Mandy Galmes' Cannes Diary: Day Four + Five

IMG_6905.jpgMandy Galmes, co-founder and MD, Fuel Communications is a representative on the PR Lions jury. Here Galmes gives her account of day 4 and 5 in the judging room.
It's been a long five days in the jury room and today was the day the shortlist had to finally come together.
After a marathon 12 hours of judging on Saturday, we left The Palais late in the evening.
It was the first time the entire jury had come together after individual and small group judging.  This meant it was the first time we had seen the proposed shortlist across all the categories. Probably the best way to describe it is like the process of responding to a new business pitch: you receive the brief, get clarity about what needs to happen then each member of the team goes away and works on the content they agreed to. But then when you bring all that content together and sit down for the first to see what you have got - what brilliance has emerged - you find there is still a long way to go.
IMG_6972.jpgBut yesterday it all came together like a well-planned jigsaw. The rationale for our cases became stronger, we were able to dig deeper into some of the work we had questions about and vote it in or out, but most importantly the good work started to find its way to the top.
One of the biggest insights I have had from the judging process is the importance of providing the cultural context of the work. The PR Lions Jury is extremely diverse with 20 jurors representing countries including China, Japan, Columbia, Portugal, Poland, Norway, Sweden, Brazil and India. But if a cultural reference, tone of voice or nuance is misunderstood, the work can easily be dismissed.
The entries that are successful are those that can:
·         clearly and simply communicate the issue and the context within the local market
·         outline what relevance it had to the brand
·         show how the idea to address the issue was surprising or creative
·         demonstrate how earned media drove the campaign to create purpose or affect change
Today is the final day of judging. It's going to be a late one as we work through the shortlist to agree on metal. Everyone on the jury knows that there will be scrutiny over our decision so we want to make sure we leave no stone unturned and no decision unquestioned in order to get this right. This will mean lots of robust discussions as we come together in agreement on the order of the metal. Hopefully once we are done there will be time for a celebratory drink or two in Gutter Bar before stumbling into bed for our final duty tomorrow - PR Awards Ceremony.

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