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Darren Caveney



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The UnAwards19 Public Vote is now Open which means you can now choose your favourites this year…

by Darren Caveney

After receiving a staggering 342 entries a team of 20 external judges are currently battling through a tonne of great work to draw up the 2019 UnAwards 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:




You can cast your votes HERE  

The public vote closes on Monday 25 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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We know that a common complaint from comms professionals is a lack of recognition for their work. The UnAwards19 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 UnAwards - to shine a light on the professionals proudly flying comms, pr, marketing 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 or skills.

Know someone like that? Then why not nominate them in the UnAwards19?

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 two - you can nominate an individual or a team in any of this year's categories and complete the entry form for them. You can do this in all categories with the exception of the best guest blog post category.

Three categories which really lend themselves to nominations are:

-  Best comms/digital team

-  Lifetime achievement UnAward

-  Supporting health and wellbeing in communications (new to the UnAwards19)

For the Lifetime Achievement UnAward, all you need to do is complete the simple entry form here and email it through to

Accessible is good, right?

When I set up the UnAwards six years ago it was with the very clear mission to make them the most accessible industry awards around.  And where the community were actively involved in shaping and deciding some of the winners.

So, best of all you, the comms community, gets to choose the winners through a public vote in the first two categories above, as well as in the 'Guest post of the year' category.

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


The closing date is 30 October (midnight) so get nominating.

P.S. the UnAwards deadline is never extended.


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

By the way… Tickets will be available soon on a first come, first served basis and will sell out so don’t hang around.  Keep following  the official comms2point0 channels for updates -  @comms2point0, the UnAwards website, and sign up to the all-new comms2point0 eMag for  the latest news on this.

Shout me if you have any questions.

Good luck.

Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point, owner of creative communicators ltd and organiser of the UnAwards19

Image via Tullio Saba





The 6th 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




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As the magic dust settles on the UnAwards18 I’ve been reflecting on what I think was the best UnAwards yet.

by Darren Caveney

There are too many highlights to savour and people to thank in just one post but I wanted to share some reflections as I sit here at home supping on a nice fresh coffee post-event.

As I mentioned at the ceremony, I don’t get nervous speaking at events or hosting events. It’s not a boast, I just don’t. But because the UnAwards is so personal and because I want everyone there to have a fabulous day - win, lose or draw - I have in previous years been a tiny bit tense on the day.

This year I did not. I just thoroughly enjoyed the whole day. It was relaxed with a room full of superb people.

If you were there, I hope you enjoyed it too.

So many highlights

There were many highlights for me amongst the winners. Think about a council like Northamptonshire, so often in the news these past twelve months because of the situation they find themselves in. Imagine how difficult it must have been for their comms team at times. To come through that and win an UnAward shows immense skill and character.

Think about the daily pressures front line NHS comms teams are faced with. To see so many shortlisted and some go on to win warrants huge credit.

And think about university comms teams under so much pressure to satisfy multiple stakeholders and now also help turn a profit too. Hats off to them for their shortlistings and wins.

Seeing teams like Warwickshire County Council win big at the UnAwards18 after years of trying shouts perseverance and that is to be applauded.

Three organisations picked up two UnAwards – Tower Hamlets Council, Loughborough University and Bradford Council, including Albert Freeman as best comms officer this year. One UnAward win is great, two is a little bit special.

Then there are teams like South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service winners for the second year on the trot. That isn’t a coincidence. It’s a great team full of ideas delivering consistently. Well doe to Alex Mills and the team.

A word about the private sector and a well done to Rebecca Roberts, owner of Thread and Fable, a woman who has left in-house behind and set up her own businesses which is now picking up awards.

And a shout-out for Sally Northeast and Georgia Turner - the people behind Comms Unplugged - who literally deliver something amazing in their spare time and on top of their regular and busy day jobs. That’s passion, creativity and desire all rolled up into one and I was very happy to see their hard work rewarded.

I was impressed with so many of the shortlisted entries. If you made the shortlist for best social media account and best social media campaign you are delivering truly exceptional work.

If you made the shortlist for best low cost comms work then congratulations. That’s where real creativity shines through. Bravo to you.

As it’s Christmas, when we do things in twelves, here are my top 12 key reflections…

1. It’s Christmas

The UnAwards now officially marks the start of Christmas for our comms community. As Paul Masterman put it “The UnAwards is the comms equivalent of the switching on of the Oxford Street lights”

2. Ever presents

There were five people in the room who have been to all five UnAwards. Wow. And six if you include me. I should give you all an UnAward for good attendance 😊

3. Local Government fights back

Local Government where the biggest winners this year picking up eight of the 18 awards. NHS, Police and Higher Education picked up two apiece.

4. We must learn from the winners

I will endeavour to find the sponsorship to put on another UnAwards Winners Masterclass in the new year where I’ll ask the winners to come and share the lessons of their winning work (please shout me if you’re up for supporting this) As always, it will be free to attend, true to the ethos of the UnAwards.

5. Truly UK-wide

Attendees came from far and wide across the UK – from Scotland, from Wales, from Yorkshire, the North East and North West England, from South West and South East England, and from the Midlands and Brum itself.

6. Making people feel good

Winners, smiled, laughed and cried. That’s a special thing to be able to enable.

7. Let there be music. Cool music…

If you want to listen to Ben Capper’s awesome #UnAwards18 playlist go here

8. Lifetime achievement

Huge congratulations to Dionne Mayhew, Rachael Shaw, Antony Tiernan and Jayne Surman for being nominated in the Lifetime Achievement award. That is a special accolade and one you should be really proud of – good people with huge skills. In the entire history of the UnAwards only 18 people have been nominated, and only five people hold the title. So it really is a unique band of communicators.

Well done to Jayne Surman who just pipped the other three.

9. Get your diaries out

A diary date for you – the #UnAwards19 will take place on Friday 6 December 2019 when we can do it all again and I can spend three month’s worrying about film choices.

10. The importance of giving

This year I wanted to have an official UnAwards charity and chose one close to home. Thank you to everyone who donated on the day to St Basils, who do amazing work for homeless young people in Birmingham. I shall give an update on what we collected on the day asap but if you would like to donate online you can do so here.

11. Die Hard IS a Christmas film

Strangely for such a film anorak as myself I’d never actually watched the whole film before. And never on the big screen. I thought it was brilliant and it’s my new favourite Christmas film. (I know, I am exceedingly late to that party)

12. Gratitude

I’m so grateful to get to run and host the UnAwards but even better than that is the chance to spend the day with a room of amazing people, some who I have come to value as friends. Thank you for making this the best UnAwards yet.

Some final, special mentions…

Luke Williams, Ben Caper, Adrian Stirrup and Nigel Bishop thank you for all of your help. You are a pleasure to work with and a talented bunch.

To the attendees, thank you for giving up a Friday in December. As Adrian Stirrup put it “what’s not to like about spending the day laughing with friends, recognising excellence, and watching Die Hard”

To everyone who submitted the record-breaking 420 entries thank you for allaying my annual fear that on one will enter because you’re all so busy.

The UnAwards remains a not for profit event and I am so grateful to the official partner Granicus, and the official sponsors Orlo, CAN, NUJ PRCC, the Local Government Association,  Alive With Ideas and Perago-Wales - without your kind support the UnAwards would not be possible.

A shout-out to Dave Worsell of Granicus, a supporter of the UnAwards from year one, but who couldn’t be there this year.

A shout to my buddy Phil Jewitt. You know why.

And finally an extra special mention to the lovely Caroline Roodhouse and Alan Oram of Alive With Ideas who sadly could not attend. You were very much missed.

Until next year…

p.s. if you were there and have any feedback on the day please shout me. And if you’re interested in being involved a sponsor for the UnAwards19 please shout – I’m on

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

image from Joanne Ford




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The wait is over – the UnAwards18 shortlist has been published

by Darren Caveney

It’s not an exaggeration to say that it’s been a massive task for the UnAwards judges this year.

420 entries is a pretty astonishing return.

Huge thanks for the time and effort which all entrants took this year.

If you have made it onto the shortlist you should be really proud, it’s a major achievement.

And if you didn’t make it onto the shortlist you’ll of course be sad. We’ve all been there. But that should not detract from you being proud of your work.

Many on the shortlist this year didn’t make it in 2017. So please don’t give up – try again next year.

You can view the full UnAwards18 shortlist HERE.


Each year the publication of the shortlist sparks a run on the remaining tickets.

I am going to limit ticket sales to two per organisation so that I can get as many shortlisted people to the big day as possible.

Ticket availability is limited and is first come, first served.

You can buy up to two tickets HERE.


Finally a big, big thank you to the team of external judges - all 20 of them:

Dave Worsell, Matt Johnson, Emma Rodgers, Ross Wigham, Phil Morcom, Bridget Aherne, Carolyne Mitchell, David Grindley, Caroline Roodhouse, Alan Oram, Ian Curwen, Fran Collingham, Stuart Banbery, Rachael Richardson-Bullock, Matt Nicholls, Victoria Ford, John-Paul Danon, Phil Jewitt, Holly Bremner and Ben Capper.

It’s been a huge amount of work for you all and I thank you so much for your time and efforts. I owe you all a beer.

I look forward to seeing many of you on 7 December.

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


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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:




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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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