The first-ever awards scheme to recognise the online achievements of businesses, schools and charities from across Surrey has been launched.
The Surrey Digital Awards, which is being supported by the Surrey Mirror, is the brainchild of former journalist Iain Johnson and web-designer Andy Pritchard and has been dubbed ‘The Benchmark for Online Business’.
And after months in the making the first SDAs – which offers gold, silver and bronze prizes for excellence across ten categories, including ‘Website’, ‘Mobile App’ and ‘Use of Social Media’ – seems to be striking a chord with its audience.
Mr Johnson, 39, who worked as a newspaper reporter believes it is the perfect time to recognise the significant digital achievements of organisations of all sizes from across Surrey.
He said: “I think the fact that it takes less than two minutes to complete an entry through our website, it’s free, and nothing like this exists around the county, had made it a ‘no-brainer’ for anyone serious about their work on the Internet.
“Add to that our partnership with the Surrey Mirror and the fact they we shall be shortly be unveiling a very impressive panel of independent judges including some leading experts from within the digital industry and this should really appeal to people who are committed to making their online work a success.”
Awards will also be offered for ‘Use of Video For Business’, ‘Online Marketing Campaign’, ‘School, Education or Charity Website’, ‘Responsive Website’, ‘Small Business Website’ and the blue ribbon accolade for ‘Online Business’.
Mr Pritchard, 32, explained that the scheme is open to all Surrey organisations and businesses using digital technology.
He added: “Last year we realised that there was nothing happening to celebrate the great amount of work being done across Surrey using digital technology. There is so much effort going into producing great websites for business, schools and charities, and we think Surrey is among the leading counties on this but nobody is recognising that.
“But the SDAs is not just a beauty contest for companies with large budgets to spend on web design. Our independent judges will be searching for innovation, imagination and impressive execution of online activity, which could well be done on a very limited budget.”
The closing date for entries will be January 9, 2015 and a special awards evening will be held at a venue to be announced shortly in March 2015.