Optimizing Awards Opportunities

Over the past six years, S&A Cherokee has won more than 50 awards for PR, communications, publications, design, photography, growth, and for being a top employee-friendly publisher. Likewise, we’ve helped our clients win awards for growth, innovation and professional leadership.

These days there are so many awards programs out there, it can be difficult to distinguish the legitimate awards from the dubious ones. Unfortunately, some awards programs are merely schemes that leverage entry fees, banquet ticket sales, congratulatory advertisements, or plaque and trophy sales to generate revenue for the sponsoring organization.

Following are a few tips to optimize your company’s awards strategy and opportunities:

  • Research the awards program and sponsoring organization. Look for a list of previous winners. Find out who the judges are and what professional credentials they have. Find out if the program is brand new or well established.
  • Review the requirements. Some awards programs require that your company achieve base levels in revenue, number of employees, years in business, etc., before submitting an entry. Some are only open to member organizations, or charge extra if you’re not a member.
  • Weigh the cost of entry vs. the potential return. Some awards programs charge exorbitant entry fees, while others are very inexpensive to enter but provide minimal recognition to winners. Set up an awards budget for the year.
  • Carefully review the application form when preparing your entry. More often than not, submitting incorrect or incomplete applications will result in immediate disqualification. Review the judging criteria and make sure you address every component. Make sure you proofread the entry carefully and meet the submission deadline.
  • When you win an award, be sure to promote it internally and externally. Tell your employees, your clients, your prospects and the general public via appropriate announcements, emails, social media posts and press releases.
  • Didn’t win this year? Use it as a learning opportunity. If possible, ask to see the judging sheets to see for yourself which areas of your submission received less than stellar marks. Use that feedback to improve your award entries next time.

To discover how S&A Cherokee can help with your public relations and communications needs, contact us for a free consultation at (919) 674-6020.

Author: Glenn Gillen, APR
Glenn Gillen is our Senior Account Manager.

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