There’s an award for just about anything now a days, even for being naughty. Winning, or even getting shortlisted for an award can be a great PR tool, so here are my top tips for using awards to your advantage.
1. No limit
There doesn’t need to be a limit on the number of awards you enter – depending on your budget – but it’s better to enter those which are relevant to your businesses. Don’t enter anything you can think of as this is likely to be a waste of your time and money.
2. Think laterally
There will be awards in your sector also be awards in your local area and perhaps even, for your particular circumstances. Think broadly about what your business or products could qualify for and then target your entries at those awards in which you think you have the most chance.
Choose your awards carefully. Which ones will have more impact for you depends on what your customers value. That could be a certain publication or website, safety awards or an industry endorsement. Look for the potential promotion opportunities should you win. Is there a guarantee of a case study or article as a result? What are the additional benefits you could get if you win?
4. Play by the rules
There are plenty of times in life when dodging the rules is acceptable. This is not one of them. Don’t waste your time, money and effort on entering an award only to be disqualified on a technicality. Read the rules carefully. Combined with the criteria for the specific category you’re entering, they will give you a clue about what the judges will be looking for. Never, ever, go over the word limit.
5. Hone your entry
The key to winning awards is literally your entry. It needs to be easy to read, targeted at the particular award(s) you’re entering and fulfil the criteria. Writing awards entries is an art, so paying someone to do it for you can be good value (we can help with that!). But if you want to do it yourself, write a draft and then return to it later. Don’t be afraid to re-write, to hone and to tweak until you’re totally happy. Make sure you provide hard evidence of the claims you’re making, facts and figures are really useful.
6. Maximize the publicity
Congratulations, you’ve been shortlisted! You need to start preparing your winner’s speech, right? Wrong. You need to prepare a press release and customer newsletter to tell everyone about your success. Because being shortlisted is a success in itself. When one of our client was shortlisted in two national awards we issued a press release to their local media which resulted in a feature in a local business magazine and an interview on the local radio station. You’ve won? An even better media opportunity. We can produce and issue a professional press release in as little as two hours.
Get in touch to find out how.