Learn how to boost sales and company morale – and gain some bragging rights in the process
Do you see your competitors touting their top-ranked services or award-winning products? If you’re not in the awards game, you may be feeling left out and wondering how to get in on the action. Awards can come with a significant submission process, so if you want to catch up with your competitors, here’s how to get started.
- Research industry awards.
The first step in getting serious about your awards efforts is to research the available awards in your industry. Consider industry awards as well as local awards. For instance, a popular award is “Top Places to Work,” which makes an attractive message for your recruitment efforts. When researching, be sure to consider submission deadlines, costs and materials needed for submission.
- Prioritize and strategize.
Once you have a complete list, prioritize. As you’ll find out, the submission process can be daunting, so figure out which awards are most important to you. If the award program has categories, determine which categories you want to win in (and what categories are attainable). Look at prior years’ winners in varying categories to help determine whether you’re a fit.
- Be creative, but follow directions.
Organizations issuing awards may be reviewing hundreds of submissions. Therefore, make your submission stand out with creative and concise writing and materials. Don’t tackle the submission alone; ask your team for help in reviewing language and helping your submission be distinctive. Don’t get so caught up in your submission that you forget to follow directions. Strict requirements may be laid out for the submission and delivery of your pieces. Follow these directions exactly. You don’t want to disqualify yourself because you overlooked something.
- Think about what’s next.
Once your submission is out the door, it’s time to start another one … or, get back to the work that piled up while you were busy preparing the last submission. As you wait for a response on your award submission, think about the outcomes of winning and losing the award. Have a news release ready to go, and consider other ways you’ll promote the award in a winning scenario.
- Learn and move on if you don’t win.
If you lose, don’t let your submission die. Can you repurpose the content for another award? Can you repurpose the content in other ways, such as to encourage employee motivation? Once you know who the winners are, take a hard and honest look at the winning companies and evaluate how you stood up to them. Maybe you should have entered into a different category. Perhaps the winning company did something brilliant with its submission that you can learn from.
Whatever the reason for losing, don’t give up. It’s a learning process, and you’ll grow and learn as you do submissions more frequently. And when you do finally win, make sure the world knows. Winning awards isn’t about the trophy; it’s about the bragging rights, after all!
Need help with the awards process? Axia Public Relations has helped countless companies win. Axia’s AwardAbility service will help you create a winning awards program for your business.
Julie Miller is a marketing and communications professional, working for more than seven years in the industry. She primarily works in the technology and education sectors and specializes in digital marketing and communications. Julie has worked with Axia since November 2015. Connect with Axia on Twitter @axiapr or tell us what you think in the comments below.
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