Benefits of Company Awards and Tips for Submissions
By Carmesha Thompson, Project Manager
You may think that submitting awards on behalf of your company is an unnecessary task, that is not worth the time and effort. Dealing with the day-to-day work of your company is stressful enough, and additional tasks that do not contribute to the bottom line in a tangible way may appear to be a waste of time. However, when it comes to awards, you might want to change your mindsight and make them a priority. See below for three major benefits of company awards and tips to keep in mind when submitting them.
Awards Boost Your Stature
Winning awards helps elevate your status and credibility among your peers and current and potential clients. Awards provide a third-party endorsement for your company and/or its work and validate your organization as a leader in the industry. It can also help attract potential clients and retain existing ones. Here at MassMedia, we always make sure to include our awards in RFP’s that we submit to help differentiate ourselves from competitors, as well as showcase them around our office for others to see. After winning awards for campaigns we managed or services we provided for specific clients, we always make sure to inform these clients of the exciting news. It reaffirms their confidence in our agency’s expertise and capabilities. In addition, this boost in reputation will attract top-notch, qualified talent who are interested in working for a company of high caliber. For example, winning ‘Best Places to Work’ is a great recruitment tool.
Awards Increase Your Visibility:
Sharing (i.e. bragging about) the awards your company has won is almost as gratifying as winning the awards themselves. While some bestowing organizations may publish the winners themselves, your company will also want to announce the news through an e-blast, ad, social media, press release, a slider on your website’s homepage, etc. You worked incredibly hard to receive the award, so make sure to publicize it as much as possible.
Awards Improve Company Morale:
The fantastic work that results in an award is almost always a group effort, so being recognized for it can really bring an organization together in a common sense of accomplishment and pride. Winning awards also serves as an opportunity to take your employees out to celebrate. In addition, the acknowledgment employees receive often makes them more enthusiastic and helps to motivate them to forge ahead and continue producing more award-winning work.
There are a variety of local and national awards that you can enter. Many are industry-based while others are more general, such as the ‘Green Awards.’ An effective way to locate award opportunities in your area is through local outlets such as publications, television networks, websites, community organizations, and your chambers of commerce. For awards related to your industry, you should look towards an industry trade association in your region as a starting point.
Awards usually fall in one of the following categories:
- Commitment to Community
- Employee Excellence
- General Business-Related
When considering awards, keep the following in mind:
There are countless awards you can apply for, but you should choose those which play to your company’s strengths and strongest assets. Identify awards that fit and embody your company the best. You might want to check out your competition to see what awards they’ve won.
Be sure to carefully review submission guidelines, deadlines, costs and required materials. You wouldn’t want to get disqualified over an item you overlooked.
Pay special attention to the criteria provided for awards. If the judging score sheet is available, be sure to review. However, sometimes a qualification that provides an advantage is not explicitly outlined. For example, community service may be highly regarded for an award honoring an individual but is not included in the criteria. Reach out to the organization overseeing the awards and past winners for advice on what is going to tip the scales in your favor.
Provide yourself with enough time to properly review, apply for and submit the awards. The submission process is usually time-consuming with several categories to consider, many materials to collect and numerous guidelines to adhere to. Some awards even require written recommendations from third parties, so you will want to give these individuals enough notice. Be sure to break out the submission process into different steps with internal deadlines and make it a team effort, so the process is more manageable and not as overwhelming.
If you lose, don’t despair and toss the submission out the window! Repurpose the content for another award or other opportunities. If a judging score sheet was used and is available, make sure to request it and review the scores and the judges’ comments. This will help you improve your entry for the next year. Also, review the entries of the winning companies to evaluate how theirs stacked up against yours. The more entries for awards you submit, the more you will learn and the better you will get at them —leading to a win or two (or more).