This is the time of year when awards are all over the media… the Golden Globes, the Oscars, the Brit Awards, and the list goes on! While the red carpet and endless stream of celebrities might seem a bit too removed, winning an award for your business might not be quite so far fetched.
So, how do you go about winning an award?
Firstly, you need to identify some awards that are relevant to your business. That could mean a regional based awards, such as the Inspire Business Awards, which are local to us. We have had clients shortlisted as well as win these awards, which has been tremendously exciting.
Or you could look at national awards. In specific sectors, awards are often run by or heavily supported by leading trade publications. Trade associations can also be actively involved. There are literally hundreds of awards, both national and international, every year, so there are bound to be some relevant options for you. National awards are often more competitive, as in they receive more entries, but don’t let that put you off, because you never know. We have been instrumental in supporting clients winning national awards.
Read the criteria carefully several times, to establish which category is most relevant to you. If you think more than one could apply, then by all means go for both, but don’t write one entry and hope that works for two – it won’t.
When pulling together your award submission you should:
- Make sure you answer all the questions
- Read every question thoroughly and look for real evidence to back up your answers – this could be an increase in growth of your business, increased website traffic with sales conversions, client testimonials, survey results – anything that can bring your claims to life.
- Be certain you have any additional information requested attached with your submission – this might be images, logos, confirmed testimonials on letterhead from customers, statistics and so on.
- Make sure you have prepared this in plenty of time to proofread it at least twice
- Ensure your contact details are correct – it might seem obvious but you’d be surprised how often this happens
- Submit it before the deadline!
- Be sure you are clear about the next part of the process – will you be required to present to a judging panel? Will you need to send additional information if you are shortlisted? If so, get cracking.
- Note when the shortlisting date is, so you can be prepared for good news.
- If you are shortlisted, when will that news be released to the media? Can you use a shortlisted logo in your marketing?
- Awards event – if you are shortlisted, make sure you are going to be able to attend the event.
If you’re lucky enough to be shortlisted how should you handle the awards event?
- Be clear about dress code – you don’t want to stand out for the wrong reasons!
- Control your enthusiasm – you need to maintain your professionalism, as you’re likely to be in a room with your peers and competitors, and probably customers too
- Have some words planned for being successful – thanking the relevant people and what it means to the business to win
- Practise being graceful in defeat – in the event you aren’t the winners, you need to applaud and remain poker faced
- Have a press release and communication ready to celebrate your success as quickly after the event as possible, to make the most of your new status.