The IPR PRide Awards 2004/5 - Midlands

Success continues to breed success in the Midlands PR scene as the region reinforces its reputation for first-class creativity and advice. The calibre of work being handled outside of London is also encouraging more organisations to think regionally, fuelling the expansion of PR in the East and West Midlands. The IPR PRide Awards have become an important signature of PR success in the Midlands since their inception, and this year is no exception. A record number of entries to the 2004/5 IPR PRide Awards has helped to reinforce the importance of excellence within the industry.

Regarded as the UK's regional PR oscars, they enable everyone linked with the profession to blow their own trumpet, and plug their company and clients, as they practice what they preach. They also enable fellow professionals to disseminate lessons learned from the most successful PR practitioners in terms of their skills, achievements and innovations. In a highly competitive market, professionals need to stand out from the crowd, and winning awards can make a real difference to the bottom line.

Congratulations to all of this year's winners and a special vote of thanks to the judges and everyone who entered the challenge for glory.

ANNE PARRY MIPR, CHAIR, IPR MIDLANDS REGION

The name may have changed, but in their new guise the annual PR industry awards are as popular as ever in the Midlands. So it's not surprising to learn that this year's IPR PRide Awards have attracted the highest-ever number of entries. Like any other industry, it is important that the PR profession in the Midlands has a sense of pride in its achievements, particularly when there is a wealth of talent bursting forth.

Regionally based PROs sometimes feel it is an uphill struggle getting across the message that they're as good as, if not better than, operators within the M25. But as a recipient of output from the PR industry at large for many years, I can confirm that some of the best operators are right here in the Midlands. While the PR scene continues to be fragmented, these awards offer a great opportunity for everyone in PR to demonstrate the high calibre of their work. This is also being recognised nationally by the growing number of companies switching their PR resources from London to the Midlands. This winning culture also extends to the smaller agencies and some of the growing number of one and two-man (and woman) bands gaining important national and international business. Long may it continue and congratulations to them all.

GRAHAM SIDWELL, MEDIA AND MARKETING EDITOR, THE BIRMINGHAM POST.

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