The untold riches you could gain from winning an award

We often talk with clients about the hidden benefits of being shortlisted for an award and are big fans of the mileage you can get out of just making the list of finalists (see our blog here on how to do that).

A conversation with a client recently reinforced this theory for us as they told us their story. Many of our clients like to keep our work for them confidential, so I’m sorry we can’t name them for you, but rest assured this is a genuine story.

The award entry we wrote was for a national set of awards and for a project which has been ongoing for some years. The project has seen a relatively large investment and has reaped some great short-term rewards, but by its nature the true impact will only be revealed in the longer-term.

While it is a project delivered by a series of partners, not every organisation which could have been involved had chosen to. The partners are also keen to spread the good practise from the project to other areas and for others to use the techniques they’ve applied.

Much to the surprise of the project manager, winning the award delivered all of the things on their wishlist – and more!

A director of the organisation was at the awards and now has days in their diary to travel to see the project and meet the partners. Many other organisations have stepped forward to join the project, notably one which seems to have moved from being neutral about it to being incredibly keen to get involved with both work on the ground and promoting the project.

The regional media have covered the project as a result of the win, and the team [...]

By |May 10th, 2016|Award wins|0 Comments|
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    How writing an award entry is like planning a Guinness World Record attempt

How writing an award entry is like planning a Guinness World Record attempt

Our chief wordsmith, Louise Turner, was delighted to accept an invitation to take part in a Guinness World Record attempt recently. That’s Louise in the middle of the picture above, with Rachel Hatfield of Shoo Media on the left and client Claire Turner (no relation) of TLC Accountants on the right.

Even better than an exciting invitation to try to break a world record, it was for the most people taking part in a gin tasting (and she does rather like a tipple). On reflection, she thought there were a lot of parallels between the attempt to break a world record and writing business award entries. Here’s why…

It’s all in the preparation

For the Guinness World Record attempt to be successful the organisers had to be prepared. From researching the current record to figuring out step-by-step how they were going to beat it, the glory would be theirs if the plan was robust. They even had specially-printed holders for the shot glasses so people could hold three tasters without a table to rest them on. Less tables meant more people in the venue – which equaled more chance of taking the record.

When thinking about award entries you can be planning even when you don’t know which award you want to enter. Save brilliant data, evaluate your projects, seek testimonials at the time and make sure you keep them in a place where everyone on the team can access them. And if you do know which award you want to make a submission to, plan the project you want to put forward and ensure you gather evidence as you go along.

How you’ll be judged

When writing awards you have to think carefully about the criteria and it was [...]

By |February 17th, 2016|Award wins, Awards|0 Comments|

Seven is our lucky number

It took almost 20,000 words and countless hours of blood, sweat and tears (okay, maybe not tears) but earlier this summer we completed a batch of seven award entries for three national awards. These particular sets of awards had deadlines within days of one another, so it was no mean feat to co-ordinate everything that was needed.

However, all of the hard work was worth it as all seven have been shortlisted!

It’s our pleasure to now be supporting the clients in their preparations for the second round of judging. And having a small glass of something to celebrate, obviously.

By |August 25th, 2015|Award wins, Awards|0 Comments|

5 perfect places to promote your award win

Winning an award is great for morale, but there are of course other more, shall we say, commercial incentives for submitting an entry.

Whether you win or just secure a place on a shortlist, business awards are a great way of increasing confidence and credibility – and in turn, this can help you to retain customers and win new ones. However, to maximise this value from your award, you need to make sure that people know about it!

5 essential platforms for exposure

While some types of marketing, such as press releases, should be mandatory after an award result, there are some other platforms that you mustn’t forget when it comes to promoting your prowess.

Here are the top 5 that you need to make sure you don’t overlook:

Email signature – always make sure you change your email signature to include ‘Winner of…’ Or ‘Shortlisted for…’ and include the award logo or emblem if you have permission (check if you’re not sure). Don’t just do this for your email – make sure every member of staff does the same.
Website – many organisations forget to update their websites regularly, but if there’s one time you really need to do it, it’s now! If you don’t have the function to do it yourself, send the info over to your web developer and get them to do it for you – minor tweaks don’t cost much, and it could very quickly pay for itself. When prospects are browsing several websites, they’ll be impressed if yours is the one that has an award win or shortlist place proudly displayed. It could be the clincher that seals the deal.
Digital marketing campaigns/newsletters – firstly, it’s worth dedicating an entire e-shot or section of a [...]

Extra extra, read all about it…

We’ve previously talked about ways you can use your award win or place on the shortlist as part of your marketing strategy. In this blog we’re going to focus more on the PR side of things, and how you can create some great business opportunities through positive coverage.

One of the key things to bear in mind is that you don’t have to wait for the awards to roll in before you plunge into the world of PR. Public relations should already be part of your promotional activities, and while you can get some great coverage off the back of an award win, you can also use positive press to help back-up your submissions – view it as a circular strategy and you’ll reap the rewards from both sides of the coin.

After the event

So, you’ve won an award or been shortlisted, now how do you use this for PR power? Here are our top 5 tips of ways you can raise your profile through post-award PR…

Local press – unless your win was pretty spectacular, has wide-reaching human interest, or you’re already a household name, you may not be able to secure coverage in national press. However, local newspapers often love a local business success story, which will get your name in front of many thousands of people – and people like doing business close to home.
Sponsorship – as your reputation grows, so do your opportunities to put your name in the hat for sponsorship deals and charity affiliations. Use your award-winning status as a hook for building this type of relationship – speak to your local football club, sponsor a roundabout (strange but true!) or get involved in a community venture.
Recruitment – depending [...]

How winning an election is nothing like winning an award

Anyone notice we’ve just had a general election? No? Well, in case you didn’t hear about it, here are five things about winning the vote to become an MP that are nothing like winning a business award.

You get to make a speech whether you win or not
Everyone finds out how well they did – and how well everyone else did
Winning means you have a job (it would be a bit harsh if you lost your job because you didn’t win that business award!)
You get a say in how the country is run
There’s no value in being runner-up

In the interests of balance (political or otherwise) here are five things about winning the vote to become an MP that are  similar to winning a business award.

It’s all in the preparation. Rational arguments, a strong track record and data that can be trusted by those who can decide the winner all count
It costs you to enter – prospective parliamentary candidates pay £500
The results are made public. Not everyone stays up all night to watch the results coming in, but everyone can find out the result
Not everyone will agree with the result. But hey, debate is healthy (just don’t be the sore loser)
It doesn’t last forever. Best opticians 1988 isn’t going to impress anyone, and in five years time, those prospective parliamentary candidates will be staying up all night all over again

We can’t help you get elected but we can help with business award entries. Why not give us a call to see how?

 

5 ways to reap the rewards of your award

When you’ve invested time, effort and money into a business award entry, you want to make sure that you get a return on your investment. While a win is always the preferred outcome of a submission, don’t be fooled into thinking that’s the only result that can bring tangible benefits to your organisation.

Never underestimate the power of making the shortlist – being up among the leaders represents a huge percentage of the value of an out-and-out win, and even being nominated (if it’s a peer-led award) can offer some great marketing opportunities. After all, anything that can help raise your profile has to worth taking advantage of.

Here are our top 5 tips for marketing yourself on the back of your award result…

Wear your badge with pride – even being shortlisted is usually enough to be given permission to display the award’s badge or logo on your marketing materials; there’s often a nominee or ‘shortlisted for’ version for you to use. Add this into your email signature, website banner, new print-runs of flyers and brochures, and even your LinkedIn profile or social media accounts.
Attend the event – if you’re invited to the ceremony, take some pictures while you’re there. You can use them to enhance a blog that you write about the event and on your social media accounts. Don’t forget the event is not just a celebration, but a great networking opportunity too. It’s potentially a room filled with new clients, or new employees.
Notify with a newsletter – not everyone will visit your website, so cover all bases and send out an email or newsletter to your staff and clients. You can link to your ceremony blog and brighten it up with [...]

Two weeks, two podiums!

We’ve had a great couple of weeks, with late night (and early morning!) texts from clients to let us know about their awards successes.

First out of the traps was Baba+Boo, who were named runner up in the Energy & Environment category at the Salford Business Awards. This was a huge deal for the B+B team, especially as they were up against some very big and well-established names. Managing Director Eve Bell described it as a “David and Goliath contest” so was over the moon when their name was called out.

Eve, who describes herself as an accidental businesswoman, said: “The thing about awards is that they make you feel validated. Even if you don’t win, you get to meet some fantastic people and can really raise your profile.”

The Salford Business Awards, like an increasing number of credible business awards, follows a two-part process with an application form which gets you shortlisted (where we come in) and an interview with a panel of judges if you make the shortlist. The B+B team clearly did themselves justice at the interview, providing additional information as well as allowing the judges to see their passion for the business first-hand.

Congratulations to Eve and her team.

Last week was the date for the European Contact Centre and Customer Service Awards (ECCCSAs) and I woke to a text declaring, “European champions! Thanks for your help putting it together,” It’s a great way to start a morning let me tell you.

We wrote the entry for Yorkshire Water’s Improvement Strategy Of The Year application and it felt like a winner from the start, with brilliant, demonstrable results and independent evidence from the industry regulator to back up the claims of improvements.

The ECCCSAs are another set [...]

By |June 18th, 2014|Award wins|0 Comments|

Yorkshire Water shortlisted in the European Call Centre & Customer Service Awards

We love days like this. Days when you wonder when the shortlist for a certain set of awards will be out, and when you check the site your entry has been shortlisted.

Call us biased, but we thought Yorkshire Water’s entry for Best Business Improvement Strategy in the European Call Centre and Customer Service Awards was pretty strong. The judges seemed to agree and they’ll be going to London in June to find out whether they’ll take the trophy. Good luck guys!

 

By |April 15th, 2014|Award wins|0 Comments|