Seven thoughts on the Public Relations awards in India
- This was the first time ever since I began writing this weekly column that I did not write about the Cannes Lions. This was also the first time since the PR Lions were introduced that there was no jury member from India attending in person. Though the organisers changed the format and got two sets of jury. One to do the preliminary evaluation and the other to physically be present and choose the best campaigns, India’s representatives were not present. That apart no Indian campaign made it to the shortlist for the PR Lions.
- That being said Ogilvy sent the same campaign again this year that won them a few awards last year for Savlon’s Chalk Sticks and got them several awards. But they did not enter the PR partner’s name like they did last year. To my mind both aspects are weird. How can the same campaign go a second time. The premise is that the chalk was created with an innovation that included soap in it. That happened in 2016 and was evaluated in 2017. Not sure on what basis it was sent again. Anyway, lesser said the better.
- Next week Indian PR will witness first of three exclusive awards for the fraternity with the sixth edition of the Sabres South Asia. It’s fascinating that a gentleman had commented to me a couple of years ago when a leading PR firm swept the awards night that they paid to win – a charge I was in a position to flatly deny because I know for a fact that it is not possible to do so. Interestingly, the same gentleman was in the jury this year and the same PR firm he ridiculed has the highest number of nominations.
- Fulcrum Awards, with which I am involved, has managed to do four things that no other award has done – have a dedicated Awards Director, bring a big Four firm as a Process Reviewer, not accept sponsorships from any PR firm or participating corporate organisation and prevent any of the jury member from participating in the awards during the particular year. All this costs money but it is worth every rupee to ensure the highest standard of credibility. The Fulcrum jury will meet a day before the first awards for the season are announced.
- I met the CEO of a Top 10 PR firm at the airport recently and was able to gather some insights from the CEO about imaginary gossip doing the rounds within the circles that CEO operates in, including the fact that there are some firms that do not like to see the firm that the CEO belongs to at awards and at other professional events. Again, that was shocking to hear how a high-profile CEO can be a victim of gossip I have never come across at the several forums I attend. Unfortunate, that leaders we consider mature end up getting carried away by rumour mongering.
- There are firms at different levels of maturity and this has nothing to do with how old or young the firm is or its leaders are. But one thing I have noticed is at the awards function those that do not win, behave in a childish manner and either leave the venue in a huff or bad-mouth the organisers. And those that win get completely caught up in the victory and forget graciousness which they can use to include the other firms in the celebration. I hope winners and runners up learn this and ensure that in 2018 things won’t be like they have been in previous years.
- Awards celebrate the profession, and everyone must take a moment or two to realise that another human being or organisation won an award because they must be doing something different and something right. It is pointless to sulk or remain with a bad taste.
Here’s to a great season of Awards that kicks off with Sabres in July, Fulcrums in September and the e4m Awards in November.