Did you miss me? Yep, sadly I too was “stood down” last week for fear of upsetting a nation in mourning. Never let it be said that we can’t read the room. (To be fair, it was quite nice to have the week off, too).
Anyway, onwards and upwards and just as arguably the world’s biggest influencer passed away, up popped a timely email from Katya at Awards Intelligence saying she was “proud to announce The Top 100 Influential People 2023 is now accepting nominations”.
Now, apparently “making the cut won’t be easy. Generally speaking, nothing worth having in life is”, according to the official blurb, but “for those who do make the Top 100, it will raise their profile, enhance their reputation and instil trust – that vital ingredient for success in all walks of life”.
It seems that not only do you get the opportunity to use the prestigious “Top 100” logo on your email sign-off, website, socials and other marketing collateral, it also provides an “invaluable platform” to get your message out to the world.
Anyway, “this prestigious programme is open to any worthy person based in the UK who is at the top of their game”.
And then it all started to unravel when I read the small print: “Short on time and want to maximise your chances of success? Sister company, Awards Intelligence, can take care of the nomination drafting process for you. Contact email@example.com and we will send you details.”
A few clicks later and there it was in all its glory, the real story of Awards Intelligence. You see, while at first glance you might think they are generously inviting ordinary folk to nominate their extraordinary friends, family members or business contacts, what they really want is your cash.
One section on their website, “How to Get a Queen’s Honour”, is particularly revealing. And I quote: “We will save you valuable time and significantly increase your chances of success. The average success rate is estimated to be just 10% (1 in 10). Our success rate is over 65% (nearly 2 in 3).”
There are four packages available, suitably named Windsor (basic package at £4,900+VAT), Balmoral (next up at £7,900+VAT), Sandringham (a snip at £14,900+VAT) and top of the range Ultimate (a whopping £40,000+VAT).
They include such services as face-to-face meetings, professionally written nominations, professionally drafted update letters and, for those who can afford it, direct involvement of CEO Mark Llewellyn-Slade “throughout the process”.
“Cash for honours” anyone? I couldn’t possibly comment…