This post was originally featured on Racepoint Europe’s Comms Talk blog http://commstalk.racepointgroup.com/
Awards season is in full swing, and some great recent successes for our clients have prompted discussion among the team about industry awards and the benefits they can offer. We’ve all been there – frantically attempting to dress in our black tie outfits in the office bathroom while still responding to emails! But awards can offer a great deal of opportunity, provided you approach them with a fresh perspective. Here are some tips for to help you make the most of them.
When you’re thinking about attending or sponsoring an awards evening, consider:
- Are the right representatives of your company going? Which journalists will be there? Evenings like these offer fantastic networking opportunities so make sure your team is prepared
- Have you invited key customers to join you? Corporate hospitality provides invaluable face time with clients, and investing in a full table for invited guests can offer a great platform for this
- If sponsoring, what are your objectives? General brand awareness, or promotion of a specific product? Ensure the branding and logos you have at the event reflect this
- Think beyond a ‘logo on a screen’ to the more creative options. You have your industry in one room – find a way to excite and engage them that will leave a more lasting impression. Perhaps sponsor a red carpet to capture photos that can be sent to peoples devices in real time on the night, or sponsor the bar and have a cocktail menu designed around your product names
Winning an award can provide valuable third party endorsement and raise awareness in your industry of a new product or general business capabilities. In an increasingly competitive landscape, your submission is up against some tough competition. Make sure you:
- Select awards and categories carefully – make sure the effort put in to a submission is well placed
- Read the brief carefully and put together considered, well written copy that covers the required criteria concisely. Be sure to clearly pull out statistical business benefits to differentiate
- Select impactful supporting materials that are engaging (consider testimonials, video footage, and infographics)
- When reviewing, put yourself in the judges’ shoes (in most cases you will be able to find out who they are, so tailor where possible). When reviewing, consider: does this submission impress? Where is the “wow factor”?
If you are shortlisted, make sure you are prepared for the evening, and the days following it, in order to make the most of the PR opportunities it presents. Creating a buzz in the lead up and directly after the awards is key, so:
- Do you have a media alert ready to announce your win in a timely fashion?
- Are the awards being filmed and can you access footage for your social media platforms?
- Have you alerted customers, partners and employees of your nomination on your social media channels?
Whether entering a new product for a prestigious award, entertaining customers in an industry-relevant environment or raising brand awareness with an engaging sponsorship activity, awards evenings are rich with opportunity. So get your glad rags on and get involved!