The bread and butter of public relations is about leveraging and protecting the reputation of a company, through a variety of communications methods. From media relations, to stakeholder engagement, social media and content development…there is a significant list of tactics used to bolster the brand of an organization.
There is another tactic that is often the first one pushed off the to-do list simply due to the sheer volume of time required to pull it off; however, if everything pans out, the return on investment can be monumental.
I’m talking about awards and recognitions.
Many industries have their own niche awards programs (e.g. Canadian Public Relations Society National Awards), but there are any broader opportunities as well. From Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 recognition, to Canada’s Top Employer, and the City of Calgary Awards, there are hundreds of programs designed to give you a leg up on the competition with some hardware and additional awareness.
What holds people back is usually time. Award applications can be robust and require extensive hours of time, pulling together the content, writing the submission and presenting a polished product for judges to consider.
Here are two key reasons you should consider allocating either the time or resources (i.e. contract it out) to apply for awards:
- A reputation booster. An award is a chance to strengthen the reputation of your organization, whether it be for an individual within the company or the business as a whole. It comes with clout and an opportunity to leverage your public relations efforts From promoting the award on your website, adding the winning logo to your social media platforms, to media relations opportunities, and sharing the news with your stakeholders, awards get other people talking about you and your company.
- Employee retention and recruitment. You better believe that the majority of current and prospective employees keep an eye on what’s happening in the company as a whole. Employees want to know they are working somewhere with a strong reputation and somewhere that cares about their employees. One company I worked for hosted a huge staff event every time they landed on Alberta’s Top Employer list. It was a chance to say “thank you” to the people that keep the organization moving forward and doing all of the work that ultimately landed the business on the list. This goes a long way for employee retention.
Once you find the award you want to tackle, carefully review the criteria and dedicate some the time to answer the questions and provide the work samples and information requested. The more thorough and focused your application, the better your odds for success will be.
For support with your award application, reach out to us here at MLC!