It would be foolish to put in all of the time and effort needed to enter an awards if you don’t actually want to win. However, as we explain in this post, at Awards Writers we’re big fans of the benefits you can get from being shortlisted.
So, what can you do to maximise the benefits of being shortlisted? Here’s our quick checklist so you can be sure to make the most from your achievement, regardless of whether you walk away with the trophy.
- First of all, check with the awards organisers whether there’s an embargo on announcing you’ve been shortlisted. Some give you advance notice but want to make their own announcement before you talk about the news publicly
- While you’re at it, find out whether there’s an official finalist’s logo which you can use on your website, social media and in any communications about being shortlisted. Awards issue them to finalists and it will be useful in promoting your achievement
- Once you can talk about the news, use it as a reason to contact clients (current, past and potential) to share your achievement with them. Maybe you could roll that news in with a special offer, but just the reminder in people’s in-boxes can be enough to remind them about you and could generate new business
- Use your social media accounts to announce the news and follow others who are also shortlisted. Remember that the awards dinner is a great networking opportunity, so making “virtual” contact with others beforehand starts that relationship before you’ve even got your glad rags on. If there’s an official awards hashtag, don’t forget to use it
- Thank your team. Let’s face it, you couldn’t have got there without them, so use the shortlisting as a way to make them feel valued – even if that’s just bringing in some cake for people to share
- If the shortlisting is for a large national or international awards, think about issuing a press release. Companies are shortlisted for awards every day though, so have a think about why your achievement is different. Perhaps yours is a small company shortlisted among huge national ones for example. Then you could theme your press release about being the David to the big boys’ Goliath on this particular set of awards
- Figure out who is going to the awards ceremony. It’s likely that not everyone involved can go along, so make a decision as soon as possible and stick to it. Try to avoid this being a source of disagreement within your organisation by having a sound rationale for who is going, and make sure to spread out the opportunities if you’re attending more than one ceremony
- Make the most of the awards ceremony. Being a finalist is a pass into an exclusive club and it’s likely to be a room filled with potential clients and collaborators. You might want to celebrate with your team, but it’s also worth chatting to others to help make some contacts. If you wanted to be really strategic about it you could research other finalists ahead of time and use LinkedIn to check out key figures who might be at the ceremony so you know who you’re looking for
If you’re interested in entering awards and want some help and advice, we offer a range of services from awards research to writing entries. Give us a call on 07921 543898 to talk about your specific situation.