By Anthony Surratt
2010 Beacon Award Chair & 2nd Vice President – Programs, ACC
Vice President, Corporate Communications, Time Warner Cable
I’d like to say entering the Beacon Awards is easy. I can’t. The reality is that finding time and energy to summarize programs you’ve probably filed away by now, and doing it in three or fewer pages, doesn’t fit into anyone’s definition of fun. And don’t even think about shrinking those margins or using 8-point type.
But while it’s no rollicking fun time, and while I usually grumble through the process, I ultimately never regret time spent compiling a Beacon entry. Usually, I end up learning surprising things about whatever program I’m summarizing—strategic details I’d forgotten, buried research stats that apply perfectly to projects on my current to-do list, or even a needed reminder of the power of well-crafted communications plans.
We’re communications professionals. We have to be able to condense complex concepts into a few salient points. We have to cut away the chaff so our audiences understand the heart of a topic. What’s better practice for that than writing concise summaries of initiatives that consumed months of your time?
You’ve spent the past year promoting cable’s products and programming. You’ve tweeted. You’ve written, revised and rewritten. You’ve spun strategic gold out of a pile of reduced-budget straw.
You deserve recognition.
So, I encourage you to view the Beacon entry process as great professional development. Time well spent. A few hours of grumbling that will return rewarding dividends and, quite possibly, industrywide recognition of your brilliance.
As you start the process, you might notice a few changes this year. We streamlined the categories a bit to better reflect the realities of cable communications today, adding a few categories, deleting a few and combining some others.
Don’t forget the entry deadline is fast approaching – April 23. And remember we’ll celebrate the Beacons (and your brilliance) in an exciting new location and format this year: our awards luncheon Sept. 16 in New York, the concluding event of Forum 2010.