Awards Return To The Limelight
I’ve been working in PR, and at Punch, for four and half years and during that time much has changed. Punch has grown from two employees to twenty plus, social media as a business platform has become commonplace in many a campaign strategy as has search engine optimisation. The media relations side of things has evolved with the shrinking of the media and subsequent rise of online alternatives, but in relative terms of strategy and engagement tactics, it has remained pretty much unchanged.
However, one thing that is shifting is business’ attitudes towards, and desire to win, awards. I created a few submissions when I first started but up until the end of 2011, despite recommending and keeping clients in the loop about upcoming awards, interest and perceived return on investment was minimal.
In a turn of events, since August, September last year, I can’t count how many award entries I have created and it’s a great thing that attitudes are changing! Traditionally, I think awards were seen as an almost narcissistical, old fashioned way of spending money and going out for a good old knee’s-up, but this is no longer the case.
In the highly competitive business environment that many industries have come to live with, companies need to have their own USPs and key differentiators to avoid blending in with the crowd and being overlooked when new business is circling - and what says more about a business’ product or service, and statement of intent more than an award?
Some may still be a little off-par in terms of industry recognition, but if relevant and within budget, I’d suggest it would be worth entering every time. There’s nothing to lose but the entry fee, but if successful, or even listed as a runner-up, the knock-on effects could be hugely beneficial in attracting new business.
As a proving point to the changing attitudes and perceived ROI of awards, so far in 2012 three of our clients have been shorted for ten awards between them – one of which was a BAFTA!
In short, awards are once again more than just a way of showing off to, and taunting other companies in the sector. They are now a valid and distinctive USP. Let’s put it this way; if you were placing new business today and two companies were offering exactly the same service, for exactly the same price but, one had an award, which would you go for?