Monday, 21 November 2011

And the winner is….

Recently, I've been lucky enough to win 2 awards; Derwentside Physical Activity Achievement of the Year and the County Durham Sport Physical Activity Achievement of the Year. While I was running across the USA, winning awards never entered my mind. Completing the run and raising double the £50,000 sponsorship target for St Benedict's Hospice and The Children's Foundation is all the personal reward and satisfaction I would ever need.

That said, when these awards do come along, I'm ever so grateful and, moreover, extremely proud to receive them. Imagine, my utter surprise when I won another award last week. Not only another award, but not one directly related to physical activity or, indeed, the IT industry in which I currently work. 

I was delighted to be invited to attend the PRide awards hosted by the North East Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) at the Hilton in Gateshead. There were many awards up for grabs and the new PR girl for Run Geordie Run, Katherine Shenton (pictured below), won the Best Freelance Practitioner award.

Despite having a more than succesful UK PR campaign this year,  I never quite got the PR right in the US. Having Katherine on board is going to help take the campaign to the next level for the trans Australia run in 2013. I'm a firm believer that to be successful, you have to surround yourself with positive, like minded experts. The list of such people is growing very nicely and Kathryn joins the likes of David Fairlamb Fitness, The Cradlewell Clinic, Real Radio, The Journal and Tyne Bridge Harriers. Work is ongoing, behind the scenes to add to this list and the early indications are that Australia 2013 has the potential to be every bit as successful as USA 2011.

Meanwhile, back to Friday and the PRide awards! I won the COMMUNICATOR OF THE YEAR award. Following the presentation of the trophy I was able to deliver an acceptance speech. My opening line was "Communicator of the year! Wow! I don't know what to say!". My planned funny line was greeted with silence and I could just about make out a tumbleweed at the back of the room.

That duff line aside, I was very pleased with my speech and it gave me the chance to talk about the Run Geordie Run brand, the success of the campaign and to thank those in the media who'd helped make USA 2011 a success; Real Radio, ITV Tyne Tees,, BBC and The Journal.

I closed by reflecting on the fact that I thought my parents would have been very proud of my award. It's these profound moments in life that make running 3100 miles for charity so extra special.

I got to meet some very interesting people and I thoroughly enjoyed the PRide 2011 event. I'd like to say thanks to CIPR for their hospitality and for giving me such a prestigous award.