How entering awards can boost
Entering awards can boost your business profile. Fact.
If you follow us, you’ll know that we have been finalists and winners of a number of awards over the years. Last year alone, we got a UK Blog Award in the Business PR, Marketing, Comms and Media category and a Variety Catherine Award for Women’s Empowerment in the Workplace. We’re seriously proud of this achievement – and quite rightly so.
Winning is a big deal. As an individual or an organisation, it is the official recognition which you want so badly. You believe that you deserve to be rewarded for the hard work. Those long hours, the precarious balancing of family and work commitments and sheer dedication. The stress and, luckily, the laughter, as well as the joy you feel when it’s reflected back in the eyes of a judging panel. It is worth its weight in gold.
But, what happens if you don’t win? Does it mean you’ve failed? You tell yourself that it wasn’t your lucky day and that you shouldn’t set yourself up for a fall by getting your hopes up.
Like any area of business, setting a goal and achieving it is satisfying. That’s why taking the time to enter awards is so worthwhile. It is a unique opportunity to put your business out there. It can go a long way to gaining the recognition that your business deserves, boosting staff morale and shouting about your achievements.
Whether you win or not, there are so many ways in which your business can benefit from entering local or national business awards.
Entering awards can boost your business and here are five tactics which will help you to do so.
1. Press coverage
Getting nominated for an award gives you the opportunity to raise your business profile by contacting your regional or trade press titles. So, don’t waste the opportunity! The event itself may have many press calls and their own PR opportunities. But, this shouldn’t stop you taking some limelight for yourself and getting across your own key messages to a target audience.
The Typeface Group has proudly graced the pages of Hampshire titles to celebrate our award success.
Newspapers and magazines are always on the lookout for new and interesting content. So, write a press release about your recent award nomination and contact your target media to tell your story.
It is essential to do your research and compile a media list of top media targets to send your press release to. Bear in mind that journalists can receive hundreds of press releases every day. So, make sure your press release is professionally written to help increase the chances of your story being picked up.
Attach hi-res photography to all of your emailed press releases. Consider following up with a phone call later. However, this isn’t essential – and in some ways, it’s definitely not the done thing to do anymore. Journalists are notoriously time-poor – if they want your story, they will select it from their inbox without a phone call.
2. Create a talking point
The content that you put together can be turned into a blog post to share on your website and across social media. Give your post an extra touch of credibility by asking the awards organisers for a ‘nominee’ or ‘finalist’ avatar for your website – most will be more than happy for you to help spread the word about their cause and be glad for the extra publicity.
An award nomination is a great topic for a series of blogs or social media posts – don’t feel like you have to stop at one! Write about your award journey, but ensure that you keep it interesting and don’t just reuse the same copy. Talk about your own personal experiences or thoughts behind the process, such as how it feels to be nominated and why you believe that you deserve to win. But, keep it positive. Blogging is not a place for negativity, even if you don’t make the final stages or pick up the winning award on the night. There can, of course, only be one winner. This is why we recommend you make the most of the marketing opportunities presented by each stage of the awards process.
This type of networking is both online and in the real world!
Use social media to promote your nomination or win. Connect with other finalists, winners and the host of the awards ceremony. Retweet them on Twitter, connect and follow on Instagram and Facebook to keep your profile raised and your audience updated with your progress. Then, they are more than likely to be keen to see if you come out on top.
An awards event is a fantastic opportunity to network. See the event as a chance to speak to a captive audience about your business and your unique offering. If you are lucky enough to become a finalist, you’ll have immediate credibility. If there is an event programme, your company details will be there for all to see. Don’t forget to take business cards with you on the night and have a good look at the table plan to see who you want to target to chat with during the event.
4. Increased credibility
An award nomination, shortlisting or even a win will give your business a seal of approval. It’s a sign of quality for attracting new audiences and customers or reassuring your existing clients that they are in capable hands. It will help you stand out from competitors, offering a way of differentiating your brand and can also act as a third-party endorsement.
5. Business review
Putting together an award application can be a long process; there’s no getting away from that. However, the process will encourage you to review your business from a different perspective and maybe also consider what your competitors are up to as well. Your entry needs to be spot on to answer all of the questions, and your interview or product/service review also exceeds the judging criteria. You may find yourself analysing your business in ways in that you haven’t done before which could identify areas of improvement. That may be of greater value to your business than the award win itself.
These are just a few ways that entering awards can boost your business. But, before downloading an application form, make sure that you have a thick skin. Be prepared for furious competition and possible disappointment. Awards which are free to enter are always going to attract more nominations and entries than those that are a little more niche or come with a cost.
If you don’t think you can take a ‘sorry, you aren’t through to the next round’ call or email with grace, don’t enter.
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