It’s a mental game

Written by Nikki Peters

By Laura Oliphant

This week I broke my duck (if I am using the cricket term correctly…) Well Stand Agency did.  In my 20+ years of working in PR I have never won an award.  Actually I have never been shortlisted for one.

Now, I’ve worked at some brilliant places, so I can only assume it was our lack of confidence when writing the award entry, rather than the quality of past work that’s to blame. Anyway, all that changed this week when Stand Agency was shortlisted for the PRCA’s Best New Consultancy of the Year 2013.

When the shortlist email arrived in our inbox, you wouldn’t have believed the noise and excitement that took over the office. It was as if all our past pitch wins came in at once! It was well deserved and we were well delighted!

Once we’d put the bubbles in the fridge to chill, and booked our table for the event, the news got me thinking about something else (aside from my Awards dress that is). My belief that ‘winning’ is a mental game.

Whether it’s Andy Murray winning a Grand Slam, Ben Ainslie steering Team USA to the greatest comeback in the America’s Cup history, or me and Awards; as long as you’re match fit, is your belief that you can win the final factor in success? I think it is.


#healthwarning I’m not always proven right and my friends and colleagues would probably say I go too much the other way in believing you can win in every situation… I do, however, feel confidence and self-belief play a huge part in prospects, a client, or potential hire believing you are the agency for them. After all who wants to work with team that isn’t convinced every one of their ideas they put to you is a winning one?

I’m convinced that confidence in your business, your staff and your ideas is as fundamental as a strong client list and a healthy bank balance.  Without these things you’re at risk of being influenced too much by those around you, resulting in your agency (or tennis game) ending up looking like every other.

By following your gut instincts and having confidence in your approach, you’re more likely to take risks and create an agency and ‘game plan’ that STANDs out from the rest.

Now, there’s no guarantee we’ll win this Award – it’s a tough category, but to keep with the Andy Murray analogy, we are in a grand slam final and it only takes a few of those to eventually pick up the trophy. Here’s hoping…


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