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.