Southern Group of Motoring Writers Awards

Kia and Tesla win big in SGMW Honours List

I previously published the leading nominations for the Southern Group of Motoring Writers (SGMW) awards. Here are the winners.

Kia’s PR team has scored a hat trick, three consecutive wins as ‘Best PR Office’ in the annual SGMW New Year Honours List.

Showing ’20-20 vision’ SGMW members also voted the Tesla Model 3 as SGMW Car of the Year 2020, having named the electric star as a favourite in the One to Watch award category last time.

Five more New Year awards recognised other PR talent and star cars of the past year and SGMW Chairman Ian Robertson said: “We are only into year three of the awards, but they have quickly proved popular with members and our colleagues in the industry PR teams.

“And the winners can be sure they really have earned their award, which makes Kia’s hat-trick even more special; there are some fine rivals out there, but Steve Kitson and his team just do not let up on the quality of the PR liaison and events that promote a fine product line-up.

“But we are also pleased for Suzuki (Best in PR Innovation): Alun Parry and Jess Grimditch might be one of the smallest PR departments in the industry, but they certainly punch above their weight.

“I’m delighted to announce too that Emma Gaffney has been voted Best PR newcomer by our members, having impressed with her work across three Groupe PSA brands, while Carly Escritt grabbed the SGMW OBE (Operating Beyond Expectation) award – overdue recognition of her skill and experience in the industry’s PR sector.

“In the car categories, our members continued support for the ‘Electric Age’ shown last year by picking the Tesla Model 3 as SGMW Car of the Year and naming the MG ZS EV as ‘Dark Horse’ of the Year, with mentions elsewhere for the Volkswagen ID.3 and Mustang Mach-E.

Members are also very keen to get their hands on the Land Rover Defender, which easily secured the One to Watch 2020 prize.

“We decided to add one further award this year for SGMW Southern Star: prsented to a fine performer within our Group, and I’m pleased to say that it is our Publicity Officer Steve Loader, who has done so much to raise our profile and help colleagues.”

The full results for the SGMW New Year Honours 2020 are:

Best PR Newcomer – awarded to someone who made a special impact in liaising with the media during the past year and is either new to the industry PR scene or has taken on a new role/position:

Winner:Emma Gaffney (Media Relations Executive – Groupe PSA)
“Emma is efficient, knowledgeable and always comes back to you when she promises.”

Runner-up:Poppy Mackenzie-Smith (Press Officer, Corporate – Ford)

The SGMW OBE (Operating Beyond Expectation) – for acting above and beyond the call of PR duty during the past year. It can be for consistent high performance, a memorable one-off effort, or a thoughtful gesture towards one of our members caught in a bind:

Winner: Carly Escritt (PR & Events Manager – MG)
“Carly is a brilliant all-rounder – enthusiastic and well-organised.”

Runner-up: Lucy Goss (Partnerships and Events Manager – Nissan)

Best PR Office – awarded to the operation consistently delivering the best all-round or forward-thinking service to SGMW throughout the year:

Winner: Kia
“The team never lets its high standards fall.”

Runner-up: Citroën
Mentioned in dispatches: Honda

Best in PR Innovation – awarded for an unusual or particularly excellent launch, driving route, or any imaginative addition to an event of the PR year in general:
Winner: Suzuki

“This year’s sailing event on The Solent was typically imaginative.”

Runner-up: Lotus
Mentioned in dispatches: Skoda

‘Dark Horse’ of the Year – a car that surprised SGMW members, either by its arrival or just how good it was.

Winner:MG ZS EV
“A real dark horse and game changer. Suddenly there is a very capable and affordable EV contender in a practical and trendy SUV package.”

Runner-up: Suzuki Jimny
Mentioned in dispatches: Volkswagen ID.3

One to watch 2020– the car that SGMW members most look forward to driving in the coming year.

Winner: Land Rover Defender
“A classic reborn? None of us can wait!”

Runner-up: Ford Mustang Mach-E

SGMW Car of the Year

Winner: Tesla Model 3
“It doesn’t ask any compromises of those converting from fossil fuel.”

Runner-up: Mazda3
Mentioned in dispatches: Renault Clio

SGMW Southern Star
Winner: Steve Loader

The SGMW represents motoring journalists living or working in the region around the M25 motorway, stretching from Norfolk in the north to Portsmouth and Brighton in the south and from Reading and Oxford in the west to Kent in the east.

The Group’s main role is to assist and enable communications between its members and the motor industry at large. Current membership stands at31 journalists working on local, regional and national newspapers, plus magazines, books, websites, social media and television, to provide the public and specialist industry sectors with the latest motoring information.

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