Whizz-Kidz scoops Public Affairs industry award for best innovation

I’m particularly proud to say that last night Whizz-Kidz won the Party Conference Innovation award at the Public Affairs News Awards; in front of a starry audience of MPs and sector professionals in public affairs, government relations, policy and communications. It took place at the 8 Northumberland venue, near Trafalgar Square.

Shortlisted to the final four nominees by a 24 strong judging panel, success was particularly meaningful as the winner was voted for live by the audience, using interactive keypads.

We won the award for our use of self-podcasting tool Audioboo at the Labour and Conservative Party Conferences earlier this year.

Two young disabled Whizz-Kidz Ambassadors Jamie Green and Max Sampson, both 17 and wheelchair users, turned interviewers as they quizzed Labour and Conservative MPs and MSPs, as well as big-hitting journalists like Jeremy Paxman, Andrew Marr, and Sky’s Adam Boulton. The young people eked out a very human and fun-loving side to politicians used to dissociating themselves from everything fun.

After selling-in the ‘boos, we picked up media coverage for our ‘scoops’ in Society Guardian and Scottish current affairs magazine, Holyrood.

All the interviewees adopted the audioboos in good humour, some were very candid, and many tweeted their followers that they had met us; helping to raise awareness of our work.

The social media-based project promoted Whizz-Kidz’s ethos; it was carried out by young disabled people themselves, and the light-hearted questions (including, ‘what’s on your iPod?’ Have you been to Benidorm?’ ‘Do you ever Google yourself?’) played with Whizz-Kidz’s particular brand of fun, friendship – and sometimes mischief!

You can listen to all of our winning ‘boo interviews on Whizz-Kidz’s audioboo channel: http://audioboo.fm/Whizz-Kidz.

Congratulations too to our fellow finalists Open Road, InHouse Communications (sorry Katie!) and the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

Want to know more? I’ll be presenting on this (now award-winning) piece of work, and talking about how to engage your charity’s users as ‘producers’ at the next NFP Tweetup on 24 November 2011, at The British Heart Foundation. Hope to see you there if you can get a ticket – they go like hot cross buns!

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