Entering corporate awards can be a great way to gain exposure, enhance brand perception and validate your market position. However, for each category, there can be only one winner – here’s how you can stand out from the crowd and earn your status as an ‘award winning’ organisation.
To be in with a chance of taking home a trophy, you’ll have to invest a hefty chunk of time and resources into collating the information needed. For this reason, taking the decision to enter awards shouldn’t be taken lightly – it has to be worth the effort.
Do some research to determine which awards have kudos in your industry and are recognised by your customers – whether that be The Sunday Times’ ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ or the Concrete Society's Awards for Excellence. For example, we’ve recently been shortlisted for the Recruitment International Supplier Awards in the category of Best Marketing & PR – a hyper-niche category from a brand that our clients are familiar with and trust.
Don’t fall for fake awards and ask around to find out which judging panels have a reputation for being objective. Of course, many awarding bodies are commercial organisations, and you’ll often have to pay to enter or attend the ceremony, but always ensure that the resulting accolade is credible before parting with any cash.
Have a story worth telling
You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, so unless you truly believe that you are a worthy contender in a specific category, it’s not worth entering. Even the greatest wordsmith won’t be able to create a compelling entry out of thin air.
If you truly believe you’ve got what it takes, get your team together and brainstorm what your entry should include. What are you doing that your competitors aren’t? Who can back-up your story? And how can you quantify and demonstrate your successes? Once you determine what information you need to source for inclusion, go out and find it.
Stick to the brief
Read the criteria thoroughly and don’t go off-brief. What are the judges measuring? What’s the word-count? And do you need to share testimonials, financial information or supporting documentation? Get this wrong and you’ll fall at the first hurdle.
Put yourself in the judges shoes
When drafting the submission, always keep your audience front of mind. The chances are that the individuals judging will know nothing about your company, so start with the basics. They’re also likely to have a stack of entries to wade through, so make it tight, know what they have on their checklist and try and hit all the marks. Stick to the facts, never use a long word when a short word will do and use hard figures and snappy examples to demonstrate why you should win. If you read your entry out loud and feel like finishing with a mic drop, you’re on the right track.
Get it right and an award win can equate to valuable third party endorsement of your product or service and a badge of quality to differentiate you from your competitors. And if you’re lucky enough to take home a prize, spread the word through branded social images, hashtag use, a press release and content to maximise exposure – you deserve it.
Do you need help writing a submission? Or would you like to maximise publicity following an award win? Get in touch with BlueSky PR today.
Author: Carly Smith