Pauline Aylesbury: Star performers deserve reward for excellence in their professional life

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The Marketing Society has a vision to build a vibrant marketing community in Scotland, renowned for enlightened thinking, innovation and creativity.

Our Star Awards have an important role to play in this.

As we continue to develop hubs in key cities and regions across the globe we are able to benchmark our ­activities, work and awards ­programme with the best in the world.

Over the years we have built the Star Awards on some important principles. We look for excellence at all ­levels from our schools and ­development category awards to our ­chairperson and champion awards which recognise leading individuals and organisations – large and small, client and agency, across all sectors and disciplines in our industry

We also invite all our members to get involved in the judging ­process – from scoring papers online to ­participating in panels with other Business Leader members, where we use a combination of ­quantitative scores as well as ­qualitative ­discussion and robust debate to decide the shortlists and the winners.

Most importantly these awards have been developed to encourage professional marketers to take pride in their achievements by producing well-written, well-structured and compelling case studies demonstrating that their work really did make a difference. As the Marketing ­Society is a not for profit organisation, these awards have not been developed to raise ­revenues with any surplus made being used to the benefit of members in Scotland.

This year we are pleased to have Maggie’s Centres on board as our long term charity partner in ­memory of Kyle Hardie, previously MD at Union Advertising Agency and Union ­Connect and a great advocate of the Star Awards.

We are also delighted to welcome on board the Royal Bank of Scotland as the sponsor of our Development Category Awards.

These include the Star School Awards which have been developed in association with Young ­Enterprise Scotland and the SQA. School ­students throughout ­Scotland work in teams to create a product or service and an effective business plan.

The Marketing Society awards the school team which has the most impressive marketing plan, which is central to their overall business plan and success.

We also work with universities and colleges across Scotland with our Marketing Student and ­Creative ­Student of the Year Awards. For the Marketing Student of the Year, we invite universities to nominate ­students to participate in an apprentice day, where they are put in groups and work on a variety of tasks as well as being assessed by an interview panel.

The winner of this award is ­rewarded with a three-month paid placement at Edrington Beam ­Suntory, one of the leading ­marketing ­organisations in Scotland at their impressive new offices in central Glasgow.

All students that are nominated are rewarded with membership of the Marketing Society, to demonstrate the importance of being part of a ­professional network from when you first embark on your career.

Our Creative Student of the Year award is sponsored by Union Direct, which invites students at universities and art colleges across Scotland to provide a creative response to a live brief.

The winning student is also rewarded with a paid placement at Union Direct.

Finally in the Development Category there are three Rising Star awards – Rising Agency, Rising Creative and Rising Marketing Star awarded to young professionals under 30 years of age.

Entry to these awards is by ­nomination with a shortlist being invited to an interview where they are assessed by a panel of senior marketers, who consider their ­professional ­achievements as well as their ­overall experience, expertise and ambition. Our other individual awards are at the other end of the career ­spectrum, where we award the Inspirational Agency Leader of the Year and ­Inspiration Marketing Leader of the Year.

Once again entry is by nomination and a shortlist is selected based on if their story is an inspiration to ­others, if they have demonstrated bravery, original thinking and outstanding leadership.

You can find more details about the Star Awards including how to enter or nominate at our website or follow us @marketingsocsco. The deadline for entries is February 18.

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Pauline Aylesbury is chair of the Star Awards, head of strategy and insight, and deputy head of communications, ­Scottish Government.