A few years ago I ran the editorial side of a magazine’s awards program.
Most of the entries were scrappy affairs.
A few were very professional productions, submitted in posh folders. Some even had PR companies listed as the source for any additional information.
As the awards process unfolded, I became aware that some of the companies with the very professional entries had won other awards at other times. Some had won several.
I mentally labeled these businesses as ‘awards sluts’ and tried my best to assess them on their merits, even though it was hard not to be cycnical about what seemed to be deliberate efforts to target awards and profit from the resulting publicity.
Fast forward to today, when I have seen an article in a business magazine about a very prominent Internet business. This company is one of a small number of all-Australian online successes. I don’t begrudge them that for a minute. What I do find disturbing is that the media keeps going back to this company for their success story.
I suspect use of PR is one reason these companies keep getting their story told. Lack of imagination (and maybe time/resources) from journalists is another.
I also wonder how valuable it is to readers to be offered the same, over-exposed, company over and over again.
I try, in my work, to spot awards sluts and publicity sluts and to make sure they do not find their way into stories I write. I think I do a better job for my readers and my editors by finding smaller companies whose success may not have been as spectacular, but whose stories are less likely to be familiar to readers!