Awards and their PR power

by | Dec 5, 2019

Reputation and recognition are vital for any business or brand. Awards can be the perfect method for improving both qualities, with even just a shortlist nomination working to prove authority and leadership within any sector. In some cases, businesses can also access additional benefits such as workshops, coaching and networking.

However, for every award win, there must first come an awards entry. Entry documentation can often be time-consuming to complete to a winning standard with many awards requiring specific criteria.

So, are award entries really worth your time?

Industry recognition

First and foremost, an award win or nomination can prove your credibility in your sector. Your chosen category will be judged by an impartial panel. This can give you great authority as those impartial opinions work as invaluable recommendations – the honest opinions of experts hold much more value than any advert.

Free publicity

Even just being shortlisted can earn you plenty of free publicity. Organisers of the awards will want to max out attendance and will, therefore, be shouting about the awards anywhere and everywhere that they can. So, even if you’re listed as a nominee, your name will be mentioned in trade, local and, depending on the scale of the event, national news publications.

The mentions won’t stop there either. There’ll be plenty of content pouring out onto social media which will be perfect content to share through your own outlets. Accolades and brand mentions such as these are a great way to prove to existing and potential customers your worth and credibility.

Attract new talent

Nowadays, a job means more to people than just a salary. People are on the lookout for employee benefits, a workplace with credibility and a greater sense of satisfaction. They want to spend their 9-5 with a business who cares.

Award nominations and wins will prove your brand is a touch above the rest, positioning you as one of the forward-thinking leaders of your industry, in turn attracting the best talent for any team vacancies.

Team motivation

Nothing works better for improving employee satisfaction than recognising the successes of your team. So, what better way to acknowledge them than with an award? A successful award win will be a much better morale booster than just internal praise, it will give your team the satisfaction of being named as some of the best professionals in your industry.

Nailing your awards entry

It’s evident that award entries can be a key device in your PR toolbox. Authority, employee morale and free publicity are all reason enough to ensure you enter the next big award in your sector. All that’s left is do is ensure you create a winning entry.

We’ve asked Jill Davis, an awards copywriter from Copy & Comms, to share some of her secrets.

Follow all instructions

It may seem obvious, but the first step towards success is ensuring you process all of the instructions available to you. Each award is different, so be sure to take note of specific criteria and provide any stats that are requested. Jill says:

“Often, you’ll start the awards process with the best intentions but then your entry will be sidelined by paid for work. Treat your award entry like a paid job. Start early, schedule regular time each week to work on it and make sure your team know how important a win would be. That way, they won’t mind pulling together the stats.”

Make your entry flow

When writing an entry and responding to each question with statistical information, it can be hard to ensure you don’t bombard the panel of judges with fact after fact. However, your judging panel will appreciate an entry that evidently shows that considerable effort has been made, so ensure it flows nicely and reads well.

The secret to a good awards entry is to tell your story, so don’t be distracted by exclusively providing the best figures. Jill says:

“You need to bring your business to life for the judges. They know that business doesn’t go right 100% of the time so you don’t have to pretend to be perfect. Be human instead and share what lessons you’ve learned and how you now do things differently.”

A new set of eyes

Once you’re sure that you have answered all of the judge’s questions, ask someone else to review your entry. Ideally, find someone who is impartial and hasn’t spent time creating the entry. The first check is always for spelling and grammar, but also ask what they thought the key takeaways were, and, most importantly, did they understand the target message?

A review from a new set of eyes can provide you with the information you need to fully refine your entry and ensure it’s on the right track. Jill says:

“Remember what we were all told before exams: ‘Answer the question that’s being asked.’ It’s all too easy to get distracted and forget to answer the question but that will lose you marks. Write a section, park it for a few days and then review it with fresh eyes before asking a trusted colleague to give it the onceover.”

If you want your award entries to do better, why not get in touch?

Together, we know the true value of award nominations and wins. We’ve spent years mastering entries for companies in a range of sectors, leading to wins in ceremonies both small and large. Contact the team if you’d like to do better with us.

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