Fill up that trophy case with help from PR
You attend all those dinners and ceremonies only to watch other companies walk away with prestigious awards. Of course, your company and staff are doing great things, but how do you get recognized for them?
Getting an award for your company, whether inside or outside your industry, is a great way to increase visibility and improve your reputation. Use public relations tools and tactics to get more awards for your business.
The benefits of winning awards
In addition to the obvious thrill of winning, being nominated for and acquiring awards have numerous benefits that directly relate to your overall goals and profitability.
- An award shows customers that you are better than your competitors.
- Awards and winners are generally covered by the media, which further enhances your credibility and provides another third-party endorsement.
- Awards help you land new business because your company has already received a stamp of approval from a third party.
- Winning an award boosts employee morale and improves retention, giving workers something to be proud of.
- Award recognition attracts and helps land top quality candidates who want to be part of a winning team.
- Some award winners receive more than money, such as networking and leadership opportunities.
10 steps to getting awards
For most business awards, you must nominate yourself because the applications typically ask for information that only you would know or have access to.
- Choose the right awards.
It’s a waste of time applying for awards you have no chance of winning. Additionally, select only those that will highlight your expertise and help to grow your business.
- Take your time (but not too much).
Allow plenty of time to complete the application. Also, carefully follow all submission rules and deadlines.
- Start collecting kudos.
An award application may ask for customer reviews. Others may require you to encourage your community, customers and followers to vote on your application.
- Determine the qualifications and be sure you meet them.
Nothing would be worse than spending hours or days gathering all the materials and completing the application for an award – only to learn your company is not eligible.
- Start local.
While it would be terrific to win some major, nationwide award, you will get more gratification from awards that are important to your target audience, which tend to be closer to home.
- Beat your competitors at their own game.
Find out which awards your competitors have won to get an idea for the ones you should be targeting. (And wouldn’t it be sweet to come out on top in a category that your competition had a lock on year after year?)
- Don’t forget about people.
Receiving awards for your product is wonderful, but remember it’s the employees that make those products. Awards for service, office culture and those in various professional disciplines (such as Marketer of the Year or Best in Engineering) are just as important. They are like a pat on the back for your team.
- Promote your application.
What’s wrong with tooting your own horn? There are several ways to do this, such as:
- Contacting personal and professional associates with a quick email informing them of the nomination and perhaps including a link where they can vote.
- Sending information to current customers, clients and supporters is a must. Even if there has been news coverage of the nominations, they may have missed it.
- Posting on social networks is a good way to spread the word quickly to large groups of people. You can also tailor your message to each group and subgroup. It is also smart to reach out to key influencers in your industry to ask if they will help to cast an even wider net.
- Provide regular updates to keep everyone in the loop.
Win or lose, this is a way to maintain regular contact and engage your audience. You can also use the information for future marketing, PR and sales content.
- Hire a PR agency to help you.
Award applications can be intensive and time-consuming, but the process becomes easier when you let a PR firm do the heavy lifting.
The professionals at Axia Public Relations will help you get the most out of your nominations and awards. We will develop the right content to showcase your achievements, explain your values and obtain recognition for all you have accomplished. Contact us to find out more about our AwardAbility services for award submissions and promotion.
Lisa Goldsberry is a blogger for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business and technology PR. Lisa has worked for Axia since December 2013. Learn more about Lisa Goldsberry. Connect with Axia on Twitter @axiapr or tell us what you think in the comments below.
Featured image credit: 123rf.com