GUEST POST by Rosemary Tambini at Makers Nutrition - Business award season is upon us, which means public relations firms and companies themselves must shape up and hone their writing skills to prove merit in regional, national, and international awards.
Before jumping into anything, follow this four-step process to help master award entries and increase your chances of winning GOLD:
Utilize your resources, study past winners and what they highlighted and qualities they exhibit. The ‘About’ page is there for a reason! Read up on the award organization’s mission (eg. https://www.bintelligence.com/what-we-do/). Many of these organizations also have a ‘Suggestions’ page with specifics about what they are looking for. Don’t pass it up!
Listen carefully… quality is key! Did the company you are representing gain revenue in a short amount of time? Perhaps its revenue increased gradually with a dedicated staff? Try to pinpoint what exactly separates your company from the rest in the industry. What makes it special? These details are not to be spared. Also, maximize what you already have. Read through feedback you received on your past entries. Where can you improve, what can you add? Bring these notes to the table.
It is time to sit down and write! Some award entries limit you to 250 or 100 words. Others allow for 650. If you have the opportunity to expand, seize it! Fill in as much space as you can. If you don’t have as much room, stick to the facts, not the fluff. If you are having trouble eliminating information, write it all out, reread, and cross out anything that does not support your main points. All in all, be it 250 or 650 words, don’t underrate. What may seem ordinary to you could be a winning detail.
Once you think you have exhausted yourself, reread, and read again. After the first read over, take a break. Do something else and return to it later. You may remember or catch something you didn’t notice earlier. These entries should flow smoothly, they should entertain. Remember your audience. If you were in the position of a judge, would you want to keep reading? Revise and polish until you have complete confidence in your words.
If there is one thing you take from this, do yourself a favor and START EARLY. Giving yourself enough time to revise is more important than you may think. Just as our teachers would warn, “DO NOT WAIT until the day before a paper is due to start writing,” DO NOT WAIT until the day before entries are due to start writing. Preparation time is vital, so don’t waste it.
After You Win
Congrats! You were a standout contender! After you have garnered your awards, you’ll want to yell it to the world—and rightly so! Telling as many people as possible that your company has won will give you both respect and credibility within your industry, which will most likely translate to an increase in business. Here are two ways to get the message across:
1. Write a Press Release
After the embargo date, a press release is a quick and easy way to distribute the great news. Explain what the awards are all about, include what the honor means to the company’s staff, and interview some of the executives for a few quotes. Below is a fine example of a press release from the leading nutraceutical company, Makers Nutrition:
2. Share on Social Media
Today, business blogs are extremely strategic in getting the word out about your company. Use it to your advantage. While your press release will be distributed to thousands of readers, publish an article about your win to the company’s own website. Here’s an example:
Once the article is posted, share it on social media. This means Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. You can even boost your posts to reach more people. Audience means everything!
3. Trophies, Plaques, and Logos
What better way to show off an award than with a shiny trophy or plaque with your company name? Most award organizations allow you to use customized logos similar to the one below:
These logos go a long way, especially if they are added to email signatures!
Whatever the industry or position, write with confidence in all that you produce. After all, you are representing a company. Believe that your entries are worthy of recognition and that confidence will show through your words. That does it for us, now get to work and good luck!