Public relations is more than just sending a press release to the wire now and again. Your PR plan should encompass speaking engagements, social media and award submissions in addition to your outbound PR efforts. Here are a few reasons to add awards to your PR calendar if you haven’t already.
Reason #1 – Awards Are Easy to Find. You won’t have to look far to find awards that your company or executives qualify for – start in your own backyard with the business publications in your city or community. Next, search for awards others in your industry have won. Look on their website in the News section and then Google the awards. Building an awards calendar for your company or client will only take a few hours if you are diligent and efficient.
Reason #2 – Award Entries Are Usually Inexpensive and Not Overly Complicated. Have you been putting off award entries because you think they are either too expensive or they are going to require too much time? Most awards require a small entry fee ($75 – $500) but you will probably stumble upon some that are free as well. Regarding time consumption, let’s think about it – the company or organization giving the award usually wants exposure as much as you do. Why would they make it impossible to enter? Most award entities try to make the process simple and cost effective. Dig around a little and you are sure to find a decent list of awards that require only a minimal written entry. Don’t delay – someone else might be winning the award you deserve!
Reason #3 – Awards Give You Something to Talk About. My clients look for reasons to issue news. What better excuse than being a finalist or winner of an award? If you work your calendar right, and make sure you have well written submissions, there’s no reason you won’t be able to add 3+ press releases to your PR calendar about your accolades. Awards are a simple and effective reason to get your company name out to the wire.
Reason #4 – Awards Add Credibility! This is the big one. Our society loves endorsements. What better endorsement of your company or executives than to have won a big national or international award? It’s like a Good Housekeeping seal of approval! Award logos on your website, mentions in your company literature, listing in your company boilerplate… these are all great reasons that you should consider building awards into your PR plan.
Awards really should be a part of any strategic marketing plan, but if they aren’t yet in your company, I hope I have given you some food for thought. Do a quick search and see if you find anything that you could test the waters with, and who knows, you could very well be a winner!
by Sara Callahan