It’s only the start of my sixth week as an exec with the Fifth Ring PR team, and I can safely say the rumours are true. This is a job where the people around me are 100% dedicated.
And I’m not just talking about the continual flow of emails long into the night or working with clients and colleagues across the globe. Yes it’s partly time zone-driven, but I think it’s actually far more personal than that.
When you start working here you are immersed into the real world of B2B. It becomes a bit of an obsession; your mind is always in client mode. Are they happy? Are we doing all we can for them? What do we need to do for them next? How can we make them the best in their business?
You might wonder why we care. Why not just go in, do your 9-5 and come home? Honestly? Because we are invested.
Client success, be it greater awareness, business expansion or an award win, does feel a little bit like your own. No, it won’t be your photo splashed across the pages of a big-time publication, or you giving an acceptance speech at an awards ceremony – but you do take pride in playing a part.
This was clear to see last week on the night of the Northern Star Business Awards in Aberdeen. Several of our clients were nominated in big categories – Lubbers Transport Group in Achievement in International Business, OilCareers and Expro in Best Campaign, as well as Peterson and Inoapps for Overall Business of the Year. My colleagues were monitoring Twitter like hawks and there was refreshing of truly referendemic proportions taking place! A raft of congratulatory tweets followed as OilCareers and Inoapps walked away as winners.
Now, as a former journalist and in-houser, the world of awards is still pretty alien to me. Obviously I’d be straight on Daily Mail the day after the Oscars, critiquing the outfit choices with my colleagues, but that’s about it.
Clearly it’s not just the entertainment industry that loves an award. After some research my personal favourites so far include; The Ernie Award (Google it) and the Smelliest Sneaker Award (pretty self-explanatory).
But why so many? And with acres of accolades out there for everything you can possibly think of, be it for PR or elsewhere, why are they still so sought- after?
Then it hit me. Competition.
I should have realised. Within my first week here my colleagues were all signing up for the next Tough Mudder. This team just love a challenge… especially one where you are crawling through the mud, elbowing your rivals out the way as you race for the finish first.
Ok, the NSBA is nothing like Tough Mudder. There are no ice- filled plunge pools, greased up half pipes and your chances of being electrocuted and/or losing teeth are definitely lower, but the element of competition is still the same.
When you are being judged alongside your nearest and dearest industry rivals you need to stand out. And that competition breeds creativity – the drive to do things differently.
Reflecting on last week, seeing the delight of my colleagues on behalf of their clients, I can only hope to experience the same some day soon.