Sunday, 22 April 2018

Our night at the UK Blog Awards 2018


We're just back from a weekend in that London where we attended the UK Blog Awards on Friday night, April 20th.  The Coronation Street Blog was a finalist in the Arts and Culture category, and it was an honour to be there as a finalist because of you reading this. Yes, you. 

Your votes for us meant that we were through to the finals as one of eight blogs in the Arts and Culture category - so thank you to each and every Coronation Street Blog reader who voted for us.  

It's the second time we've been a finalist in the Blog Awards, but the first time I'd attended the awards bash. Back in 2016 our bloggers Emma and Graeme attended and they had a great night. You can read Emma and Graeme's accounts of that night

And so, on Friday 20 April, blogger Sunny Jim and I put our best bib and tucker on and headed to the very posh Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square in London. Here we are in the photo booth at the 'do'!


We travelled to London and attended the awards bash knowing full well that we wouldn't win. We couldn't.  As we have a team of more than six bloggers, we were forced to enter into the Business category although we're not a business - we're anything but.  It meant we were up against the likes of Ticketmaster and the Museum of Science and Industry in our category.  Last time we attended, we were up against Cancer Research. We couldn't possibly compete with these types of blogs and nor should we have been expected to.  But knowing that we weren't going to win anything meant that pressure was off us for the night, we put our posh clothes on and headed to the do.



It's incredibly difficult to put into words what happened next because the night ended up being one of the most bizarre experiences I've ever had. 
We were given an awards booklet where words like
influencer campaign ideation and reimagined from the universe were included. Influencers were key, we were told. Passion for a subject and dedication to writing weren't mentioned.  And it was sad to see that the awards booklet contained many grammatical errors.

On the long train journey home, I made lists of the positive and negative elements of the night. I'm afraid that the negatives ended up going over two pages of my notebook while the positives barely filled one page.  Don't get me wrong, this isn't sour grapes over not winning an award. As I've said earlier in this blog piece, I didn't expect us to win.  But I did expect something a little.. well, different - and better. I expected something more inclusive, supportive and celebratory but what we got wasn't any of that, I'm afraid.

The positives?

Cheering on the individual bloggers, those with true passion, those who love writing, who won in their categories; The ladies who were sitting behind us who cheered out loud when Coronation Street Blog's name was mentioned from the podium; The fun photobooths; The posh venue that made us feel important (it even had paparazzi hanging around outside); Coronation Street Blog's tweets making it to the event Twitterwall.

And that, I'm afraid, is that.  

The negatives?

Firstly, as I've said already, we were in the wrong category; There was no transparency in terms of how many votes we had received to make us a finalist, what the criteria was that made a winning blog or a highly commended blog stand out from the rest of the finalists and what happens to the email addresses that are harvested from entries; No wifi at the event; An out-dated and too-strict dress code; No mention of each Blog's URL, nothing in the booklet apart from the name of the blog. This has changed a lot since we were last a finalist in 2016 when each finalist blog had its logo and a blurb so that those attending could read about each blog; No chance for networking - or even chatting to other people there so none of us knew who the other finalists were; Bad sound quality at the event.  There's more, sadly, but none of it is for this blog post. However, I will be feeding back to the UK Blog Awards organisers just as soon as I can find out who they are.  Hmm... what was that about transparency?

In short, we left early, along with others. We walked to Soho where we met up with our blogger Stevie Dawson for drinks and gossip - and to be honest, this was by far the most enjoyable part of the night.  

I can not, hand on heart, ask our readers to vote and support us in another event like this.  Such an empty PR exercise as the UK Blog Awards is not what we are about - or will ever be.  

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4 comments:

Mrs Brown's Blogs said...

Sadly, I agree with everything you say. So inspired by UKBA17 - feel disillusioned this year :-(

maggie muggins said...

Thanks for reporting back to us, Flaming Nora, and for your honesty. Not that it needed proving, but it does prove the runners of this blog are doing it for the love of Corrie and its fans, always has been.

Very sad to hear all the negatives about the awards. One thing you said stands out and that's that you couldn't get info about how our email addresses are used after we vote. Transparency about privacy is more important than most people know or think.

And strict dress code? Really?

Glad you had a nice time afterwards with Steve anyway. Good luck in lodging your complaint. I stand in support of it. It sounds to me like whoever ran the blog awards up to last year has handed it over to someone who doesn't know the good history of the event. Or they have been taken over by aliens from another planet!

abbyk said...

Well, at least you had time for a little fun in London. You win first prize with us, and if you want to blog while wearing pajamas, that’s just fine.

popcorn said...

You will always be #1 with us!

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