By Veronica Hannon, Managing Director, Transform Communications Ltd
We all know the benefits of winning awards – the accolade, the celebrations, the team bonding. Not forgetting, setting yourself above the competition, building your brand and reputation. An award is the endorsement for all of your hard work, where you can call yourself an ‘award-winning business’. But before any of this can happen you have to actually enter – and plan a proactive campaign – to win awards. And there’s nothing harder than putting yourself out there to be judged.
When we work with clients on a PR programme that includes winning awards, there are a number of aspects that we take into consideration.
What makes your business award-winning?
Many companies think that you can only enter awards for what you do. For the services and products you provide. This is certainly a starting point. We look at your industry and the most relevant awards that exist to promote your business to your market and customers.
But that’s not the only option. Also consider how you do business. It might be that you have excellent customer service. Or perhaps you have changed your business to be about sustainable sourcing. Or you might have an excellent team in marketing, people development and finance. And there’s plenty of awards to be won in these areas.
The final part of this is to look at why you run your business. The impact that you have on the world, your industry, your people. This opens up businesses for leadership awards, national business awards, awards for innovation, thought leadership and many other aspects.
You might have noticed that this follow’s Simon Sinek’s ‘The Golden Circle’ model. To identify the what, how and why of your business. And you’re right. By considering all these different components, there are plenty of avenues to win awards that demonstrate your true difference as a company.
Judges want to see the evidence and the proof points. When we enter awards for clients, we focus on gathering the evidence. Talking to your people and your customers and gathering internal information including the facts and figures about the impact your programmes. And every business is different.
For awards, it’s all about the results. You can split these into ‘hard’ results, such as figures, and ‘soft’ results, such as reviews and testimonials.
Some companies achieve tremendous growth – here we can use percentage increases and revenue figures. Some businesses have navigated turbulent times. Others have diversified into new markets. Or perhaps it’s about the growth of your people, or the incredible reviews from your customers. You need to prepare to share and not shy away from including details.
What’s as important as the evidence and results is the story. There’s nothing quite so boring as a dry and factual award submission. You need to engage with the judges to tell your story. About your journey, what you’ve had to navigate, the reasons behind the change and the impact that it’s made. For your award entry, we bring in your personal voice, together with the voice of your people and your customers.
Every business has a story to tell. That’s why we believe with enough planning and insight, every business can win an award. You just need to believe it. Put the time and attention into winning awards. And be ready to put yourself on the line to be judged. Because the benefits of being an award-winning organisation are certainly worth it.
This article first appeared in the Summer Issues 2021 of The Business Exchange
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