Does your business need a boost right now?

Does your business need a boost right now?

Does your business need a boost right now?

Industry Insights

By Donna O’Toole

As we begin January 2021 in the UK with another call to stay at home and save lives, there can be no doubt that the pandemic continues to make an impact on business.

Of course, this situation is very real for the awards industry too, but interestingly, this makes for some rare and very positive new opportunities that should not be overlooked.

I want to share some valuable insights with you now, so that you can take your business into 2021 with all the motivation and power you need to come out of this stronger than ever before:

  • Awards programmes have adapted to take any impact from the pandemic into account in your entries – so don’t let a blip while you pivoted or transformed put you off entering.
  • A new wave of categories has been embraced by awards, giving employers more opportunity to reward and celebrate their teams’ work during the pandemic, driving them forward with the boost they need to bring the business through the next wave.
  • More businesses than ever entered awards in 2020 – surprising but true! The most popular awards in the country received record entries, creating thriving, buzzing events.
  • Awards logos became more valuable than ever as the world went shopping online, seeking reassurance from award-winners’ logos on websites and social media, giving them the trust they needed to buy and know they were in safe hands. For example, one of our clients saw a 30% uplift in sales within three months of adding a logo to his site!

Many awards programmes took their ceremonies online in 2020 and will do so again in 2021. This means a few things:

  1. No hotels, no transport, no new LBD. So awards ceremonies have become better value than ever to attend and celebrate with your teams, suppliers and partners. You can even arrange awards hampers to celebrate in alternative ways together!
  2. Instant PR can be gained during ceremonies with screenshots of the events, teams, videos etc. and shared instantly online, which is where your target market is.
  3. Networking at awards has become easier than ever with opportunities set up for one-to-one and round table chats with entrepreneurs and leaders who can help you, and whom you might otherwise never meet… and who you certainly couldn’t take a screenshot with and share before now!
  4. International awards are more easily accessible than ever before as the pitches to judges and ceremonies are all online. This strengthens and grows your global audience in an instant, growing your reporting potential immediately.
  5. Even The Queen stepped up with an extra list of honours for people pulling together in business and the community during the pandemic!

So what do you do now? How do you make sure your brand stays alive and thrives in 2021?

I’d love you to come to my next FREE 2021 Awards Strategy Meeting. It’s just 1 hour, it’s all on zoom (obvs), and you can ask me any awards and business-related questions you like. I promise you will leave feeling braver, stronger and more inspired to take your business forward into 2021 with more power than ever before.

We have limited seats so click here to save your space now.

And if you don’t have time next week but you want to get started on making sure your brand still shines brightly in 2021, you can learn a lot from listening to inspirational awards stories on my podcast and you can start work on your award strategy and entries with our support at our next Awards Accelerator online training day on the 22nd January.

It’s time to stop waiting and start winning again in 2021.

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2019 New Year’s Honours List

2019 New Year’s Honours List

Congratulations to the 1148 who people have started the New Year with an incredible accolade; an honour from The Queen in the 2019 New Year’s Honours List. The list features celebrities, sports professionals and extraordinary individuals, honouring them for their achievements, dedication to charity, and outstanding work in their chosen industries.

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What does recognition really do? The New Year Honours List 2021

What does recognition really do? The New Year Honours List 2021

What does recognition really do? The New Year Honours List 2021

Industry Insights

By Donna O’Toole

After all the hardship of 2020, it’s great to see that the New Year Honours List is dominated by deserving recipients who have used their time, skills, and incredible spirit to give back to their fellow humans, professions, industries and communities in one way or another, and often despite their own personal battles.

Don’t get distracted by the big stars the media highlights for these awards. The vast majority (literally a couple of thousand honours a year) go to regular people who are just getting on with their lives but demonstrating great determination, innovation, altruism, compassion and purpose as they use what they have and know to make a positive impact on the world.

The diversity of The List is broadening every year, which is good to see, and shows that no matter who you are, it’s never too early or too late to make an impact.

So how can we make sure people who are doing great things are recognised next year, and what does ‘recognition’ really do for people anyway? Read on for some highlights from the 2021 Queen’s New Year Honours List and to find out how and why to nominate someone yourself for recognition too.

Out of 1239 honours given:

*65% (Over 800) have undertaken outstanding work in their communities either in a voluntary or paid capacity – like Emma Henderson, the airline pilot who co-founded Project Wingman, creating “first-class lounges” in 80 hospitals for exhausted NHS workers. And like paramedic Tom Cuthbertson and his wife Carla who received MBEs after turning the tragic loss of their son Nathan into something positive by fundraising in his memory.

Tom and Carla Cuthbertson who set up a charity in memory of their son have been made MBEs. Source: Chronicle Live, Sunderland parents said their son would be ‘looking down with pride’ as they're made MBEs

Tom and Carla Cuthbertson who set up a charity in memory of their son have been made MBEs. Source: Chronicle Live, Sunderland parents said their son would be ‘looking down with pride’ as they’re made MBEs

*14.8% of honours went to public sector workers including medics, police, firefighters and teachers – like Catherine Fitzsimmons MBE, a former palliative care nurse who came out of retirement to help with the Covid-19 response, and Karen McDowell MBE, Station Commander with Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, who was recognised for her services to the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service and to the LGBTQ community.

*10% (123) went to our incredible health and social care workers, including 41 nurses and midwives, as well as care home managers, GPs, surgeons, volunteers and so many more who have helped to support others, save lives through innovative treatments and gone out of their way to provide care during the pandemic.

*9% (111) went to entrepreneurs and business leaders making an impact on business and the economy. Many of these are small business owners who diverted resources to help others, used their skills to teach others, created jobs, changed industries for the better, innovated, and excelled in a way that kept the wheels of the economy moving but was not purely about profits.

I’ve talked before about how altruism is setting entrepreneurs apart, and great examples of entrepreneurs doing good with what they already have are 28-year-old BiteMedicine founder Dr Azeem Alam, who provided free and innovative medical education during COVID-19, teaching over 10,000 medical students worldwide via online tools and webinars. And MBE recipient Manoj Varsani, tech entrepreneur and founder of the property management tool Hammock, who used his skills and platform to set up the voluntary organisation SOS Supplies to help provide more PPE to schools and the NHS.

Dr Azeem Alam provided free and innovative medical education during COVID-19. Source: BiteMedicine

Dr Azeem Alam provided free and innovative medical education during COVID-19. Source: BiteMedicine

Services to…

I always find the vast and yet niche range of ‘services to’ that people are given awards for, really interesting, like Isobel Sheldon, the director of business development at UK Battery Industrialisation Centre who received an OBE for her services to motor vehicle battery technology… pretty niche, but her work is vastly valuable in that industry.

Age is no barrier to making an impact either. The oldest person on the 2021 Honours List is 106 yr old Anne Baker who received an MBE for fundraising for the NSPCC. The youngest is 20 year old BEM recipient Samah Khalil, the Youth Mayor of Oldham, showing it’s never too early to have a difference. One of the youngest people to be honoured last year was Theo Wride who was just 16 when he received a BEM for services to the community during the Covid-19 response – what an inspirational young man.

Topping the sports list for me was rugby legend Rob Burrow, who received an MBE for the awareness he has raised around motor neuron disease particularly during the pandemic.

And from the area of Arts and Culture, which has been so painfully impacted by the pandemic, there was a range of actors and actresses recognised, but also inspirational industry experts and entrepreneurs like Pat McGrath, the make-up artist from Northampton, who has brought much-needed diversity to the fashion and beauty industry. A few years ago Pat was made an MBE, this year her honour was raised up to a Damehood as her impact has increased; she is known for speaking out about her experiences as a woman of colour and becoming an incredible role model for others wanting to follow her path into the industry.

Pat McGrath to become a Dame for her services to the makeup industry. Source: Vogue, Pat McGrath Is the First Makeup Artist to Be Named a Dame

Pat McGrath to become a Dame for her services to the makeup industry. Source: Vogue, Pat McGrath Is the First Makeup Artist to Be Named a Dame

There are so many more people I would love to shine a light on here, and I’m sure there are people you can think of have not had any recognition at all, but who truly deserve it. So what can you do about that, and why should you make the effort, and what does that recognition really do anyway?

Recognition conveys appreciation. It says thank you. It shows gratitude. It builds relationships. It inspires innovation. And ultimately, it drives people forward with more vigour than ever to do even more good in the world.

We see the impact of recognition in the workplace all the time: One study revealed that employees who are given recognition show 26% increase in engagement22% increase in effectiveness, and 33% increase in innovation. And 88% of employees who were recognised for their contribution said they were more motivated and inspired to do even better work.

So you can see why recognising your team is so important. Translate that to the ‘real world’ and you’ve got a heck of a lot more positive impact coming back into the world each year through the drive, encouragement and motivation that recognition has given to the deserving recipients.

It’s not about doing something just to get recognised, it’s about being altruistic and using what you can to make a change and have an impact.

No matter what you think about Boris or the monarchy, these awards are not about them, or for them. They are for exceptional individuals making an impact.

So let’s make sure the people we know, love, live with, and work with, are celebrated and justly rewarded for their dedication to making life better in some way. Listen to my recent podcast to find out how to nominate someone for an honour next year. It’s free, it’s accessible, and it’s one of the best ways to say thank you and give something back today.

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You might also like

2019 New Year’s Honours List

2019 New Year’s Honours List

Congratulations to the 1148 who people have started the New Year with an incredible accolade; an honour from The Queen in the 2019 New Year’s Honours List. The list features celebrities, sports professionals and extraordinary individuals, honouring them for their achievements, dedication to charity, and outstanding work in their chosen industries.

read more

Could you be Eligible for a Queen’s Honour?

Could you be Eligible for a Queen’s Honour?

Could you be Eligible for a Queen’s Honour?

Queen’s Honours

By Donna O’Toole

Could you be eligible for a Queen’s Honour?

The 2018 New Years Honours list featured a wide range of extraordinary people from every corner of the UK, with ages ranging from 18 – 101 years old! Amongst the award winners were author Michael Morpurgo who received a knighthood for his services to Literature and Charity. More famous faces joined the list;

  • Drummer Richard Starkey (AKA Ringo Starr) of The Beatles received a knighthood
  • PR Consultant Lynne Franks received an OBE for her services to business, fashion and women empowerment
  • The First British Astronaut Helen Sharman received one of the highest honours, The Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) for her services to education in science and technology

Of the 1123, Lucia Mee is the youngest. At only 18 years old, she has undergone three liver transplants following her diagnosis of autoimmune hepatitis. Lucia is being awarded a BEM for dedicating her time to promoting and spreading awareness about organ donation.

The list features individuals who have dedicated their lifetime to helping others. Two individuals stand out in particular, at 101 years old Lt Col. Mordaunt Cohen receives an MBE for his services to WW2 education. Also, 101 years old,  Helena Jones receives a BEM for her services to young people in the Brecon, Powys community. What an incredible legacy for their families!

How do you get an MBE, OBE, CBE or Knighthood?

The honours system rewards people for their outstanding achievements, those who have shown great commitment to serving and supporting Britain, and those who have demonstrated exceptional service to their industries, communities and professional disciplines.

If you have made life better for others or are excel at what you do – you or a friend, family member or colleague could be eligible for an honour from The Queen!

Anyone can be nominated for an Honour. However, the entry process is not to be taken lightly.

Creating a nomination involves compiling an outstanding narrative, testimonials and evidence, then putting it all together in a clear, cohesive and comprehensible way. Once submitted it can take between 12-18 months or longer to get a response.

The entries are rigorously checked by an Honours Committee to decide who shall receive the prestigious awards at either The Queen’s Birthday Honours List in June or in the New Year Honours List. In total there are around 2200 awards given out every year!

Types of National Honours

There are several types of Queen’s honours you can receive. These range from;

  • Dame or Knighthood
  • Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)
  • Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)
  • Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)
  • British Empire Medal

Each honour is awarded depending on the achievements you have detailed in your nomination, you do not specifically choose which one you would like to apply for.

What receiving an honour from The Queen could do for you

Receiving an honour is such a huge achievement and you should reap the rewards it brings. When you receive an honour you are invited to Buckingham Palace and presented with your medal by The Queen or a member of the Royal family. Your name and achievements are published in major national and international publications and if you are awarded a Damehood or Knighthood you receive the title ‘Sir’ or ‘Dame’, for other honours you have the letters of the award added to your name.

What an amazing platform for sharing your story with others and motivate more people to look after their communities or expand their profession with their commitment!

Who do you know that could be worthy of an honour from The Queen?

Donna has successfully overseen hundreds of honours applications and knows what it takes to win. Get in touch today to find out if your candidate could be in line for an honour too.

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You might also like

2019 New Year’s Honours List

2019 New Year’s Honours List

Congratulations to the 1148 who people have started the New Year with an incredible accolade; an honour from The Queen in the 2019 New Year’s Honours List. The list features celebrities, sports professionals and extraordinary individuals, honouring them for their achievements, dedication to charity, and outstanding work in their chosen industries.

read more