If I’d been a keen fan of Arsenal football club, I’d have been in seventh heaven last Thursday evening.
I was at the Emirates stadium – Arsenal’s home in north London – for the huge shindig that was the UK Social Media Communications Awards 2013. It was an event that attracted not far off 300 people who mixed, matched, dined, congratulated and partied the evening away in one of the most enjoyable and well organized events I’ve taken part in in a very long time.
A different seventh heaven!
The UK Social Media Communications Awards is an annual programme of recognition, founded four years ago by Andy and Nicky Wake of Don’t Panic Projects. This was the first time it’s been held in London, having previously been a Manchester affair.
The purpose of the awards dinner and ceremony is clear:
This evening, we’re celebrating the very best in social media communications and recognising the individuals, companies and organisations that are transforming the use of online to communicate in fresh and innovative ways.
As one of the awards judges, I can attest to those sentiments. There is much imagination and creativity alive and flourishing in the UK digital communication space as evidenced by the nineteen award-winners:
- Best Use of Twitter: Defra – News and External Communications Team, Defra
- Best Use of Facebook: NHS Blood and Transplant – 100,000 donors in 100 days
- Best Use of YouTube: NHS Greater East Midlands Commissioning Support Unit – Hand Washing Gangnam Style
- Best Business Blog: TopLine Communications – B2B PR Blog
- Best Community Engagement: We Are Social – Heinz: Grow Your Own
- Best Use of Social Media to Research and Evaluate: MEC – Next Generation Social Insight Initiative
- Best Use of Social Media in a Crisis: O2 – O2 Network Outage
- Innovation: Greater Manchester Police – ‘GMPolice’ Smartphone app
- Low Budget Campaign: The University of Nottingham – A Fresh Start
- Public Sector: East Sussex County Council and Cobb PR – Go e-Sussex
- Best Viral Campaign: Manning Gottlieb OMD – Should’ve gone to Specsavers & the ball boy
- Charity / Not For Profit: Cancer Research UK – Research Kills Cancer campaign
- Best Social Media Campaign: Hope&Glory – Meantime’s True Brew of London (AKA: Hops in a Box)
- Mark Hanson Award: Joanna Halton – McCann Manchester
- Best in House Team: MTV Marketing Department
- Best Small Agency: Hope&Glory
- Best Large Agency: We Are Social
- Grand Prix Award: NHS Blood and Transplant – 100,000 donors in 100 days
- Outstanding Contribution to Social Media: Stuart Bruce
The razzmatazz as each award was presented was terrific (each time I presented one, I was sorely tempted to say, “And the BAFTA goes to…”). While we wait for the professional photos to be available (
check the awards website for news on that - the photos are up on Flickr, 170 of them: UK Social Media Communications Awards 2013), I think this collection of pics I took with my Galaxy S4’s excellent camera do convey a good sense of that razzmatazz.
(If you don’t see the slideshow embedded above, view the photos at Flickr.)
Imaginations writ large!
I was thrilled that my good friend Bryan Person and his wife, Stella, could be there while they’re over here on a visit from Texas. Thanks to Andy Wake for enabling Bryan to be part of things, even presenting an award.
So a great evening, expertly organized and leaving you with a sense of great pleasure for not only having had a good time, but also from experiencing the exuberance, confidence and sheer enjoyment of everyone there, award winners and participants alike.
Great work by the Don’t Panic team, led by Andy in particular. I first met Nicky and Andy in Sunderland in 2005 in those early days of social media when it was all about blogging. Indeed, it was Nicky’s and Andy’s early days with Don’t Panic.
Since then, they’ve come a long way on a successful journey. Well done, all!