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|

What not to do at an awards ceremony

There’s been a fair amount of coverage about what happened at the Scottish Hair & Beauty Awards earlier this week, so we were inspired to write our top ten things not to do at an awards ceremony.

1 – Flash your bottom (okay, so this one was inspired by the Scottish awards ceremony story)
2 – Drink too much. A glass or two is good, staggering on stage, not so much (for more potential consequences, see 1 above)
3 – Be ungracious in defeat. No one likes a sore loser
4 – Heckle or boo. Just rude
5 – Leave after your category winner has been announced. Also rude. Why not stay and make the most of the evening?
6 – Make a 10 minute acceptance speech. The opportunities for acceptance speeches are quite limited these days, but if you get one the KISS theory is probably best (Keep It Short & Sweet)
7 – Wear fancy dress. Unless that’s the dress code (and if you know of an awards for which it is, let us know!)
8 – Not listen properly to the compere. Major embarrassment might follow if you make your way to the stage and haven’t, in fact, won
9 – Wear something see-through. Rihanna might get away with doing it intentionally, but we’re guessing you don’t want the bright stage lights to reveal what’s underneath your outfit
10 – Swear. On stage or off, it’s probably not the best way to impress

And it’s not just business awards which are fraught with problems, check out this Radio Times article packed with videos from when celebrity awards ceremonies have gone wrong.

How you win by being an awards finalist

It’s not the winning, it’s the taking part – that’s what we tell our children isn’t it? But that’s not really the case with awards.You don’t want to go to all that effort to put together an entry and get nowhere. That said, is winning an award really the only outcome with any benefits? We don’t think so.

Consider why you want to enter awards in the first place. You’re probably looking for recognition for the quality of your project, a boost for staff morale and perhaps something to show off to existing and potential customers. Here are just some of the wins you could get from being a finalist in your chosen awards:

Win 1 – being a finalist in a set of quality awards is already an independent endorsement of your project or company. Most good-quality awards get hundreds of entries, so you’ve done well to get to the final shortlist. You should still be proud of this achivement
Win 2 – you can take some of the team to the awards and make a fuss about the shortlisting within the organisation, meaning your staff can still get the morale boost, whether you win or not. Ultimately the impact of being a finalist is down to management within your organisation. If your achievement goes unnoticed then you won’t reap the rewards, but a smart management team will celebrate the news of being shortlisted, regardless of the final outcome
Win 3 – most finalists get at least a badge to put on their website or a certificate from the awards organisers, so that’s still something to put on the wall or in the trophy cabinet. You can still consider it an independent endorsement of your [...]

By |May 6th, 2014|Awards|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|

Awards, why bother? The benefits of winning and being shortlisted

Awards, why bother?

They’re time consuming, difficult to write and if you’re even half-way successful you have to pay for at least a couple of people to go to a flash awards dinner. So why would you bother entering awards? Well, the benefits of just being shortlisted for an award can be far-reaching, for both a business and its staff.

Business benefits

Awards are an independent endorsement of how amazing your business is. It’s not just you saying you give great service, it’s an influential body. And that’s reassuring, both for potential clients and for potential members of your team.
Most awards supply you with a logo to use on your website which makes your award-winning credentials obvious. Could this be the thing that tips the balance between someone enquiring about your products/services rather than your competitors? You may never know, but you can be sure it won’t do your reputation any harm.

And if you want to attract the best talent to help drive your business forward, winning awards can’t hurt. It looks good for your business and good for their CV. What you might call a win-win-win situation.

There’s always the potential to get some publicity off an awards win, or even just being shortlisted. Local newspapers like stories about local businesses triumphing (contrary to popular belief, they do run the odd positive story) and who knows which potential customer might read that story or what other benefits it could bring? One of our clients slashed their import bills after being featured in their local newspaper when they were only shortlisted for a couple of awards. They’d previously been struggling to find importers who would deal with their small volumes and after the newspaper piece ran, two [...]

By |March 28th, 2014|Awards, Awards tips|0 Comments|

Our new guide for the NHS

We’ve been delighted to provide our expertise to the NHS, having been commissioned to author a guide to writing winning award entries.

NHS Employers has published the guide this month (July). It is aimed at NHS communications teams with the ability and resource to write their own awards, and draws on our years of experience of helping clients to success.

The guide will be supported by a half-day training course for communications officers.

Chief wordsmith Louise Turner said: “We are honoured to use our expertise to help the NHS secure recognition for the fantastic work it does. It was a pleasure to present at the NHS Confederation conference about awards last month to preview the guide, and we’re very proud that we can help hundreds of NHS organisations promote their successes.”

The guide – The NHS communicator’s guide to writing award entries – sets awards in a strategic context, helping organisations with limited resources make decisions about whether entering awards is the right thing to focus on. It also provides a comprehensive structure for putting together quality award entries.