Last week one of my clients asked me what I thought about the concept of entering industry awards.Now we all love trophies and accolades but knowing how busy they are and how time consuming awards can be, I had mixed feelings. I advocate awards as part of an integrated PR and marketing strategy to some of my clients but as I tend to work with time-poor small businesses, it’s always with a big fat caveat: entering awards can be time consuming.
So here are a few ‘top of the head’ thoughts on the pros and cons to help you take a view:
Starting with the cons:
- Writing a good entry takes time
- You need evidence to support the claims that you will make in your submission (often it takes longer to collate this than it does to write the submission)
- I’m a ‘glass half full’ kind of girl generally (love this cartoon!) but let’s face it, you might not win
But there are plenty of pros:
- If you are short-listed or win an industry award, it’s a great platform for PR and you can feature the award logo on everything that moves!
- Winning could help your career and give your team a boost
- Even if you don’t make the cut, it can be a good way to get on the radar of influential people e.g. judges
- The awards event itself can make a fun night out for the team and be a useful platform for entertaining clients or networking
- The content you submit can prove useful for proposals, pitches and your website
In my view the pros have it. If you go for it, just a few points to consider:
- Think carefully about which award(s) you enter
- Are you better off chasing generic/local business awards or taking a focused, sector approach (it depends on your client focus)
- Check out the panel – are the judges the kinds of people you’d like to get noticed by?
- Are there a number of categories you could fit? If so, is there one that gets your mind racing with evidence of success/impact more than the others?
- Who’s going to write the entry?
- Is the deadline realistic?
- Is the profile of the audience at the awards event right for your business?
- Does the date of the awards night clash with another date in your diary?
There are LOADS of awards out there but here are a few that have been on our radar for various clients recently:
Queens Award for Enterprise (deadline end of September)
Chartered Institute of PR (CIPR) Awards – for in-house teams and agencies (or a joint approach) – deadline December
EHI Awards – rewarding excellence in healthcare (2012 entries closed)
Cisco British Innovation Gateway Awards – rewarding the UK’s most innovative start-ups (2012 entries closed)
Talk Talk Digital Heroes (deadline 30 Sept) – chance to win a grant of 5k or 10k
And a few local business awards (all closed or done and dusted for 2012) for companies in Cambridge or Huntingdon: