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The National Lottery is contributing up to £2.2 billion towards the funding of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, including the venues and infrastructure where Britain’s top athletes hope to fulfil their dreams.
The Olympic Park Run Ballot closed at midnight on 27 October, however, Camelot had further tickets available to run competitions at a regional level. Bell Pottinger North received 60 tickets for the Olympic Park Run, plus two spectator passes per ticket, for use to promote the ballot across Yorkshire and the North East.
We secured six regional competitions in local newspapers, with each paper nominating a journalist taking part in the run on March 31st 2012. Competition winners are currently been announced, and we are coordinating follow up features with our media, to include training profiles with winners and journalists, plus interview with celebrity sport personalities.
With the BAFTAs behind us, the Grammies and the Oscars handed out, awards season is well under way.
The same is true for the business community, although entering awards is often pushed down the to-do list by the vast majority of companies or in some cases overlooked completely.
This is a wasted opportunity and, as any PR professional worth their salt will tell you, the benefits of entering regional or national business awards extend far beyond picking up a prestigious trophy at the finalists’ ceremony.
Whether you win or not, being shortlisted for an award is great exposure for any business. It provides the perfect opportunity to shout about the fantastic work your company is doing and it raises your profile among some of the most influential people in your sector and within the wider business community.
Industry awards are a credible third party endorsement of the success of your business model, setting you apart from your peers and impressing partners, clients and potential investors. You know yourself that you are far more likely to want to do business with a company if it has been recognised for its excellent people, projects and results.
Entering awards is also a brilliant way of boosting staff morale. In the busy environment of everyday business, achievements can be easily forgotten or taken for granted. However, the process of completing the entry form allows you to pause and consider what (and who) contributed to your success and how you can build on this in the future.
Furthermore, you can strengthen relationships with the people or companies your business has worked with by submitting an entry about a joint project or initiative. Very few partners or customers would be unwilling to contribute to such an entry as it is free publicity for them with relatively little leg work. For you, it is another opportunity to promote the clients or companies your business has worked with.
Awards can also offer great networking opportunities if, once shortlisted, you decide to take a table at the finalists’ ceremony. The atmosphere at most awards events is very relaxed and what better time to approach a prospective client or partner than when you have just been recognised for your excellent work?
Entering awards is a crucialpart of an integrated and tactical PR campaign. It needn’t be time consuming and stressful if it is handled by your public relations team. In fact, who better to promote your products, services or projects than the very people who do so on a daily basis?
Awards help to catapult your company into the spotlight for all the right reasons and whether you win or lose, they help to keep staff, partners and customers happy.
What do the Brit Awards mean to you? Personally, the nation’s annual pop awards may bring back uncomfortable images of Sam Fox and Mick Fleetwood in car crash TV, Jarvis Cocker’s controversial gate crashing of Michael Jackson’s performance or a world class performance by Adele. As a business, they probably don’t even register. But in an overcrowded industry in its seventh year of decline, the artists and the show brilliantly demonstrate the rules of social media and how as a business you can engage customers and drive sales.
A social media role model
In a crowded market singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran was found and has since sold more than 1m copies of his album, through effective use of social media. He was spotted by his producer on MySpace and built a loyal following of ‘Sheeranator’ fans through YouTube. Sheeran is a clear reminder that to go viral, you must be where your target market is and have content that people value and feel that others would appreciate. For businesses a social media audit can reveal which social media channels best reach your market. But it’s the content strategy that will make or break your social media campaign. Whether it’s new financial insights or a heads-up on building legislation, think about why your prospects would value it and what would make them share it. This will be the difference between engaging prospects, or simply pushing messages out.
Learnings we can take from Sheeran don’t stop there. His route to fame highlights the power of online publications and blogs. Rather than the traditional music media, it was online music channel SBTV that propelled his song You Need Me to go viral and gain millions of hits. With dominant blogs in all B2C and B2B market sectors, make sure you use their power in your campaigns.
Finally, last year Sheeran demonstrated the power of building and using opinion leaders to good effect. For him, this was collaborating with bigger artists such as Wiley. For businesses this means looking at your market eco system and spotting who should be talking about you, to get your messages delivered to their bigger audience.
Accurate customer insight
Social media is a powerful tool to gain insight into your market’s views. It’s not skewed by people saying what they want you to hear and it’s instant. The Brit Awards demonstrate the accuracy of this sample market. Monitoring conversations for one week before the awards*, and comparing this to the results, demonstrate the accuracy of this media:
- In the week leading up to the Awards, Coldplay accounted for 86.6% of mentions with the Arctic Monkeys trailing in second place on 6.6%. Coldplay won the award as voted by Radio 2 listeners.
- When talking about British Male Solo Artist, Ed Sheeran lead the social media share of voice with 52.2%, followed by Noel Gallagher with 17.7%. Ed Sheeran scooped the award.
- Adele was the most talked about artist to win Album of the Year with 40.4%, just pipping Coldplay with 32.8%. It was no surprise then when Adele won.
Following Twitter whilst watching the show brings a whole new dimension of entertainment. It’s like sharing the sofa with the most witty, insightful and annoying people in the country and the stars from the auditorium. This is a fantastic demonstration of how social media can add sparkle and engagement to existing formats. This thinking has been praised by lawyers at conferences and customer reference professionals at workshops. Avoid taking a silo approach, instead look at your existing communications channels and think about how social media can strengthen them.
It’s easy to dismiss the social media success of the Brit Awards, as it reinforces the stereotype that social media used to bring – that it is a pastime for teenagers. But taking a step back and looking at the mechanisms behind the buzz, it seems that this British institution can bring a lot more to your business than it first appears.
*Reported by Sentiment metrics