So incredibly humbled and proud. Thanks to all my readers and those who inspire and who are inspired by Strat-Talking.com Simply: wow. Thank you. There are some photos below but they only do the evening some justice.
It all started about five months ago when the public voting stage of the UK Blog Awards 2014 opened and I started getting messages letting me know that friends, colleagues and readers had started to vote for my humble Strat-Talking.com in the PR, Marketing, Media & Comms category.
Every note, tweet or text informing me of a vote raised a smile, it is such a lovely feeling that people care about what I’ve been writing about and are prepared to put the effort in to see the blog do well.
Then, on Monday 3rd February 2014, I woke up to find out that Strat-Talking.com had been shortlisted!
Wow I was excited, the public had pushed the blog over the finish line and my fate was now in the hands of industry experts to judge, ponder and decide the ultimate winner of the category. I immediately checked out my competition, which I have to say was incredibly strong and instantly made me think that the awarding of this category was going to be tough.
As the emails went out asking us to vote for the venue type and location I grew ever-more excited.
London (well that was an easy commute) and black tie? Yes please. I promptly dusted off the tux and had it laid out with roughly a month to go once tickets were confirmed.
The build up was great.
Lots of Twitter action, lots of excited messages between fellow nominees and the organisers and an anticipation of going to my first ever awards ceremony. Then, with only a few days left to go until the event, a lovely typography-rich invite postcard arrived for myself and Kirst. It was soon.
As we walked into the venue and descended a floor or two to where the ceremony was to take place, we were greeted with glasses of bubbles. Many glasses of bubbles. They flowed seemingly endlessly along with miniature food (those who know me will know this is my favourite type of food) for a couple of hours until the lights dimmed and the ceremony began.
We were greeted but he host for the evening and heard a passionate speech from the two fantastic organisers of the event, Gemma and Becki who’s effort and determination to put this event on is to be applauded. We then had a demo from ContentClick which saw lots of bloggers frantically set reminders to check them out the next day (I know I did).
Then the awards.
I must say that at this point I was there eagerly clapping all highly commended and winning blogs with no real thought to my category and no thought towards winning. Being there, being inspired by those who won, especially Chris’ Cancer Community, had already made this an evening to remember.
Finally the PR, Marketing, Media & Comms category was being announced.
They read out the names of each shortlisted blog, nice to hear the name read out to a room full of hundreds of blogging peers, then the highly commended:
All Things IC
Then, the slide and host moved on to announce the winner: STRAT-TALKING.COM!
The first thing I heard was Kirsty next to me scream with joy. I jumped up in disbelief of being the winner. What an honour, what a moment, what a long walk to the stage to collect the award from Jennifer Faull, Reporter from The DRUM and Jane Alcock, Associate Director from Smoking Gun PR. I will, in due course, be thanking the category judges; Rick Guttridge, Managing Director from Smoking Gun PR and Cameron Clarke, Opinion Editor, The DRUM.
My hands were shaking as I got on stage, I thanked Jennifer and Jane about five times as I looked at and clutched with pride the UK Blogging Award trophy for PR, Marketing, Media & Comms Blog of the Year 2014.
— UK Blog Awards (@UKBlogAwards) April 28, 2014
— Kirsty Lavin (@kirstyla) April 25, 2014
Once off the stage Kirst and I took loads of photos, said hello to a couple people she knew in attendance and went off to have the official photographs against the rather proper-looking backdrop you typically see at red carpet events, bumping into Natasha who won Young Blogger of the Year for her blog Graphique Fantastique who reviewed Strat-Talking a couple of months back.
Soon after we departed to head home, every now and then turning to Kirsty and whispering ‘I won’ – this would continue for about four days after (and may continue longer).
Now this is all well and good but this achievement has only been attained with the help of some key people:
- All my guest posters over the past year, thanks for giving your time, energy and expert commentary.
- Everyone who voted for my little blog, I won’t know who you all are but every vote means the world to me so thank you.
- Becki and Gemma for putting in so much to get these awards set up and putting together such an incredible award ceremony that really did celebrate the people behind the brands.
- Friends and peers who email, Tweet and tell me about posts they enjoy whenever we speak, it means so much that you all read it and take the time to chat about it.
- Finally, and most importantly, my amazing fiancé Kirsty who has proof read every single post that has gone live on the site since day one, who encourages me, who spurs me on and who inspires me to always want to be better and achieve more, you’re not only my best friend but one of the greatest people I’ve ever met, thank you.
With that I will leave you with a few photos and sign off, here’s to all the winners and to hopefully being there again next year with Strat-Talking, GreatDrams or maybe even both!