Us @ Bristol

Awards season begins! After a busy week finally locking the edit of our new corporate film, Hannah and I headed up to Bristol for the CIPR Local Public Services Awards. Joining us were Sarah, Lauren and Caroline representing the Postgraduate Marketing team. We were short listed in the 'Digital Excellence' category whilst they were hoping to bag the 'PR on a shoestring' trophy.

We set off from Luton at lunchtime for our trek out west, making sure that we stuck to the timings dictated by our pre-booked train tickets. It soon became apparent that wheelie suitcases were not a good idea through London (handle down, steps, handle up, steps...) but we arrived in good time nonetheless and headed to our rooms to get ready. The walk to the venue was only about 200 yards and I was very glad to be wearing comfortable shoes (unlike the girls) as again, the steps (and cobbled streets) were their worst enemy!

The venue was the absolutely brilliant 'At-Bristol'. A Science Museum definitely worth checking out, and we particularly enjoyed the interactive exhibits. My personal fave was one which measured the height of your jump from standing and played it back in slow motion. For some reason no-one else wanted a go...?!

We then headed upstairs for a lovely three course meal, some great conversation and, of course, plenty of wine. At around 9.30pm it was time for the awards to begin with our categories up fourth and sixth...

There were around six short listed entries for each category, with the runners up getting 'Highly Commended' and an overall winner. Our category came around before we knew it and being the only university there we felt the pressure on us immediately. Our entry had focussed on all of the work which we had done during Clearing in 2012 to help recruit to target, which was no mean feat in the current climate. After reading out all six nominees then came the announcement: "The University of Bedfordshire: Highly Commended!" - which to me is the same as silver... ;) Both Hannah and I were really pleased as between us this is the third silver award we've won in as many years (and still leaves us hungry to get that elusive gold award...)

Of our campaign they said:
"The university needed to recruit students and online is cost effective. The strategy was heavily focussed on search and social channels. The light-footedness of this campaign made it stand out. Day by day evaluation of metrics enabling modification was a clear indication of the benefits of new media. Clear and measurable objectives were set, assessed and achieved. The campaign added real value to student experiences as well as meeting the university’s objectives".

The big success story of the night though was our very own Postgraduate Marketing Team, who swept the board to beat their four competitors and WIN for 'PR on a shoestring!' A truly amazing effort ladies! This was totally deserved and was for their Postgraduate Life E-Zine of which the judges said: 'the objectives were strong and the evaluation showed they were more than met'.

(Left to right) Caroline Jacobi, Sarah Hampton, Paul Fryer,
Hannah Park, Lauren Hague

So there you have it, all in all a great night and we all came away from Bristol with something to show for it - two certificates and a trophy for the University of Bedfordshire! It's really great for all five of us to be formally recognised for the work we do and just getting short listed was an achievement. We were also happy that the three hour train journey was worth it, as it was a bit more heavy going on the way home :-& Now bring on the CIM Awards at the Grosvenor on 6th March...
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