Recognition, Revenue, and Employee Retention: The Benefits of Applying for Business Awards
By Emily McCormack, Senior Account Executive
Business awards can have something of a mixed reputation. On the one hand, they come with a glamorous awards ceremony, and can bring prestige and recognition to a business. On the other hand, they can be expensive to enter, they require a considerable amount of work, and some hold more weight in the industry than others.
So are awards worth it? The truth is that business awards can bring indispensable benefits for your business, if some thought is put into the strategy behind them. This article will explain exactly why you should consider bringing awards into your PR strategy, and how to have the most success.
Building brand recognition
Winning a business award can be an excellent complement to your PR activity. Even being shortlisted will get your company’s name up in lights – a great way to increase brand recognition for your customers. It’s not just about the ceremony – award organisations will typically promote their shortlist and winners extensively both before and after the awards themselves. To ensure this has the biggest impact, do some research and choose well known, established awards in the relevant sector, which will be more likely to be followed by potential clients.
Furthermore, if you do win, consider how further PR activity can spread the news of your success. For example, social media or blog posts could be a great way to shout about your win. If it’s a prestigious award, it may even be an opportunity to release a press release – driving media coverage and even more attention.
Awards can also give sales teams a powerful boost in their efforts, with one study finding that winning an award can give businesses a 37% increase in sales. Customers want to work with award-winning organisations – in a world with significant competition, ‘award winner’ can be a key differentiator. Being able to advertise your success on your website and within your sales materials will have a big impact.
Make sure you choose awards and categories that are really focused on the areas of your business you want to highlight – there’s no point winning for a project or product that is no longer your main focus. A specific product award might be more valuable than a general business category in demonstrating your expertise.
Attract talent and bolster retention
In a tight labour market, no business can afford to overlook the potential impact of awards on their recruitment and retention strategies. The accolade ‘award-winning’ stands out to potential employees and will help drive applications. Particularly for candidates who are newer to the industry and researching organisations, recognition next to your name will make them more likely to want to join you.
Furthermore, award wins will increase morale for the staff already in your organisation. The sense of recognition for their efforts will bring the team together and provide a reward for their hard work. Plus, they can celebrate in style at the ceremony! The sense of pride and achievement will tie employees more closely to the business, and increase retention rates.
How to write a winning award entry
Business awards clearly have huge benefits, but how do you go about drafting a winning entry? We’ve rounded up our top tips below, to help you have your best chance of success:
1. Do your research. It’s important to choose the award you are entering very carefully. Finding a niche ceremony or category can boost your chances of winning as there will be less competition. However, it’s most important to choose a category that you feel you genuinely have something relevant to showcase. Read the entry requirements carefully and make sure you know what information the judges will be looking for.
2. It’s all about the story. Above all, the judges will be looking for a strong story in an awards entry. You want to demonstrate how the product or service has developed and the impact that your business has made. Here at Touchdown, we’re proud to showcase our own history of industry award entries, including the PR Daily Media Relations Awards.
3. Backup your points with facts and figures. It’s all very well to say that your business has made a difference, but the entries that will stand out the most will offer evidence. Wherever you can, backup your points with data – show in clear hard figures the benefits your business has brought.
4. Include customer testimonials. To add real colour to an award entry, include quotes from customers who can explain why they love your business. Their input will add human interest to your entry, really making it stand out from the crowd.
5. Use a PR Agency.Of course, to really have the best chance of success, you should consider using a PR agency. The role of a publicist and wider PR team is to be able to translate each point above into a successful award-winning pitch that the judges simply can’t ignore.
Touchdown can support your awards program and take the lead on drafting entries for you. With years of experience crafting successful entries they can help you to highlight your successes in the best possible way. To find out more about how we can support you, check out our client case studies.