When one attends awards ceremonies – as we all do, all the time, all seasons, all year round (possible exaggeration) – it’s normal to bring a hefty dose of expectation with you, particularly if you’re nominated in as many as four categories at the 2012 Yorkshire and Lincolnshire CIPR Awards.
Indeed, such was the situation that Manifest found itself in on an autumnal Thursday night but a few weeks ago. However, as any true socialite-stacked agency knows, the real trick is to adjust all expectations to a level that allows only minimum disappointment should the worst come to the worst, and you file out in the cold night air with, to coin a phrase from that great scribe, Shaun Carter, ‘only your balls and your word’.
A somewhat rarer challenge is what to do if you win awards in every category you are nominated. But it’s unheard of, I hear you cry, It can’t be done, DREAM ON FOOL!
And yet, man alive, it happened.
Under the bright lights of the Queen’s Hotel’s cavernous (moderately sized) ballroom (hall) the Manifest name was announced FOUR glorious times. As well as a silver award for our public sector work with beloved client Leisure Connection, we scooped three further glistening, angular gongs on the night.
A gold award in the Corporate and Business Communications category (for our work with the finest freight forwarding company in all the land, Hellmann UK) was swiftly and noisily followed by the announcement of Amy Gregory as winner the GRAND MASTER OF PR award, or to give it it’s official and less made-up title, Young Communicator of the Year. YES AMY! And well deserved it was too, not only for her terminator-esque PR awesomeness, but also for her ability to skip up on stage in heels made to destroy ankle tendons.
By this point in the evening it’s fair to say that the Manifest table was extremely excitable. So excitable, in fact, that when ITV Calender’s Gaynor Barnes announced our victory in the evening’s flagship award, PR Agency of the Year, she was compelled to warn: It’s going to be noisy!
She wasn’t wrong. If I were pushed to describe our table’s reaction to the win, I think I would go with explosive joy; or maybe giddy eruption. Both would work. From a personal perspective, I remember feeling my eardrums begin to weep like a weary child. Had my Granddad been there, sans industrial strength hearing aid, he might even have asked for a bit of quiet.
Anyway, the Manifest PR team sashayed up to the stage to shake hands, air kiss and generally enjoy industry recognition for a brilliant year, before bedding in for a jolly good time on the dance floor. Indeed, even the celebratory jigging proved eventful. On some deep subconscious level, Bob felt compelled to honour his hidden Greek heritage with some unintentional taverna-style plate smashing – except instead of plates it was champagne glasses – cursed slippy hands!
This may or may not have has a bearing on the next incident as Jade, attempting a dance move so ambitious it’s still illegal in the majority of US states, cut her foot on a rogue shard of glass. If the collective Manifest team wasn’t so spectacularly versed in the ways of the first aid kit, it might have been a sad end to the night. As it was, dance conquered all, and Jade’s artfully applied bandage endured manfully.
All things considered, it was an incredible night for Manifest’s growing PR division. The only blackspot was that MD Nev Ridley couldn’t be there in person. That said, he was certainly there in spirit – and, bizarrely, in mask; allowing his cosmetically enhanced cardboard doppelganger to witness an evening of genuine glory.