Big North East wins at CIPR Excellence awards

Big North East wins at CIPR Excellence awards

Three local PR teams are celebrating after winning at the profession’s most prestigious annual awards ceremony.

More than 650 public relations professionals from over 120 agencies and organisations gathered at the Artillery Garden at the HAC in London for the 33rd annual CIPR Excellence Awards.

BBC's Mock The Week Comedian Andy Parsons hosted a lively ceremony, which saw Filament PR’s Anne-Marie Lacey crowned Outstanding Young Communicator of the Year, Newcastle City Council win for best use of social media, and Up North Communications receive a gong for best external publication, for Byker Community Trust’s tenants’ newsletter.

Anne-Marie, 30, who also volunteers as Secretary of the CIPR North East committee, was nominated alongside five other young communicators from around the UK. The judges commented: “Anne-Marie has shown great courage and entrepreneurship in founding her own company, where she has demonstrated strong achievements in her client work. She is the epitome of an all-rounder and shows great promise as a future leader.”

Newcastle City Council’s social media campaign, Channel Shift, beat entrants including the NHS, University of Sheffield and the British Heart Foundation. The judges said: “This always-on campaign was delivered against a background of local authority budget cuts to deliver real efficiency savings as a direct result.

“The team should be commended for their commitment to staff training and the legacy of upskilling a wide number of employees to deliver content.”

Finally for the regional hat-trick, Washington’s Up North Communications won out against Macmillan Cancer Support, the Police Federation of England and Wales, and the University of Derby among others. The judges said: “This wasn’t a one way broadcast; the publishers clearly demonstrated how Byker News was used to engage, inform and involve its readers.

“They presented how the magazine had evolved since its inception four years ago - an evolution which was led by its readers. Byker News demonstrates that an effective publication is more than a glossy production and met its objectives on a low budget with high engagement with the community.”

Chair of the CIPR North East, independent communications consultant Sally Pearson said: “We have some incredible talent in the North East PR industry and it’s fantastic that the winners’ skills and professionalism has been recognised on the national stage.

“We’d like to congratulate all the winners who are flying the flag for the region and for helping standards in creative communications and professional standards.

“We hope these wins for the region will encourage more PR teams and professionals to enter this year’s CIPR PRide North East awards, which close to entries on June 13th. Regional winners may well be bringing home an Excellence Award of their own this time next year. ”