SHOW ME THE TROPHY!
We’re not in the habit of blowing our own trumpet here at TWI, but we’re feeling particularly proud of our recent achievements in the 2020 Business Culture Awards, where we were finalists in the Best Small Organisation for Business Culture category and Kate was the Overall Winner of the Business Culture Leadership Award.
At TWI, we’ve been writing winning award submissions for our clients for many years, but with typical modesty we haven’t entered many ourselves, despite the indisputable benefits. You don’t have to win to benefit either, as our top eight reasons for entering awards demonstrate:
- Raise your company profile
Award recognition raises your profile with potential customers, investors, stakeholders, and industry peers, demonstrating your capabilities and giving you a platform to talk about your business.
- Boost your brand
Winning an award or even being shortlisted is great for your reputation, it increases credibility and instils trust in your brand.
- Increase profitability
When you are recognised as an industry leader your company’s profits will benefit through attracting new business, customer retention, and the opportunity to review your pricing structure – you may even gain the confidence to start charging what you’re really worth.
- Cost effective Marketing and PR
The awards journey is an excellent medium for PR and marketing opportunities. From shouting about entering the awards on social media to editorial in the award ceremony programme, entering a specific category to showcase a new and innovating product or spreading the word about your inspiring company values.
- High level networking at awards ceremonies
Not quite the same in 2020, with Award Ceremonies taking place on Zoom, but the traditional black-tie events facilitate wonderful opportunities to network, find inspiration and maybe find your next clients or collaborator.
6. Attract talent and investment
Whether it’s financial investment or recruitment, an award win shows that your company is ahead of your competitors, proud of its ethos and good at what it does!
7. Team motivation
Trust us, there’s nothing says “You’re awesome and valued” more than nominating individuals or a team for relevant awards. It’s not favouritism, it’s quite often luck of the draw that a specific project or service best meets the criteria, just let the staff that aren’t nominated know that they will be considered for any awards relevant to the great work they’ve been doing. Any win is a great boost for the team and should be celebrated as such; after all, no-one works entirely alone, and everyone on the staff contributes to overall success.
Awards are a brilliant way to benchmark your business, even if you end up postponing entry to a later year. You can benchmark against your business plan KPIs or against competitor successes. Or you can just take the opportunity to stop, look around and see where you are on your corporate journey.
Choose your awards carefully
- Do your research
Which awards hold the most credibility in your industry? Which have your competitors won or been shortlisted for? What does entry entail? When’s the deadline? If you don’t have the resources to submit a quality entry, it may be better to enter a different award or just wait until next year.
- Local or National?
Don’t assume national or even international is always best. Consider what you want to achieve from this award, and your customer base. Is an international audience going to help you to achieve your goals or would engaging with a local customer base bring you increased sales? There’s nothing wrong with aiming high, just make sure you are doing it for the right reasons.
- Industry Specific? Service Delivery? Company values?
When it comes to choosing your awards body and your category, establishing what you want to shout about can help find the award that’s right for you. Are you looking to shine amongst your peers? In which case go for an industry award. Do you want to shout about customer service or HR delivery? Perhaps a service award specific to your goal is your best chance for success. Or do you want to raise the profile of your company and its values? A more generic business or values award could be your chance to shine.
- What will you get in return?
Look at the return on investment for the award. Will you get good PR coverage? Access to networking opportunities? Will winning or being shortlisted for this specific award put you ahead of your competitors? Will the research, data analysis and reflection be of value by itself?
- How much will it cost?
Award entry fees vary enormously, just as tickets to the award ceremony do. Do your homework and revisit point 4 above to help you make your decision.
Writing that submission
Contrary to our opening statement, writing winning award submissions takes skill, insight and time. Do you have time to do it yourself, and quite frankly, is it the best use of your time? If you fancy the challenge, here are a few tips:
- Read the entry criteria, several times. Then stick to the rules! A maximum word count is just that. It’s not a rough guide. If you can only include a one-page attachment, then don’t send a brochure. It may sound simple, but if there’s one thing a judge expects you to do it’s comply with the rules.
- Look at previous winners to get an idea of what is expected and the standard of entries. Read press releases, case studies, website blogs etc. Anything to demonstrate what the award body is looking for in a winning submission.
- Follow the award body and engage with them on social media. You may even gain some valuable insight and any entry tips.
- Research and collate data. Trying to make it an ongoing process within your PR and marketing strategy to keep a note of things to shout about, such as any best practice evidence, can make this a much simpler process. Remembering specific examples and finding evidence to support your submission are some of the most challenging aspects of any submission.
- Watch the deadline. If you get down to the last few days, ask yourself if you have enough time to meet the expected criteria. Incidentally, deadlines are often moved to encourage additional entries, so don’t hesitate to contact the award organisers and ask if an extension is a likely scenario.
- Proof your entry. Get someone to check for grammar and spelling mistakes but also to check that you have answered the specific question. It’s very easy to go off on a tangent singing about your greatest achievement, but if it’s not the information the judges are looking for it won’t count!
And the overall winner is…
Even if you don’t win the trophy, the process of submitting an award entry can be very valuable to your business. If it’s something you hadn’t given a lot of thought to, or you’ve been putting off because it is so time consuming, give us a call and find out if TWI can sprinkle a little winner’s fairy dust on your company in 2021.