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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




unawards shortlist.jpg

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




UnAwards17 Your guide to the big day.jpg

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


Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point0 and organiser of the UnAwards17

Image by Tullio Saba




Here it is, the moment you've been waiting for. The UnAwards16 public vote is OPEN.

by Darren Caveney

In the 2015 UnAwards I was determined that I wanted the comms community to choose some of the winners.

You make these decisions and then sit back and hope things pan out well. Well, fortunately, it did go well - over 2.5k votes were cast. So I am delighted to launch the UnAwards16 public vote today to give you the chance to choose your favourites from three important categories...

Team of the year

You have 17 teams to choose from in this prestigious category and each has done amazing things this year. The entrants highlight the real spread of organisations who have entered the #UnAwards16, including six local councils, three NHS organisations, two fire and rescue teams and one from each of central government, police, housing and travel.

This is tough, tough competition - you've a difficult task to select a winner.

Post of the year

Here you have this year's top 10 most read posts from guest contributors in the running. There are some belters in the line up so have a good read and choose your favourite carefully.

Lifetime achievement award

You have two outstanding professionals to choose from, both with a long and successful track record of delivery and leading teams. Another difficult choice but choose you must.

So make your vote count by choosing your personal winners HERE.

The public vote is open until 23 November (midnight) so you have plenty of time to ponder on your choices. Happy pondering.

Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point0, owner of creative communicators ltd and organiser of the #UnAwards16

image via the Finnish Museum of Photography





We're committed to the UnAwards because we think they are an important initiative. Really important.

One of the reasons why we created our online learning platform five years ago was to fly a flag for comms people across the sectors.

We know you do an amazing job and often under difficult circumstances.

So the UnAwards is our own unique way of shining a spotlight on our industry and the people within it but with a very clear remit: It must always be accessible to everyone no matter who you are or what your budget is.

We are also committed to keeping the UnAwards fresh and ever-evolving.

So this year we have created three important, all-new categories which we think you should take a look at and enter yourself, your team, or nominate someone you think does a brilliant job.

Three new categories for the UnAwards16...

First off we have the 'Best social media account' category.

It struck me that this was perhaps the most competitive area in comms, marketing and digital right now in 2016. So why not create a new category to highlight the brilliant accounts we see operating across the UK and beyond.
Think of this one as the blue riband 400 metres final at the Olympics - fast and demanding a sustained effort plus a large slab of enthusiasm and creativity.

Does this sound like one of your accounts? Then don't be bashful, get your entry in here.

The next of our new entrants is the 'Best young communicator' category.

One of our followers and workshop attendees asked us, earlier in the year, why we didn't have a best young communicator category?
She was absolutely right, why didn't we? So here you go, we've created one.

Now we had a debate about what 'young' was and we've plumped for 30 or under.

Do you know someone who should be in the running and recognised?
Then get your entries or nominations in here.

The last of our new categories for 2016 is 'Best ethical comms or behaviour'.

If you have been working in comms for a while, or even a relatively short amount of time, you have probably faced challenges in this often not discussed area of our industry. Well that changes now.

Thanks to the good people at NUJ PRCC for sponsoring this important UnAward category.
You can enter here.

The closing date for entries is 31 October. We know you're busy but we really do believe that you owe it to you and your teams to make some time to enter and feel the love for the work you've crafted this year.

Good luck.

Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point0 and the organiser of the UnAwards16

You can book tickets to the glittering UnAwards16 ceremony taking place on 1 December right here. Don't miss it, it's going to be a cracker.

image via the State Library of New South Wales




We know that a common complaint from comms folk, and others for that matter, is a lack of recognition for their work.

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 UnAwards16 - 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 UnAwards16.

All you need to do is complete this dead easy entry form here and email it through to

You can nominate an individual or a team in any of this year's categories. Two which really lend themselves to nominations are...

-          Best comms/digital team

-          Lifetime achievement award

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.


The closing date is 31 October so get nominating.


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.  Book yours now here.

Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point and organiser of the UnAwards16




You owe it to yourself and your team to enter the UnAwards16, It's free and easy to do and you have plenty of time to do it. So no excuses, right?

By Darren Caveney

Each year the UnAwards has a theme – and this year, our third UnAwards, the theme is team work and collaboration.

Whether you’re a team of one relying upon other colleagues, a medium-sized team who’s taken some financial hits and trying to keep pace, or a large team with big expectation on your heads, it all comes down to great team work and really effective collaboration.

Along with great planning, good use of research, brilliant execution, measured outcomes, and big slabs of creativity, it’s team work and collaboration that is going to make your comms, pr, marketing and digital work fly high.

We know so many of you are doing great things and this is your chance to showcase yours, and your team’s, best work.

Some reasons why you ‘might’ not enter

I’m in the very fortunate position that I get to see first-hand the work which comms professionals across the UK are delivering. I’m constantly impressed by the hard work, professionalism and creativity which keep organisational wheels turning.

But I spotted a couple of people I know who didn’t enter in 2015. I pondered on why this may have beenthen I- but thought “stuff the pondering, why not just ask them?”.

The reason they gave wasn’t the reason I expected…

I expected them to say they hadn’t had time. But what some of them said was that they didn’t think their work last year was award-entry standard. This made me feel a bit sad to be honest, but I thought about this and suspected that their work HAD been good enough. The issue was one of confidence.

It’s really important to feel confident in your work. But if you’re in a team which has taken quite an internal beating it’s completely understandable that confidence gets knocked. The UnAwards are an opportunity to redress the balance – remind yourself that you do good things, work which makes a difference.

It’s a truism that will never go away and it’s that no one else is likely to shout about you and your work. You need to do it yourself. Nobody likes a show-off but putting your work forward to compete with the rest is a really good way to tackle this issue. I've seen it work, first-hand and many times.

There has literally never been a more important time to shout about your work than right now, especially for those facing another round of annual cuts to budgets and teams and morale in some teams in need of a small boost.

Yes, I know you’re busy. Everyone is. But the people who get on - and get noticed - manage their time so that they give themselves an hour to nail a really strong award entry, You owe it to yourself and your teams.

The world won’t end if you take a little bit of time to submit an entry. If you don’t crow about your best work for sure no-one else will.

So enter the UnAwards16 and let our judges decide whose work stands out.

OK, I’m in – how do I enter

Simple. You simply complete a short word document and you email it to us. That's it.

Take a look here for everything you need.

There are 18 categories to choose from so absolutely something for everyone.

And this year we have three all-new categories - best social media account, best young communicator and best ethical comms or behaviour.

Make the next thing you do, right now, putting an hour in your diary asap to get the ball rolling with a brilliant entry or two.

Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point0 and organiser of the UnAwards

Come along to the big day on 1 December - it's the coolest comms event of the year and you'll have the chance to meet and connect with some new colleagues from around the UK.

You can book your tickets here.

If you’ve forgotten how epic the UnAwards15 were, or you’ve not been involved in them before, here’s a neat, short video...




The UnAwards are back – and here’s everything you need to know to enter, showcase your best work and attend the coolest communications event of the year bar none…

By Darren Caveney

Following their huge success and popularity in 2014 and 2015, the comms2point0 UnAwards return on 1 December 2016. Bigger and better than ever, but remaining true to their original ethos.

So step forward and enter your best work now and show why you and your team deserve to be recognised in 2016.

What are the UnAwards?

The ‘UnAwards’ are different to any other comms, pr marketing and digital industry awards and, we believe, all the better for it.

They mean a lot to us because we know they make a real difference to the people working on the front line of comms across the sectors. We believe that you deserve proper recognition and real celebration.

The UnAwards are laid back, take place in a cool, quirky venue, and they recognise genuine creativity, innovation and results.

And with awards determined through a mix of independent judging panel and community voting, they’re also fair.

They are free to enter and intentionally cheap to attend. This is about connecting and celebrating you and our industry, not stripping you of your precious budgets.

The UnAwards in numbers…

The communications industry really bought into the UnAwards concept when we launched them in 2014.

Over 350 entries and 5k public votes have made them the ‘peoples’ awards’.

Shedding a tear…

Leading figures from the comms and digital industry got involved, entered and attended the ceremony. Some of the winners shed a tear. And many more of you took the opportunity to share a cool space with colleagues from around the UK for some important networking.

This year’s theme

We theme the UnAwards each year. This year themes are team work and collaboration, the thinking being that you can't achieve much without them however small or large your team.

Now, more than ever before, collaborating with good partners and suppliers is vitally important to the success of organisations and their communications achievements.

Strong team work and collaboration will resonate as a theme across our industry, and we suspect it will resonate with you too.

New and fresh for the UnAwards16

True to form, we’re keeping the UnAwards fresh and exciting. So this year we’re introducing some new categories, including ‘best social media account’ – now that’s going to be a battle royal...

The #UnAwards16 FAQs

OK, I’m in – how do I enter?

It couldn’t be simpler – you complete this short word document and you email it to us at  That’s it.

Here's our entry page for more info.

You could nail it is 30 minutes. And that may just be the best 30 working minutes you spend this year. Get yourself to a coffee shop one lunch time, order yourself a nice flat white and get cracking armed with good intel on what your work delivered.

How much is it to enter?

These are the UnAwards - there is no entry fee. Free, zilch, nowt, nothing. We want to see your best work so we strip away all of the barriers to make it as easy as possible for you to enter.

How long have I got to get my entry in?

The closing date for entries is 31 October 2016 (midnight)

So there really is no excuse to enter this year. We know that we comms folks can be coy about shouting about our own work. But if you don’t no one else will.

Who can enter?

The UnAwards are open to all sectors – public, private, third, charitable and education - and if you’re based outside the UK you’re also very welcome to enter.

How do I attend the UnAwards16?

You will definitely want to attend the UnAwards16.

Keep them peeled for an announcement on event tickets very soon – the UnAwards15 sold out so don’t hang around bagging your ticket to the coolest comms event of the year.

The UnAwards16 will be held at the rather lovely Everyman Cinema in Birmingham’s iconic Mailbox on 1 December, running from 10am - 3pm.  Make sure you’re there to enjoy the UnAwards ceremony, a fab film, and a rather nice meal.

Be a part of #UnAwards16

Darren Caveney is co-creator of comms2point0 and organiser of the UnAwards

If you’ve forgotten how epic the UnAwards15 were, or you’ve not been involved in them before, here’s a neat little short video which should hopefully whet your appetite...




There are several reasons for us running the UnAwards 15. Celebrating the work and efforts of colleagues across comms, PR, marketing and digital is right up there amongst them, of course.

But for me it runs a little deeper than that.

By Darren Caveney

We run the UnAwards to support and – in our own way - fly a flag for folks across the UK and beyond who are working in difficult circumstances and still delivering day after day. To sing for the unsung, to recognise the unrecognised.

I hear – and I hear it way too often, I’m afraid – of some less than great behaviours by some organisations and the way they are treating staff. To a degree this is to be expected with the enormous and ongoing cuts to the public sector – with 350k people leaving local government alone in the past five years there is unprecedented change taking place.

But this doesn’t excuse shoddy behaviour.

Lack of recognition has been a theme in much of the staff survey feedback I have seen over the years too. Sometimes your achievements will be appreciated by others, sometimes they’ll not be. That’s a fact of comms life, as it is in life.

And for me, part of the UnAwards is flying back into face of this and celebrating what you do and do well. We’ve been at, and are, at your coalface so we know.

So the real reason why you should enter the UnAwards is to celebrate you.

The UnAwards are about sticking your hands up in the air, proudly, and saying “you know what – I did some bloody good things this year. And I damn well should celebrate them.”

If you’re feeling a bit unloved, the community will show you some love. We all need some, right?

And whether you are ultimately shortlisted or not in the UnAwards s not necessarily the most important thing either - taking some time out to reflect back on all you have done this year is. This can only be a good thing for you personally, for your teams, and for your organisations.

Of course, if you have done something amazing you should absolutely crow about it, get it on your LinkedIn profile and write a post about it on You never know, it may just get you spotted and open a door somewhere for you.


Then get cracking. You have until the end of Wednesday 28 October to enter.

Grab an hour with a cup of coffee, sit somewhere quiet and do yourself proud.

You’ll be glad you did.

p.s. Don’t forget to nominate someone brilliant in our two public categories: Lifetime achievement and best comms/digital team.

Darren Caveney is co-creator of comms2point0 and the UnAwards

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