The Hidden Advantage of Awards
This is awards season in the public relations business, when executives submit campaigns for gold, silver and bronze prizes sponsored by various organizations and publications.
Agencies all over the US compete for this recognition and, obviously, it is thrilling to win.
We had the good fortune in 2012 to be honored with 21 awards recognizing our client campaigns, our professionals, and the firm itself. Among them were "Mid-Size Agency of the Year" and "Agency of the Year" given by PR News and the American Business Awards, respectively. We have our fingers crossed for 2013.
There is little that beats recognition, but industry-wide awards provide other benefits for the recipient. They are optimum benchmarking, indicating that the recipient agency's work and/or its professionals are standard-setting. They build the credibility and strength of the agency, validating the agency's position with prospective clients. They demonstrate the value the agency has brought to the client and, in this metric-conscious world, there is little better than that. Such awards communicate to the individual and their peers that the winners are solid professionals whose achievements stand out. Consistently winning them is reinforcement of all of these points.
We have also had the good fortune of developing national award programs for such clients as Schwab and American Management System (since acquired), a billion dollar software company, where the client in each situation was the donor and recipients were current or perspective clients. The Schwab Impact Award recognized the various achievements of its registered investment advisor clients. AMS recognized innovation in tech among its prospects. The awards were given annually, in these two cases, at or near ten years. Outside judging panels were used. Over time, these award programs built the authority and stature of these clients, and did for their prospects and clients exactly what I described in the previous paragraph.
When it comes to awards, the ROI — whether donor or recipient — is big!