This week, the event information has been requested from our judges and their hard work is now complete. Our judges are now counting down to the awards event where the industry winners will be announced and the biggest names in digital can celebrate under one roof!

We caught up with Sports and Fitness judges, , Editorial Director from Men’s Fitness Magazine and , Director from  who are supporting the Sports and Fitness category entrants for the 2017 awards.
In this interview, Cheryl shares her thoughts on influencer growth from an agency perspective and Joe provides his thoughts on what makes an award winning Sports and Fitness blog. Enjoy!

Cheryl: 2016 saw a huge growth in social talent and talent agencies, as such the commercial side of the industry became much more established. Brands now recognise influencers as an important facet of the marketing strategy and I think 2017 will see brands and influencers finding it easier to connect.  Crucially I think we’ll see influence, and ultimately ROI, becoming more important than social reach.

How do you think the industry has changed and grown in the last five years and how has your role changed in the industry with it?

Cheryl: As a PR and Marketing agency we are constantly evaluating how we deliver campaigns to get the best results. We now do a huge amount of work with influencers and have seen the cost of doing so rise considerably in the last five years.  We prefer to create organic campaigns working closely with the influencer to find the best way to connect a brand with their audience.  Ironically we tend to avoid working with managed influencers as it’s much harder to deliver ROI for our clients.

Why did you accept the role of being a UK Blog Awards industry judge and how many times have you judged for your industry?

Cheryl: I judged the Health and Social Care category in 2016 but wanted to see fitness represented its own right. Knowing the size of the fitness blogging community I felt sure it would be a success and worked closely with UKBA to launch Sports and Fitness as a new category this year. Judging by the number and quality of entries I’m sure it’ll prove a tough but brilliant category to judge!

What will you be looking for when assessing the shortlist to crown award winning content?

Cheryl: Thought provoking content which shares original ideas and personal opinion, as opposed to just regurgitated information from a product sheet, website or press release.  For me, a good blogger has their own ideas and adds value to our industry.

Joe: An award-winning sport and fitness blog must offer readers: a deep and thorough understanding of the subject matter covered; a clear, concise and consistent communication style that succinctly articulates the key points of each post; an authoritative voice on the key trends and topics dominating the market and industry; an obvious passion for the subject matter; and a burning desire to help the readers of their blog start to live a fitter, healthier and happier life.

Have you ever won an industry award? If so, how has this helped you and what impact do you feel the UK Blog Awards will have on the industry?

Cheryl: We work with our clients to enter lots of awards every year but we are the ones constructing the entries and managing the process – working behind the scenes so to speak.  When it comes to blogging awards, I’m aware there a lots of different ones, but the UKBA is the crème de la crème of accolades and that’s how I’m positioning it within my industry.

Joe: My company won a Launch of the Year award for one of our magazine brands in 2015. It was a terrific achievement for the entire team and made a huge difference to not just that particular brand, but across the entire business. Award wins and nominations are something very special and very rare and most people will go through their professional careers without being nominated for an award, let alone win one, so such achievements are something of which to be very proud.

Finally, the theme for the 2017 UK Blog Awards is Heroes and Heroines. In your opinion what makes a true BlogHero?

Cheryl: For me a blog hero is someone who leaves a lasting impression, whose stories you remember long after you’ve closed your internet window. Judging Health and Social Care last year I definitely came across some true blog heroes; the weight loss blogger whose embarrassing moments we could all relate to, the brave epilepsy sufferer charting her progress through pregnancy, and the utterly inspirational ‘Girl on Top’ who’s unending positivity in the face of terminal cancer was an inspiration to us all.

Joe: A true BlogHero, for me, has to personify passion for the subject matter they cover. But blogging, like all forms of journalism, isn’t about the author – it’s about the reader. So a true BlogHero must possess an insatiable appetite to provide readers of their blog with the beneficial and entertaining information, advice or insight that inspires them into action.

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