Posts Tagged ‘NCWE Awards’

Rob, Eira and Sally receiving our certificate from John Simpson

Rob, Eira and Sally receiving our certificate from John Timpson

It was a rare day out of the office for Eira, Sally and I yesterday when we travelled up to London for the important NCWE Awards 2013 ceremony hosted by the National Council for Work Experience.

Located in the famous Merchant Taylor’s Hall in Threadneedle Street, the Petersens team enjoyed a delicious lunch and a couple of glasses of wine before listening to an absolutely inspirational talk by John Timpson, owner of Timpson’s, the retail shoe repairing and key cutting chain, with over 900 branches nationwide.  What an amazing story of a successful family whose business is very much driven by the colleagues who run each outlet.  John related his simple but effective interview recruiting process where interviewers use simple Mr Men figures to outline an applicant’s personality rather than delve through extensive CVs and incur costly psychometric testing.  Successful applicants often come from staff recommendations for which they receive a financial reward.  You detected a strong family culture within the organisation and a wonderful model for all recruiters to adopt.

After John’s speech, it was awards time!! Petersens were shortlisted in two categories and did extremely well to get this far when you consider the other shortlisted companies included John Lewis, IBM, Microsoft, GlaxoSmithKline, BBC etc.  So when our name was called as the winner of the Highly Commended position in the Work Placement of the Year: Best Organisation With Fewer Than 250 Employees, you can imagine the grins on our faces.  Another ‘little’ victory, this time across the water!  What a lovely surprise to win this award in the centre of London where there is still utter disbelief that their boys in white were outclassed last Saturday!

So while we may not have been the overall winners in either of our categories, we certainly did ourselves and Wales proud, proving once again that our small but passionate population can compete at the highest level, not just in our hallowed game of rugby.

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It struck me on the train to and from London yesterday as well as travelling on the underground that so many of us, especially the younger generation, rely so much upon our mobiles.

'Cocooned' consumers: Are we becoming too dependent on our mobiles?

It was refreshing to arrive at a reception in the magnificent Merchant Taylor’s Hall in Threadneedle Street before the annual NCWE Awards ceremony to actually mingle and talk face to face with people, communicating with body language, eye movement, gestures, as well as listening and waiting before answering questions. It was a delight to engage with Nikki and Hannah from Holiday Extras, one of the NCWE sponsors, who told me more about their organisation and themselves that I would have gathered from their company’s website.

It does worry me that in our digital age many traditional ways of communicating are becoming lost to younger generations. As marketing advisors we have to be so very careful of giving clients the right advice on using digital media – using it as part of a multifaceted communication campaign, not as the only method, which seems to be the vogue for so many at present. Indeed, as I read in yesterday’s Evening Standard, M&C Saatchi credit the soaring demand from clients wanting to create apps and buy advertising on mobile devices with helping them double their annual profits to a record £16 million! As Chief Executive David Kershaw said, margins are better in sectors such as digital as “clients are prepared to pay more for that which they know less about.”

Network failure: a multifaceted approach to communication is vital.

So while it appears there is no stopping the rise of digital promotion, marketers should remember that as research from the Consumer Knowledge Centre says, “the cocooned consumer is looking to brands for resonance, nurturing, and genuineness; brands must offer support and transparency.” I doubt that this can be done solely in messages of 140 characters. The case for a multifaceted approach to campaigns is vital in both the short and long term for all advertisers.

Thank goodness, otherwise I would have to admit defeat and never step out of my front door, do all my networking, and communicate by iPhone, emails, etc. I would save a lot on clothes, cleaning offices and in other areas, but would miss the social interaction and genuine enjoyments of meeting people face to face.

This week, the Petersens team received some rather exciting news…

We have been shortlisted for a National Council for Work Experience award for the second year in a row!

These national awards, now in their ninth year, reward organisations who offer ‘outstanding placement opportunities’ to students and graduates.  Entries come from organisations of every size and in every sector across the UK, and this year the NCWE received a record-breaking number of entrants for all categories.

Having closely missed out on the award for ‘Work Placement of the Year: Under 10 employees’ in 2011, we are thrilled to have been shortlisted in the ‘Best Micro Enterprise’ category this year. And what a coincidence, having blogged about the importance of micro businesses like ourselves only last week!

These awards attract some major players across all aspects of UK business, with previous winners including BP, Peugeot, Barnardo’s and Tesco. We are delighted that the value of our own work experience placements has been recognised among their calibre.

I am myself a Petersens work-placement alumnus, having joined the team here through the Welsh careers service GO Wales. With the graduate market the way it currently is, I am a firm believer that work experience and internships have never been more important. Their increasing value has been repeatedly reported on in the media – and it’s a hot topic on my own graduate employment blog, What I Did Next.

I’m incredibly thankful to Petersens for the quality of the work experience they offer. I’ve been hands-on since Day One, an opportunity and a level of responsibility I’m not sure I’d get in other, larger agencies.

I’m so pleased that we’ve been shortlisted (again!) – a worthy recognition!

Thanks again to the NCWE for making us finalists. I’ll be sure to keep you all informed as to how we get on at the awards ceremony in March. Remember you can follow our Twitter account (@PetersensPR) for regular updates from all the team.

Wish us luck!

Sally