The trick is to make the process as rigorous as possible and assemble senior, respected judges to add requisite gravitas. Then, like pitching for new business, it's down to small details and gut feelings. (To help entrants next year, we have produced a top tips guide using this year's awards as case studies - page 27.)
Usually there's a groundswell and the decision quickly becomes clear. Sometimes the result is so close it is almost impossible to call. Both outcomes were evident in the 2007 Media Week Awards, presented in London last Thursday.
It was a good night for Sky Media, which won Sales Team of the Year in a hard-fought shootout with Emap2, Evening Standard, Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions - the first digital sales team to be nominated - and Times Media.
It was also a good night for Manning Gottlieb OMD, which won the Grand Prix for its Home Office Police Community Support Officers work. Fellow Omnicom agency OMD UK won a sprinkling of silver and bronzes, but Agency of the Year eluded it once again, as Carat shaded a very tight contest that also included MindShare.
OMD hit the judges with a stunning and stylish presentation that also contained plenty of substance and reflected great credit on managing director Jonathan Allan, chief executive Steve Williams and the whole OMD UK team. Carat's approach was more low key, but the pitching team assembled by managing director Neil Jones and Aegis Media chief executive Nigel Sharrocks just won the decision on hard business considerations in the eyes of the judges.
Carat also won the Collaboration prize and it was a good night all round for Aegis, as Rachel Wilson of Feather Brooksbank was named Rising Star of 2007. Radio had a great night, with Xfm winning Media Brand of the Year and Virgin Radio bagging Sales Pitch Niche for Churchill Insurance. I-Level followed up its top prize at the AOL/Media Week Online Planning Awards for its COI/Home Office Talk to Frankbot initiative with a win in the Media Innovation category.
Congratulations to all the winners. Commiserations but also well done to those who came close but just missed out.
- Many guests at the awards were saddened to hear of the sudden, untimely death last week of Nigel Johnson, agency sales associate director of IDS. Jonners was much respected in the industry. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.
- Steve Barrett is editor of Media Week, email@example.com.
This article was first published on Media Week