By Melanie Johnson, Account Director – Eskenzi PR
Many companies feel that entering industry awards it a bit too self-promotional, a waste of vital marketing budget and far too time consuming, but just being shortlisted for one of these awards can do the business a massive favour. In fact, the benefits of winning an award can outweigh the reason not to entering them in the first place. It’s like someone giving you a massive compliment and then recommending your product/services to a larger audience.
Top Tips for Industry Award Entries
It is true that entering awards does requires a lot of time and effort. However, planned and conducted properly, an awards programme can offer some great benefits both internally and externally for a company. Here are Eskenzi PR’s top tips for making sure you produce the most outstanding industry award entries:
- Include customer testimonials– As we always say, customers are the greatest advocates for your technology. Having strong customer testimonials or even a customer project case study in your award entry can be the difference between winning or not.
- Upload additional supporting material – If the award submission allows it, make sure you upload supporting material. Create attention grabbing videos showing off your solution/product or customers verbally giving a testimonial, interesting marketing material that includes fascinating research, plus case studies that look at how your solution/product helps companies overcome various challenges. Don’t include links to materials as these might not work when entering online submission forms.
- Know the market – Make sure your submission reflects the market the awards are for. For example, if you’re entering a legal, financial or retail tech award write your submission to reflect the challenges your technology helps that specific industry to overcome.
- Be open about financials– Sometimes in awards you have to be open about your finances. Don’t be worried to share this information, if you can, as most awards will state that submissions will be kept confidential between the judges only.
- Make sure you can attend the awards– No event organisers want to hand your award to a ‘representative’ on the night, so make sure someone from the company can attend the ceremony. It can also swing in your favour if you buy a table to help make the event a success.
- Build a commercial relationship– If a publication and its judges are already familiar with the company name this can help with your award submission. It is more about brand awareness and keeping your company name in front of its readers too. If it is a ‘reader voted’ for award this could help with driving votes as the people will know the company name.
- Enter project awards – These are notoriously the least entered awards especially in the cyber security space. With fewer entries you are more likely to land a win and bag yourself a shiny award.
- Ask for feedback – If you’re not shortlisted or win the award ask for feedback. Look at every unsuccessful award entry as a learning process, it does take time to get an award submission right, so getting judges feedback is important, plus there may be some feedback for the product development teams too.
Why Enter Industry Awards?
Entering awards can be ever so ‘awarding’ if done right. They can increase a company’s reputation, drive brand awareness, plus recognise hard work and build team morale within a business.
All the points above are what make an award-winning entry. Preparation is key and if you’re lacking any of those elements, consider if it’s worth the investment and maybe wait and be patient until you have all the parts in place to become winners.
If you’re looking to run an awards programme and need a little bit of help, why not come and talk to us.