You’ve Won! Now What?
At Angel Marketing we were delighted recently to have won the award for marketing excellence at the Women in Business awards for the South East of Ireland. This win has come at a very busy time for us and we haven’t exactly maximised the benefit of the award so far.
To help rectify this situation, I’m going to look at why businesses and business people should enter awards and how to use them to help your business if you’ve win, or even if you haven’t. Hopefully I will then follow my own advice!
“Entering awards is huge pain – why should I do it?”
Application forms for awards programmes are sometimes tortuously complicated and challenging to the best of us. One of the perennial favourite fields to answer is “Why do you think you should win this award?”
Although this question will get an “Aaargh” at first, if you think through the question, it presents you with a great opportunity to hone your sales pitch. If the award is for, say, Best Customer Service, answering the question should force you to examine the level of customer service you provide now and to identify the features, advantages and benefits of your offering over your competitors.
Articulating this answer is a terrific excercise – don’t just let it be sent off to the awards judges, though, use if for your own website, brochure and emails.
“We haven’t a cat in hell’s chance of winning!”
Entering awards where you are the underdog is a great way to set your business’s sights higher. Take a look at the competition who have entered too. What changes could you make in your business or in the way you present your business would enable you to beat them?
Ask for feedback from the judging panel, if that is appropriate. An outsider’s perspective is sometimes the most valuable benefit of entering an awards programme.
“Oh, my god, we only came runner up!”
Well, here’s your chance to show what a lovely, magnanimous and mature business you are! Congratulate the winner, talk about the awards on your site, in your newsletter – talk about how proud you were to be involved (which you should be – awards are generally a good thing in terms of encouraging excellent standards in your field and promoting your category of business) and how you will be back for gold next year!
“Yay! We won – what next?”
It’s terrific when the awards organisers have a good PR effort and do a lot to get publicity for your win, but you shouldn’t depend on it!
- Do request photographs of the award presentation from the organisers and send out with a press release to your local and industry press (check with the organisers on the media titles first to ensure no doubling up).
- Talk about your win on your website, on your newsletter, through your social media platforms.
- Add it to your email signature
“What is the point?”
Winning an award demonstrates your credibility, your expertise in your sector. It shows that you care about the industry you’re in, that you work hard to demonstrate your value rather than taking it for granted. Winning can also demonstrate integrity, in that a panel of judges have examined your business and not found you wanting.
“It is all about taking part!”
We all have the experience of losing as well as winning and you do get something from both. It is important for us all to support the idea of rewarding good work in our sector, because that’s how we all get business. Losing really does make us stronger, more able to beat the competition where it counts – out in the real world in the eyes of the customers! Winning’s great when it happens too, though!
What have your awards experiences taught you?