Council delegates show real appetite for learning

Awards events can often go overboard. The glam, the glitz, the self indulgent speeches, the crocodile tears and the machine gun popping of champagne bottles.

This is particularly true in the world of television and movies where superficiality reaches its peak when the media interest is more heavily focused on what people wear rather than what they have done.

The celebrations for success in the local government sector is, quite rightly, a more modest affair but, in many ways, all the better for it.

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Local Government Group conference at the end of last week culminated in a gala dinner in the Assembly Room at Cardiff City Hall and the presentation of the Excellence in Communications Awards.

The conference itself had buzzed along with some very interesting sessions including on the final day, Alex Aiken, the Head of Communications for Westminster City Council talking about handling communications in the aftermath of the London bombings; Howell James, Permanent Secretary, Government Communication on what government expects from their communicators and a session with John Humphrys, where he, for once, played interviewee.

Interspersed with these illuminating sessions were mini-presentations, warmly entitled Fifteen Minutes of Fame and giving an opportunity for award finalists to give away their trade secrets. Areas covered included Media Relations, Best Publication, PR on a Shoestring and Best Use of Design/Photography.

These were well attended and showed an appetite for learning new ideas from across the delegates who were representing councils from all over the UK and who must have returned to their teams with some useful nuggets that will help make competition for prizes even stiffer next year.

The awards event itself was straightforward and well managed with the BBC's local government correspondent, John Andrew handing out a host of awards to teams and individuals, reading brief but concise citations and then letting them get back to their celebrations.             
   
As one of the judges for the awards I was impressed by the standard of entries –particularly given the resource constraints that exist for many of the councils who participated. This meant that ingenuity, innovation and imagination were at a premium and in communication that has to be encouraged whatever the available budget.   

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

Max Clifford trial jury finishes sixth day of deliberations

Max Clifford trial jury finishes sixth day of deliberations

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford on 11 charges of indecent assault has been sent home and will reconvene tomorrow morning for a seventh day of deliberations.

Analysis: Fishburn chiefs keep eyes on future despite mounting departures

Analysis: Fishburn chiefs keep eyes on future despite mounting departures

Fishburn's management have defended their reinvention of the 23-year-old agency amid industry mutterings, fed by a series of director-level departures, about the direction in which it is going.

Hit or Miss? EasyJet backs Shakespeare Day campaign with world record attempt

Hit or Miss? EasyJet backs Shakespeare Day campaign with world record attempt

EasyJet aimed to break the world record for the highest ever theatrical performance for Shakespeare's 450th birthday yesterday with the Reduced Shakespeare Company performing on a flight from Gatwick to Verona.

Top PRs to gather in Barcelona for inaugural PRWeek Global Congress

Top PRs to gather in Barcelona for inaugural PRWeek Global Congress

Senior executives from IBM, Nestlé, Vedanta, GE, Cargill, Philips and Allianz will be among the speakers at PRWeek's first Global Congress.