Entering Awards should be a key part of any company's marketing strategy. Third-party testimonials trump everything else.
An industry accolade is an independent evaluation of your business and a public recognition of your worth - and it's something that your customers are more likely to trust than your own marketing material.
Most business owners already know this - and yet many fail to take full advantage of a win and leverage it for the massive authority building that it provides.
Earned media needs to be a critical component of your marketing strategy.
Here's 6 Steps To Leverage The Awards For PR Success.
1. Set your PR Objectives
What are you wanting to achieve? Is it brand awareness, engagement, leads? Be clear what you want out of your award win/finalist outcome, then set a marketing strategy in place to achieve that.
2. Know your Story
Know your point of difference (POD) and why it matters. Your story needs to be unique for media to pick up on it. The Awards are giving you a terrific head start but you need to back it up with proof points. What factors contributed to you getting the award win?
3. Write a Compelling Media Release
Writing a media release can be one of the best ways to leverage an award. Not only does it increase your media exposure, but it also provides core content that you can adapt and use across your marketing materials and channels.
4. Understand Newsroom Etiquette
Invest early in relationships giving journos something valuable before asking for anything in return. Know what the newsrooms are looking for – meet their needs too!
5. Present Confidently
Be strategic in how you approach the interview and remember to be yourself!
6. Leverage your other Media Channels
Earned media isn't just handed out – it's earned. Have a strategy in place to make the most of it
Being part of the Awards process forces you to take the time to look at what you have achieved, and where you want to take the business in the future. This can not only be really satisfying seeing how much you have accomplished – but when you celebrate it, you will also motivate your team to carry on building towards that future. Aside from that, no matter whether you win or not the process is invaluable. Being named a finalist or winner of a business award, when your competitor is not, could be the thing that makes someone choose you over your competitor.