The South West College Blog, Way out West, has been shortlisted for the blog category of the Digital Communication Awards 2017, a competition which aims to ‘honour outstanding projects, campaigns and innovations in the field of online communications.’ The final stages of the judging process, and the competition awards ceremony, take place in Berlin on the 29th of September, when Way out West will face competition from companies such as IBM, The IKEA Foundation and Dutch National Railways as it aims for success in the blog category. Other businesses hoping for awards on the night will include University of Cambridge, King’s College London, Vodafone, Adidas, Mercedes-Benz and Netflix.
The Digital Communication Awards are hosted by the Quadriga University of Applied Sciences, an international graduate school for Communication Management and Public Affairs located in Berlin, Germany. The application process for the awards comprises of an online application, and a live pitch in Berlin on 29 September 2017, with judging based on criteria such as strategy, innovation and creativity, implementation and results and efficiency. Having been successful in the online application, members of the team behind the blog at South West College will travel to Berlin to give a live pitch to a jury including figures such as the Head of Brand & Consumer Product Marketing at LinkedIn, the Head of Corporate Communications at UEFA, and key figures at several esteemed universities.
In 2016, Way out West was launched as a new voice from within South West College. Since then, through an array of blogs, articles and interviews, Way out West has aimed to showcase every angle of student life in and beyond South West College. It aims to offer insight and advice into the latest student trends as well as shining a light on the future of education, employment and life in Northern Ireland, highlighting how students can prepare to impact and effect it both now and in the years to come. The blog has featured articles on topics such as student relationships with politics, young people’s relationships with gambling, the millennial generation, and anxiety; given information and advice on student issues; and produced original interviews and profiles with figures such as Radio One DJ, Phil Taggart, Paralympic Gold Medallist, Michael McKillop, and UTV personalities, Paul Clark and Ken Reid. Way out West has featured in local newspapers and on the Irish Times Online.
Speaking about the awards, Andrew Maguire, Way out West blog founder, said;
“It's been a great experience taking this project as far as we have and being shortlisted is a fantastic reward for what we've managed to do with it so far. Hopefully the experience of giving the live pitch and interacting with other companies and professionals in Berlin, will give us plenty of encouragement and inspiration to take Way out West even further in the future.
“The success in producing and promoting the blog stories, and how they showcase what South West College has to offer, is what the live pitch will aim to show the judges in Berlin, with the hope of taking home the prestigious award. The Digital Communication Awards aim to ‘provide innovative online projects with the visibility and reputation they deserve’, and South West College hopes to achieve this through their involvement with them.”
You can read Way out West at blog.swc.ac.uk