Las Vegas Sun

July 29, 2014

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THE B.S.:

Bruce Spotleson: Awards provide much needed boost to business community

VEGAS INC coverage

Why do we like award programs? There’s a very good reason.

Having been in this business for a while now, I’ve gathered plenty of testimony about the positive force the media can have in society.

This week, we celebrate some of the best places to work in Southern Nevada. Every year, the winning companies make a point of telling me they how proud they are to receive this particular honor.

Maybe even more so in 2011. Given all we’ve been through locally in recent times, this year’s selections have most certainly earned it.

This honor has a nice ring to it—what employer wouldn’t want to hang that phrase on a wall?—and special publications editor Rob Langrell went to some lengths to develop an impartial judging process.

This year’s nominees were evaluated by Quantum Workplace, an independent firm used by business media in more than 40 cities across the US. The selections were based entirely on a survey completed by employees willing to devote seven to ten minutes talking about the place they work.

It’s one of many special publications we produce over the course of the year. Some newer VEGAS INC readers may not yet have dialed into our editorial calendar, so this is an opportune time to share what it’s all about.

During the year, we publish special sections that target specific audiences, events or topics. For many of these publications, our marketing and events team also produces special events that have proved popular. For example, our popular “40 Under 40” event at Tao in March drew around 600 people.

Last week’s publication of the Small Business Administration’s regional awards was followed by a soiree at the Silverton that drew several hundred people as well. This Tuesday’s celebration of Best Places to Work will draw another good audience.

In all, we’ve recognized more than 1,000 locals through all kinds of business awards, publications and events over the years. While business success is of course an important criterion, most of our programs also ask what a nominee has done for our community. That is, whether they helped out around here, beyond the cash register.

Because we have so many, we are obviously fond of these sorts of recognition programs. They introduce new audiences, readers and advertisers to what we’re doing. And in the process, they provide something important in today’s busy world: Recognition.

A pat on the back. And confirmation that a person or individual is doing the right things.

Having been in this business for a while now, I’ve gathered plenty of testimony about the positive force the media can have in society, simply through a little publicity—a story, a photograph, some video or airtime.

When you go to work in media, you learn first-hand and usually pretty early on that recognition inspires many good-hearted individuals to continue doing things that make our society stronger, and a little publicity about such activity often attracts new support as well. Not everybody needs or wants such recognition, of course; there are plenty of locals who prefer to remain private or stay under the radar. So we rarely try to force the issue.

There’s one other reason for recognizing the right things. Readers expect the media to help identify society’s heroes and villains. Well, thanks to the courts and the cops, we have plenty of ways of finding the latter. It’s the heroes who are harder to find without a little help, and some of these programs give us one mechanism for doing that. Along with a little balance in our coverage.

Our next special publication will be The Giving Guide in August, our annual look at nonprofit organizations and charities in the community. In it, we’ll give Angel Awards to those special people who make an impact in our charitable and philanthropic communities.

In addition to the recognition and awards programs, we also put on a few other things during the year. For example, we’re currently planning a couple of our unique “Bagels” breakfasts. These particular events have pretty much been on hiatus for the past couple of years, but there are some things you can still only do over a bagel. So they’re coming back, and we’ll announce topics soon.

If you’re interested in knowing more about our recognition programs or events, go to GMGVegas.com and opt in. And always check our website for dates and other details.

When the power of the American business community is properly channeled, it is the world’s greatest single influence for social, political and economic change. If recognition helps channel that energy, well, it seems worth it to us.

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