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THE UNAWARDS18 PUBLIC VOTE IS OPEN

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The UnAwards18 Public Vote is now Open which means you can now choose your favourites this year…

by Darren Caveney

After a record-breaking 400+ entries a team of 20 external judges are currently battling through a tonne of great work to draw up the 2018 shortlist.

But as you know, the UnAwards are different to other awards because YOU get the chance to choose three of the big winners through a public vote.

And that public vote is now OPEN.

You have a tough, tough challenge now to select the winners from three important categories:

>> LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT

>> COMMS TEAM OF THE YEAR

>> BEST GUEST POST OF 2018

You can cast your votes HERE

The public vote closes on 26 November (midnight)

Choose wisely.

And good luck to all of you.

Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point0 and organiser of the UnAwards

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AN UPDATE ON THE RECORD-BREAKING #UNAWARD18

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Well the 5th annual UnAwards has only gone and broken records….

by Darren Caveney

The 5th annual UnAwards promises to be the best yet. Over 400 entries swamped the UnAwards inbox and I am so grateful to everyone who has taken the time to make this happen.

Here are four big things to update you on…

1. ENTRIES

The entries have all been dispatched to a team of 20 external judges have been busy trying to select their shortlists. It’s an epic task but they are more than up to it.

2. THE SHORTLIST

Once the judges have done their thing the shortlist will be published on 19 November.

3. TICKETS TO THE BIG DAY

The venue is a belter with a strict capacity of 141 seats for an event which always sells out. Well done if you have already grabbed a ticket. The tickets are first come, first served so the only way to guarantee your ticket is to grab one now whilst you can HERE.

I will potentially then hold back a final allocation for any remaining shortlisted people. It’s a challenge to try to get everyone there but I shall do my very best to get shortlisted teams and individuals at least one ticket.

4. THE PUBLIC VOTE

The UnAwards are different to other awards and so you, the communications community, get the chance to vote for the winners in three categories – lifetime achievement, best comms team and best guest post of the year. There are some amazing people and teams to consider.

The public vote opens on 7 November and closes on 26 November and you can vote here from 7 November.

SAYING THANKS

Many thanks to the team of #UnAwards18 judges - Dave Worsell, Matt Johnson, Emma Rodgers, Ross Wigham, Phil Morcom, Bridget Aherne, Carolyne Mitchell, David Grindley, Caroline Roodhouse, Ian Curwen, Fran Collingham, Stuart Banbery, Rachael Richardson-Bullock, Matt Nicholls, Victoria Ford, John-Paul Danon, Phil Jewitt, Holly Bremner and Ben Capper.

And many, many thanks to the #UnAwards18 official partner, Granicus, and the official sponsors: The Local Government Association, Orlo (previously known as SocialSignIn), Council Advertising Network, NUJ PR Communications Council, Alive With Ideas and Perago Wales.

I’ve said it before but it’s so true, I couldn’t deliver the #UnAwards without your support.

More updates here and via @comms2point0 on Twitter very soon.

Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point0 and organiser of the UnAwards

Image via Tullio Saba

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THE FINAL COUNTDOWN - THE UNAWARDS18 CLOSE ON THURSDAY

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The 5th annual UnAwards close on Thursday 25 October. So you still have time to enter, get yourself shortlisted and

really put your work on the industry map.

by Darren Caveney

Wow, year five of the UnAwards. They are a personal labour of love.

They have thrown up some brilliant work and given a platform for teams and individuals’ work to be celebrated and presented at industry events around the UK. That makes my heart sing and makes the many hours dedicated to making them happen so worthwhile.

Each year the UnAwards have a theme – this year it is this:

It’s the work which made a genuine difference, which nailed it creatively, which met its objectives, which could measure and prove its success. Work which changed something for the better. And captured your audience’s attention in a crowded, cluttered world.

Of course that can be easier said and done against a backdrop of further cuts and increasing work demand.

Team size, budget, skills and resource can impact upon our work.

But you will not be judged on these things.

So if you have a budget of £50 and a team of, well, just you, you can absolutely win an UnAward. Others have so why not you?

For our resources shouldn't - mustn't even - get in the way of delivering a piece of work, project or campaign which made that real difference.

Proving the difference which comms made is of course key. We are mature enough as an industry to know how to do this well now.

Sound great, huh – but you need to be quick…

The #UnAwards18 close on 25 October at midnight. So block out an hour in your diary to sit somewhere quiet (which for me would be my favourite coffee shop) and give your best work these past 12 months a chance to shine and be celebrated.

New to the UnAwards?

Well there's more here but in a nutshell they are the most accessible and innovative awards in our industry - free to enter, fun to attend and a celebration of our community's achievements.

There are 18 categories, so something for everyone

Even better you can enter the same piece of work in multiple categories to increase your chances of being shortlisted.

Don’t just focus on the obvious categories, think too about really important categories such as:

-          Best use of research/evaluation

-          Best use of email

-          Best use of ethical comms behaviour/diversity

-          Best comms team

-          Lifetime achievement

If you come along to the big day – shortlisted or not – you’ll enjoy one of the very best networking events of the year .

Oh and you get to watch a classic movie, which always remains a closely guarded secret until the day.

The UnAwards – they keep on giving...

Each year the winners are invited to showcase their winning work at the highly popular UnAwards Winners Masterclass in the new year. Also free to attend.

I know you’re really busy but no one else will do this for you...

That other non-important work demand which can stifle – meetings, ad-hoc requests, multiple distractions and the “could you just…” passing trade won’t go away. Ever.

But you might have a rather nice UnAward-winning certificate hanging proudly on your office wall. So be a little selfish with your time for once.

Have a good look at the dedicated UnAwards website here and you can grab the simple-to-complete entry form HERE.

Entries close on 25 October at midnight - you can see the full #UnAwards18 timetable HERE.

And remember – the UnAwards deadline is never extended.

I’m looking forward to seeing your brilliant work.

Keep watching @comms2point0 for all the latest news and updates.

Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point0, owner of the creative communicators ltd and organiser of the UnAwards

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NOMINATE SOMEONE BRILLIANT IN THE UNAWARDS18

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We know that a common complaint from comms professionals is a lack of recognition for their work. The UnAwards18 is your chance to change that. In a big way.

by Darren Caveney

Whether it’s a brilliant campaign, managing communications through a crisis, or just turning up every day of the year and being the best you can be, it’s not a lot to ask to get the odd ‘well done’ or ‘thank you’.

But it doesn’t happen often enough for many and that is one of the reasons behind the comms2point UnAwards18 - to shine a light on the professionals proudly flying comms, pr and digital flags across the sectors.

Now there’s only one thing better than being shortlisted for an award - that’s being nominated by someone else for an award. It’s a special thing.  It means you’ve caught someone’s eye, demanded their attention or impressed them with your creativity, doggedness, enthusiasm and skills.

Know someone like that? Then why not nominate them in the UnAwards18?

There are two ways in which you can nominate.

Option one - If you think an individual or a team should be in the running this year just complete this short online form and hit submit. I’ll do the rest and contact them on your behalf.

Option 2 - you can nominate an individual or a team in any of this year's categories and complete the entry form for them. Two which really lend themselves to nominations are:

-          Best comms/digital team

-          Lifetime achievement award

For this second option, all you need to do is complete the simple entry form here and email it through to admin@comms2point0unawards.co.uk

When we set up the UnAwards we were absolutely clear that they would be the most accessible industry awards around.  Where the community were actively involved in shaping and deciding.

So, best of all you, the comms community, gets to choose the winners through a public vote in these two categories, as well as our 'Post of the year' category.

We’ll tell you more about the public vote soon.

HOW LONG HAVE I GOT TO NOMINATE SOMEONE?

The closing date is 25 October (midnight) so get nominating.

BE THERE ON THE DAY…

Want to soak up the atmosphere of the coolest comms, PR, marketing and digital event of the year in person? UnAwards tickets are priced at just £20 + vat each. See, we told you the UnAwards were really accessible.

Tickets are available on a first come, first served basis and will sell out so don’t hang around.  You can grab yours here.

Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point and organiser of the UnAwards17

image by Steve Snodgrass

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LAUNCHING THE EPIC, THE UNIQUE, THE BESTEST - THE ONE AND ONLY UNAWARDS

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The 5th annual UnAwards launch TODAY. They're the most accessible industry awards around. Now is not a time to quietly sit back and hope your boss recognises and appreciates your efforts. So try and get yourself shortlisted for an UnAward to really put your work on the organisational map.

by Darren Caveney

2018. It's felt to me a lot like 2017 only more extreme. Certainly for the communications industry, and pretty much everything else which has occupied our time and minds too.

So as summer turns to autumn September always throws me full pelt into UnAwards planning, a time to reflect on to ponder on the theme for this year.

But this year's theme actually emerged pretty quickly to be honest and is based on my travels around the UK working with teams this year and the work which really stood out.

The theme for the UnAwards18…

Is this:

It’s the work which made a genuine difference, which nailed it creatively, which met its objectives, which could measure and prove its success. Work which changed something for the better. And captured your audience’s attention in a crowded, cluttered world.

Of course that can be easier said and done against a backdrop of further cuts and increasing demand for some in the public sector.

Team size, budget, skills and resource can impact upon our work.

But you will not be judged on these things.

So if you have a budget of £50 and a team of, well, just you, you can absolutely win an UnAward. Others have so why not you?

For our resources shouldn't - mustn't even - get in the way of delivering a piece of work, project or campaign which made that real difference.

Proving the difference which comms made is of course key. We are mature enough as an industry to know how to do this well now.

New to the UnAwards?

Well there's more here but in a nutshell they are the most accessible and innovative awards in our industry - free to enter, fun to attend and a celebration of our community's achievements.

There are 18 categories, so something for everyone

Even better you can enter the same piece of work in multiple categories to increase your chances of being shortlisted.

And if you come along to the big day – shortlisted or not – you’ll enjoy one of the very best networking events of the year

Oh and you get to watch a classic movie, which always remains a closely guarded secret until the day.

The UnAwards grow in size and credibility year on year. Last year was a record breaker…

  • 414 entries
  • 70 shortlisted
  • 18 winners
  • 140 attendees
  • 10k unique visitors to the UnAwards website
  • 3k public votes
  • 557k Twitter reach in the week of the UnAwards alone

The UnAwards – they keep on giving...

Each year the winners are invited to showcase their winning work at the popular UnAwards Winners Masterclass in the new year. Also free to attend.

So, ‘People of Comms’

2018 is not the time for communicators to sit back quietly and hope the budget axe doesn't swing our way again for a while. Unfortunately it will for some of you.

How often have you heard the phrase – comms and pr people are bad at their own comms and pr?

That really shouldn’t be the case should it? Would you buy the services of a web agency who had a terrible web site?

So it’s time to kill that one off for good.

It's time to promote our successes – shout them, if not quite from the rooftops then at least down the corridors of power. Let’s be proud and celebrate our achievements.

Other professions do, and some may deliver a hell of a lot less than you do.

So embrace this rallying call and book out some time in your diaries to pull together your entries and showcase your best work.

No one else will do this for you.

That other non-important work demand which can stifle – meetings, ad-hoc requests, multiple distractions and the “could you just…” passing trade won’t go away. Ever.

But you might have a rather nice UnAward-winning certificate hanging proudly on your office wall. So be a little selfish with your time for once.

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Have a good look at the dedicated UnAwards website here and you can grab the simple-to-complete entry form HERE.

Entries close on 25 October at midnight - you can see the full #UnAwards18 timetable HERE.

I’m looking forward to seeing your brilliant work.

Keep watching @comms2point0 for the latest news and updates.

Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point0, owner of the creative communicators ltd and organiser of the UnAwards

image via Tullio Saba

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LEARNING FROM WINNERS - A MASTERCLASS TO CHERISH

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Listening to a comms professional explain their award-winning work is a gem of a learning opportunity.

by Darren Caveney

The UnAwards has been a passion of mine for over four years now. It's taken up a decent chunk of my time to make them happen each year. But when you enjoy something so much, and it's packed with learning and connecting opportunities, it doesn't ever really feel like work.

This year the UnAwards Winners Masterclass showcased the work of eight winners and to a packed room of public sector communications professionals from around the UK. Each spoke about the challenge, the creative idea, the delivery, the results and the hard outcomes. Each winner overcame some significant competition to claim an UnAward so their shared insight was valuable to everyone in the room.

Connie Osborne from Greater Manchester Police brought a tear to most eyes in the room with her account of what she and the team did following the horrific Arena attack.

And Alex Mills made us all laugh with the story behind the brilliant Operation Chip Pan campaign and video.

Each winning speaker was a credit to our profession - and such excellent speakers too, by the way.

Thank you to every speaker for taking a day out of their busy schedules to share with the comms2point0 community.

I personally learned a huge amount at the Masterclass and I am so grateful to the official partners who made the day possible and free to attend for everyone.

The Masterclass partners were the Local Government Association, Granicus, SocialSignIn, The Council Advertising Network and Alive with Ideas.

Each partner is keen to talk to you more about where they can support and enable you in delivering your comms challenges. I genuinely recommend each one of them to you and will happily connect you with them if you shout me - hey I'm GDPR-friendly.

You can email me at darrencaveney@gmail.com

THE #UNAWARDS18 will open in September - more info nearer the date both here and on the official social media channel @comms2point0

Darren Caveney is organiser of the UnAwards, creator of comms2point0 and owner of creative communicators ltd

image by Nigel Bishop

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IT'S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR: REFLECTIONS ON THE UNAWARDS17

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The UnAwards17 ceremony was a chance to recognise excellence, celebrate success, connect with new faces and say hello to old friends.

by Darren Caveney

The UnAwards have become something of a pre-Christmas tradition with communications professionals from all across the UK converging on the event’s spiritual home, the Everyman Cinema in Birmingham.

Demand for tickets is always high and not everyone managed to bag a ticket this year. But the demand just adds to the special vibe experienced at Friday’s fourth annual UnAwards. What was pleasing to me was that half of the attendees had been to an UnAwards ceremony before. 10 people had even been to all four.

Each year I give the UnAwards a new theme and this year’s was perfectly reflected by all of the winners – being brave, doing it differently and swimming against the tide. Choosing a film for 140 people is always a bit tricky – not everyone would appreciate my ‘potential’ choices of Goodfellas, Rocky 3 or Pulp Fiction. Jerry Maguire was this year’s choice and definitely supported this year’s theme – and many of the audience seated in screen 3 hadn’t seen it.

Winning. Always be winning.

18 winners walked away happy that their work had emerged top against a huge volume of high quality competition. Those shortlisted and highly commended should be mighty proud of their achievements too. We’re a competitive bunch in our industry so those people will undoubtedly have been a bit disappointed not to have won. But they really shouldn’t. And if motivation were needed for the UAwards18 it’s that a couple of people shortlisted last year picked up wins this year, including a home-town win for Birmingham City Council.

The best thing of all about the UnAwards is the chance to spend some quality time with peers and to meet and connect with new contacts. A day out of the office, away from the daily pressures, to do this is really valuable. Is this work, some might ask? Hell, yes. In fact it’s my favourite work day of the year.

Here are some more thoughts and reflections now that the magic dust has settled…

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue equalled Sheffield City Council’s feat from 2015 in picking up three wins. A fabulous achievement and against very stiff competition. You can see their rather brilliant campaign video here. Well done, team.

There was so little to separate the four shortlisted best comms pros, and that really is a title to be proud of. Well done to Ceri Lewis, Rebecca Beck and Albert Freeman and to the winner Melissa Thermidor.

Likewise the winners of best comms team, Enfield Council, who were nominated by someone else and encouraged to enter. A lesson there for sure.

The best low cost comms was the most popular category with 60 entries. A clear sign of the times. Impressive work couldn’t even make the final shortlist but that has to be good in terms of continuous improvement and the raising of bars.

Greater Manchester Police winning the best crisis/emergency comms category will have been celebrated my many. The very least the team there deserve.

It was good to see an increase in the number of entrants and winners from the NHS this year. I hope this continues next year.

And the important category of best ethical communications behaviour and diversity too saw a good increase versus last year’s numbers. Let’s push this even higher again next year.

Having two previous Lifetime Achievement UnAwards winners to hand over to this year’s winner Jill Walden was special. Winning a Lifetime Achievement UnAward guarantees an invite every year so I hope that Jill Walden can join us and do the same in 2018.

The Lifetime Achievement award saw two exceptional police communications leads who have each done so much for their sector over a significant period of time. I thought it was so appropriate that, given some of the terrible and tragic events of 2017, that it was two police communicators nominated this year. It’s almost unfair to call one a winner as both Jill and Amanda Coleman deserve our thanks and recognition.

Talking to colleagues from the emergency services at the event it’s clear that employers have a responsibility to safeguard the mental health of their staff which includes comms teams. Some do. Others from across all sectors? I’m not convinced. I’ve thought and said for a while that I don’t believe we do enough as an industry to provide sufficient support for wellbeing for comms people and teams and this is something which needs greater attention. Comms Unplugged – highly commended in the UnAwards – has wellbeing at its heart and that’s what made it special for those who attended. More on this in future posts.  

Saying thanks

Big thanks to Granicus for being the official UnAwards17 partner and to Alive With Ideas, Perago Wales, the Local Government Association, NUJ PRCC, SocialSignIn, Social Simulator and the Council Advertising Network for sponsoring. It’s a pleasure to work with you all. If anyone from the comms2point0 community would like me to introduce you to any of these fine folk please contact me.

Finally

Well done to the 70 on the shortlist and the highly commended entries.

And a big well done to the 18 winners.

You can see the full list of winners here.

Finally, finally, some metrics…

The dedicated website has received over 10k unique since this year’s UnAwards was launched.

And in the week of the #UnAwards17 187 contributors created a reach on 557k of Twitter.

I know, they are vanity metrics. But it’s ok to be a little bit vain occasionally?

Finally, finally, finally…

If you want to look for yourself in the official pics by Nigel Bishop here’s the link (thanks, Nigel) and here is a short film too.

So the UnAwards17 ends. One of my next tasks is to organise the Masterclass next year to showcase and learn from the winners. Shout if you’re interested in sponsoring this.

And talking of next year I’m already off and running with plenty of new ideas. And there is already a date…

SAVE THE DATE – The UnAwards18 will take place on Friday 7 December.

Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point0 and organiser of the UnAwards

pic by me

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THE #UNAWARDS17 – YOUR GUIDE TO THE BIG DAY

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Well after a three-month build up the #UnAwards17 is almost here. Here’s your guide to the big day.

by Darren Caveney

I genuinely don’t think there has been a more important time to salute, recognise and celebrate the work of communicators across our industry. Some of you are working under pretty tough conditions. Some of you are adapting to smaller resources and increased demand. And others are just delivering damned fine work.

The UnAwards is my way of giving a little bit back to an industry which has been very good to me. I take huge pride and pleasure in being able to take a decent chunk of time out each year away for the day the day consultancy work to organise the UnAwards and to help fly a flag – in my own little way – for the communications community.

The big day

If you have managed to secure a ticket to the #UnAwards17, well done – you’re in for a treat.

The event is sold out. The 141 tickets have been in huge demand and I could have sold double that. Should we get a larger venue next time? Maybe, but then if we’re not careful the UnAwards would become the very thing it set out not to be. As my Dad used to say - they don’t make diamonds the size of house bricks.

Win or not you’re in for a great day

The UnAwards is my favourite work day of the year. It’s quite unlike any other industry event I’ve been to.

Not winning…

Of course if you’re shortlisted but don’t win you’ll be disappointed.

With 414 entries and 70 on the shortlist it’s stating the obvious in saying that not everyone can win.

If you’ve been to a traditional awards event, paid handsomely for it, and left empty-handed it can feel like a massive anti-climax. I know, I have experienced that.

The UnAwards is different.

The day is designed so that win or not you can genuinely enjoy a fun event and a unique opportunity to network with industry colleagues new and old. That in itself is reason to be there.

Twitter will be buzzing

If you can’t be at the UnAwards17 follow it on Twitter using the #UnAwards17 hashtag.

Announcing the winners and snaps of the big day

We’ll be posting the winners names to the UnAwards17 website after the event.

We also have the fab Nigel Bishop taking snaps and filming the event and we’ll get these online as soon as possible.

Timings, ceremony, film and food

The venue for the UnAwards17 is the very cool Everyman Cinema up on the third floor of Birmingham's Mailbox, B1 1 RF

If you’re coming along aim to be at the venue at 9.30am for registration, a mug of fresh coffee and a croissant. The #UnAwards17 ceremony begins at 10.00am.

After the ceremony we’re watching a brilliant film and one which captures the theme for the #UnAwards17 – being brave, doing things differently, swimming against the tide.

For those of you badgering me for the title or a clue, my lips are sealed – only three people in the world know what it is. You’ll find out 30 seconds before you watch it. But it’s a good one, trust me.

After the film you’ll tuck into hearty bowl of veggie chilli and be done by 3pm.

And the dress code is…

Whatever you fancy. Literally. This is NOT black tie, as you’ll have guessed J But if you want to come in your fancy clobber then go for it. Albert Freeman and I will, as always, be donning our deep blue velvet jackets for their annual airing.

Saying thanks

Thanks so much for your support again this year, it means a lot.

Special thanks too to the official UnAwards17 partner, Granicus UK, and our official sponsors the Local Government Association, Alive With Ideas, the NUJ PRCC, SocialSignIn, Social Simulator, the Council Advertising Network and Perago Wales. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – there would be no UnAwards without you.

I look forward to seeing lots of you on Friday 1 December

#BestWorkDayOfTheYear

Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point0 and organiser of the UnAwards17

Image by Tullio Saba

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ANNOUNCING THE #UNAWARDS17 SHORTLIST

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Well it’s here. I’m very pleased and proud to announce the #UnAwards17 shortlist.

by Darren Caveney

It’s not an exaggeration to say that the #UnAwards17 has been a massive task for the judges.

414 entries is a pretty astonishing return.

I mean it when I say that I am so grateful for the time and effort that all entrants took this year. You have done our industry proud.

It’s fair to say that some categories had so many entries that even some work of a very high standard failed to make the shortlist.

If you have made it onto the shortlist you should be really proud, it’s a major achievement. If you didn’t you should still be proud of your work.

You can see the shortlist here.

What happens next?

Well first it’s the culmination of the public vote where you get to choose three of the winners. Today is the last day and all three UnAwards really are up for grabs. Last year’s results changed multiple times on the last day.

If you’re in the public vote my advice is to rally your troops and get make sure they vote before midnight tonight. You could still win. Two of the three category winners have changed hands just today.

You can vote HERE

Tickets

Now begins the logistical challenge of trying to get as many shortlisted people into the room on the big day as possible. Do you remember me nagging you to buy tickets in September? It has to be first come, first served, it’s the only fair way. Our venue has a capacity of 141 and sells out every year.

So with the final batch of tickets I am going to try and get as many shortlisted people into the room as possible.

Getting a ticket/selling your ticket - How this will work?

If you are on the shortlist and want one ticket please email me straight away at darrencaveney@gmail.com

If you have purchased a ticket already but haven’t made the shortlist you are still very welcome to be at the #UnAwards17. It’s an amazing day.

But if you would like me to try to sell your ticket to someone on the shortlist instead then let me know straight away and I will look to match your ticket with someone else and, if I do, will refund you. I think that’s fair all round. Again, the email is darrencaveney@gmail.com so shout me quickly and I will come back to you.

Phew.

Time for a coffee.

Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point0 and organiser of the #UnAwards17

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AN UPDATE ON THE FANTABULOUS #UNAWARDS17

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Well the big day is now just over two weeks away and the #UnAwards17 shortlists will be announced VERY soon.

by Darren Caveney

The 4th annual UnAwards promises to be the best yet.

Here are three big things to update you on…

SHORTLISTS

After the record-breaking 414 entries this year a team of external judges have been busy trying to select their shortlists. It’s been an epic task but the results are beginning to come in. Exciting.

The full shortlist will be published on 21 November.

TICKETS TO THE BIG DAY

The venue is a belter with a there is a strict capacity of 141 seats and the event will be a sell-out again. The first batch of tickets flew so well done if you have already grabbed a ticket. The final allocation are being held back for shortlisted people. It’s a challenge to try to get everyone there but I shall do my very best to get shortlisted teams and individuals at least one ticket. More on this soon.

THE PUBLIC VOTE

The UnAwards are different to other awards and so you, the communications community, get the chance to vote for the winners in three categories – lifetime achievement, best comms team and best guest post of the year. There are some amazing people and teams to consider. 2k votes have been cast already.

The public vote closes on 22 November and you can vote here.

SAYING THANKS

Many thanks to the team of #UnAwards17 judges - Dave Worsell, Emma Howard, Emma Rodgers, Ross Wigham, Phil Morcomm, Bridget Aherne, Carolyne Mitchell, Caroline Roodhouse, Ian Curwen, Fran Collingham, Kate Rawlins, Stuart Banbery, Matt Nicholls, Victoria Ford, John-Paul Danon, Phil Jewitt and Amy Kiernan.

And many, many thanks to the #UnAwards17 official partner, Granicus, and the official sponsors: The Local Government Association, SocialSignIn, Council Advertising Network, NUJ PR Communications Council, Social Simulator, Alive With Ideas and Perago Wales. I’ve said it before but it’s so true, I couldn’t deliver the #UnAwards without your support.

More updates here very soon.

Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point0 and organiser of the #UnAwards17

image via The Library of Congress

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THE #UNAWARDS17 PUBLIC VOTE IS OPEN

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After a record-breaking 414 entries a team of external judges are currently battling through a tonne of great work to draw up the 2017 shortlist.

But as you know, the UnAwards are different to other awards because YOU get the chance to choose three of our big winners through a public vote.

And that public vote is now OPEN.

You have a tough, tough challenge now to select our winners from three important categories:

>> LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT

>> COMMS TEAM OF THE YEAR

>> BEST GUEST POST OF 2017

You can cast your votes here

The public vote closes on 22 November (midnight)

Choose wisely.

And good luck to all of you.

Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point0 and organiser of the UnAwards17

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AN AMAZING THING HAS HAPPENED - TAKE A LOOK…

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The 4th annual UnAwards has seen an amazing response from the industry. And in the process created an enormous treasure trove of learning.

by Darren Caveney

There are many things I love about running my own business: The consultancy, the training, speaking at events and mentoring comms people. The vat bills I love a bit less.

But most of all I really love to fly a flag for the communications community – to shout about the great and important work you all do, from Dundee to Dorset, from Swansea to Suffolk.

The UnAwards gives me an amazing platform to do this in spades. I like to think it’s my opportunity to put a little bit back into an industry which has been very kind to me.

Now it’s fair to say that the UnAwards soaks up a lot of hours of work behind the scenes – ask Mrs C, who hasn’t seen much of me these past few weeks.

But I love it and I’m passionate about making sure that we recognise the efforts, skills and dedication of comms brothers and sisters across the sectors.

The #UnAwards17 closed at midnight on 31 October. And then…

when I closed my laptop at 1.30am I was a little bit gob-smacked to sit back and reflect on the massive 414 entries which had been submitted. 414. Gulp.

That makes it a record-breaker.

I thank very much everyone who entered.

You do these things and, in quieter moments, wonder if anyone will enter this year or turn up at the venue on the big day. Over 3k people had visited the dedicated UnAwards website in the weeks running up to the deadline so I was optimistic but I never ever assume anything in life.

I can stop worrying now.

What happens next?

Well an army of external judges have quite a job on now to review, score and shortlist this mountain of comms excellence.

Once they have done this I’ll be posting the shortlist on the UnAwards website on 21 November.

What else?

Three of the categories – best comms team, best guest post of 2017 and the lifetime achievement UnAward - are decided by public vote. These will go live on the site on 7 November and you can choose your own favourites.

What does the big day look like?

Well in short it is my favourite work day of the year.

Held in the very cool Everyman Cinema in Birmingham’s iconic Mailbox on Friday 1 December it features the winners’ ceremony, the watching of a film (kept secret until the big day) and a meal in the retro diner.

I’m not going to go on about ticket sales except to say it is first come, first served, there is a capacity of 140 tickets and it sells out every year.

This short film from the UnAwards16 will give you an idea of what to expect.

Saying thanks…

I want to say thank you to the people who make the UnAwards possible. My aim with the UnAwards is the make them the most accessible communications industry awards in the UK. But I can only do this through the help, support, belief and financial backing of the official partner and official sponsors.

So a big virtual high five to official UnAwards17 partner Granicus UK, and to the seven official sponsors: SocialSignIn, Council Advertising Network, Social Simulator, the Local Government Association, the NUJ PR and Communications Council, Alive With Ideas and Perago Wales.

They are a group of people who continually back our industry which, in the era of tightening resources, is vital to our ongoing learning and development.

On top of that they are all great people who I would recommend to you as suppliers in a heartbeat. So check them out, talk to them and see where they can help you improve, become more efficient and deliver your objectives.

414. I may get that printed onto a T-shirt.

Right, I’m off for a lie down.

Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point0 and organiser of the #UnAwards17

image via Tullio Saba

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