In 2017, almost 100 companies, organizations and individuals were awarded the title ‘Best of SVG’ in their respective areas of business during the Best of SVG People’s Choice Awards. In 2018, just about 102. But after the glamour and glitter of the night, the awards and the free publicity, what next? What are the awardees doing to live up to the title awarded and to protect the reputation of the people who nominated them?
Voting in the Best of SVG People’s Choice Campaign is much like giving a character reference. “A Character Reference is a letter written by someone who knows the job candidate and can speak to his or her character and abilities.” The author assumes the responsibility of vouching that the person is authentic. On the other hand, the person he has vouched for has a responsibility to ensure that his behaviour is complementary of the content of the reference so as not to discredit the author.
Since the inaugural Best of SVG People’s Choice Awards, many people have gone out of their way to consume top nominees’ products/services to experience first-hand why John Public voted them among SVG’s best. After all, to have been among the top nominees implied that a wide cross section of Vincentians would have consumed the products/services and considered them to be above par.
Recently, I attended a function where participants had to consume the product/service of a Best of SVG Awardee. I was disappointed by the poor quality that was presented to us the consumers. While most of us sat dumbfounded at what we were witnessing, one consumer opted to openly express his disgust. Knowing that this was the product/service of a Best of SVG awardee, I was embarrassed for the people who vouched for that company only to be discredited.
As we launch the Best of SVG 2020, I want to remind the public that this consumers choice campaign is serious business. It is not just about being awarded a title. Voters have a responsibility to ensure that their vote is as a result of a satisfying personal experience and awardees have a responsibility to protect voters’ reputation. To be awarded a title that you cannot live up to can ruin your reputation.
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