We’re often asked what a good award looks like. There’s no generic answer, as the right award for one company won’t be the right award for another.

Awards are time-consuming and costly, but they are also brilliant for raising morale and your profile. You need to make sure that you’re entering the right ones and not wasting time and money on the others.

So how can you tell a good award from a bad one?

Are the awards transparent?

You need to be certain that you’re on a level playing field and that awards aren’t just going to be handed out to the biggest advertiser or the people who are mates with the top judge. So make sure you can see information about how entries will be judged and who the judges are – lots of people independent of the organisation running the awards and acknowledge industry experts are good signs.

If you’re invited to the awards ceremony just for putting an entry in, it’s likely the awards are more about making money than about serious industry kudos.

Do the people you want to impress care?

Entering awards should be a central part of your marketing strategy with an identified audience for who you’re trying to impress. You should only go ahead if winning that award will make the right impression on them. Otherwise you’re just wasting time and money.

We recently advised a potential client not to enter any awards as their prospects wouldn’t be at any of the ceremonies and wouldn’t care whether or not they won. It might have cost us work, but it has built trust in our brand in the medium term.

Where can you find good awards?

We usually start with professional industry bodies and trade magazines as, in our experience, these are the ones with the most robust and transparent judging processes, and which can be truly held up as a benchmark of quality. There are many other great sets of awards out there which aren’t associated with trade bodies or magazines too, but they warrant a closer inspection to make absolutely sure you’re entering a fair contest.

If you want assistance finding the right award for you and your company, drop us a line and we’d be pleased to help.