Threesides loves a good awards ceremony. Recently we let our hair down for the Canberra and Capital Region Tourism Awards for 2010, where three of our clients (Australian Institute of Sport, National Gallery of Australia and the Museum of Australian Democracy) were winners in their categories. One of our other clients, Hot Chippies, was recently crowned HIA Professional Renovator of the Year in the HIA Awards ACT and Southern NSW. So what do we tell our clients who are considering entering awards? There are a number of ways to get the most out of your award entry, regardless of whether you go home with a trophy.
1. Promote yourself
Regardless of the outcome, promote the fact that you entered the awards and what impact it has had on your business. The marketing and networking benefits of awards won’t be lost if you continue your promotional efforts.
- For winners and finalists – use the winners logo and text on your website, email signature, electronic letterhead, newsletter and letters where possible.
- Write a media release and distribute it to local media promoting your win and your business. Journalists love local success stories.
- Write a story about the reason why you entered the awards and post it on your blog or your website.
2. Thank your staff, suppliers and supporters
These are the people that make running your business and entering awards even a possibility. Even for sole traders, there’s family, friends and neighbours who all had a hand in your success. It doesn’t take much money or time to say thank you for their support.
- Hold a thank you event for staff – a morning tea or a drink after work is all it takes.
- Buy a small gift as a thank you – everyone loves a movie ticket or a CD vouchers – it’s something for them and shows that you value them.
- Send a letter to suppliers thanking them for their support.
- Include a thank you in your next newsletter mentioning your supporters.
3. Tell your customers
Customers value awards so why not be the one to tell them that you were part of the process.
- Send a letter to customers telling them that you have won or been a finalist in the awards and you value their ongoing support.
- For winners – take a photo of your staff with the trophy showing how proud you are of the win and post it on your website and use in your promotional material.
4. Contact the sponsors
Sponsors make awards possible and without them we wouldn’t have awards to enter. Show them that your value their support and encourage them to continue theirs.
- Grab a copy of the program and write a quick thank you email to each sponsor thanking them for their support.
- Consider ways that you might be able to use their services in your business. After all, that’s why they sponsored the program.
5. Contact other entrants
Who else was in your category? The finalists and winners were listed in the program and through follow up communications you might be able to develop partnerships and opportunities to find out more about their business and why they won (or not). Have a look at their websites or give them a call to say hi. Now the awards are over, you’re not really in competition any more are you!?
So that’s five key ways to turn your Awards into Rewards.
Stay tuned for the next five, and let us know if you have any other tricks up your sleeve!