Recently our public relations firm received three Bernays Awards from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) for media relations, internal communications and blogs. We also recently placed as a finalist in PR Daily’s Digital PR Awards 2013 for best website for our agency’s website redesign. Clearpoint Agency has been entering and winning these types of awards throughout its 11 year history.
I won’t lie, it feels good to win! But entering your work for these types of awards is time-consuming and costly in terms of man hours. And when combined with the entry fee, award dinner tickets, and often a new outfit so you can look good as you sit there with your fingers crossed, awards are an expensive endeavor. So why does Clearpoint enter these awards year after year? And why do we suggest you enter awards in your industry, too?
Verify Excellence. Awards affirm you are doing great work, creating stellar products and employing the best in class techniques. Especially when the award entries are judged on the merits of quality and creativity, or whatever criteria is most appropriate in your industry, by impartial professionals or experts.
Keep You Focused. Let’s face it, there are shortcuts for everything. Yes, even in PR. But the process of completing winning award submissions reminds us that by developing solid strategies and following the correct process – research, planning, execution and evaluation – we assure the marketplace we are creating strategies that are well-thought out and objective-driven. As a PR firm, we know that inventive and sexy PR programs can be exciting, but do they do any good if they don’t address the market accurately or meet client communication objectives and business goals? No.
Raise Visibility. People like to do business with a winner. Awards communicate excellence to business prospects, partners, associations, recruits and opinion leaders. For awards that are more than a popularity contest, like the PRSA Bernays Awards, the market has one more way to judge your importance in your particular industry and standing against competitors.
Improve SEO. Award announcements, in the form of press releases, blogs, and social media posts also boost your search engine optimization (SEO). Fresh content, photos, links and posts all work to raise your visibility with search engines. So don’t be shy about spreading the word if you are honored with an award.
Attract and Retain Talent: In the PR agency business, talent retention is an important goal. It may be a challenge in your industry as well. If you submit the company’s work for awards and receive accolades, your employees feel confident they are working for a company that produces top-notch work or products. They feel proud and part of something that is deemed “award-winning.” The benefit? Increased loyalty.
Awards are also important for recruiting. Today’s job hunters do a lot of research before they apply. Awards on your website and news sites makes you attractive to young professionals and experienced professionals alike.
Onboard New Employees: We use our award-winning submissions as examples of good work to show our new employees as part of the onboarding process. They are a great way to explain who our clients are, show how we develop PR programs, and detail creative strategies we have used in the past to get results. In your business, you can do the same and set the stage for the quality level you expect from new hires.
Help Land New Business: Awards provide third-party validation and signal to prospective customers that they are making a good choice in considering your company, particularly if the award is for a market area or business challenge that is paramount for them as well.
Create Another Line in Your Company’s Story: When you win, tell the world. We put out a press release when we win awards. When people search for PR firms, we want them to see that Clearpoint consistently does award-winning work and our peers recognize us for that. It also helps us tell our firm’s story of consistent quality and goal-driven PR that keeps our client retention high, and keeps us loving what we do! By broadcasting your good news to the world, you are sharing your culture and improving your history.
So, are award submissions difficult and costly? Absolutely! Should you enter the next time you are proud of your product or service? Without a doubt!
This post was contributed by Bonnie Shaw, Clearpoint Agency President.