Think industry awards are just for winners? Think again

- October 25, 2023 3 MIN READ


Working in corporate communications and public relations, business awards are very much part of the scope for many of our clients at The PR Hub and we almost always recommend them to new clients seeking to build awareness, credibility, and trust for themselves or their brand. explains Samantha Dybac founder and CEO of The PR Hub.

As a business owner or founder, awards are an invaluable opportunity to refine your narrative and reflect on your professional evolution and achievements. They’re great for team morale (who doesn’t love being part of a winning team?!) and can help you be viewed favourably by potential recruits, too. In 2022 we were named Sydney’s No 1 PR Agency and most candidates will mention that in interviews when asked why they want to work with us.

No matter which industry you’re in, you can be sure there’s an awards opportunity perfect for you or your niche. Plus, like all written content, awards submissions can be repurposed aplenty. If you’re keen to give awards a go, here are a few important pointers before you get started.

Entering awards: Be selective

While I recommend adding awards to your PR and marketing agenda, think first about what you’re trying to achieve as a business first in order to then guide you on which awards align best with and support your goals.

Would winning help you stand out in-market and/or attract the attention of customers, investors, or the media? Do you have the resources needed (time, energy, supporting materials) to put your best foot forward? Have any of your competitors been active in or even won the award in previous years? These are all questions that will help you determine if a particular award is a good fit for your business.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t win

There are lots of great ways to repurpose the content contained in an awards submission, so don’t be fooled into thinking that if you don’t win, all your time and energy has been wasted.

Working on an awards submission with a client invariably provides us with inspired news angles, fresh interview topics, and new thought leadership themes and insights. Also, because awards really force you to nail down and perfect your key messaging, repurposing that messaging for future awards or other marketing collateral is straightforward.

There’s an award for everyone

Think whole company awards, business leadership awards, support staff awards, ‘Top X’ lists, or even more strategic awards for a particular campaign or innovation.

Regardless of which you opt for (and it doesn’t have to be just one!), awards are a great way to showcase different parts of your business as well as the achievements of different people in the business, especially founders who likely have a very personal connection to the business and so an interesting brand backstory.

It’s not rocket science, but it’s a process

Awards questionnaires tend to be straight-forward but they can also be time-consuming, so give yourself enough time to make your submission as compelling and professional as possible, including:

  1. Start early. Allow time for collating financials, statistics and other supporting materials, and editing/proof-reading. What a shame to spend hours on a submission that goes to the judges full of inconsistencies or typos!
  2. Review the Terms and Conditions. When is the deadline? Are there contact details in case you have questions as you go? Also note that some awards have entry fees (or ticketed awards nights) associated with them.
  3. Check what supporting material is needed. Think financial statements, a video message, or examples of your work. Often providing supporting material is optional; that doesn’t mean you should skip this important step.
  4. Do a ‘dummy run’. I have seen people get caught because they thought they had answered all the questions in the portal only to discover that they’d actually only completed the first page! I always recommend copying and pasting every question into a Word or Gdoc to build your responses ‘offline’ prior to submitting.

Congratulations, you’re a finalist/winner!

 When you’re named as a finalist or winner, your company name and brand will be broadcast across media and social channels you may not have had access to otherwise, which is great. Our client FoodByUs, for example, were the inaugural winner of the Kochie’s INNOV8RS competition, a platform that became a great opportunity for them to further promote their business.

Awards ceremonies themselves are an excellent networking opportunity so make sure you familiarise yourself with all finalists (not just your category) and make a note of who you’d like to connect with at the event or elsewhere through other channels like LinkedIn.

Make sure you add the awards’ official logo or supplied creative asset to your email signatures, company website, and LinkedIn hero image and bio, and don’t forget to promote your nomination or win on your socials, LinkedIn, company newsletter, and investor decks.

Pinstripe Media, publisher of Kochie’s Business Builders and Startup Daily, promotes some excellent awards including Australia’s Favourite Family Business (Kochie’s) and Startup Daily’s Best in Tech Awards. Perhaps you could assign someone in your business the task of doing some research on awards and build up your own internal database of potential awards to enter. Here’s a comprehensive list of business awards to help get you started. Good luck!

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