As the Principal and Chief Communications Officer at The Darnell Works Agency, Roger Darnell is a patreon of creativity and a great supporter of all the authors and artists in the industry.
His experience in communications and public relations was key to the panel of PR Agency of the Year during Annual 2020, when Roger brought his expertise to the table to judge the best agencies committed to supporting and building their clients' successes. Roger's optimism and quite unique way to look at creativity were an incredibly powerful addition to last year's juries, so we decided to reach out to him again – to learn more about what impressed him about the 2020 submissions, and why.
With this beautiful picture above by Anders Jildén on Unsplash, chosen by Roger himself, let's dive right into this Judge Spotlight to learn more about Roger's experience with the Annual and hear some advice for current and future entrants.
What feels unique about judging in The Annual?
Everything that’s unique about judging The Annual stems from the diversity and scale of the Creativepool community. Across hundreds of thousands of members who span the globe, you can meet every type of person, from those who are just starting out to leaders with vast experience. So, when you judge what has been submitted for appearance in The Annual, you can expect to be surprised by what you see, and who you will interact with. The level of creativity is off-the-charts.
How did it feel like to be a judge for the Creativepool Annual Awards?
It was a true privilege to be asked to apprise the merits of entries for such an illustrious awards program, which reflects high-level creative input from all around the world. The skillset brought to bear is altogether different from the normalcy of business, account, and campaign handling. Participating as a judge confers a status that raises the bar for one’s own future performances.
Will you be joining the panels again in the future?
Is that an invitation? :^)
Can you tell us more about your 2020 category and what impressed you the most about the submissions you scored?
I had the honor of judging the PR Agency of the Year category. Since this represents my area of expertise, I was eager to see how the honourees put themselves forward. To say the least, I was impressed. Using Creativepool’s patent judging scale, I scrutinized every entry: In the end, I rated them all at or near the highest level, with very little separation between them. Truly, each company in the running had a great deal to be proud of, and it was educational and inspiring to be in the position to review their impactful work for their clients. In the end, Sherlock Communications scored the grand prize, adding to its ultra-prestigious and well-earned record of industry awards.
What did you love about the Creativepool community and the entrants you scored?
It is interesting to compare the difference between a company’s profile on Creativepool against what was entered for its awards submission. Some companies are better at using the platform to convey their story on an ongoing basis, and I think this communicates their ethos better than those who maintain a less active role with the Creativepool community.
What advice would you share with agencies and individuals looking to grab a prize?
With very few exceptions, success requires us all to be diligent, creative, and effective in our work. Creativepool and its Annual offer opportunities to legitimize those efforts and have them acknowledged on a global scale. Invest time and good energy into this expanding creative community and put your very best foot forward, consistently, for the greatest rewards.
How do you feel Covid has impacted the creative landscape in 2020?
For over a year, most of us have had to treat life entirely differently due to COVID, and we’re not done adapting to altered conditions yet. As for how that upheaval impacted the creative landscape, there’s a strong case to be made that what remains of our industry is smarter, better and/or wiser. Certainly, a new standard exists for how far creativity can go in altering the world. Whether this will be used for better or worse, we shall see.
What are your hopes for 2021 and beyond?
Whenever it arises, I am so happy to feel hopefulness itself. Knowing that in the Creativepool community, I am part of a congregation where one person’s win might be another’s loss, I am mainly grateful to see positive signs of life. When I hear a story of something good happening somewhere, it helps to offset the sad and troubling signs – and it inspires me to take stock of my many blessings and carry on.
What is your most exciting project in the next year?
Speaking of blessings, I have been extremely fortunate to find a career that I love, and which has been very rewarding to me, even through the pandemic. This September, my book “The Communications Consultant’s Foundation” is due out, where I begin the process of teaching others what it takes to build what I view as a dream career, allowing them to work remotely and achieve success independently. The companion book “The Communications Consultant’s Master Plan” should hit near March, 2022. While continuing to partner with my amazing clients through The Darnell Works Agency, I am very much looking forward to sharing these new projects with the world.