THERE’S no doubt when it comes to involvement in the Isle of Man Newspapers Awards for Excellence, Isle of Man Advertising and PR has immersed itself.
The company has been shortlisted, won and now sponsored an award in the seven years since the RBS International sponsored event began.
Helen Summerscales, managing director of the agency, accepted last year’s Freedom to Flourish Award on behalf of her 13 members of staff. She did so alongside her father Philip, who set the business up more than quarter of a century ago.
‘It was entirely fitting he was on the stage having started the company up 25 years ago,’ said Helen. ‘Martin Norbury, director of operations, is definitely my right hand man these days, but my dad is still chairman of the company and although he is not involved in the day-to-day running he still takes an interest in the business. It was lovely to share the moment with him. It is a family business and those values are undoubtedly a contributor to our longevity. I have been working with my dad on all sorts of projects since I was a teenager; we have a very special relationship and are always excited about the business. After the team, the first person I tell about a new client or deal is my dad. He gets the same thrill and excitement out of what we are doing as I do.’
The Awards 2011 were a real celebration for the company, which hosted a 25th anniversary party on the night and invited a number of their supporters, past and present. Winning the Freedom to Flourish Award, says Helen, was the furthest thing from their minds on the night. ‘It was amazing,’ she said. ‘We were finalists the year before for small business and this time the expectation really wasn’t there for winning - and we were shortlisted alongside two superb Isle of Man charities. We were delighted to be shortlisted for the Freedom to Flourish Award and we did feel really very prestigious. We’d had our bash and we didn’t feel the evening could’ve got any better and then our name was read out.’
Her enthusiasm shows just how important the Awards have become to the community.
And what about being able to call yourself a category winner? Does it really benefit a business/organisation? ‘We used it as a lever and an introduction to new business and it works,’ said Helen. ‘It’s undoubtedly a seal of approval.’
Isle of Man Advertising and PR’s portfolio reads like a who’s who of island business. The company counts heavyweights such as Celton Manx, ManSat and various Government Departments and strategic partnerships among its clients.
It’s a testament to the tenacity shown by Helen and her team, who are not only willing to move with the times but see it as an imperative. ‘You have to evolve,’ said Helen. ‘The Isle of Man is a great place to do business. It’s accessible - if you want to talk to someone, if they are not in the phone book then the person stood next to you will know them. No-one is too great or too important in the Isle of Man to talk to you and that is completely part of the island’s charm and uniqueness. In line with the Department of Economic Development initiative, I believe the Isle of Man provides an environment “Where You Can” do extraordinary things.’
This year’s Awards will focus very much on the “Where You Can” initiative, celebrating the amazing things going on in our community through the 16 awards categories.
Isle of Man Advertising and PR is sponsoring the award for Marketing and PR Effectiveness. Said Helen: ‘We wanted to sponsor this award, not just because of the synergy with our business but because when it comes to this area companies have had to work so much harder in recent times.
‘Budgets are cut, expectations are higher and you have to be extra creative. You have to think beyond the normal and about how to target and communicate with your stakeholders.
‘There are lots of good marketeers in the island – there’s been an Isle of Man branch of the Chartered Institute of Marketing since 2008 and we helped them celebrate the Institute’s 100th birthday last year – and I hope people out there will rise to the challenge and feel comfortable in putting their hat into the ring.’
l This year’s Isle of Man Newspapers Awards for Excellence, in association with RBS International, will be held on November 15. Application forms will be available tomorrow at www.iomtoday.co.im If you would like to find out more about what entering can do for you, contact Trudi Williamson (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Sarah Radcliffe (email@example.com) or 695695 for more information.