Most businesses are incredibly passionate and proud of their work and their people. Here at Firework, we work so hard to get great results for our clients – it keeps us focused and it’s what motivates us to be honest. But taking it to the recognition stage – that’s turning it into a winning award-entry – is extremely time-consuming and exhausting, it’s just too easy to drop it down the list of priorities and before you know it, you’ve missed the deadline anyway. But we know, only too well, the power of an award – we recommend awards to our clients, we include them in our campaigns. To be an award-winning agency attracts attention. It also ensures you’re putting yourself forward in the best possible light and it makes everyone very proud. And pride is contagious. It’s incredibly motivating for the team involved in the work – both our people within our agency but also at the client end. Let’s be honest, the results are usually a team effort.
So we see awards now as an ongoing focus – creating campaigns with an award entry in mind from the outset. The creative process follows the same measured approach – what are we looking to achieve, what ideas will deliver this and how are we going to measure it, to prove success. But some it helps to concentrate our efforts on some big campaign wins and ensures we don’t get distracted by noise.
Having said that, the award entry process is still a huge effort and we don’t always get to it. But we are getting better – and the reward is certainly worthwhile. Recently we celebrated our first two PRCA awards (read more here) recognising our consultancy achievements amongst our peers. It’s a great feeling for us to be celebrating the success and achievement of not one but two awards with our team and clients – resulting in this infectious feeling of pride and confidence.
So although we have covered this before, we thought it worthwhile to recap five reasons why you should consider putting yourself forward:
1. Maximise visibility of your brand
Awards deliver an incredible PR opportunity – even if it is just an awards shortlist, let alone a win. It puts your business in the spotlight for all the right reasons. Reputable business awards can generate significant publicity across local and national press and social media, and with the award process running across several weeks, or even months, you’ve a constant source of traffic to your website and social pages. It is also incredible content for social – make sure you share your involvement on social media using any hashtags associated with the awards, connect with other businesses involved and include news on your website and in your newsletters. Take advantage of this exposure to promote your business to new customers, as well as increasing respect from your existing client base.
Winning a business award can open doors to getting contracts, finding new supply channels and breaking into new markets. Comments from the judges about why you won can be used as quotes in press releases, and add the award logo to your website and other marketing materials.
2. The opportunity to evaluate your current business model
The awards application process can make you look at your business from a different perspective. You’ll need to make sure that you stand out from the competition whether that’s through innovation, diversity, growth, customer service, investment in people or strategic thinking. Award wins add value to the work being done in your business and are a great indication you’re moving in the right direction. Didn’t win? Use the experience to consider what you could be doing better and identify how to do this; which could be more valuable than winning the award itself.
Business awards are often judged by successful business owners and being shortlisted can give you the opportunity to discuss your business with leaders in the industry. Additionally, awards attract similar businesses and are an excellent opportunity to network and forge new relationships.
4. Increased credibility
A business award win, short-listing or nomination acts as a third party endorsement for your business, increasing your credibility and positioning you as an expert within your industry. Winning a business award clearly differentiates you from your competitors, and can provide a real competitive advantage when seeking or retaining customers, or speaking to suppliers. If you’re seeking investment, demonstrating that your’e received recognition as the best or most promising firm in your field can really help your case.
5. Pride boosting staff morale which attracts new talent
Awards recognise the hard work and achievements of your employees so winning one can help boost staff morale and improve motivation as it acknowledges their contribution to your business success. Business awards will also help attract and retain new recruits, too. Who doesn’t want to be associated with an award-winning company?
6. Creates a point of differentiation
Award entries allow you to benchmark yourself against others and truly stand out from the crowd. To gain maximum value, do your research beforehand and choose an award that is most closely aligned with your business and its core values. By carefully selecting the category you can create a niche to make you stand out from your competitors. Whether it’s your green credentials, your contribution to society, education, training or improving the lives of others, show how you are making a difference and ensure there is something that makes your customers pick you over other businesses in your sector.
Our final reflections would be that there is definitely a technique to writing winning award entries. A demonstrable data-driven return-on-investment approach is absolutely critical. But then any business worth its salt knows that success comes from delivering value. If you need a helping hand with an award-entry, let us know. For now, we’re just very proud to be able to say we’re award-winning! The support and encouragement we’ve had from clients to achieve this has made the effort definitely worthwhile!