Owning Your Accomplishments

IABC 2011 Bronze Quill Awards Gala

Photo credit: Vincent L. Chan

“The last time I was here, I was attending a wedding,” I laughed and told my new dinner companions at Table 8 in the Law Courts Inn Restaurant last week. We were attending the 2011 IABC/BC Bronze Quill Awards Gala, recognizing the best communicators in BC.

Once again, I was at the restaurant to celebrate but this time as one member of a team that had won an Award of Merit in the Community Relations category.

A few weeks earlier, I submitted my first application for an IABC/BC Bronze Quill Awards. In it, I outlined Transportation Consultation 2010, a campaign in which we reached out to UBC’s campus community to identify where permanent bus facilities should be located after an underground bus terminal was cancelled due to funding. A suite of online and offline strategies were employed to ensure we gathered feedback from as many members of the public as possible.

Afterwards, I went on vacation and tried to forget about the evaluation process. This year, Accredited Business Communicators (ABC) from IABC’s Regina chapter judged all of the submissions from BC.

When I returned from vacation, I was pleased to see that we’d won an Award of Merit.

‘Not bad,’ I thought to myself, ‘but they must give an award to everyone who applies.’ I fully expected to see an army of local industry professionals marching up to receive their trophies at the Gala.

But that wasn’t the case. On the night of the Gala, only five Awards of Excellence and two Awards of Merit were awarded—for the entire province.

Hearing about what my peers were doing, made me proud—of them and myself. To be recognized alongside the likes of Vancity, ICBC and UBC communicators from other departments forced me to stop diminishing my own accomplishments and own them.

I congratulate all of this year’s award winners. This was a great experience and I encourage others to participate in the upcoming Silver Quill Awards.

I’d like to give special thanks to all of the diligent, hardworking volunteers who managed the competition and then hosted a great celebration.

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