR introduced ‘Best Freelance Practitioner’ for the first time this year, I felt morally obliged to enter. I believe that if you have criticism of an organisation or system and then the opportunity arises to remedy it, you should be gracious enough to participate (and of course, if you get nowhere, you can still have a good old moan!)

    Being shortlisted with the calibre of people I was in the company of was more than enough for me, but to win was INCREDIBLE! I have never been so shocked. That a 32 year old from Portsmouth should walk off with a national award from a gltzy do in the City of London felt like a real coup.

    I have received such support by email, Facebook and Twitter and now feel part of my industry. For me, what winning the award represents is the fact that experts in the industry have looked me up and down, seen the work I have done and given me their nod of approval. It’s kind of like a very public appraisal and, not having had anyone to do that for me for over six years, I felt it was about time I had one.

    Now all I need is someone to give me a promotion and payrise!

    P.S. You can say for sure I am the best. I have an award that says so! Ha ha!

    @robinlbports

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