CorpComms Awards

Extending deadline of the CorpComms Awards

This is not quite the missive that I intended to send out today but, from midday yesterday when the news emerged that doctors were concerned about the Queen’s condition, it was obvious that the day would take an ultimately sad turn.

And so it came to pass. The end of the second Elizabethan age. The last female monarch of our lifetime. A constant in everybody’s lives that is no more.

As the tributes arrived from leaders and dignitaries around the world, so too did the messages of condolences from various brands. We had the good, the bad, the ugly and the downright confusing.

Paddington, who only recently enjoyed tea with Her Majesty, thanked her ‘for everything’ and the sight of the Google logo in black, with a tasteful ribbon below, is quite poignant. Yet Domino’s Pizza’s black logo and sombre condolence message as well as the one from Wimpy somehow jar.

But perhaps Prince Andrew was particularly touched by the sympathetic message from Pizza Express, even if it did fail to recall his memorable visit to the Woking branch. (Nothing from Papa John’s though: does it simply not care?)

And I’ll never forget where I was when the British Kebab Awards posted its sadness at the news.

But who at Thomas Cook thought it appropriate to tweet ‘Safe travels, ma’am’? (Since deleted.) And Ann Summers should have considered the range of, er, exotic products displayed on its website below its pictorial tribute to the Queen. By contrast, John Lewis and Selfridges simply cleared their sites for tasteful messages of condolence.

Strangely, ‘as a mark of respect’ the Met Office has decided to mourn the passing of the Queen by just posting daily weather forecasts and warnings, although perhaps we could just look out of the window for live updates. And Kuwaiti-owned fund management group Elite Capital has closed its St James’s Square offices for ten days as a sign of its deep respect for Her Majesty.

Yet for all my mockery of the various brands’ inept responses, it seems that CorpComms Magazine is also about to behave rather inappropriately. For every inadvertent tweet or condolence message, there is a comms team in full issues management mode supporting staff who may be distressed or wish to pay their respects, who are discussing their organisation’s response during the national period of mourning and the logistics of a national Bank Holiday to commemorate the Queen’s funeral.

It is not the time to ask people to complete their entries to the CorpComms Awards. If they have already submitted or plan to do so today, then that is fantastic… we welcome them. But we will also extend the deadline to help ease the burden. The final closing date will be midnight on Friday 23 September.

But that really is the FINAL closing date. There will be no further extensions. Not even a little one.

Wishing you all the very best of luck.