Are you award-winning?

Ann Wright from Rough House MediaIn this post, Ann Wright, who runs the media consultancy Rough House Media, and manages Bold Clarity’s PR and Marketing, discusses the value of businesses entering awards.

Have you ever entered your business for an award?

If not, it’s something which is well-worth considering.

Winning, or even being nominated, is an excellent opportunity for some positive PR both in the short and long-term.

Just this week, a Bold Clarity client, the security specialists Welcome Gate, has been nominated as Supply Chain Champion in the Small Awards – which would make you far more likely to trust them as a potential security supplier. (Good luck!)

After all, if you win, you will always be able to describe your business as “award-winning” which definitely gives you an edge over your competitors.

And there are some additional PR benefits to winning for awards:

  1. It gives you something to shout about.
  2. It means that there has been an independent assessment of your business by well respected peers and entrepreneurs and you have so impressed them that you’ve beaten all the opposition.
  3. The awards may receive coverage in the local, trade or even national press.
  4. If not, winning will give you are reason to contact your local or trade press which may well feature you.
  5. Contacting the press gives you the opportunity to start building a relationship with journalists, so they may then contact you for comments about your area of expertise.
  6. There is even PR capital from being nominated. My company Rough House Media has twice entered the West London business awards and twice been finalists, against must bigger businesses than ours, entitling us to use an awards finalist logo on our website.

You might feel that the effort required to enter an awards won’t be repaid as there will be dozens, if not hundreds of entries to compete against – from companies you might regard as far more worthy than yours.

However, there are generally several categories to choose from, so you don’t compete against every company which is entering, just those which fulfil similar criteria to you.

The thought of entering awards may seem daunting, as you often need to write long entries extolling your virtues, and provide evidence of steady growth, customer satisfaction and community involvement.

However, it is often really rewarding to consider how well you have done as a company.

For example, when we analysed our growth for a recent entry, we found our client list had grown by 284% over a five year period, and our turnover by 77% – which gave us great confidence.

And, while writing your first entry involves a lot of work, once it is written, you can use this as a basis for others, tailoring the content to each specific criteria.

There are hundreds of different awards to enter for, with a fairly comprehensive listing on the website of marketing agency Topline.

Nominations are currently open for three of the UKs leading entrepreneurship awards:

The British Small Business Awards

The deadline for this is 26 May and categories include Small Business of the Year, Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Exporter of the Year and E-commerce Platform of the Year.

The Great British Entrepreneur Awards

The deadline is 3 August and categories include Creative Industries Entrepreneur of the Year, Family Business Entrepreneur of the Year and Scale-up Entrepreneur of the Year.

The National Business Awards

The deadline is 1 June and categories include the Customer Focus award, Employer of the Year, and the Lloyds Bank Positive Social Impact Award.

So – get entering awards now.

Another way to get PR is to be included in prestigious listings such as the annual Sunday Times Fast Track list.

This ranks Britain’s fastest growing privately held companies by sales growth over the last 3 years.

Being included in this provides potential exposure to thousands, if not millions, of Sunday Times readers.

You don’t need to be nominated for inclusion, you nominate yourself, filling in an online form.

As long as you fulfil particular criteria about your size and scale of growth, you can be entered.

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