The 2013 PRWeek Awards took place on 22nd October at Grosvenor House in London. Among the 29 categories up for grabs, Fishburn Hedges won the Public Affairs Campaign of the Year and overall Campaign of the Year for their work with Virgin Trains to change the Government’s decision to award the West Coast Mainline service to First Group. The judging panel determined that “the campaign generated serious scrutiny of the Government’s decision by the media, politicians and the public”.
Judges were looking for “evidence of the distinct role and results of public affairs and lobbying” and the success of the campaign prompted the Department for Transport to cancel the procurement process after discovering “significant technical flaws” in the process, resulting in an extension of Virgin Train services on the West Coast Mainline.
Fishburn Hedges Director Rory Scanlon commented: "This is absolutely awesome news and it's the icing on the cake of what's been an extraordinary year for the Virgin Trains team. We're thrilled to have played our part in advising on this groundbreaking campaign and are all so proud of the results, so to be awarded this accolade by our peers makes this very special."
Insight Public Affairs took home the Specialist Consultancy of the Year award. Commenting on the award, Managing Director John Lehal said: "The team at Insight are immensely proud to win this accolade. Obviously all finalists exceed client expectations, deliver financial performance and have a great team ethos. But at Insight we take our duty to the profession very seriously: our drive to operate ethically and with integrity; our commitment to diversity through our internship programme and support for industry programmes; our commitment to suppliers as signatories of the prompt payment code; and investing in the careers of all team members. We have had an awesome year with our best ever conversion rate for new business; developing our consultancy Code of Conduct; some noticeable initiatives such as our mind maps and Cameron’s Dashboard; and policy interventions that have been well received including on Non-Executive Directors and Local Enterprise Partnerships. But most importantly we have played our part alongside clients in some legacy campaigns, and it is this lasting difference in advancing policy that is our greatest achievement.”
A full list of the categories and winners can be found here.