Each year in May the North Carolina Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (NCPRSA) hosts the InSpire Awards, which brings together the top PR pros in the Triangle to celebrate the “best of the best” in public relations. I am pleased and honored to say that Clairemont Communications won 10 awards at this year’s event, including two best in category awards, six awards of excellence and two honorable mentions. This means that since Clairemont opened its doors in 2010, the team has won 85 industry awards.
I wish I could take credit for the awards, but the truth is that I have been a member of the Clairemont team for only a little over a month, and the award-winning work was done many months ahead of my arrival. Based on the smile that was plastered on my face each of the 10 times that the evening’s emcee, WRAL’s Debra Morgan, read Clairemont’s name, you might think I single-handedly crafted and executed the campaigns and tactics. However, I was simply in awe of my new teammates and excited to know that I joined such an extremely creative and wildly successful team.
I attribute the success to an outstanding team. In my short time with the agency, I have learned that Clairemont takes the word “team” to a whole new level and gives validation to the old saying, “There’s no ‘i” in team.” I know it seems rather cliche, but it really is the truth when it comes to Clairemont. Whether it’s a brainstorming session, working through a challenge or simply going through the daily routine, everyone is working together, supporting each other and having fun.
This is why I wasn’t surprised to learn that each year Clairemont develops a “team theme” for the InSpire Awards. In previous years, team members arrived at the banquet wearing all yellow or waved Facebook “Like” flags as a team member accepted an award for a social media campaign. This year we discussed several options, ranging from straw hats or scarves to an animal print of some sort. After several conversations and much consideration, (Could we find a hat shop? Did we all have animal print clothing? What was within everyone’s comfort zone?) we opted to wear black and/or white with orange accessories.
I liked the idea; it was classy and had a feel of understated elegance. But I couldn’t help but wonder if people would actually look at me and think, “She has on a black dress, a white blazer, an orange necklace and orange earrings. Oh, she must be with Clairemont!” After all, it was an awards banquet at The State Club. I expected many attendees would be dressed in black and white with a splash of color.
Well, it turns out that not only did they did notice, several of them commented saying it was a “fun idea” or a “nice touch.” I admit it was pretty obvious that our color scheme was intentional as I looked around our table and saw everyone dressed according to our “team theme.” That’s when it hit me. Our colored-coordinated attire was a true testimony of the Clairemont culture. We all had the same goal of presenting ourselves as a united team by wearing the same colors, but each of our outfits was different and represented the fact that we each bring our own sense of style and personality to the table in everything thing we do.
I look forward to the days, weeks and months ahead at Clairemont, and who knows, maybe next year will be the year that Clairemont wins its 100th industry award.