SUPPLEMENT: DIRECT MARKETING; What does it take to be a telemarketing champion?

Now is the time to get your entry in for a 1996 telemarketing prize, writes Ken Gofton

Now is the time to get your entry in for a 1996 telemarketing prize,

writes Ken Gofton



Top stars giving their services free on TV, hundreds of stunts across

the UK - a lot of effort goes into making Comic Relief not only a hugely

successful fundraising charity but a popular institution.



A huge amount of advance planning and organisation went on behind the

scenes to ensure all the calls got through and the thousands of donors

ringing to pledge money were not left frustrated. It was the success of

this effort that led to Comic Relief being voted 1995 Telemarketing

Champion in the BT-sponsored Marketing Telemarketing Awards.



However, there are other ways to win a telemarketing award. Among last

year’s winners was the Nickelodeon TV channel, which has developed a

strategy of interacting with its young audience - even to the extent of

allocating a day on which children can ring in to choose the programmes.



Lothian Regional Council took the customer care prize for introducing a

Freephone number on which people could report lighting and road faults.



Clothing maker Simon Jersey won the sales category for replacing an on-

the-road sales force with a telesales system - and boosting turnover by

250%.



The BT prize award for the best example of integrating telemarketing

into a business went to BUPA.



Winning a telemarketing award brings prestige to a company and a pat on

the back for hard-working staff.



Entries are now being sought for the 1996 competition.



Entry forms, which must be returned by 29 March, can be obtained by

calling Freefone 0800 800839.



The awards will be presented at a special ceremony at London’s

Dorchester Hotel in June.



The categories are:

* New Channels to Market

* Business Leads

* Customer Loyalty

* Customer Care

* Sales

* DRTV

* Sales Promotion

* Other Media

* Retail and Distribution

* Finance

* Public Sector

* Charities

* Travel and Leisure

* Manufacturing

* Information Technology.



As announced last week, the panel of judges, chaired by Marketing editor

Mike Hewitt, will include: Brenda Hawkins of Brann’s telemarketing arm,

Contact 24; Simon Roncoroni from the L&R consultancy; Simon Foster from

O&M Direct; and Nick Bowyer from the Co-operative Bank.



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