It has been one of those days where something un-expectantly happened…something that has not happened in a long time. As I was working on some emails, I received a note from a client. Steve Mudge of Serrus Capital Partners sent me an email congratulating me for being awarded SCPRSA’s Inaugural Jupiter Award.
I was thinking, how the heck did he find out…the awards ceremony was just last Thursday evening. He sent me a link from an email newsletter he receives daily from Midlandbiz.com with my picture at the top. It has been a while since I did the awards thing…so long, that I actually forgot what is was all about.
Back in my television days, I was a member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) and numerous other organizations that hand out awards for broadcast television excellence. I have been a part of the judging committees for numerous regions including the Carolinas and the West Coast. It was a part of my culture every year to submit for awards…basically taking the time to pick my best work, fill out the applications, pay hundreds and hundreds of dollars, and sit back and wait.
I have been on numerous judging committees across the country and was even the person that put together all the television station’s entries, making sure everything is edited correctly, applications were correct, the right amount of money was included, the correct categories corresponded with the entries, and so on. It was a part of my television culture… at-least I was a part of this television culture of competition.
I was even a part of the competitive culture that work harder on stories that we knew had a tremendous opportunity to win awards. It was a part of that competitive culture of validation. The trophy case led to bigger jobs, promotions, bigger raises, bigger projects…and ultimately the ego boost.
Over the years, I have been awarded numerous regional Emmy awards, AP Awards, NPPA Awards, and many other awards across numerous organizations. I have won international competitions as an academic and presented at numerous conferences to share research from my graduate school days. But none of this compared to what happened last week…nothing.
A few weeks ago, I found out I was going to be awarded something special from the South Carolina of the Public Relations Society of America. Kelly Davis dropped me a note asking if I would be available on May 3rd to come to Columbia. Shortly after, I received an email from Karen Potter of Greenville Hospital System and Patti Smoake of South Carolina Hospital Association sharing the news. They had nominated me for the inaugural Jupiter Award to be awarded during SCPRSA’s 2012 Mercury Awards Ceremony. I was shocked.
Fast forward to Thursday’s event at Columbia’s Springdale House and Gardens. What an evening. It started out like most awards ceremonies, passing out statues for hard work. Each award probably had numerous applicants competing, sharing their best work from the past year. Sarah and I sat at Greenville Hospital System’s table with Karen Potter and Patti Smoake among many others. The anticipation was rising.
When it was time for the individual awards, I thought I was going to be asked to stand to be honored. Not the case…I sat an listened to a long write-up about me. First of all, this is the first time I have ever heard someone share this much about me in such a public forum, among so many distinguished guests. The more that was read, the more I was unsure what to do…I was humbled.
It is one thing to spend a whole year working to do you best work, then compile it all together with application fees and persuasive write-ups to encourage the judges to choose you. But is it another thing to have someone (a friend, colleague, and client) take the time to write something special and submit for an award. I had no idea what was written. I had no idea I was chosen. I had no idea.
The Jupiter Award “was presented to three individuals for exceptional contributions to the use of social media as a communications tool. SCPRSA presented three awards in this category, representing each of the chapter’s regions.” As a former broadcast journalist, my career was surrounded professionally telling stories for television. Now, my business helps organizations use social and digital media to tell stories. Now that I am no longer in the broadcast industry and work for myself, this award is pure validation. A sense of validation for me and my business. I am humbled!
***The top image is from SCPRSA as seen on Midlandsbiz.com.