I have been discussing awards with three different magazine editors this month.
Across the three titles, it transpires that there were circa 1,000 entries last year – not bad considering the pandemic factor!
Trust me, this is NOT usual.
Why? Well, most small businesses are REALLY BAD at awards and by that I mean they simply do not include them in their planning.
Or sometimes, they don’t feel they deserve one.
So there are often not actually that many entries in “proper” awards – the ones you earn…
Well, trust me, if you’ve been through this pandemic, there is an award out there for you!
However, it became apparent chatting with other businesses this last month that another BIG problem is that businesses simply don’t have time or the resources to write them properly.
So they either don’t bother or they do it very, VERY late, which invariably leads to stress and frankly, pretty average award submissions.
Well, I sit on three awards panels and I write lots of them.
I know I read well over 100 entries last year of frankly varying quality.
So I thought I’d share some top tips on how I help my clients to win awards. I hope it is useful for you.
For starters, why bother?
Well, how about industry recognition? Local, regional and sometimes national profile? How about a motivated workforce that is proud to be a part of your success.
Nevermind the major leverage an award win can give to the rest of your marketing – if you harness the dark arts of PR!
So why don’t more people enter awards? I suspect the main reason is time. However, you need to consider these as a major part of your marketing and PR campaign, not an afterthought.
Sure, there is a bit of science to it and some art (the creative bit) but basically it comes down to reading the criteria CAREFULLY and then making it as easy as possible for the judges to consider your case.
Now is NOT the time for florid prose!
Although….there is a place for this…(warning, secret sauce alert).
Ssssshhhh…it is right at the start…
This is the bit the judges read first and tends to be the part they will read out IF you get to the final and you are waiting there, glass of wine in hand, as the names are read out.
So, if yours sounds like this:
“We were established in 2002 to provide added value services to the Widget industry. Our commitment to SOMETHING or OTHER bland and jargon heavy issue and our inevitable PASSION (because nobody is going to say “APATHY”) for innovation is what lies at the heart of our success…”
Stop. It. Right. NOW!
Can you imagine a judge reading that and thinking….”whoa, we’ve got a live one! Let me get a coffee and settle in, there’s gold dust here.”
You want this bit to sound like they are about to announce the best thing since sliced bread!
“20 years ago we discovered a problem. Not just a wrinkle. Not an inconvenience. We had unearthed one of the biggest issues to ever face our industry. If it could be overcome (and we thought it could), it would save Widget manufacturers across the globe millions in costs, whilst also massively reducing the impact on our environment.
So, we got to work.
2 decades on…we did what follows below and it changed EVERYTHING!”
Do you see the difference?
You’d at least read the next para or two! You actually WANT to know what they did.
Like all good marketing, awards are all about storytelling.
Our clients see entering awards as part of their wider marketing strategy – they see the ROI. It is a fantastic way to gain objective third-party endorsement (a major goal of PR), great coverage and one of the best ways to foster employee and company relationships.
People proudly point to articles in the press and say “I work there”. Other highly-skilled people start thinking “maybe I should work there?”
So, start to think about what awards you might enter in 2022.
They might be local, regional, national or industry based but you can bet that once you integrate them into your marketing, the effects can really make a difference.
Start now or get in touch with me and we’ll help you get cracking because I am launching something pretty darn cool this Spring which I think might help a lot of businesses.
There’s even an offer!
Will I find them for you? Will I write them for you?
Well…..yes. That’s exactly what I will do and more, so much MORE!
Here’s to your success!
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