PR consultants often encourage their clients to enter awards.
Why is this?
Awards are a valuable recognition of your abilities and achievements – but also a great promotional tool. Award programs may:
- Provide case studies and inspiring stories to others
- Act as a testimonial or endorsement piece for re-use in your marketing channels
- Position you as a leader and contributor within your industry
- Set you apart from your competitors
- Attract media coverage – before and after your win, and into future years if you are chosen as a spokesperson for those awards (quotes from previous winners can be quite useful for media and website testimonials)
Ironically, in the PR industry itself it is can be difficult to enter awards.
Public relations work is usually behind-the-scenes. The nature of the work means PR practitioners are most focused on putting their clients onto the awards dais (or in front of the TV camera or radio mic) rather than pushing their own barrows.
In some instances, clients do not want their PR efforts to be widely shared – this is particularly the case for crisis and issues management. It is a rare organisation that is willing to rehash its crisis, sharing the story behind what went wrong and the tactics used to right the ship.
Occasionally, some clients will even request a PR consultant sign a confidentiality agreement. They may not want their logos on your website or to be mentioned in your enewsletters and so on; they certainly don’t want to be included in detailed awards submissions.
This makes it all the more remarkable, to me, that we do have PR industry awards in Australia and they continue to receive excellent entries. The Public Relations Institute of Australia’s PRIA Golden Target Awards were established in 1976 and are still going strong. They require not only the detailed input of the applicants, but buy-in and support of clients or employers.
If you’re working in the communications industry, I’d encourage you to be a PRIA member and enter the awards next year. Remember all those reasons you try to convince your clients of the value of awards? It’s time to remind yourself.