Getting nominated for an award’s short list is good for the ego, but is it good for business?

Some companies enter awards as part of their marketing strategy and a successful award presentation can give you a real edge – as long as you leverage it well.

Getting nominated for the award is only the first step; there are many business awards and industry awards that you can ‘enter’, in other words you nominate yourself.  Success starts to emerge when you get on the short-list, but real success only comes when you win your category.

Let’s be honest, if you know how to get your award presentation put together well, you’ve got a good chance of getting over that first hurdle and onto the short-list.  Mainly because many entrants don’t answer the question asked and simply say what they want to say, without relating it to the question or information requested on the form.

Getting through the second stage to be crowned winner can be purely down to whoever is on the judging panel and their subjective opinion based on the presentation they’ve seen.  However, sometimes the judges actually visit the short-listed companies to get further information in order to come to a decision.

This means that you’ll need to be ready for that visit and be able to demonstrate that all the things you’ve said about your organisation are visible to everyone.  Bear in mind that there may even be the occasional ‘mystery shopper’ who will phone or visit to see if you walk the talk too.

Is it worth it?

Creating an award presentation isn’t a five-minute job, it takes time and effort to collate all the information and then present it in a positive way that will get the attention of the judging panel.  It’s an investment that needs to pay off.

Don’t leave it to the award organisers to do your marketing for you.  Get in touch with the publications that your target audience reads as well as your local press and let them know you’re on the short-list – and why your customers will benefit from the kudos that comes from working with a high-profile organisation like yours.

If you achieve that final reward of winning your category then make sure all the relevant publications know about it, but add value to your message.  ‘We’ve won an award’ is not a story in the eyes of most editors; what’s your spin on being nominated and winning, what can you offer to make the story more interesting?

Don’t delay, get your press release ready to go out right away.  For publications you particularly want to be in, build relationships with their journalists or editors so they know who you are.

Include local radio in your press list.  You may not get on national stations, but local stations are always looking for good stories and people who can talk fluently about their area of expertise in a way that benefits the listeners.

Know why you want the award

‘Because it’s there’ is not a good reason!  Be clear about what an award could do for your business if you leverage it properly.  If you can’t come up with something that merits the time and effort that you’ll need to invest – do something else of more value with your time.