September 30, 2013 10.10 am This story is over 98 months old

Why entering awards is beneficial for business

Winning advice: Entering and winning awards is more than just an excuse to get the posh frocks out; scooping an award can help your business, writes Matt Hammerton.

We were in Manchester last week for the finals of the Fresh PR Awards. We were delighted to win a Gold for Best Business to Business campaign. But why did we enter in the first place?

Winning awards help organisations in several ways.

Firstly, awards differentiate companies from the their competitors. Imagine you ask two or three companies to come and see you about supplying their services to you. There’s very little to separate them. However, one of the companies has been nominated or won awards for providing the service you are looking for. Does this make a difference? Of course it does. It says that that particular company is good at what they do.

Awards are independently judged. It’s normally a panel of industry experts that choose the winners. So, it’s not you saying you are the best in their sector, but your peers. Awards are third party endorsement and that makes them a very powerful recommendation.

Winning an award gives you a great opportunity to generate media interest in you and the work you’ve done. You can also use your success as part of your marketing activity and your success should make your client or customer happy too as it reassures them that they made the right decision in choosing to work with you.

Staff moral increases when a company receives recognition through awards — and the more awards a company receives, the better their standing and reputation in that sector becomes. This can help with recruitment. Companies or organisations that are known for being among the best in their field (because they regularly win awards) find that they get more and better quality applications for vacancies.

Recognition is a great motivator. Knowing that your campaign or work could be entered into an award inspires individuals and teams to perform to their best consistently. Only by delivering excellent results will their efforts be worthy of the time it takes to put a good award entry together. Awards entries without great results to showcase aren’t worth entering. So, if there is a chance your work will be entered into an award, you’ll work harder, and if the results of your work are worth entering into an award, then you should have a happy client or customer too!

Writing award entries can be tricky. Not everyone can write a good submission. And having great results is not enough – you need to present them in the right way. Put yourself in the position of the judge. What do they want to see? Results, yes, but are they also looking for evidence of strategic thinking? Creativity? Cost effectiveness? Innovation?

Make sure you read the entry requirements and criteria carefully. Make sure you cover each of the points the judges are looking at. Don’t go over the word count, and supply supporting information in the correct format. It’s vital that your supporting information — pictures, videos, brochures etc — are all labeled and referenced in the award entry so that judges can see why you’ve included then and why they’re important.

So, why are awards important? Think about the Oscars. Who is the better actor? The person with five Best Actor awards or the thespian with no industry recognition? Which actor is more likely to be offered the bigger role – the one with five awards or the one with none? Who will give the better performance, who will bring more people into the cinema and generate greater box office takings?

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Matt Hammerton is managing director of Lava, an award-winning integrated marketing agency based in Lincoln. With 17 years’ PR and marketing experience gained at PR Week Top 150 consultancies and in-house with a commercial radio station group, Matt has devised and led successful campaigns for a myriad of clients.