Joanna Newsome – Account Director at Spreckley
It’s awards ceremony season in PR world, with markets of all types handing out accolades to the best of the best in their respective industries. While it can be said that, yes, some awards ceremonies end up being more akin to the Dante Fireplace Conference hosted by Alan Partridge, thankfully most of them are excellent affairs and absolutely no trace of Bic-style razors. As PROs we are lucky enough to be invited to the odd one, enabling us to join our client and the moment their name is read out by the celebrity compere, even if they don’t win for whatever reason.
With the process itself helping companies in many more ways, here are the top five reasons why you should consider entering your company and/or its achievements into an awards scheme:
- Trophies look great in Reception. Or in a trophy cabinet if you’re lucky enough to have won more than one over the years. When prospects, clients, partners and suppliers are waiting in Reception, their eyes are naturally drawn to what’s in the room. An industry-recognised award looks impressive, so make sure the more recognisable ones are in a prominent place. And keep them clean and polished!
- Building customer relationships. Offering to enter a customer for an award to honour the work your company and theirs have done together is a brilliant way to strengthen ties. The time and effort put into documenting the results of a journey will be appreciated, especially if you have chosen the customer over many others. This also reinforces the achievement of the project and cuts the pathway forward for repeat business and upselling
- Understanding your company. Most awards schemes require a written element, usually around 1,000 words, detailing exactly why you should (or your customer) win an award. This more often than not demands real-life ROI figures and stats, and detailed information on the work performed, as well as any problems that were solved and how. It is a great way to gather info from different teams and people to better understand how you work
- PR and marketing. Entering awards to raise the profile of your business or awareness of your work is a no-brainer; even if you don’t win, a shortlisting means your company name will be read out on the night (in a room full of your peers) and published in awards materials. As well as this, awards are often judged by industry experts or users, exposing you to the right audiences. Written and visual awards materials can also be re-purposed for PR (e.g. case study), social (tweets about entering, shortlists and wins) and marketing (e.g. a printed leave-behind for meetings) with little effort and some flair
- For the bigger, more well-known industry awards, do not doubt that your peers and competitors (as well as potential customers if they are nominated) will also be entering and attending the ceremony. Even if you don’t enter, or are not shortlisted/do not win, attending the ceremony is an investment that could prove invaluable. If you’re on social media, why not post updates live from the event, tag other companies you speak to and take photos? Bring your business cards and get talking.