On April 26, the Publicity Seekers team attended the Northern PR Moment Awards at the Hilton in Manchester. If you want to find out exactly what happened, continue reading our brutally honest account of the night. I wish I could say it was a quiet and respectable evening, but as you read on you’ll realise nothing’s ever that easy when there’s wine on the table.
After a long drive from Hartlepool to Manchester in the back of our Managing Director’s car and after a number of wrong turns, we finally arrived at our destination with 30 minutes to get ready. A quick shower and a bottle of beer later I met with the rest of the team in the foyer of the Ibis. What? You didn’t think we were staying at the Hilton, did you?
After a team pep talk we booked our UBER and off we went. Pulling up to the Hilton was great. The extravagantly decorated hotel was beautiful, and we had our very own red carpet greeting us. Up we went up the spiral staircase and straight to the bar. It was my first time at the PR Moment awards and I wanted to make the most of that company card.
In attendance on the night were representatives from some of the biggest brands in the UK, including the in-house teams of Co-Op, University of Hull, and Northumbrian Water, between others. Just to be shortlisted amongst these companies was an honour to us all but we didn’t come for honour, we came to win.
After locating our table right next to the dance floor (pay attention because this makes an appearance later on in the night) we sat down and introduced ourselves to the brilliant guys from Cision and Weber Shandwick, who were sitting on our table before tucking in to what can only be described as some really good scran.
With the food out of the way it was time for a quick trip to the bar before the awards ceremony itself. There was only one award we were interested in though, and that was why we were here. Publicity Seekers had been shortlisted in the Best Low Budget Campaign for the #BeTheNext campaign we worked on with Hartlepool College of Further Education.
If you’re interested in the campaign you can find it across Twitter and Facebook under #BeTheNext.
After what seemed like an eternity of categories, some of which were hosted by our new friends at Cision, we finally got to ours.
The competition in our category was tough with one of the largest lists of shortlisted companies on the night. It came to the presenter announcing the shortlisted names, some receiving lukewarm applause. However, thanks to our shameless networking and working the room, tables seemed to erupt when Publicity Seekers was announced.
Going up against companies such as Clarion, Digitaloft and Catapult PR, it turned out the night wasn’t ours to win. After shouts of fix from everyone in the room (me) we enjoyed the rest of the night.
After the ceremony was finished and everyone in the room had made good use of the wine on the table. The dance floor was officially opened. This was our chance to show off our moves and impress the big boys of the PR world.
Obviously, we were the first on the dance floor, grooving away to the Tina Turner classic, Proud Mary. Everyone was looking at us and I knew it was down to my incredible skills in mimicking our Tina.
After another trip to the bar to cool down after our dance off, we were introduced to the one and only ‘Voice of the Balls’, Alan Dedicoat, of National Lottery fame. Who we kindly asked to do a short video introduction for Publicity Seekers which you can find over on our Facebook and Twitter.
After rubbing shoulders with A list celebs, we met with Christian and Becky from W, a fellow North East Public Relations company who were attending the night. It was then we had our pictures taken looking ‘respectable’ by the great guys at Prospect PR.
The rest of the night is sort of a blur of drinks and dancing in the centre of Manchester. Dressed in our tuxedos and ballgowns, we received a lot of looks from the students in the Northern Quarter, completed our work for the Hartlepool Tourism Board by inviting various Mancunians to the town and of course we ended the night at 4am with the obligatory pizza and bed. The true signs of a bloody good night.
Needless to say, we enjoyed our time in Manchester and although we didn’t win the award, we achieved what we set out to do. Have a great time as a team.