This guest blog is by Lucy Wright, Press Officer at Greater Anglia and Young Communicator of the Year 2018
Last year, I was named Outstanding Young Communicator of the Year for the Anglia, Thames and Chiltern Region.
I’ve worked as a press officer at Greater Anglia for four years. Prior to this, I worked in communications for another global transport operator and I was a journalist on a daily newspaper for three years.
Working in railway comms can be very challenging. Following an incredibly busy year dealing with industrial action which was a very public and sensitive issue, leading a rail safety campaign and working as part of a small team running a busy press office, it felt like a good time to enter the awards.
I applied for the award earlier in the summer and the application was in two parts – a written submission and an interview.
The written application focused on my commitment to Continuing Professional Development, work-related achievements and how they related to the industry, challenges I had faced at work and details of a campaign which had gone well.
One of my most effective campaigns was about rail safety. Although the UK operates the safest railway in Europe, we suffer a number of incidents which are avoidable, such as trespass, train surfing and fly tipping on the railway. All of these are highly dangerous, delay trains and cost the industry millions of pounds every year.
Submitting your award entry
When writing an award application, it’s really important to include details of measurement and evaluation and how this relates to wider work in the organisation and industry.
After submission, I was invited to an interview at the University of Suffolk where I discussed my day-to-day role, campaigns I had worked on, qualifications I had studied for in my own time and the biggest issues I faced at work.
It was the first time I had entered the CIPR awards. My manager encouraged me to enter the Outstanding Young Communicator category and our team also entered (and won silver) for the best use of social media for our work during the Beast from the East.
I was absolutely thrilled and so proud to win the award. It boosted my confidence and has opened up a lot of opportunities.
Advice for others
My advice to anyone considering entering the awards would be to just go for it.
If you need some help writing the entry, I would recommend one of the CIPR East Anglia’s award writing workshops, which are being held this month.
If you line manage someone who you think would be a good candidate, suggest that they enter and help support their application. You have absolutely nothing to lose by entering and everything to gain – good luck!