Personal Back-Patting: Right or Wrong?
Ironic as it might be, public relations firms are notorious for shortchanging themselves when it comes to the promotion of their own products and services. It took Brandware 11 years to get around to their first award application, and yet we’ve managed to grow quite nicely and consistently over those years.
That begs the question: do awards really matter?
It’s not just a question for agencies. Every industry has its award programs; some are more credible than others. In fact, most Brandware clients ask us to identify opportunities to earn awards and accolades.
Entering work in awards programs isn’t just great for national and local visibility, arguably more important is the impact on team spirit. Your best people want to spread the word about you, and who wouldn’t want to work for an “award-winning” company?
Winning the awards game is not as easy as it sounds, especially when your daily chedule is filled with work that pays the bills. Having observed the judging process first-hand, as well as snagging a few awards for Brandware, I’ve collected a few tips and tricks.
The good news is you can make it easier on your team and increase your chances of winning those plaques, plates and certificates. Here’s how:
- Plan Ahead. Develop an awards calendar that identifies both early and late deadlines. Trust me, you need both. Select awards that best showcase your company’s strengths and offerings.
- Compile as You Go. Flag and save your award-worthy work throughout the calendar year. Doing this streamlines the submission process, saving time and money later on. You can also make it a point to create a brief write up once a campaign or initiative has wrapped up, making it easier to compile descriptions during award season.
- Check out Your Competition. Most organizations share entries of past winners, which are great benchmarks for your own entries. Professional organizations, such as the Public Relations Society of America, keep archives of winning entries; check out past winners for insights on what type of work has won in the past.
- Pack your Entry with Results. Results should comprise the beefiest section in an entry as the numbers really matter most. Add punch with stellar (and neatly) scanned media clips. Add a PowerPoint deck with data and analysis that supports your entry’s success.
- First Impressions Count. Packaging your entry is just as important as the content. Make sure it’s neatly organized, labeled and packaged. When your entry is disorganized, the judges may miss a key piece of information.
Participating in industry awards is a time-consuming but effective way of promoting your company’s unique achievements – and to signal to employees and customers that you’re indeed an award-winning team.