Awards: When Are They Worth It?

by | May 14, 2013

Awards competitions can sometimes be valuable, but they can also be a waste of time and money in some situations. Sonnhalter’s PR Engineer Rachel Kerstetter is with us today to talk about when awards are worth it and when they aren’t.

It seems like new industry awards competitions are popping up all the time. Awards competitions frequently fall under the umbrella of the public relations team and it’s important to approach awards competitions strategically.

When they’re worth it.Sonnhalter Davey Awards

Before shelling out the entry fee of anywhere from $50 to $5,000, filling out long forms and pulling together a bunch of supporting material, look at the award details closely and ask these questions:

  • Is the organization presenting the award competition reputable and recognized within our industry?
  • Is there an appropriate category for my company/product/service?
  • Will winning this award reflect well on my company or will it only collect dust on a shelf?
  • Do we have quality material to enter?
  • Does the entry fee fit in our budget or will something have to be sacrificed in order to enter?
  • Can I meet the deadline?

If the answers to these questions are a resounding yes, definitely enter. Follow the entry instructions to the letter and make sure you meet the deadline.

When they’re not worth it.

If you answer “no” to any of those questions, take a step back from the exciting award entry invitation and think about your strategy.

Just because you have something that you can enter, doesn’t mean you should enter. Make sure that whatever you enter reinforces the value of your product/service/company in the industry.

The main goal for entering award competitions should be to gain quality honors, not to fill a trophy case. There are some organizations that create materials in order to win an award, instead of creating quality materials that happen to be award-winning.

I won! Now what?

When you enter to win an award, of course you want to win! When you receive an award, you shouldn’t just put it in that trophy case and call it a day.

Awards are an excellent opportunity for public relations. First, make sure that you announce the success internally and let your staff know that they contributed. Then promote your award externally with press releases, social media and in other appropriate channels. Your award promotions should cover:

What the award is.

How you earned it (i.e. with an innovative process that reduces your company’s environmental impact, by creating a new product that makes XYZ industry better).

Why it matters. Is the award a symbol of your company’s dedication to improvement? Does it show that you’re successful in meeting certain goals?

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