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Claire’s Column – A Toast To Surrey’s Business Awards

Published on: 6 Feb, 2017
Updated on: 6 Feb, 2017

In this regular column – a must-read for all those interested in Guildford business – Claire Dee celebrates Surrey’s business awards.

Claire Dee.

Times are changing; particularly when it comes to the media.

When I trained as a journalist 20-plus years ago, computers where slow with black screens and green letters. There was no internet, no email, and certainly no apps. And hardcopy newspapers where in their prime. People regularly bought them and read them from cover to cover. It’s now very different.

The demise of many newspapers is well known, from national tabloid Today to our own local Surrey Times. Most people prefer instead to grab news on the go via their phones and tablets. Which is all well and good, but unless you choose a trusted source, such as the BBC, how do you know what you’re reading is true?

As the current fake news debacle demonstrates, with the emergence of social media and so-called ‘citizen journalism’ anyone can report on anything at any time. But as The Guildford Dragon NEWS editor Martin Giles correctly states in a recent column: “Tweets and Facebook postings are easy to write in a few seconds but there is no fact checking, no objectivity, no second opinion, no language editing – in short, no editing at all.”

As some of you may have seen, the Surrey Advertiser has reduced its staff numbers which is a shame. It may not be the Daily Telegraph, but it does have a place in the local community, and I know for a fact its business pages are read by many. In particular this week, with the launch of the Toast of Surrey Business Awards 2017 featuring heavily.

Now here is a success story, as borne and nurtured by our very own Guildford-based Surrey Advertiser. In its eighth year, the Toast awards has grown in size, significance and popularity. It has become a go-to event in the Surrey business calendar. Not just to celebrate local business talent – although that clearly plays a large part – but to also bring together Guildford and Surrey companies to connect and collaborate.

And lots of other great business accolades also exist across the county. From the SME Surrey Business Awards, and Surrey Digital Awards, to Guildford-based Eagle Radio’s Biz Awards. And without these, many growing local businesses wouldn’t have received the recognition they deserved. So hats off to them all and please keep them coming!

Claire Dee runs her own communications consultancy near Guildford, and is an active member of the local business community including sitting on the Surrey Chambers of Commerce Board and the Institute of Directors Surrey Committee. To learn more visit

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