Finweek English Edition - - Communication & Technology -

I DIDN’T GET IN­VITED to the Ea­gle Awards. Nor­mally, it doesn’t bother me if a com­pet­i­tive pub­lisher (in this case, INC) doesn’t in­vite me to one of its pro­mo­tions. I’m not re­ally in the busi­ness of adding lever­age to events in­tended to boost ri­val pub­li­ca­tions.

But the Ea­gles – pre­sented for ex­cel­lence in print ad­ver­tis­ing – are one of seven awards fes­ti­vals of­fi­cially en­dorsed by the Creative Cir­cle. They’re in­dus­try-sanc­tioned events and, as such, should be open to all me­dia on prin­ci­ple. Or­gan­i­sa­tions that de­cide to present awards for ex­cel­lence in their fields of ac­tiv­ity like to en­list the help of me­dia part­ners, be­liev­ing that guar­an­tees good cov­er­age of their awards.

In re­al­ity it guar­an­tees rather poor cov­er­age, be­cause few pub­li­ca­tions other than the me­dia part­ner pro­vide any cov­er­age at all. Why should they pro­mote what looks all the world to them like a pro­mo­tion run by a com­peti­tor? That may be an in­cor­rect per­cep­tion, but in the pub­lic­ity field per­cep­tion is re­al­ity.

An­other ex­am­ple is the Mar­ket­ing As­so­ci­a­tion’s part­ner­ship with the Sun­day Times in the Mar­ket­ing Ex­cel­lence Awards. That en­sured other pub­li­ca­tions that saw the Sun­day Times as com­pe­ti­tion (and given the broad base of its read­er­ship, that meant pretty well every­one) wouldn’t be in­ter­ested. That in turn meant the awards were seen as the re­sult of a Sun­day Times pro­mo­tion and not a to­tally im­par­tial and in­de­pen­dent in­dus­try-based event. ¤

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