I was honoured to present some of the awards to winners of the UK Digital PR Awards 2023 contest at a dinner and ceremony in London on 12 July. The awards recognise excellence in digital PR across more than 25 categories.
The judging process was rigorous, with an expert panel of judges (I was one) reviewing and scoring long lists of entries. An overall list was then reviewed by the judges to discuss and agree a shortlist of winners who were chosen and announced at the awards ceremony.
The awards were a great opportunity to celebrate the breadth and depth of PR talent in the digital space in the UK. The winners came from a wide range of agencies and in-house teams, both large and small, and their work was truly impressive.
Among the awards I presented were to winners of the influencer/celebrity campaign of the year, best integrated digital PR campaign, best use of creativity, digital PR low budget campaign of the year, and best use of TikTok (won by Birmingham-based Tribera for their client WD-40, pictured above, with event host and BBC The Apprentice 2022 finalist Kathryn Burn on the left and me on the right). You can see a few more presentation moments in the photos embedded below.
One of the things that struck me most about the awards was the imagination and creativity shown in every campaign. The winners had all found innovative ways to use digital PR to achieve their goals including how they addressed and overcame challenges along the way. And there was passion, plenty of it, in many of the entries where entrants described their campaign and concluded with a reason why they should be the winner of the category they had entered for. Passion matters, especially in an entry to an awards contest!
The awards also showed the importance of social media in digital PR. Many of the winning campaigns used social media to great effect, especially video, generating a lot of engagement and reach.
Digital PR: Judging the detail
Judging entries to an event like this is itself a pleasure as you get to see every detail behind every campaign, from the measurable objectives, the target audiences, strategy, creativity, challenges and solutions, through to outcomes and results. You get to share your thinking with your fellow judges in order to arrive at the list of winners.
And speaking of judges, there were two of us at the event on 12 July, both presenting awards: Andy Green and myself. I’ve known Andy for many years and it was great to catch up again. Andy took a selfie of him and me, it’s in the carousel above. Here he is, below, in ‘presenting an award’ mode.
For the dinner, Andy and I were at a table where all the other guests were from the team at Screaming Frog, an SEO agency based in Henley-on-Thames. What a delightful group. And they won three awards! Here they are below, celebrating one of their wins (which was presented by Andy). Team member Amy Walton (second from right) posted a good write-up of her impressions of the event.
I was delighted to be involved in the UK Digital PR Awards 2023, one of the growing number of awards contests developed and managed by Don’t Panic Projects, the events business founded in 2005 by Nicky and Andy Wake. I’m delighted to continue to be involved: my first such involvement was presenting at a groundbreaking conference the Wakes put on in November 2005 at the University of Sunderland at the dawn of social media.
And so to wrap up, I would like to congratulate all the winners of the UK Digital PR Awards 2023, celebrating the best in digital PR, recognising excellence and the talent and skill that make it all worthwhile. You are an inspiration to us all.