The original objective of the program was to celebrate and highlight the amazing work and achievements of the individuals, groups and organisations in regional South Australia, which has not changed.
The main change is that we have taken the focus off the awards element and placed it firmly on the story telling and “Showcasing”. The voting and subsequent awarding element is designed to re-engage the general public, and encourage those across South Australia to explore and re-read some of the amazing stories. The voting also encourages all of South Australia, including metropolitan Adelaide to step back once every year, and look at some of the amazing stories that have been highlighted.
We adapted the program to better meet the following program objectives.
- Put a spotlight on regional South Australia by uncovering, telling & showcasing the stories of success.
- To grow knowledge of the regions and uncover opportunities for economic investment and growth.
- Instil a sense of pride amongst those in regional South Australia by sharing their success stories
- To provide an opportunity for regional South Australia to learn from each other
- To increase media coverage for regional South Australia by providing royalty free content
The program was also changed because of the following points.
- Unless you were in the room at the Presentation Evening you didn’t get to hear the amazing stories
We had a great energy around the program in October when we ran the events, however, after that you didn’t hear much more about the finalists. Many of the regions were unaware of the finalists unless they were at the functions, and no regions stories or recipients were really being recognised or acknowledged outside of their immediate region.
We want the program to focus more attention on telling the stories to a broad audience, rather than at the 7 events across the state. This also gives a more timely, extensive and wide-reaching impact for every individual, group or organisation showcased.
- Award Fatigue, and the program had started to replicate other awards programs
We received a lot of feedback saying that there was award fatigue across the regions, and found that winners of our awards would go on to win very similar awards that had emerged since we started the program 18 years ago (ie our Business Award category winner would win the State Business Awards, and similar instances occurred with the Tourism Awards, Sport Awards, Citizens Award etc).
- Less time to submit entries
This new process means that there is no longer the arduous task of entrants writing their own lengthy entry. Often organisations with a strong marketing department would be favoured due to the strength of their written entry. We were finding that entrants had less time to complete entries. The new format is easier for everyone to be involved, as we just need a few details for the story suggestion to be considered.
- With decreasing regional media we want to help give participants the attention they deserve
When we started the program 18 years ago, our finalists received much more media coverage than they have been in the last few years of the old format of program. The new format encourages media coverage, as all stories written are royalty free and can be repurposed across any media channel. The additional benefit of this is that we are ensuring stories from one region are shared with all regions, helping to achieve greater collaboration and impact.