King and County

This past week has been extremely eventful both in outside of the office. I really enjoy it when professionally I feel as if things are moving in the right direction for me and I've also spoken in the past about the importance of the company for which I am working to be one which is making a difference to the world in it's own way. This week these have both been happening on a grand scale.

Kier site team meeting the Royals
Kier have been lending a hand on the BBC show DIY SOS by providing free labour and materials to their latest project up in Manchester. This is their largest one yet and the idea is to redevelop an entire street for retired veterans. From my point of view, the majority of this work is being covered by our PR team with regular 5am starts and by ensuring we are making the most of it on social media. I have been called on to monitor the sentiment, amount of activity and assist with any planning that is needed. However, this went into overdrive on Wednesday following the arrival of two very special guests...

Both Princes William and Harry visited the project meaning the amount of coverage we had went into overdrive making the national news. As far as 'celebrities' go you can't really get much bigger than the future king and his brother so I have been pulling everything together to gauge the affect on us as a brand. It's all great news and we're expecting more of the same when the show airs in mid-October.

On a personal level this has also been a big week for me too as I won a Silver award at the first ever Hertfordshire Digital Awards for this very blog!
The day began with an excellent networking breakfast at Knebworth Barns hosted by fellow nominees (and eventual winners) Labrums Solicitors. I really enjoyed chatting digital over a fry-up with such beautiful surroundings and it meant that come the awards night later I'd  see some familiar faces. 

Knebworth Barns proved a great
location for some networking
What struck me was that the majority of nominees were quite small agencies with decent sized contracts. This shows that big companies are happy they are getting a professional service outside of the usual London establishments. Where I was unique was that I was nominated for this blog (which is maintained in my spare time and not as part of my day job) and that I was the in-house expertise for work that is still generally being outsourced.

My wife and I rolled up at the Holiday Inn Stevenage at 7pm for the awards ceremony where a judging panel consisting of industry professionals from other big companies such as Maserati, Warner Music Group and Sky Sports had made their decision on the best local talent. I definitely felt I had been at this game a while as I got chatting to people with whom I had worked in the past over a bucks fizz. Of the 14 categories I was to be up first (I'm guessing it was alphabetical) so at least I was spared the wait!

Another award for the
After a delicious two-course meal, and some entertainment, it was announced by host Robin Bailey that the Gold winners were to give a speech! At least I was spared that impromptu embarrassment as I walked up to accept my plaque and to have my photo taken for the Hertfordshire Mercury.

Overall, it was a great day celebrating my achievements in digital with so many like-minded people. Regular readers of this blog will know that I love an awards evening and there's no doubt that being a part of this has helped me to elevate my own profile (and that of my company) in my home county of sunny Hertfordshire.
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