FRIDAY 8 JUN 2018 10:44 AM


Public relations is arguably one of the UK’s most important, but least understood, sectors. Rarely on the frontline, public relations practitioners can be found working behind the scenes to ensure the UK’s most vital services continue to function as normal, as well as rise up in the face of adversity. Wednesday night celebrated these unsung heroes at a ceremony in the heart of London.

Held at the iconic Artillery Gardens at the HAC, the site of England’s first balloon ascent by Vincenzo Lunardi in 1784, the CIPR Excellence Awards saw practitioners from across the UK benchmark and celebrate excellence in communications and public relations. Hosted by comedian and broadcaster Jen Brister, the 700-strong audience was kept captivated by Brister’s witty quips and the impressive staging at the CIPR’s most prestigious event.

Opened by current CIPR president Sarah Hall, the event set the tone for continued development in standards across the public relations industry. “If public relations is to be respected, we must continue the drive to professionalism," said Hall. "If you haven’t already, please make continuing professional development your route to achieving Chartered status and encourage your teams to do the same. When this, and ethical, strategic and leadership competencies are the norm, we will know we have finally come of age.”

Big winners on the night included creative brand communications consultancy Taylor Herring, awarded gold in the ‘Consumer relations campaign,’ ‘Integrated campaign’ and ‘Transport or automotive campaign’ categories. The latter, conducted in partnership with transport app mytaxi, saw 50 of mytaxi’s 17,500 London drivers equip their vehicles with defibrillators and participate in emergency first aid training with St John’s Ambulance. English Heritage was recognised as ‘Outstanding in-house public relations team’ and the Metropolitan Police Service’s dedication to public sergeancy in the face of terrorism threats was recognised in its gold accolade for ‘Issues, crisis or repetitional management.’

The vast scope of public relations was acknowledged, with the CIPR Excellence Awards recognising how, with enough dedication, agencies of all sizes can create meaningful impact. To that end, ’Outstanding small public relations consultancy’ was awarded to Tinker Tailor Trouble Maker, while ‘Outstanding mid-sized public relations consultancy’ went to Manifest. Marine and shipping public relations specialist BLUE Comms was awarded the coveted ‘Outstanding specialist public relations consultancy’ and top prize of ‘Outstanding large public relations consultancy’ went to Instinctif.

And, while success in PR is dependent on teamwork, the CIPR Excellence Awards also recognised eminence in individual achievements. ‘Outstanding young communicator’ was awarded to Jade Byrne Chart.PR, MCIPR, of Provident Financial; Bridget Aherne MCIPR scooped ‘Outstanding independent practitioner’ for her continual dedication and commitment to applying communications as a strategic function across organisations. The judges said, “The judges were impressed by Bridget’s focus on not only being a good PR practitioner but becoming an inspiring leader."

“She strives to future-proof herself and her business through professional development and CPD. Bridget embodies the future of PR, by demonstrating the importance of strategic management and thinking.”

Sponsored by 3GEM, as well as Kantar Media, OnePoll, Reuben Sinclair, Specialist Speakers and Vuelio, the night embodied all that the public relations profession has achieved - and all is has in store for the future.

For a full list of the night’s winners, visit the CIPR Excellence Awards website

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